If you’re running a business, part of a leadership team, in a position or power, or even just looking for a new job, your personal brand is something that you should be putting a lot of focus into.
While it can sometimes seem like quite an overwhelming task if you’re starting from scratch, a strong personal brand and online persona can work wonders when it comes to building a strong, engaged audience and positioning yourself as someone with authority and merit. In fact, studies have found that 48% of a brand’s reputation can be attributed to their CEO, showing just how important it is to make a good impression with your followers.
As we move into 2023, we’re going to see even more focus on informative and useful content, so the more that you can put out there as a creator, the wider your net will cast.
Your personal brand isn’t just about how you look to your followers on social media, it encapsulates everything about you as an individual and a professional. It’s how you present yourself to the outside world - to your friends and family, to your colleagues and to your customers.
The aim of a personal brand is to position you as a knowledgeable and insightful source of information - people see what you have to say and not only believe it, but also replicate it in their own lives, becoming an advocate of yours. Having a good personal brand can take you from a position of obscurity to one of (almost) fame as a strong thought leader!
If you’re in a position of power, your personal brand is even more important. When everything that you publicly do or say can be broadcasted on the internet for all to see in a matter of seconds, it’s crucial that you stay on top of your profile and promote the image that you want people to see.
If you’ve ever been part of the branding process within a business, you’ll already have a pretty good insight into how important it is to focus on your brand mission, values, messaging and tone of voice, creating a cohesive and comprehensive story that intertwines itself throughout every element of the business. This is no different when it comes to creating your personal brand.
If you’re at the stage where you want to start working on your personal brand, it’s likely that you already have a goal in mind for what you want to achieve with it. Perhaps you want to drive more traffic for your business, or you want to be seen as a figure of authority, or maybe you want to showcase your skills and talents and open yourself up to new employment opportunities. Whatever it is, defining it right from the beginning will help you to target your audience in the right way and create content that engages and interests them.
The first, and probably most important thing to do when developing your personal brand is to take an inward look at who you are and the kind of person you want to be known as by your audience. Some of the questions you should ask yourself include:
This information will help you with your messaging and building an online persona that people can relate to and understand.
After you get to know yourself, it’s time to get to know your audience. They will be the centrepiece of everything that you do, so taking the time to do your research and understand the topics and issues that they’re interested in hearing about will be a vital part of developing your personal brand strategy. Failing to do this can lead to an audience who disengage from you as a person, having a negative impact not just on your personal brand, but potentially even your business’ brand as well.
Once you have collated all the information you need to know who you are, who you’re targeting and what you’re going to be talking about, it’s time to put this all together into a content strategy. You will also need to define the channels and platforms that you’re going to use to promote your message; be that on your own website, on social channels, on blogs or as a vlog or podcast. The best channels for you will likely be defined by your audience and where they usually spend time online. In case of B2B brands, this likely will be on LinkedIn.
Within your content strategy, you should also think about whether you’ll need any assistance and who best to approach for this, for example graphic designers, copywriters or web developers. Make sure that any external sources completely understand your personal brand and can create resources for you in line with your goals.
There is absolutely no point in going through this process if you’re not going to consistently show up for your audience and give them content that they can learn from. As part of your content strategy, it will be really important to create a publishing schedule, and whether you want to post daily, weekly or monthly, this needs to be adhered to from the get-go.
From the beginning, you should try and create enough content for at least a few weeks, and keep track of topics and events that you want to talk about going forward. Put time aside in your diary to develop these thoughts within your ongoing content strategy to ensure that you always have something insightful to post about.