As a consumer, I prefer buying from brands I personally feel connected to. Even if their products or services cost more, I’d rather invest in them. This is also true for the majority of millennials. In fact, a study by Elite Daily showed that we are the most brand-loyal generation.
Whether you’re a business owner, freelancer or regular employee, your personal brand is what sets you apart from others. It is what keeps people engaged and consuming from you. It is then crucial that it speaks for itself.
Over the past few months, I’ve worked on growing my personal brand and it’s led to major opportunities such as speaking engagements, consulting gigs, freelance work etc.
Here’s how to build a strong digital presence:
Be clear about what you do – This is especially hard when you’re a multipotentialite. By nature, we love to do many things. Be ready to articulate each one of them. Better yet, find what connects all your passions and speak to that. Are you a writer who can also produce videos and take great photos? Then you are a content creator who can effectively amplify voices. Figure out all the things you can do really well, but be specific about the core of your personal brand. What do you want people to know you as? What should they come to you for?
Pick a niche market – In a world where almost every market is saturated, choosing a niche is recommended. This doesn’t mean you will reach less people. Au contrary, you will reach more of the people you’re targeting. For example, a freelancer doesn’t need to do work for everyone. They would be spreading themselves too thin. They don’t need to have thirty clients either. They only have so much time! Choosing a subset of the market will help them effectively market themselves and score gigs.
Do you want to help small business owners build authority with blogging? Can you provide training and professional development for corporations? Narrowing down the audience who could use your expertise will give you a better sense of direction as you’ll know exactly where to look and who to approach.
Add value – Before you share anything online, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is it aligned with what I stand for? Will it strengthen my brand?
- Is it valuable? Can someone use it to learn something and make a decision?
- Does it demonstrate my expertise?
The more you provide value, the more people are likely to engage with you. It will show a genuine commitment to helping others. You can add value in different ways (status updates, live webinars, courses, ebooks etc.) Be creative with the way you share your content and stay abreast of the platforms your audience will likely adopt.
Document your wins – Use social media to showcase your expertise and highlight your accomplishments. You need to show people what you can do. It’s the only way they will buy into it! Recorded one of your speaking engagements? Post the video everywhere! Have something interesting to say about a recent trend in your industry? Whether it’s on LinkedIn or Medium, blog away! Offer to guest post for publications to expand your audience!
A common misconception is that personal branding only matters when you plan to be or already are in the spotlight. You don’t need to achieve stardom to have a personal brand. We’re all in the business of managing ourselves and as such, we could leverage a strong personal brand to reach our goals.