A brand doesn’t necessarily have to be a business or a product. Nowadays, more and more people are becoming brands themselves. Celebrities, influencers and entrepreneurs have developed their names and personas into brands.
It might be hard to think of yourself as a brand which you can market to consumers, but people such as David Beckham and Giorgio Armani have successfully turned their names and image into brands. A personal brand is an expression of your own value proposition.
How you create value and sell your own name is up to you, but there are three easy steps to follow to turn yourself into a successful brand.
Be true to yourself and find a niche
No two people are the same, but luckily certain groups of people have shared interests. Whether it’s a hobby, an activity, a certain type of food or the country in which we live, there will always be people out there who will be interested in you, your brand and what you have to say.
Your personal brand will be more successful if you don’t have to change who you are as a person. No matter what skills, talent or knowledge you have, you can market yourself to your audience in the same way as a business.
Use LinkedIn to write thought-provoking articles and establish yourself as an expert in your field. Reach out to followers on Twitter and Facebook. Share unique images on Instagram. Social media platforms let you take advantage of large audiences with minimal effort.
You can also approach websites and certain print publications in your field and ask if they will consider publishing articles written by you. If you’re more of a visual person, see if certain websites would be willing to share some of your videos or photographs.
Keep your content unique and true to your character. Don’t be cliché, otherwise, you’ll never stand out from the crowd. Think of your favourite YouTuber – they all have unique styles and characters.
You want people to see your face and associate you with a certain quality, skill, topic or field. That’s the essence of being a personal brand; you’re a leader or an expert in your niche.
Look for the right brand opportunities and take advantage of exposure
Being a brand means that you need to be a public figure of sorts. You need to be exposed to audiences in order to market yourself to them. Publishing content is an easy way to do this, but meeting people in-person will always boost your credibility.
Attend conferences and accept opportunities to give talks on stage. Renowned YouTuber Casey Neistat always takes the opportunity to give public talks on his filmmaking career and his craft. Engaging with a live audience is a better way to connect with them than simply publishing content.
Another successful person who does this is Neil Patel – an SEO and marketing guru who attends events and gives talks on his field of expertise. Being exposed to audiences in real life, as opposed to just online, is an important step in building your personal brand.
It enhances your trustworthiness and shows people that you are invested and interested in them as an audience. You can also express your appreciation more effectively in-person. Just make sure you’re well prepared if you’re giving a talk or attending a public event.
It will be easier to do more talks in the future and organisers will be more likely to book you if they know you’re good at it. Recognise these opportunities for exposure and take as many as you can.
Step out of your comfort zone
This final step can go hand-in-hand with the last point. You need to step out of your comfort zone if you want to establish yourself as a true brand. If you hate public speaking and public attention, maybe marketing yourself as a brand is not the best option for you.
They say that life is best lived outside of your comfort zone. That is certainly true in the case of personal brands. Most good memories come from extraordinary experiences, and the same goes for public figures; most personal brands are remembered because they have done something remarkable or created something unique.
You can elevate yourself from a fairly well-known brand to someone renowned by stepping out of your comfort zone and tackling bigger projects, more adventurous opportunities and reaching wider audiences.
Go against the grain and lead the way from there. That’s the best way to get people to remember you and your name. It also keeps your audience coming back for more. It may be uncomfortable at times, but whatever your niche, make sure you tackle it head-on and be bold.
These three simple steps will establish you and your name as an icon in your field. You will grow your personal brand by remaining true to yourself, maximising your exposure and by going the extra mile with your work.
Sorted Design Agency is a creative company that constantly looks for solutions to other people’s problems. These problems come mostly in the visual format, such as graphic design, logo and illustration, but we’re experts in brand development, website design, and digital SEO campaigns as well.
Based in Pretoria and Cape Town, Sorted has been in the content marketing industry since 2006. We assist your company with its corporate identity by communicating core values through content and articles written for your website, blog and news area. This content is supported by AdWords and social advertising, which facilitates wider reach and audience growth. Turn your website into a business tool.
Sorted also owns two other businesses; InkFish Print Studio – a printing company that handles a range of promotional materials for businesses and other services for individual customers, and Pampiri + Kie – a gifts and stationery store selling online and in-store. Both of these companies operate from Cape Town and Pretoria.
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