In the previous articles, ‘Why now is the right time to build your Personal Brand’ (Click here to read it) — the focus was on the importance of Personal Branding in 2019 — its what and why. In another article, titled ‘You’re being Googled’ (Click here to read it) — various situations in different types of careers have been pointed out when either we or someone else Googles us, and how you can be at the forefront of those situations.
Here’s a quick take on how relevant a personal brand can be —
In this smartphone era, with everyone’s attention on their screens and most of that time spent on social media platforms, it’s also The Age of the Individual. Every photographer, every writer, every poet, every gamer, every entrepreneur and people from other different professions now have the platform to create their brand.
With people’s attention towards their smartphone and the majority of the people spending hours every day on social media platforms, it is easier than before to make an impression on these platforms.
With a prior focus on its relevance, the attention now shifts to the creation of one. An individual might know their story, their journey, the value they would like to provide to their audience, their message and their goals — all of the essential factors when it comes to building a personal brand.
However, the majority of them are stuck in the ‘How’ of it. How to create one? Where to start? Can one do it individually or do they need to hire someone to strategize it for them? Or do they need someone to manage the entire thing for them? For many, that is an option, without a choice — because they have a lot on their shoulders, in terms of day-to-day, but this is equally important too.
In this article, we shift our focus on to a few significant pointers that anyone (wanting to create their brand now or in the future) should know!
Let me also add, my agency Zazz Media focuses on building brands on social media. In 2019, the limelight has been on personal branding — where we help plan, strategize and create a blueprint for the end-user, specifically for them — showcasing the type of content buckets to focus on, how to tackle every social media platform differently, where the focus needs to be and how to grow an audience for the long-term.
At a macro level, here is where you should focus —
A. Know your ‘Why’
– Why do you want to build a personal brand for yourself? What are your intentions?
– If you have a pre-defined ‘Why’, it will become more manageable for you or your content creator to define a path of ‘What’ and ‘How’ for you — in simple terms, your approach to social media.
– Often people know what they do, and they’re able to translate it into their content. Although, some posts might do well, at a macro level, the audience and you, yourself would be confused with the purpose behind this content.
– Set pre-defined goals and plan the content accordingly — you wouldn’t want to deceive your audience in the long-term.
B. Create a Brand around yourself
– Once you’ve defined your ‘Why’, the next important step is to create a brand around yourself.
– Create a brand tone and a brand message, which in turn increases your brand recognition among your audience, from a long-term point of view. [It takes at least 5–7 impressions for a person to remember your brand.]
– Preferably create a logo/customized name/signature/brand colours which set you apart as an individual.
C. Value for the End-User
– You can perceive this as a physics formula if you would like to, but these are the steps to remember.
Your intent + your message + brand + value for the end-user = Results.
– What are you selling? What is the audience getting out of your content? There is a lot of noise on the internet and people are consuming a lot of content, what sets you apart, is the value you provide to them.
– The end-user gets to decide if the content provided, is valuable to him/her or not and whether they should stick with you for the long-term.
D. Double-down on your Strengths
– There are many different forms you can approach your content and reach out to your audience — Written, Audio and Video, to sum it up as three major categories.
– You get to decide what you’re good at and then double-down on your strengths.
– If you’re good at writing content, then focus more on articles, blogs and captions. If you’re good at video, then create as many videos as possible around your topics and double-down on the visual content. If you feel you’re good at speaking, but not comfortable in front of the camera, then podcasting is the way to go for you.
– Of course, if you’re an all-round person, then the best move is to triple-down on all the content forms together. You get to reach your target audience in all ways possible — some may be video/ audio enthusiasts, some may like to read — your focus should be preferably on all of them.
E. Worrying about the metrics won’t do you any good
– People creating content, especially for social media platforms, tend to focus on the short-term. How many likes does the picture have? How many followers do I have? How many views am I getting? These are the metrics which decide whether the creative/ campaign is successful or not, whether the audience is reacting to their content positively or not.
– Always have the focus on the long-term, focus on the brand. It takes a while to build a brand, and the results shall appear. Focus on building relationships with every person who has decided to follow you — and they shall convert.
– Whether your content is valuable enough, for your audience to share and comment and save, should be the focus. Those metrics say a lot about the type of content you’re posting — whether it has a positive impact or not.
– There are other impactful metrics to take care of — how to connect to your audience of a highly engaged post — whether your audience is interested or not. However, the above pointers are to be viewed from a macro perspective, which keeps you in check.
F. Talk to them
– Often, people focus only on creating content and the “generic metrics of likes and followers” and make their future decisions based on that.
– They forget to engage with people who have left a comment on their posts, forget to reply to those who have DM’d them, don’t focus on engaging content which increases the probability of someone dropping a comment.
– Talk to your audience regularly. What do they want from you? Are they getting value from you? What more can you do for them?
G. Enjoy the process
– The process of creating content, building an audience, building a brand is a long one. The point is to enjoy the process.
– If it is a forceful one or one focused on results for yourself only, then it is one of short-term, where neither of the parties nor you nor your audience will enjoy what you’re producing or what they’re consuming.
– These are also times when people aren’t patient enough, focusing on short-term results, fall prey to techniques of buying likes/ comments, buying followers or participating in engagement pods, so they get “quick results”.
H. Be Authentic
– Said that the most important is for the last. Be Authentic, always.
– If you create a “front” on social media, create a version you’re not in reality, you might win now — with the type of content you post. But, one thing is for sure, you definitely cannot do it forever. You’ll not be able to keep up with it.
– Always be authentic to yourself, to the people you reach out to, to the content you create — it should all be about the real “you”.
– Your audience can read you in a moment, even if you don’t realize it. “Fool them now, but you cannot fool them forever”.
Everyone is so focused on the creation of content, what the audience will react to, what are they interested in, what will bring them more likes — no one focuses on reality.
Social Media is just a medium to reach out to the interested people, the same way you would approach someone at a networking event, the same way you would contact someone for a sales call.
Summarising the entire article on “How to build your Personal Brand in 2019?”, this is it — Your intent + your message + brand + value for the end-user = Results.
Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can help you out for the future.