14 Ways Your Personal Brand Development Strategy Can Help Your Business Thrive
In the business world, the term ‘personal brand’ is thrown around quite a lot, but what does it really mean?
Well in case you didn’t know, a personal brand is where you create a business around yourself, as a person.
So naturally, the way the world sees and perceives you is important to the success of your business.
A whopping 75% of American adults Google themselves, and roughly half of them don’t like what they see. So you need to do your best to clean up your internet presence before embarking on this venture.
So with that in mind, let’s dive into brand development strategy!
1. Know What You’re Getting Into
First things first, before you execute a brand development strategy you need to commit to a specific niche. Here are a few questions to consider when making this decision:
- What do you want your audience to know you for?
- What sets you apart as an individual and how can you use that to compete with other influencers?
- What makes you memorable?
If you’re new to the world of digital marketing, the only thing separating you from those who are already successful is time, and work.
So think about the above questions and keep them at the forefront of your mind as you begin this venture.
2. Suit Up and Do Your Homework
Before you go public with everything, you have to know your industry inside out and backwards. Or, at least commit to getting to that stage.
There’s only so much you can blog before you begin to unravel. You could have an incredible brand development strategy, but unless you know your industry, you’re doomed to fail.
To be a success, you need to commit to staying ahead of the game; if there’s an upcoming trend in your niche, you need to know about it.
Similarly, if there’s breaking news in your industry, make sure you’re one of the first to know. This is crucial to positioning yourself as an authority and strengthening your personal brand.
3. Choose a Name
Once you’ve settled on a niche, you’re ready to choose a name for your brand. This is officially the first active step you’re taking to implement some kind of brand development strategy.
This should reflect both your personality and your business goals. This is sometimes easier said than done because an overwhelming amount of business names are already taken.
So be prepared to spend time finding an available name, that accurately represents your personal brand- if you can incorporate your actual name, even better!
Obviously, you want a business name that matches the domain name of your website. You don’t want to confuse your customers, and keeping everything uniform will help make your brand memorable.
Top tip for Canadian business owners: There’s a good chance that the .com domain name will have gone. However, the .ca counterpart might be around; this is definitely worth researching!
4. Build Your Online Presence
You can be the most knowledgeable person in your industry, but if no one knows who you are you won’t be making many sales.
So once you’ve picked your business name and registered your domain, you need to conquer social media. No brand development strategy is complete without factoring in social media.
By this we mean you need to update and monitor your social media profiles regularly.
Aim to provide interesting and valuable content on the following four platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and your blog (as a general rule, these tend to be the four major platforms).
However, marketing will naturally vary slightly depending on your niche. So ask yourself – where does your audience hang out online?
The answer to this question will guide you as to which social media platforms you need to focus on.
For example, if you’re selling something visual, like interior design, fashion, wedding decor, etc. Then you may find Instagram and Pinterest are of more use to you.
However, if you’re aiming to reach out to other business and marketing professionals, then you may be better off with LinkedIn and Twitter.
Do your research, and work out the best social media strategy for you.
In addition to the above, you need to be aware of the impression your profiles give to potential customers. Are they engaging? Are they reflective of the values and goals of your brand?
If not, do something about it!
Top tip: Be sure to put a link to your website in all the bios of your social media profiles. This is an excellent way of scoring free traffic!
5. Establish Your Credibility
If you’re hoping to make regular sales, then you need to build a loyal following. You’ll only achieve this if your customers know, like, and trust you.
At this stage, we’re digging a little deeper into the brand development strategy.
The best way to do this is to build your credibility. So, make it known that you’re knowledgeable in your niche. Publish informative articles on your blog, network with other professionals, try and speak at reputable engagements, etc.
Actions like this will gradually build your credibility and authority within the industry over time.
On the flip side, never let your pride get in the way of learning from other experts. This is crucial for professional growth.
On that same note, don’t claim to be an expert in everything. Like we’ve said previously, pick a specific niche and focus on that. This is key to becoming a credible specialist in your industry.
6. Be a Source of Info People Need
If you’re serious about creating a stable brand development strategy, you should want people to come to you as a source of information. Your goal should be to become the person people want expert advice from.
The best place to start is by sharing useful and valuable information on both your blog and on your social media handles.
You should also start an email list and send them a weekly newsletter with industry updates. Over time people will recognize you as an authority – your hard work will pay off eventually!
7. Associate Yourself with Other Reputable Brands
You should always be looking for opportunities to work with other reputable brands in your industry as part of your brand development strategy.
Not only can you learn from others who are successfully running personal brands, but you can also use it as an opportunity to make your brand stronger.
The thought of reaching out to other key players in the industry can be a little daunting when you’re new to the digital marketing game. However, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. So you need to push yourself.
There are two methods of building your professional network:
- Identifying influencers: Use blogger outreach tools to reach out and make contact with key influencers.
- Nurture relationships: Research these influencers and see what you have in common and how you could be of benefit to them. You can’t just take from others; it has to be a two-way relationship.
Over time, you’ll recognize what kind of outreach works best for you, once you have a winning strategy, roll with it!
8. Practice 2-Way Networking as Part of Your Brand Development Strategy
We just wanted to hammer home the importance of two-way networking, because a lot of people get this wrong.
In any networking situation, whether it be online or in person, you can’t focus solely on your own needs. Instead, you have to think about how you can help the other person as well.
You’ll find that this approach is far more beneficial for everyone involved. You’ll start making genuine connections which open up more opportunities for you and your brand – win-win!
9. Be Yourself
This may sound horribly cliche but it’s crucial if you want to run a successful personal brand and should be at the core of your brand development strategy.
You have to remain true to yourself. It’s as simple as that. One of the things that will set you apart from your competitors is your personality.
So don’t be afraid to let that shine through your content. The bottom line is, you should never shy away from who you are – people will respect that and warm up to you because of it.
10. Understand the Importance of Your Website
It’s critical that you have a platform that’s entirely under your control. As important as social media is to your online presence it will never be as important as your site.
The algorithms for social media advertising are continually changing, whereas that doesn’t happen in your domain where you have full control.
Your social media profiles should be used to compliment your website. By this, we mean, that they’re great for communicating with your audience and providing valuable content.
However, the crux of your brand development strategy should always be to direct customers back to your website, with the aim of getting them to subscribe to your email list.
From there you can start building a relationship with them. Give them cause to trust you, show them you know what you’re talking about. This massively increases the likelihood of scoring a sale.
11. Competition Analysis is Key
You need to commit to studying what your competitors are doing as part of your brand development strategy. What are they doing that’s working? Are they doing anything different to what you’re doing, if so what?
You get the idea – have a good snoop around and get a feel for what others are doing in your industry.
Once you’ve collated that information you can make an attempt to stand out from the crowd, think about what gives you an edge and go for it!
12. Create a Persona for Your Personal Brand
Personas are essential for any successful brand development strategy Work through the following questions to get started on this:
- How will your customers identify with you on an emotional level? Do you have any attractive personality features or quirks people might warm up to? For example, do you have a cracking sense of humour? Do you have a pet that features in your videos? Do you have a favourite colour or phrase that shows up in your marketing regularly, etc.? Have something people can get on board with!
- Why should people want to work with you? Tell your story again and again. What qualifies you to be an authority? What drives you? What can you give to people?
These questions pave the way to forming a reliable and credible brand persona. You should continually refer back to it when creating your marketing campaigns, launching products, producing a new piece of content, etc.
Consistency is vital in branding so use it to your benefit.