First off, Personal branding has become a muddied term through overuse by hussleporn ‘entrepreneus’ and fake social media guru’s rinsing their audience with 3 week courses. Which has lead many to believe that personal branding is a load of horse sh*t. If you say one word enough it loses meaning like authenticity, which seems to be on everybody’s list of buzzwords.
There are a lot of d*ckheads out there who manipulate and misappropriate their audience, however, this shouldn’t put you off from building a personal brand. Because you no longer have a choice, the only choice is whether you manage yours or not. If you don’t have a presence online then you are allowing people to create their own image of you. This is risky. That’s a nice little bit I nicked from Cynthia Johnson in her book Platform.
Whether you’re an individual looking to take your first steps into the world of PB or you’re looking to spice up your B2B marketing by putting a face to your brand. Hopefully, this article will give you some value. If not then go and Subscribe to the Lee & Adam YouTube channel where you can see some sh*t hot Personal Brand lead content.
I’m going to put it really simply the benefits of building a personal brand because they’re clear and obvious.
Building a personal brand might not make you a millionaire, but it will generate influence. If you could bottle up Coca Cola’s brand and sell it, do you know how much it would be worth? $36 Billion. And that’s the power of brand.
I am a big believer that our C-suite, our CEO’s and Creative Directors of the world are our most powerful B2B marketing tools. We’ve seen this on our own channels, YTD we have over 2.2 million views across 3 Electric House directors’ profiles on LinkedIn. We’ve also got a very successful history of speaking events which has led to client work, internal hires and large retained campaigns.
Often the biggest challenges with Personal branding being able to commit enough time. This is where you need to get smart on how to squeeze your content out the most. Create a long-from pillar content then break that down into micro-content. Your pillar content can sit on platforms like YouTube and for audio Spotify and iTunes. Micro content is very platform specific, 3 minute+ video content for Facebook, copy for Linkedin, Carousels for Instagram.
That being said, your Directors and C-suite aren’t your only options. Maybe consider an employee ambassador scheme. Create a culture of content, give people the tools and knowledge necessary to start posting online. There are so many great moving parts of a business that aren’t shouted about often enough. I’ve noticed more and more HR influencers on LinkedIn and I think it’s a space which is under utilised.
You need to start with your pillars, what do you want to be known for? What makes you different? What area of expertise can you offer value? Are there holes in the knowledge your clients have that you can plug? Find 3 or 4 things that you can talk about consistently and I mean every day. Is company culture important to you? It’s so important you get these right because they form the foundations of everything you create. I recommend taking yourself out of your current environment and
Once you’ve done the not so simple task of identifying these pillars, it’s time to start creating content. And this comes down with what you’re most natural or comfortable with. Some people suit podcasts, some people suit live streams, some people suit curating delicate Instagram feeds. I can’t tell you, you have to try for yourself and keep testing and failing until you find something that works.
Don’t just think online, think offline, some of the most successful things we have achieved through personal branding have been off the back of speaking engagements where we have networked. It’s all about building relationships, this could be from commenting on somebody else’s post or shaking hands hopefully in a nearby rona free time.
I’m going to try and keep this part simple too however I like to waffle so you should decide which platform works best for you and your content.
Favoured platform over the years because of its B2Bness and organic reach which is starting to dwindle. Video is not currently favoured in the algorithm but if you do, make sure it’s short and engaging. Copy is King. One of the things LinkedIn Editors measures for successful content is timeliness. So make sure that what you’re writing has relevance in today’s world and is the most impactful thing you can post on that day.
Don’t go chasing the likes and virality on LinkedIn, you may have 300 likes on your Playstation taking over London post. But ask yourself what has that actually done to better your PB? Good Engagement doesn’t equal a good personal brand.
Best for Long form content, as I mentioned we’ve recently launched our Lee & Adam YT channel. It’s a really great place for value, search time lead content. It’s also a great place to start your content. Plus if you can crack the Youtube Partner Programme the CPM’s are really good.
Personal Branding is the trade of influence, and that’s why TikTok has seen a massive rise in personalities. Our own TikTok community ‘Ministry of’ which now has over 300,00 followers was built on the face of our very own Max Tobin. TikTok is the most perfect platform for me right now. Good organic reach, low barrier of entry for content creation and the audience wants to learn. So go teach them about the benefits of sustainable bee-keeping or why your glue is the stickiest on the market. Just don’t be boring about it.
You should absolutely consider other platforms such as Twitter a fantastic place, especially within the marketing community. Email marketing, go and check out Harry Dry’s marketing examples newsletter, he grew his community to over 40,000 in less than a year. Incredible. You don’t have to choose 6-7 just the ones that you think you can have the most positive impact on.
Here are some things I’ve learnt over the years.
Be laser focused, find your niche and what you talk about can provide value constantly. Be an open book, give away all of your secrets until you have none left and your clients can do it for themselves.
Be consistent and post more, be data lead and learn from your failings. Nobody becomes a ‘thought leader’ overnight. It’s a long game, it could take 5-10 years of really hard graft. Nothing comes easy.
Be unique, be you. Cheesy and Cliche but a personal brand must represent who you are and your values.
But the one thing that somebody once told me at the beginning of my career has stuck with me always, “Nothing will be more impactful than getting in front of people and telling them your story.” So go, go and tell people your story.