The concept of creating a brand and marketing it to achieve its’ full potential isn’t a domain reserved exclusively for the business world; indeed, anyone can create their own brand and market their own skills in order to enhance their career prospects, or develop their own small business relating to their own expertise.
When most people think of a brand, they are likely to think of an already well-established name which possesses excellent social perception and offers products and services known for their quality and status.
For an individual who wishes to create a career out of a specific skill-set or sell those skills to others, building and marketing a lifestyle brand can be as equally important to them as it is to a global business, and in order to ‘sell’ oneself in an often cut-throat world a person’s brand not only needs to be robust but also one that captures the attention of those who might be interested in the person.
Of course, creating a brand and building it from a grassroots level up to one which is instantly recognizable can be a long process and unlikely to happen overnight; but with the right mentality, and the right help then the process can be made simpler.
Consider how to build a lifestyle brand. With the prevalence of Social Media nowadays, there are many platforms that can be used to help build and develop their brand such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter among many others.
It is important also to consider having a proper web presence, showcasing talents or products in a way which appeals to prospective customers or clients.
Remember though to separate professional life from personal life when trying to build a lifestyle brand; while holiday pictures may be great to see, they perhaps aren’t a great way of introducing the brand to those looking to enter a business relationship.
Having a website is a big bonus for those seeking to build their personal brand, and often the first thing a person might do when given the name of the personal brand is to hop onto Google and search to see what returns.
Often, that might be a person’s social media profiles; but it is important not to neglect having a website to sell a product or service. While building a personal brand on social media channels is important, devoting some time to creating and marketing a professional website can reap rich rewards.
Having a blog can be a good starting point, but as a person’s brand reputation begins to expand and flourish then it is easy to quickly outgrow a simple blog, and a more professional website will be required.
This is where having a dedicated domain name can help build an air of professionalism around a person’s brand; and also having a more professional email address helps to reinforce any good impression rather than keeping with a Gmail, Outlook or Yahoo email address.
In order to build a website, many web hosting providers offer their own website building software, while there are a number of content management systems available - both free and paid - which can be used. However, the creation of websites using both these methods can be time-consuming and often limited by available templates, font choices, image placement and other issues which may not quite fit in with a person’s vision for their brand.
There is also a security implication to consider when using some content management systems, which while customizable and extendable through a wide range of plug-ins and additions, can often prove vulnerable to hackers. Many of these plug-ins are developed by a third party, and it can often be the case that they are not regularly updated to take into account changes in the content management’s source code which in turn can lead to website breakages, and in some instances more nefarious issues.
Other things to consider when it comes to creating a website for a person’s personal brand are site loading times, which can influence search engine position; while a poorly designed website which isn’t user-friendly or easy to navigate can create a negative impression on a prospective customer or client.
Mobile web is critical in these ever-changing times, so it has to be considered if the website displays well and is functional on mobile devices; this is an area many people when developing their personal brand website forget about; but trends in recent years have shown a huge increase in mobile web traffic, so it is important not to overlook how a website functions via mobile browsers.
Creating relevant and engaging content is a crucial element of building a personal brand, and the content can take on a range of forms. Whether it is a written blog post, an image or podcast, or a video it is important that the content created is both relevant and engaging so as to maximize the potential for the content to be shared on social media and also as a traffic driver, helping to return readers and viewers back to the person’s website.
To help create engaging and relevant content, utilizing a content plan can be useful, allowing a person to decide where to focus content creation energies.
Knowing what is happening within the person’s sphere of expertise in the future can help generate content ideas. Perhaps a relevant trade show or conference is coming up soon, so planning a series of content around such an event could attract the attention of some key influencers and like-minded brands who may reach out to arrange a meeting or sharing of ideas.
Regardless of the social media channels used, whether Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn or whatever, those profiles should showcase as much creative and relevant content as possible, helping to detail what is on offer from the brand, whether it be a product or service; avenues of communication are important on social media also, and it can pay dividends to read and respond to comments left on posts across each of the Social Media channels utilized.
It has to be remembered though that not every comment will fall within a person’s geo-target audience; while there may be other Social Networks that can be availed where there might be more success depending on the demographics of the intended audience. There is little point in concentrating on a specific channel where a person’s intended audience may not be particularly active.
These demographics could include factors such as age, sex, geolocation, profession, educational achievements, and many others. These factors can help to determine whether the person is reaching and engaging with interested parties, like-minded brands and the correct audience, all of which can help to expand and grow a person’s potential audience; while learning which factors work best help the person to create more engaging content that can be shared by others across their own social networks, putting the service or skill in front of more pairs of eyes and helping to build their reach.
Using social channels to share content that drives viewers back to the website to find out more about a product or service is a great tactic that can be used time and again.
Creating and sharing the right content can help attract the attention of like-minded brands which can further aid in link building efforts and help build brand awareness and reputation.
A sharing of content collateral can help both parties, helping to build the reputation of both parties; for the person in the midst of growing their personal lifestyle brand, connecting with and being associated with other like-minded brands helps to grow their own reputation where they can be seen as a key influencer.
By doing so it can also be possible to get ahead of the curve. Once relationships with like-minded brands are forged, the person could become party to news of advance product launches for which relevant content would be required, for example, helping to build their reputation as a trustworthy source of information with a finger on the pulse within a particular niche or industry.
It has to be considered that a person’s personal brand is less about how the creator envisages it, but how others see it and the creator of the brand.
This can involve the creator finding out more about their own strengths and weaknesses in order to better identify where to focus their efforts in building their brand rather than spending and possibly wasting time and energy - not to mention money - trying to build a personal brand that perhaps doesn’t quite marry with other people's perceptions.
Once a focus has been determined, the brand can be designed and building can begin. From developing a mission statement, designing a personal logo, deciding on fonts and colors to be used in any printed and online marketing materials, social media presence, personal website and more besides, there is a lot to think about and consider when creating a personal brand.
Knowing what sets a person apart from their competitor can help understand how to best market themselves and influence how to build their personal brand. By identifying a unique selling point, you can help build customer loyalty and your own reputation as someone to be trusted in your own particular niche.
With so much to consider when it comes to creating a personal brand, the entire process can seem daunting, especially to someone who perhaps doesn’t have the technical nous to successfully address every avenue and ensure consistency across the board.
Employing professional small business marketing experts can often help to address areas of weakness that may exist, and can streamline the process whilst working with you to ensure you get the best possible return on your investment.
Such experts can tackle areas such as creating a personal brand website that is both user-friendly, well optimized for search engine optimization and can help nurture and develop social media profiles and aid with identifying relevant and engaging content opportunities.
Not only that, they can they help you to understand yourself and your own expertise, and through research can identify where key audiences can be found, further helping to build one’s reputation as a trusted individual within their niche. By ensuring you can find your most relevant audience, they can help build followers, forging introductions with other key influencers and brands.