If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll know a bit about my journey from blog to business. You might be aware that I started my blog CopingwithJane three years ago after I become a mother and left my corporate job and decided to reinvent myself and redefine what my version of success was.
This week I’ve been reflecting on the speedy growth of my business and wanted to share something that has contributed to this. That is, growing my personal brand. So – I’ve put together some tips in this email on how YOU can grow your personal brand.
But first why bother building your personal brand in the first place? Simply put, to increase your value and your worth. This is true for both a business owner and an employee.
Here are 5 ways to grow your online personal brand fast:
1. Create your celebrity status
In this sense, I’m going to use the idea of celebrity to be loosely defined as being particularly good at one thing, and recognised for it. Actors are usually specifically quite good at one thing, namely, acting. In the same way you, too, can take that which you excel at and establish yourself as “go-to” person in your industry.
To do this, find your unique value proposition. Define the benefits that only you can offer to your industry, and position those benefits around your ideal customer’s problem.
2. Establish a stand out presence
Like all brands you have a need for visibility. Assuming you’re a small business owner or service based entrepreneur, these days this involves getting online. So you want to create your website, start a blog, write a newsletter, yada, yada, yada…
But let’s just stop right there. I want you to consider for a moment that in this era of “next generation” marketing there are no rules. You are captain of your own ship. So think big!
Be memorable. Because when you look around at businesses that are succeeding, they are.
In my own case I went out of the gates guns blazing. When I started my blog CopingwithJane, I had a cutting edge blog design and strong branding. This is because I wanted to differentiate myself by these elements.
I also had a big purpose and “why” which I made sure was clear. This is how I got “big names” as guest contributors. That was the case with everyone who supported my site earlier on which led to my blog having tremendous traction quickly. Same goes for anything in life. People will be incredibly generous and will feel inspired by what you do, if they believe in your story and what you stand for.
So, I was able to grow my person brand fast because people believed in my why and because I went big with my branding. Those two elements served me well and my blog continues to open doors for me to this day.
So whether it’s through branding, your message or the actual service you are selling, it’s okay to go big with the concept and the delivery of it. Don’t sell the steak, sell the sizzle.
3. Make a snowball
A key to building you personal brand fast is “word-of-mouth” marketing. You might think you’re online so this doesn’t matter. Nuh-uh. Your network of friends, colleagues, clients, and customers are THE most important marketing vehicle you’ve got. What they say about you and your contributions is what the market will ultimately gauge as the value of your brand.
So the big trick to building your brand is to find ways to nurture your network of colleagues – consciously. One way you can do this which has worked well for me is to reward colleagues and clients for referring business to you by way of a referral fee.
4. Become indispensable
Be clear and serve, to become indispensable. To do this you want to communicate in a way that is natural to you and understandable to others. Be authentic and straightforward with you audience, avoiding convoluted speech and writing to impress. Just be yourself, and deliver your relevant message.
You are here to serve. When you add value consistently (like what I’m doing with this info that I’m sharing with you in this email) you will win the hearts and minds of your audience. And THAT is how a strong brand is created.
5. Step into your power
If you want to grow your personal brand, you’ve got to come to terms with power – your own.
In my one-on-one mentoring work, this is something that I regularly see people struggle with initially. This isn’t surprising because building your personal brand requires that you “put yourself out there” which can be scary.
I can tell you that it gets easier. But we are living in an age of the individual so YOU have to be your own brand and your own sales rep. It’s essential that you get comfortable with confidently owning what you do and tooting your own horn online.
If you are struggling with this read this great guest post by my client Caroline Cain, who is wonderful at self promotion online (even though she claims she is an introvert).
Bottom line, get out of your own way and step up and into your brilliance!
So Jane, the good news is that everyone has a chance to stand out. Having a brand enables you to charge a premium for the same product or service, who doesn’t want that? So start applying these 5 tips today and start building your personal brand today.