If you’ve been reading our posts religiously, you’re already familiar with the importance of personal branding. Not only does a good personal brand help you stand out, it also improves your chances of success. This applies regardless of whether you’re an entrepreneur, an influencer, a business owner, or even a job applicant.
You’ve seen some excellent examples of people with strong personal brands that set them apart from their competition. You also know some of the basics of establishing a personal brand. But if you’re really going to use your personal brand to earn more money, here are a few hacks that you should consider using:
- #1: Replace Your Selfie With a Professional Headshot
- #2: Let Your Content Do the Talking
- #3: Position Yourself Clearly to Be Remembered
- #4: Develop a Memorable Tagline
- #5: Create a Logo That Stands Out
- #6: Use Storytelling to Make an Emotional Connection
- #7: Participate in Twitter Chats
- #8: Invest in Social Media Advertising
- Final Thoughts
#1: Replace Your Selfie With a Professional Headshot
You can’t expect people to take your personal brand seriously if you’re still using a selfie or a badly-taken photo as your go-to picture. Whether it’s for your social media profile picture, your guest post author bio, or your website bio; invest your time and money into getting a professional headshot.
But it’s not just the quality of the photo that you should consider. You should also take the time to revamp how you’re positioning yourself in the photo. If you’re planning to use your personal brand to earn more, you’ll need to win people’s trust so they’ll either want to hire you or buy from you. And how you present yourself in the photo can make all the difference for you.
You’ll need to look friendly and approachable as well as trustworthy. In other words, you need to replace that frown or poker face with a smile in your professional photos.
Belgian and Dutch researchers recently conducted a joint study on the role of facial expressions and body language in negotiation. They found that people who looked happy were considered to be more honest and reliable than people who looked angry, regardless of what they were saying. So the happier you look, the more trustworthy you’ll appear to prospective clients and employers.
Take a look at the tasteful professional photo on Carole Ann Rice’s website, for instance. Not only is she smiling, she looks relaxed and peaceful, making her look like someone you can trust to coach you.
Image Source: Real Coaching Co.
#2: Let Your Content Do the Talking
Aside from your photo, your content is another factor that people will consider before they make a decision about your personal brand. The level of professionalism that you exhibit through your content can give people a fair idea of whether or not you know what you’re doing. It also helps them decide whether they’d like to work with you.
When you share your expertise through content, you’re providing prospective clients with valuable information on relevant topics as well as on your competence. And by doing so, you can establish yourself as someone they can depend on to deliver the results they need.
This is crucial because 81% of decision-makers conduct research before contacting a vendor to discuss a project, according to the Content Marketing Institute. And your content could be an important part of the research process, eventually swaying their decision in your favor.
Create content covering a relevant topic that your target audience would be interested in. Provide actionable ideas and tips that they will find valuable. Not only will they appreciate you for providing information that helps, they will also understand that you know what you’re doing.
It doesn’t always have to be in the form of detailed blog posts and ebooks. You can also create bite-sized information delivered through infographics and video.
Bill Coletti is a reputation management expert with a strong personal brand. He does not have a blog, but he creates bite-sized video and audio content to give website visitors a fair idea of what he knows and how good he is at his job.
Image Source: Bill Coletti
#3: Position Yourself Clearly to Be Remembered
No matter how good you are at your job, the truth remains that there are thousands of people just like you. They have the same skill sets as you and are just as experienced as you. Some may even be much better than you. There’s no way to escape this fact; but what matters is how you deal with it. Since it’s challenging to get people to notice you in a sea of competitors, what can you do to stand out?
The most effective solution is to improve the way you position yourself. Perhaps you’re still unsure of how to position your personal brand. Or perhaps your positioning message isn’t clear enough for people to understand or remember. So if you’re going to set yourself apart, you need to fix this problem.
Conduct thorough research on your competitors to see how they are positioning themselves directly or indirectly. Use this information to assess your personal brand and identify the factors that make you different from them. Is there something about your personality and interests that makes you unique? Or can you offer something that others are not offering?
Ryan Robinson, for instance, positions himself as an honest and authentic entrepreneur who cannot stand pretentiousness. He uses some profanity in his statements, further establishing his brand positioning.
Image Source: Ryrob.com
#4: Develop a Memorable Tagline
Now to make your personal brand positioning even more memorable, you need to come up with a catchy tagline. There are a lot of people who have built successful personal brands without a specific tagline. But these people are usually pioneers who managed to set themselves apart early on because there wasn’t much competition.
Now, with an abundance of competition, you need to make yourself more memorable with a tagline that people can remember and associate with your brand. Make it short, unique, relevant, and honest. You can make a list of adjectives that define your personal brand based on your values, interests, expertise, and personality. And then use this list to come up with a catchy tagline.
Web designer, Jeff Krans, does a great job of this by telling visitors that “the web is big” so they need to “keep it simple.” The tagline describes his personal brand value, i.e. simplicity. This goes along with his web design and logo, which all follow a simplistic aesthetic.
Image Source: jeffkrans.com
#5: Create a Logo That Stands Out
A brand logo gives people visual cues about the brand’s identity, helping them make broad judgments about the brand’s products from sight alone. It gives them a broad idea of the brand’s core values such as creativity, reliability, transparency, and more. In turn, they can make a fair assumption about the brand’s product quality.
A recognizable brand logo can also make the brand stand out, making it more recognizable than the competition. The same is true for personal brands as well. Create a personal brand logo that perfectly symbolizes who you are as an expert and an individual. Use colors, shapes, and fonts that you want to associate with your brand.
Take a look at the personal brand logo of Nathan Watkins in the screenshot below. He uses a mixture of minimalistic geometric shapes and artsy colors along with a clear font that’s easy to read. This logo goes perfectly with his personal brand as a graphic designer.
Image Source: Nathanwatkinsdesign.com
#6: Use Storytelling to Make an Emotional Connection
Good storytelling gives you the power to influence your audience on an emotional level, helping you win their trust. Stories allow people to engage with both facts and emotion, creating a powerful bond between the two. This can provoke their interest and encourage their involvement, while gaining their empathy.
So it’s crucial that everything about your personal brand identity revolves around a personal story. Tell the story of how you got where are you, and why you do what you do. Was there a particular turning point in your life that helped you become who you are today?
Perhaps you used to struggle with a health condition or homelessness. Or maybe you sent out hundreds of applications that were rejected. Whatever your story may be, tell it honestly in an engaging way. You can also tell the stories of some of the people you’ve helped, so there’s added social proof to win people’s trust.
Dave Ramsey, the personal finance guru, tells a compelling story about his financial struggles. He also talks about how he started developing his knowledge in finance not only to get out of debt but to build his wealth and start his own financial counseling company.
Image Source: Dave Ramsey
#7: Participate in Twitter Chats
Twitter chats provide an excellent channel to network with a relevant audience as well as influential experts in your industry. Participate in them to get noticed and eventually expand your network, which will eventually help you strengthen your personal brand.
Twitter chats are normally weekly events and they tend to last anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes. They involve people engaging in a discussion using a specific hashtag. Participants can ask questions, answer them, and provide valuable insights on the topic to be seen by other participants. So you need to make sure that you participate in chats that are relevant to your niche and interests.
Use TweetReports to discover upcoming Twitter chat events that you might be able to participate in. The website gives you a brief idea of the topic, description, and hashtag for each chat event along with the times.
Image Source: TweetReports.com
#8: Invest in Social Media Advertising
It’s not entirely impossible to grow your personal brand organically. But it takes time and effort as well as a lot of patience. If you want to create a bigger impact, you need to make a small investment into advertising. And social media is the best platform on which to run those ads because you get to create highly targeted campaigns that will reach the right audience.
So the only people who will be seeing your ads are people who are highly likely to be interested in your services. You can pay to promote some of the posts that you have shared on Facebook. Or you can run an ad promoting some of your products such as courses and whitepapers. You can even remarket to people who have already shown some interest in your brand by engaging with your content or visiting your site.
These are eight hacks that you can use to grow your personal brand and monetize it more effectively. Some of these ideas need a bit of time and effort, while others need a bit of financial investment. But with careful planning, you can use them to grow a successful personal brand.