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Building a strong personal brand around yourself is one of the great ways to expand your influence and strengthen your business. Personal branding provides the unbeatable benefit of easing your path for perfect positioning, generating leads, and amplifying sellability.
Some of the world’s biggest businesses have used personal branding to grow. when a CEO has a good reputation (which is another word for ‘personal brand’), they are better able to attract investors, positive media attention, and talent. We’re all familiar with the power that a business leader’s personality has to influence the reputation of their company. How can you separate the figure of Richard Branson from Virgin, Steve Jobs from Apple, or Elon Musk from Tesla, for instance?
However, personal branding isn’t just for business leaders. Take a look at this startling statistic: “90% of people trust product or service recommendations from people they know, while only 33% trust messages from a [corporate] brand.” (Nielsen via Kredible)
What sets personal branding apart from more overt marketing techniques is that the leads are actually the by-product, rather than the goal, of the process. That can seem a bit unnerving when building a personal brand takes so much time and effort, but it really is the most organic way to attract new customers.
The aim is to position yourself as a trustworthy expert who will be your audience’s first port of call when they have a particular problem to solve. A personal branding strategy that generates leads effectively will:
Connect with your audience on a meaningful level
Address the specific pain points of your audience
Produce content of consistent quality and depth
Ultimately, building a strong personal brand is about contributing to your particular community, taking the time to answer your audience’s questions. This way, you will prove the depth of your knowledge and expertise.
So let’s look at how you can use some online and offline channels to develop your Personal Brand and generate leads.
Social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are great for curating a more informal personal brand image, whilst remaining professional. You should aim to:
1. Share content: Social media platforms are ideal for sharing the top-quality content you’ve produced on your subjects of expertise. However, you should also share relevant content from other sources that might be helpful or interesting to your audience.
2. Engage with comments: Once you’ve shared content or published a post, don’t just walk away. Go back and engage with the comments you’ve attracted. This will demonstrate that you’re genuinely engaged with followers and their concerns – as well as helping you cultivate new contacts.
3. Be personal: Feel free to share information about your everyday life and interests, as this helps establish a well-rounded, human image. However, your business-related social media profile is not the place to voice your opinions on every topic – keep another more private profile if you want a freer space to express yourself.
4. Use a tool for consistency: If your posts are too sporadic or inconsistently timed, this could actually adversely affect your personal brand. An online tool like Buffer or Hootsuite can help you manage your social media publications for optimum exposure and engagement.
Let's understand how LinkedIn can boost your Personal Brand and help you get more leads for your business. If you want to connect with users who are already in a “work” mindset and thus more likely to become leads quickly, then LinkedIn is your go-to platform. This is especially pertinent if your business is B2B.
So what can you do to unlock the personal branding opportunities on LinkedIn?
1. Blog: Even if you’ve already published content on your own website or a guest blog site, it pays to publish it on LinkedIn’s own blogging platform too. After all, LinkedIn is actively trying to promote the reach of its blogging service across the site, so you’ll get some good exposure.
2. Make the first move: Keep an eye on people who have viewed your profile. It’s likely that some of your content has sparked their interest, but they may not want to come across as too pushy by contacting you. Thus, it’s up to you to get in touch if you think this is a potential lead.
3. Build relationships: Making a sale isn’t the only reason to contact a fellow LinkedIn user; perhaps you can help each other. You might be able to swap services or collaborate on content, for example. And it may well be that further business opportunities will follow in time.
4. Play the system: Stay aware of how LinkedIn is changing its algorithm to prioritize certain kinds of posts. The key is to keep your content really relevant for your particular audience so it’s more likely to appear at the top of their updates. Avoid including external links, as LinkedIn doesn’t want to encourage users to leave its site.
Conferences and Speaking Gigs
In addition to Social Media, participating in Conferences & Speaking Gigs can really boost your Personal Brand and also help you get more leads. Despite the power of building your personal brand online, your reputation can still benefit from an in-person appearance at offline events now and again. Speaking at workshops and conferences is a great way to network with new people in the startup/scaleup community.
Public speaking is an effective personal branding tool because it enables you to produce and distribute content in one go. As always, the primary goal is to educate and add value for your audience, but lead generation will be a natural side effect.
Here are some top tips for using public speaking to boost your personal brand:
1. Know your audience: You can start building a relationship with your audience before you even appear on stage. Research attendees in the lead up to the event, if possible, and direct your talk towards their particular pain points. You can also ask for questions to answer in advance.
2. Be real: As I mentioned earlier, a strong personal brand means being open about mistakes and challenges as well as successes. Talk about real-life painful situations experienced by your customers or partners, for example, and how you worked together to fix them.
3. Stick around: At the end of your talk, don’t just disappear. Make sure you’re available to answer questions, use your connections to help the people you meet, and try to go and hear other speakers too. After all, you might learn something to your advantage!
4. Collect contacts: Endeavour to come away with as many contact details as possible – whether that’s business cards or email addresses. Encourage signups with a free giveaway or competition.
5. Follow up: Make sure you have a follow-up strategy in place, so you have the potential to generate leads from your talk contacts. Continue to build on the themes of your talk and expand on the insights you’ve already shared.
So we’ve seen that building a strong personal brand means telling your own compelling story, being open and authentic, drawing on your experiences, and staying aware of the wider context. And it means making sure your story is heard by the right audience by producing and distributing great content.
The aim of your personal branding activities should be to educate, inform, and help your audience. By demonstrating your expertise and showing that you understand your followers’ pain points, you will generate leads as a natural result. Using a combination of online and offline channels will allow you to share your content effectively and make new, valuable connections in your business community.
And remember: business leaders, executives, and junior staff members can all develop their own personal brand. Encouraging your whole team in this will not only boost lead generation but also your employer branding, as it proves that you value and empower talented employees.
Personal branding might be a long game to play, but it has rich rewards for those who are willing to put the time and effort into sharing their knowledge.
📃 About Vandana Nanda
📖 My Story : The Journey Thus Far Vandana Nanda, is the Founder and CEO of Winbrand Academy, an Online Personal Branding and Digital Marketing School. After working in the corporate world with IT and Education companies for over two and a half decades, Vandana decided to venture online in 2020 on a full time basis. Working online with Time Freedom and Financial freedom has been a long cherished goal for her. Vandana has travelled the world and experienced both extremes of life , going from being a successful corporate executive and a homemaker to being a single parent and bringing up two young children while also focussing on a full time corporate job. She has been able to bounce back, learn new skills and continue on her path to achieving Financial and Time Freedom. She has made it her mission to achieve financial freedom herself and also help thousands of people across the globe to find financial freedom by doing what they love. Through Winbrand Academy ,she is helping Entrepreneurs, Small Business Owners, Real Estate Agents, Insurance Brokers, Authors, Actors, Musicians, Lawyers, Teachers, Industry-Specific Professionals, and of course, people with a specific Passion from around the globe brand themselves. Vandana’s purpose is to help people brand themselves as Leaders and Authorities in either their specific niche or in whatever their passion is while creating an income doing what they love.