How to Build a Personal Brand as a Marketer?
Many successful business people have built a company around a personal brand. One of the most famous examples in the marketing space is Neil Patel.
Yet Neil Patel is not an isolated example. There are plenty of business owners in various sectors who are synonymous with their companies.
Notable examples include Richard Branson and the Virgin Group, Elon Musk and Tesla, etc.
But how exactly can you build a personal brand? What are the steps you need to take to create that image that makes you stand out as a marketer, in particular?
This article will look at how to build a personal brand as a marketer. It’s a step-by-step guide you can refer to as you build your personal brand.
1 – Establish Your Niche Expertise
The first thing you should consider if you want to establish your personal brand is what you want to be recognised for.
Marketing is a broad discipline with many different fields. You might have a broad understanding of marketing, but you’ll probably be an expert in one or two disciplines.
By niching down, the approach I took with Sell Courses Online, you can quickly establish your niche authority.
I can point to many successful marketers in various sectors who have taken this approach. For example:
- Peep Laja, the founder of CXL, is associated with Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)
- Jon Loomer, the founder of Jon Loomer, is associated with Facebook Ads
- Brian Dean, the founder of Backlinko, is associated with SEO
There are other benefits to establishing niche authority.
One of the significant benefits of niche authority is that you can charge more for your skillset. For example, the SEO course that Brian Dean sells costs about $5,000. It’s a lot of money.
He can charge a premium for his course, though, because people see him as an SEO expert.
While your ultimate goal might be to get recognition as an expert marketer, it’s much easier to establish niche authority and then work your way up.
2 – Define Your Customer Persona
Once you’ve identified what you want to have a reputation for, you need to consider your audience and their needs. One of the best methods for defining your audience is the creation of a customer persona.
A customer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your target audience. It includes personal attributes such as location, sex, and age. Your customer persona will also include information like the job title, needs, and pain points.
Customer personas generally end up looking something like this:
To create a customer persona, you can ask your customers through a phone or email survey. You may also use data from your customer relationship management (CRM) system to create a picture of your average customer.
Creating your ideal customer profile is a valuable exercise.
You need to understand the problems that your audience has. Your ability to solve those problems is what will make you an expert in the eyes of your audience.
3 – Consider Your Brand Voice
Your brand voice is another important consideration. You need to establish a brand voice that aligns nicely with your target audience.
For example, if you want to establish yourself as a marketer working with the corporate sector, you will want to appear professional.
That might mean having professional photos wearing business attire—for example, a suit and tie. You might also want to present yourself as someone who uses and understands the relevant terminology used by people in your industry.
On the other hand, you might want to be the straight-talking marketer who gives common-sense advice.
Spend a bit of time considering your brand voice; you’ll use it on your branding and marketing materials.
You might want to look into the various types of brand personas when undertaking this exercise. There are some valuable resources online you can turn to for inspiration.
Your brand voice extends beyond the language you use.
Your audience interactions should also reflect that voice.
If you promote yourself as fun, your customers should feel the same way whenever they go into your store or visit your website. The colours and images you use for your branding should scream “fun”, too!
Above all, your brand voice should be consistent. Your audience expects a specific type of interaction whenever they engage with you, and when their experience doesn’t match their expectations, you will face problems.
4 – Create a Marketing Plan
The first three portions of this guide looked at the concept of positioning. You learned about the importance of niching down, defining your target audience, and considering your brand voice. These are all fun activities.
Then, and this bit is tricky, you need to act on that plan.
I recommend you start by setting some goals for yourself. It’s a good idea to create a timeline for what you want to achieve and define what success looks like.
It’s good practice to use the SMART goals framework. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based.
For example, you might set yourself this SMART goal: speak at ten industry-relevant conferences in the next 12 months.
Setting clear SMART goals for yourself will help you define your goal. You can then work backwards when thinking about how to achieve that goal. In the case of speaking at events, for example, you might have to:
- List at least 50 events happening within a 5-hour drive of where you live.
- Find the contact information for the people hosting the events, and pitch yourself as a speaker.
Doing those two things might be just what it takes to achieve that SMART goal.
You can set multiple SMART Goals for yourself. Your goals must be realistic and help you achieve your ultimate target.
The final step of the strategy is implementing your plan. It won’t be easy. Yet, if you’re serious about establishing your personal brand as a marketer, the rewards are certainly there. You can easily earn $2,000+ a month through consulting.
How to Establish Yourself as an Expert
The previous section of this guide discussed how to establish your personal brand in four steps.
That plan provides you with a framework that you can follow to establish your authority. We’ll flesh out that framework in a bit more detail in this section.
1 – Create Your Website
Your website is one of the cornerstones of your online brand. I guarantee that if you look up the name of any well-known marketer, they will have a website.
Many marketers own a website that is based on their name.
I mentioned a couple of examples at the start of this guide. For example, sujanpatel.com is owned by Sujan Patel. You’ll notice he’s positioned himself as a SaaS growth marketer.
Your website is like an online brochure, where you share information about yourself and the services you offer. If you’ve decided you’re going to establish niche authority via content marketing and SEO, your website might be your primary marketing channel.
On the other hand, if you plan to use video as your primary marketing channel, the website will mostly be a placeholder. It is somewhere people will go when they want to learn more about you, or maybe pay for your services.
According to Transaction, 81% of consumers conduct research online before making a purchase. Without a website, a potential lead will probably never make a purchase.
Aside from raising awareness of your brand, a website can set the tone for your customer experience. Your website should reflect how you want to package yourself.
When a visitor goes to your site and experiences your brand voice and personality, they will come out of that experience with clear expectations of their future interactions with you.
In the example above, social media marketer Katie Barber has a clear picture in her mind of how she wants consumers to perceive her. Her website uses a black and white palette, which implies simplicity.
At the same time, she wants her audience to see her as approachable and easy to work with.
Aside from designing your website to reflect your brand identity, it should also possess the following elements:
- A professional logo: You can ask a designer to create a professional logo for you.
- Your value proposition: Ensure that your value proposition is prominently illustrated on your homepage, preferably at the top.
- Social proof: Add the logos of any publications or online sources where you’ve been mentioned, as well as testimonials from clients/customers, as proof you’re the real deal.
- A clear call to action: Make it clear to your website users what the next step is. If they want to subscribe to a mailing list, what should they do? If they want to request a free consultation, how should they do it?
If you can, include a blog on your website, too.
Publishing content regularly will help attract potential clients and establish your credibility as a thought leader in your field.
2 – Select Your Marketing channel
Once you’ve created your website, you now need to define which marketing channel or channels you want to use. Initially, I recommend you limit yourself to one primary marketing channel.
The marketing channel you choose should align with your skills.
If you’re a great speaker, you might focus on offline events or video marketing. On the other hand, it might be better to focus on blogging if you like to write.
Don’t stretch yourself by attempting to have a strong presence across multiple channels. Instead, focus on one channel, generate authority, and then expand onto other channels. You’ll see that marketers like Neil Patel take this approach.
Neil Patel started with a website, then got into podcasting, then got into video marketing.
It’s a sensible strategy because you can move the audience you’ve created on one channel to a different medium. That allows you to achieve success faster.
If he tried to establish himself on all three channels simultaneously, he would have struggled.
3 – Start Creating Content
The final piece of the puzzle is creating content. Establishing your authority and building your personal brand through content marketing, events, blog posts, vlogging, or anything else will take time.
You need to invest a lot of time and effort into a project to achieve your goals. Before you achieve success, you’re likely to go through a stage that software developers like to call “The Valley of Death.”
The Valley of Death is where you work hard for no reward.
Seth Godin has a similar model, which he calls The Dip.
The idea behind The Dip is much the same as The Valley of Death. You will have to work hard during this time, and you won’t see any rewards. Well, maybe a few, but not as many as you would like.
The good news is that most people quit when they go through The Dip. As long as you are confident in what you are doing and see the occasional positive result, stick to your strategy and fight your way through The Dip. If you can do that, you’ll grow your personal brand.
How to Build a Personal Brand as a Marketer
As a marketer, you need to build your brand before promoting other products or businesses. After all, if you cannot sell yourself, you have a low chance of succeeding as a marketer.
Before you can promote your brand, you must know your target audience and define your brand voice.
Once you’ve built that foundation, you can start promoting yourself through your website, social media accounts, and your preferred marketing channel.
Creating a personal brand isn’t very complicated, but it does take much work.
Keep plugging away, listen to your customers, maintain a professional attitude, and watch as your brand and business gradually become more prominent.
Author Bio: Baidhurya Mani is the founder of SellCoursesOnline.com. He regularly shares tips, tools and, strategies to help creators build a successful online courses business.