If you are reading this article, then probably your key questions are the following:
- What makes a good personal brand?
- How to upgrade my personal brand to an expert authority status?
The short answer is simple: be the person who delivers useful, reliable, and relevant insights to a large group of people. Be the guy whose words are used as a reference. Be the one with who people like to associate themselves.
The long answer is more complex. In this article, we will break down what you need to have, what needs to be done to build your brand as an authority in your niche.
Buiding your expert image online has never been more competitive. Anyone with access to the internet and social media can build an audience, position themselves as an expert, and start attracting clients for their business. And that’s exactly what a lot of people are doing. But most of them are doing it wrong, which gives you a chance to do it right.
Over 60% of self-proclaimed experts are making themselves ridiculous online
Here at Brand Auditor, we conduct personal brand audits daily. Based on hundreds of brand audits we did in recent months, connections between style, communication, and personal brand perceptions have become very obvious.
Based on our reports, the two most important factors of a spot-on personal brand are self-presentation and specific communication qualities. I think we don’t reveal a big secret by sharing that over 60% of personal brand audits we did have returned disastrous results. around 25% of audits showed that respondents rated the subject to be passable, and only 15% were considered to be good by their audience.
The main shortcomings for the failing 60% were style, appearance, and various communication aspects. Respondents frequently left negative feedback such as “clown”, “cannot be serious”, “joke”, and “ridiculous”.
Further questions and surveys revealed that the failing 60% hardly had any idea or understanding regarding what their target audience expects from them, meanwhile, better performers had very good concepts regarding how to manage themselves.
Competition is increasing
A recent study by Upwork revealed that the freelance workforce is growing at a rate 3x faster than the overall workforce in the U.S. By 2027, freelancers are expected to make up the majority of the U.S. workforce.
While it’s great to see that so many people are embracing their entrepreneurial spirit, this also means that every self-employed freelancer, independent contractor, and entrepreneur will soon face more competition than they already do. The key to differentiating yourself from your competition is building a personal brand.
What are the 5 essentials of a strong personal brand?
Credibility & authenticity
Authenticity is one of the most critical elements of branding, but it’s also one of the most difficult. That’s because, in the beginning, many aspects of sales and marketing can feel forced or contrived.
Being authentic simply means that you know who you are, what you value, and who you’re looking to help. It’s what gives your brand and your business substance and makes you relatable to other people.
To ensure that you’re showing up authentically, take the time to define your goals and purpose. Focus on only sharing the things that you truly care about and always follow through on your promises.
Having a distinct point of view
Part of developing a successful personal brand is having a point of view that helps you stand out. There are a lot of people creating content and trying to be heard, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of sounding just like everyone else.
The best way to amplify your message and set yourself apart is by having a unique point of view. Developing a point of view allows you to get in front of the right audience and make more of an impact.
Part of developing a unique point of view is being unapologetic about your opinions. When you develop a strong point of view that draws some people in, it will inevitably alienate others. Learn how to tune out the critics and stay focused on your core message.
Consistency and predictability
If there is one thing all successful brands have in common, it’s consistency. Maintaining a consistent personal brand will help you begin to build name recognition with your followers and avoid confusion.
You can help maintain a consistent image online by using the same profile picture and cover photo across all of your social media channels. You should also have a logo that’s designed specifically for your brand. It can also help to always dress in a certain style of clothing that your followers will easily identify.
However, images and logos are not enough; you also need to show up for your followers consistently. Showing up consistently means that you regularly use certain social media channels and your followers know when they’ll receive new content from you.
Being authentic and having a strong point of view may draw your followers to you, but it’s your expertise that will make them stick around. That’s why it’s a good idea to pick a specific niche and build your expertise in that area.
From there, you can share your expertise with your followers through your content. For instance, you can position yourself as an expert by starting a blog or podcast. You can also participate in Facebook groups or share your content on LinkedIn.
Network, peers, and people who surround you
And finally, don’t forget that your brand is about more than just you. It’s also about the connections you build with other people. That’s why it’s a common point that your network determines your net worth.
The key to building a strong network is to focus on building relationships with people who can make a difference in your career. Always try to create win/win situations, and focus on giving more than you receive.
One of the best ways to connect with like-minded people is to start your networking group. You can do this by setting up a LinkedIn group or scheduling in-person networking meetings. By leading your group, you automatically set yourself up as a person of authority.
Audit your personal brand concept before getting too invested
Before you invest time, money, and efforts into scaling and promoting your brand, you need to be sure that your personal brand concept has what it takes to become successful.
Our personal brand audit offers an affordable and flexible solution to evaluate your personal brand. The audit is based on score ratings, feedbacks, and comments from thousands of people in your target audience.
Does your personal brand and content communicate the values you try to convey? Are there specific items in your brand that turn off your followers, or puts you in a negative light? Are you seen as an authority or just another person who is “trying too hard” online?
Each selected scope of your analysis will add a separate page to your report with the following information:
- Score ratings of 4 micro-aspects (1 to 10) by your respondents
- Score ratings of similar brands benchmarked with your scores
- Comments and feedback received from your respondents
Configure an audit that fits your budget and answers your questions. The audit price is based on your configuration.
How to effectively build your personal brand?
1. Carefully select your profile pictures
No matter who you are or what kind of business you own, your audience must see you as professional. As a business owner, you’re seen as a leading authority in your niche, and you must present yourself as such.
Building a brand of professionalism begins with the photos you choose to represent you – particularly your profile photos. You might like the photo you friend took while you were at the bar last week, but it has no place in your professional brand. Instead, invest in professional photographs for your personal brand:
- Always smile in your photos. It builds trust between you and your audience.
- Wear proper attire. Again, you might like your vintage Harley-Davidson motorcycle jacket, but your audience may not feel the same way. Instead, wear professional clothing – a suit and tie or a classy blouse will go a long way in building your personal brand.
- Use high-quality photos. You don’t have to work with a professional photographer to get professional photographs, but you do need the right equipment. Your photos should be clear, well-lit, and properly composed.
Think of your profile picture as your first impression with your audience. Your goal should be to give your audience the same first impression with your photo as you would with a handshake.
3. Share content consistently
Consistency is one of the greatest tools in your arsenal for building your brand. Long gone are the days where you could post one blog per month and expect to succeed – in today’s ever-growing marketing, you have to post nearly every day to stay in the forefront of your audience’s mind.
Whether it be videos, digital art, or blog posts, only share high-quality content. It’s better to share nothing at all than poor content – sharing nothing will halt your growth, but sharing poor content may actively push members of your audience away. Share often, but don’t be afraid to hold back because something is sub-par. Your content speaks volumes about your personal brand, so make sure you’re sharing content that makes you proud.
4. Use social media regularly
Again, consistency is key to building your brand. In addition to posting and sharing high-quality content, you must post and interact on social media on a regular basis.
Post on every social media platform at least once a day – for platforms like Twitter, don’t be afraid to post upwards of 5 times per day! This helps you grow your social media presence, ultimately building your audience and your brand.
5. Tell your story
How did you make it where you are today? What steps did you take, and what struggles did you endure to find success? What are you current goals and ambitions?
When people know who you are and where you came from, they’re more likely to trust you and support your goals for the future. Your audience wants to know who you are, and the best way to tell them is a compelling story. Write your story in a way that others will want to read, and share it far and wide.
6. Be deliberate in establishing your personality
You have to be authentic with your audience, but you also have to make a name for yourself. When your audience hears your name, there should be one or two adjectives that come to mind – smart, educated, professional, and friendly are all excellent terms you’d like to have your audience associate with your personal brand.
When you’re establishing your personal brand, decide who you want your audience to see (without being disingenuous – if you didn’t go to college, don’t tell lies in order to brand yourself as “educated”). Make this very clear to your audience in every way you can – through your choice of photo, your content, and even your choice of design and color scheme.
7. Reply to comments and messages on social media
By interacting with your audience, you develop a more personal relationship with them. Replying to every comment, message, and tweet might be time-consuming, but it will pay off immensely as growth for your brand.
8. Use a creative, unique, and memorable branding
The human brain recognizes symbols and colors much more quickly than words, giving logos great power. Your logo defines who you are to many, many people, so choose one that will stick in the minds of your audience.
Your logo doesn’t have to be complicated – in fact, some of the most recognizable logos in history are very simple – but it has to be unique. When your logo is memorable and unique, you’ve created a very powerful tool for your brand.
9. Create a unique tagline for your brand
In addition to logos, taglines stick in the minds of your customers. When you read the word “Nike,” there’s no doubt you immediately think of the words “Just do it!” Why? Because you associate the words “Just do it!” with Nike – unsurprisingly, they branded themselves that way on purpose. Channel this with your own brand by creating a catching tag line your audience can relate to.
10. Start a podcast
Podcasts are very simple to create, but offer limitless benefits for your brand. Podcasts are an excellent way to connect with your audience and share your thoughts, share news about your brand, and answer questions. All you need is a microphone and a way to upload your podcast, and you’re ready to get started.
11. Speak at public events
By speaking at events, you can establish yourself as an authority in your niche. Speaking at events doesn’t happen overnight, but start by sending requests to speak – classrooms are a great place to start, as well as conventions. Investigate upcoming events in your area, and put in a bid to speak. With time, you’ll attract larger audiences – simultaneously building your brand and establishing your authority.