Succeeding as your own brand these days seems a lot more convenient thanks to a rapidly changing digital world. But although the idea of simply starting a website and promoting it on Facebook or Twitter seems easy, it takes so much more than that to truly build an audience and maintain it. The good thing is this: achieving a level of success as your own personal brand is attainable.
You may ask, “Really? How?” You could only look at Instagram and see many successful users who are doing well as their own brand. They are artists, photographers, bloggers, fashionistas and so on. A look at their account gives you a glimpse of how they made it happen: sharing relevant photos, interacting with their audience and even giving away prizes.
While they maintain that level of success now, the road there took some time. You don’t sign up on Twitter one day and have a million followers the next, unless you’ve already established an offline fan base, of course.
Online platforms have definitely helped personal brands succeed a lot faster these days. In the years before, people needed to make an impression personally and go through several events just to get themselves known. Now, everything is made much more convenient but the effort still remains the same.
All that said, you may wonder how exactly should you brand yourself in order to achieve success? Here are some tips:
Be Clear On Who You Really Are
It doesn’t matter if you’re a writer or a graphic design artist, you have to define who you really are. This just means that you have to know what to project to your audience. For instance, you’re a writer but your focus is mainly on writing stories on the supernatural. Stick with that and you will attract followers who share the same interests.
Being clear on who you really are also means being honest. For instance, you don’t call yourself a financial expert when your background is tax accounting. That wouldn’t be fair to your audience who are looking to you for advice and assistance and you can’t help them out effectively because you weren’t telling the truth.
The idea here is to stick to what you really know. That way, your chances of succeeding are far greater. From there, you can venture out into different passions. For example, J.K. Rowling may have started out as a fantasy writer but once the Harry Potter books were done, she has gone on to write crime fiction under the name Robert Galbraith.
Become An Expert In Your Field
An authoritative voice in a certain field will certainly attract an audience. Whether you’re giving tips on what to do with lettuce or telling people what they need to post on social media, it’s important to do it with conviction because that’s one of the easiest ways to convince people that you really know what you are doing.
But how do you become an expert in your field? The answer is simple: keep on practicing and never stop learning.
For instance, you love the game of basketball and want to write about it in your blog. These days, it’s not enough that you just give a summary of what went on during the game: you also need to provide something more. Otherwise, you’ll just be adding to the pile of similar themed content on the internet.
As a writer, you need to know the strengths and weaknesses of a player; understand the system used by the coaches; and know the technicalities of the game by heart. Paying attention and understanding statistics also helps add a new dimension to your work.
Integrating all of that and injecting your own personality in the writing makes you stand out from the rest of the pack.
Make Your Presence Known
The easiest way to do that today is through the internet. It doesn’t matter if you’re into cooking, fashion or business, there’s always a segment of the internet that will cater to your interests. And when you put in the work, your audience slowly increase.
Having a website is key to building an online presence. And if you don’t have the resources yet, why not start off with free platforms? For instance, you can use WordPress to showcase your writing and even your photos. Or, you can join communities such as Flickr or 500px if you want to display your photography. You can make use of Tumblr as well to promote your work as a visual artist or platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo for videography. The key is to select the right platform for your purpose.
But establishing a website isn’t enough: you also need to spread the word so people know you exist. And one of the best ways to do that is through social media. Be it through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram (or a combination of social media platforms), just being on any one of these mediums is already helping your brand. But you also have to make use features applicable to you to reach your audience. For instance, you can use hashtags on Twitter to participate in ongoing communication.
Here’s an example: There is a book community on Instagram that uses the hashtag #bookstagram. Here, users can upload their book-related photos and tag them in order to be seen. And when you constantly post great photos along with relevant captions, you’ll find an audience for yourself.
Do Not Forget About Interacting
You shouldn’t just be happy that your tweets got liked or retweeted. You also need to interact with your audience. While there will be days when no one leaves a comment on your posts (especially if you’re still starting out), reach out to others. Leave a comment on their posts, perform likes and retweets. Just being diligent with this helps you grow an audience.
If you have a blog, encourage readers to participate by ending your post with a question. And if you’ve built a sufficient audience, why not ask them for their opinion on certain topics or even solicit their assistance? This is one way to keep followers engaged and when this happens they will keep coming back and even recommend you to their friends.