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Sara Kimmich
Dec 29, 2020
Branding

How Should I Get Started with Online Personal Branding?

Building your personal brand is an important part of building a successful business in 2021. In this article we’ll explain how a personal website can help with imposter syndrome and help roadmap your career.

What is A Personal Brand? 

Let’s start by defining what a ‘personal brand’ is: it’s the reputation that comes with you and your services, both on and offline. When you communicate your personal brand online, it can and should convey the way that you and your business show up to the world through your products and resources.

It should be consistent in the language and tone of the materials you provide, and demonstrate the way that you serve others. 

How Can I Build My Personal Brand? 

Building a successful personal brand is an ongoing process, not a goal. Let’s explore how content marketing with personal brand strategy can be essential to building business both online and offline.  

Stage 1: Investigate your current personal brand 

You likely already have a personal brand. If you google yourself, this will show you what you’re already known for - search through the first 2 pages of content and define how many links directly route towards your content. Your aim is at least 3 of the 5 top links to your personal content.

If you’ve already had clients (even pro bono), now is a great time to reach out to them and ask them for a short, written description of their experience of your work or service. Tell them it’s to understand your personal brand, not as a reference, so they can give you honest feedback. 

Stage 2: Decide what you want your best digital presence would look like

Choose three adjectives that people should think of when they describe you. Remember, this is a personal brand, how do you want people to feel when they interact with you or your products? 

Choose 10 high SEO-driven words that describe your business value

Synthesize all the information from the steps above into a small paragraph that describes your client experience. This will help you keep to your authentic self, and understand the way you show up to the world while you continue to grow

Stage 3: Make a 1 year plan to build your reputation for your expertise

Now that you’ve decided how you want to show up to your personal brand consistently, and the right SEO driven business terms to ensure that new clients can find you easily in a large online marketplace. 

Choose two social media Platforms to work with for 1 year. 

Choose the social media platforms that work best for you, but make sure to commit to at least one year of content creation on any site to build up trust with potential clients who are finding value in your online content. 

One platform should be where you write longer form content on either bimonthly or monthly schedules. Some platforms allow targeting specific or current audiences with high-quality information in blog posts on Medium or videos on Youtube on a regular basis. 

Make the time and stay consistent

It’s important to have high quality, long form content that shows your expertise, and at the end of the year you could produce over 100 blog posts or videos in your field of expertise by committing to a two week content schedule. If you do skilled work, building out resources like this can define you as the clear expert in a field.

The second platform for building your audience should have a short-form content with high engagement for your targeted audience, like Twitter or Instagram, where it’s recommended to have weekly or biweekly posting schedules. We’ve got clear strategies for getting new clients on social media here

This content can more easily engage publicly with other brands and initiatives, and is great for making a great first impression. These social media contents are great for helping a much bigger audience understand the tone of your work and services. 

For a site where both short and long form content can gain traction, Linkenin can be a great place for raising your voice as an individual, or behind the brand of your business’s page. The Ultimate Linkedin Checklist for Freelancers or Building a personal brand on Linkedin can give you a deep dive into how to clearly define your brand on their platform. Build a community of people who are interested and actively engaged in your offer

Don’t Panic! 

That might sound like a lot of work, but you typically only need to define about 3 months of content up-front. New ideas always come to mind while creating content, and if that initial content grows your audience online, reach out to them to hear what value they are looking for in your new content, perfectly matching your work to the people who have a strong need for it. Digital marketing takes time, but keeping a schedule that an audience can trust is critical for evolving a personal and professional online presence. 

Don’t Sweat the Small Things

Your personal brand is about what is important to you. An entrepreneur doesn't have to be an Instagram star in order to find the audience for the work you are passionate about, but you do need to demonstrate that you are a thought leader. You can always change a logo, a website or a blog post with ease. A great reputation by contrast, can take years to build and take years to recover if lost.

Focus on making commitments you can keep, while adding as much value to the people and institutions that you care about as your business thrives. You are building a digital microphone for your online voice, so be sure to use it wisely!

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