As the pace of life speeds up, people are working extra hard to slow down and enjoy the important things. As a result, they’re becoming less and less likely to engage with traditional marketing. In fact, they’re finding ways to tune out advertising or avoid it altogether. Why? Because “the clutter” doesn’t help them be, do or get what they want.
So how do you, as an entrepreneur, breakthrough and keep up in a world where business is constantly evolving?
Stand out with a personal brand.
Personal branding is a great way to establish yourself as a thought leader in your area of expertise. The principles are the same as with branding a business. You’re still influencing your audience and persuading them to select your product over that of a competitor. But personal branding is more relatable, approachable and trustworthy because the messages come from a person—not a corporation.
There are countless examples of good personal branding. A really obvious one is Oprah. Her personal brand is intelligence, empowerment and independence. She’s someone to look up to, but she’s also your friend.
Forty years ago, Madonna built one of the most iconic personal brands of the 1980s. And many say it was largely based on a reimagining of one of the most iconic personal brands of the century—Marilyn Monroe.
All those women used their products (talk shows, music, movies and more) to build their personal brands. In turn, their personal brands helped drive sales of their products. And they were all so successful, they’re identifiable by their first names alone. I don’t need to specify “Winfrey” or “Monroe” for you to know I’m talking about Oprah or Marilyn.
How to create your personal brand
Of course, you don’t need to be an entertainment legend to have a personal brand. The principles for success are actually pretty simple.
First, pick one or two topics you know well and can speak to with authenticity. The key is to focus on your passion, even if it’s outside of your current role. These will be your “thought leadership” topics.
Next, don’t be shy. Get out in the spotlight with social media posts. Plan articles for your blog and favorite magazines. Offer yourself as a guest for podcasts. The possibilities are endless. So be creative, and have fun!
Use your personal brand to grow your business
Once you’ve gotten into a groove, it’ll be time to take things to the next level. Incorporate keywords in all of your thought leadership. This will be a huge help with search engine optimization (SEO) for individual articles, your content as a whole and your entire business.
Need some help with SEO? Check out our ultimate guide for business owners!
You can also explore additional creative ways to tie your existing business value proposition and new product ideas to the content—and vice versa. As your posts generate engagement, readers may give you ideas for new products. Conversely, you can ask followers for invaluable feedback on what they think about your existing offerings and new product ideas. Research like that can be expensive, so these techniques could be seen as indirectly monetizing your personal brand channels and contributing to your ROI.
So when you think of branding, don’t just think about your company. Remember personal branding is a great avenue for speaking with an authentic voice, building familiarity and getting an additional edge—a versatile and valuable edge that can grow your business and take your endeavors in exciting new directions.
About Alexis Quintal
Alexis Quintal is the owner and CEO of Rosarium PR & Marketing Collective. She has 10 years of experience in sales management and director-level media roles at high-profile institutions like Walmart Media Group and Newswire. In 2020, she left the corporate world to create Rosarium—a company that scales world-class marketing communications solutions to be accessible and affordable for startups of all sizes. Quintal’s goal is to make more entrepreneurs by making it easier to be a successful entrepreneur.