You know what your brand is about.
You know the purpose of your brand.
You know why you are in business, and you have a target market.
That’s good. That’s the first step done and to be honest with you, many people miss that step. If you haven’t fully discovered your brand yet, then check the previous blog that I’ve written.
If you’re here, that means you are ready to take off with what you have discovered about your brand.
This is the part where questions like, “okay I’m ready to build a brand, but what should I do?”
Many people are confused as to what to do about growing their personal brand. Not only that, the amount of information you can find online to grow your brand is massive.
Right? So, how are you going to know which one works best and avoid being overwhelmed?
Basically, what you are looking to achieve is to bring your brand “out there.” That means making people aware of you, knowing that your brand is real, and having an experience with your brand.
Let’s get into the HOW
I won’t repeat what so many writers have more proficiently talked about ways to grow and increase your brand’s awareness.
What I will be talking about is the actual how-tos in executing those strategies to grow your brand. In fact, I’ll only stick to 2-3 strategies that you can repeatedly execute on and still reaping the benefits of growing your personal brand.
The first part of building your brand is like having the structure and foundation of a building down, so that it stands strong and every component is intact. We’ve gone through that part. If you haven’t, again, please check my previous blog.
Once you have finished with the building, you need to get people to know about the building and come in. This is what this part is about.
Make sure the building provides a good environment and experience for people who come and visit. What you put inside the building is going to affect the experience of the people who came.
Ways to bring awareness to your brand
You can find 22 different ways to grow your brand here. I’ll give it a little spin and distill it to just these few ways:
- Write blogs and promote your blog
- Write for other people’s blog (Guest blogging)
- Create content and put it in social media
- Use ads to promote your content in social media
- Create videos and upload it to Youtube or social media
- Participate in social media groups and online forums
- Answer questions in online discussions (i.e. Reddit and Quora)
- Create a podcast and promote your podcast
- Start a Facebook Group
- Network and Meet more people
If you notice, there is a common factor in all these methods. Every single method requires you to be “talking about something.”
That means you need to be an expert in a few subject matters and continue to learn and grow. Make sure you stay on top of your game and become the go-to person of the subject matter.
But knowing is not enough, you have to share your expertise. Solve problems. Answer questions. Create helpful content. Repeat.
Do that enough, slowly and surely, your brand will command the kind of authority and following you never imagined.
Talk about something. Create Content.
Everything else that will affect your brand goes without saying. For example, providing a good quality service, make sure you are responsive and responsible towards your customers. Remember, the key is to provide a good experience to your audience and customers.
Creating content is another ongoing method that you need to keep on doing in order to grow your brand. It is one way to provide a good experience.
Think about this:
Business A provides a good quality product and services their customers with excellence. However, their only method of exposure is through referrals by their customers. Potential customers in the same target market have little to no way to find out about Business A because of the lack of brand presence online or even offline.
This means that only the customers of Business A get to experience the “goodness” of Business A. If you’re not a customer, you won’t get to enjoy and experience anything, and hence will only go to Business A if a good friend of yours referred you.
Competitor Business B knows how to do branding. They provide quality products and service their customers as good as Business A. They have a strong brand presence online, with tonnes of helpful content that their target audience can enjoy.
Here’s the difference, Business B’s audience who got value from them through the content they put out, will hear and like Business B FIRST.
According to Al Ries and Jack Trout’s 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing (it’s actually a book), that’s the law of leadership.
Okay, so let’s get dirty and do the work. Here’s a super-simple 3C’s method to build your brand:
How will people know what your personal brand is about if you don’t talk about anything?
How will people know about you if you don’t put yourself out there? That doesn’t mean you have to physically show yourself.
Putting yourself out there means putting your thoughts, your beliefs, your stories, your expertise out there so that it can help people.
Sounds like a big deal but it actually just means that you will have to provide value and get your target audience to be aware of you. That will be their experience with your brand
So, this is about making your personal brand real and we are going to do that through content creation.
The value that your brand will give to your target market is through the solution found in your content or your products or services.
Creating content is providing value for free. However, when your target market needs a more customized and exclusive solution, that’s when you monetize your solutions by offering a service or a product.
The point here is to give value for free through your content first, and after that when they have known, liked and trusted you, it will be easier to sell to them.
We will use content marketing as a mean to build your personal brand because content marketing can:
- Increase your authority
- Promote trust and likeability
- Build your influence
- Improving your search appearance
- Generating leads and conversions better
In other words, the more value you give through your content, the more your brand will grow.
First, Determine your content buckets
Content buckets are like themes of what you will talk about.
Note: You don’t necessarily need a huge experience and knowledge concerning the subject matter. Remember, always be a student and share what you have learned.
- What do I like to read about?
- Who do I follow because I like their content?
- What type of content do I consume?
- What can I talk about for hours?
- What topic gets me excited?
You may have a few ideas like: cooking asian food, baking cakes, children education, children behaviour, building relationships, and friendship.
The next thing to do is to categorize these content bucket ideas into 3-4 big content themes or buckets.
For example: Cooking asian food and baking cakes can be categorized into Cooking. Children education and children behaviour can be categorized into Children Topics.
The reason for this is so that anything you create or talk about should not stray from these content buckets.
Here are a few examples of personal brands that talk about a certain subject matter. When you visit their channel (the medium where they put their content), you immediately know what they are about.
Second, Determine your creation approach
The content creation approach means what kind of content are you going to create.
Form of Content
There’s basically only 4 forms of communication through content:
- Audio form – podcast, voice message, speeches
- Visual form – infographics, pictures, photos, illustration
- Video – Screen Recording, Presentation, documentary, Vlog
- Written Content – Articles, Blog, Short texts
I will say that creating video content will be the best and most engaging.
Nevertheless, pick any form that you are most comfortable with.
Example of content for each type of communication
You’ll be able to identify which form of communication these content use the moment you see them.
- Spend 30 minutes to an hour to figure out your content buckets
- Then determine which approach you want to use
- From the list of content that is available to create, pick the one you can immediately start with.
- Brainstorm and List down 10 to 15 titles or topics you can create right away.
This is the second C that you need to identify: Channels.
Depending on which industry you are in and where your audience always goes to, that is the place where you should appear.
For example, if you are providing B2B services, the best place to create content and build your brand is LinkedIn and Twitter. However, if you are selling B2C products, you may want to consider Facebook and Instagram.
Channel doesn’t only mean social media platforms. If you can find a forum solely for people who play golf, and you are an active member there, you can build a brand in that forum too (just make sure to have them visit your social media profile as well).
Take a look at what Neil says about marketing channels and the variety of it. He went in-depth on this topic as to how to choose the right marketing channel.
Generally, we pick the ones that are more “widely-used.”
The key is to be where your audience is
At this point, you want to stick to one or two channels that you find comfortable with.
By all means, if you are an active member in a Facebook group or a forum, stick to what you are doing there. And if your time and resources allow you, find more channels to be present.
Below are some important questions that you need to ask yourself:
- Is my target audience on the channel that I’m reaching out?
- Is the channel expensive and requires a lot of resources?
- Is the channel suitable for the way I communicate? (refer to step 1)
- Is it easy to track and measure the channel’s success?
- Start with either 1 or 2 platforms picked from the chart above (exclude messenger-type platforms)
- Make sure you are happy with the answers you asked yourself
- Create or improve your profile according to everything that you’ve done in the discovery part of your brand
- Make sure when people get to know you through your profile in whichever channel, they want to follow you.
Here are some examples of some good personal brand’s front page:
I’m sure you’ve been through the first step, which is the first C; Communication. This is about the Content of your brand.
When people look at you or look into your business, what can they find interesting because it will help them in a certain way?
If it’s just the products and services that you offer and put out. They only can enjoy it if they are your customers. Although that too will certainly help them and bring them to where they want to be.
But think about this, like I said before if they can already enjoy and benefit from the content that you create around your brand, wouldn’t they be even happier to be your customer?
So, this is it, you have your list of topics from step 1, now you have to go through the list and go through a few criteria.
Don’t create for the sake of creating
Don’t create content just because Stanley says so and I say it’s good, so you “blindly” do it.
In each piece of your content, there should be something that the audience or consumer can take away.
Simply put, your content should be either:
- News & updates
- Educational & informational
Why? Because these are more shareable content and people come online for these reasons.
These contents benefit them and it’s something they will care about.
So with your topics in mind, and with the intention of making your content shareable, you can then come up with what to actually say and create.
Don’t worry, we’ll do it together (guiding you through the steps below) and I’ll even have a list of 10 basic ideas you can start with.
- Pick a topic that you want to start with.
- Do a Google search on the topic that you are going to talk about
- You probably find a lot of links that are either exactly the topic, directly or indirectly related to the topic.
- Go through 4-5 of them.
- Start putting down points of the content
- If you’re doing video, you can draft a script, putting down points that you want to talk about.
- If you’re doing a blog, you can put down the points on how you want the writing to flow.
- If you’re doing visual content (like an infographic or an image post), put down the points that you want to include in the visual content.
- Don’t forget to come up with captions! It can be your thoughts about that topic.
- Think about a Call-to-action. What do you want your audience to do after seeing this content?
- Visit your website?
- Follow you on social media?
- Comment their thoughts?
- Leave a like and share?
- Do some basic checking to see what is missing out or what can be added
- You’re ready to make the post!
- Oh yeah, don’t spend more than 1 hour on this, if not, you’re overthinking
- 1 more thing: If you absolutely cannot think about any topic, other than the tips below, you can go to Pinterest and search: “Content Ideas”
10 basic ideas or prompts
You can start with these if you cannot think about anything to talk about.
- Share an industry news or update that you think will be relevant and helpful. Be sure to include your thoughts as well.
- Talk about something peculiar that happened for the day or week, and you can relate that to a lesson in life or in business.
- Share an article that you have read and add your comments or thoughts into it.
- Find a quote that you really like, design a graphic using canva.com and then add your thoughts in the caption (like why do you like that quote).
- Answer an FAQ regarding a subject matter, turn that into a post.
- Create a How-To post and list down the steps or tips in that post.
- Talk about a common mistake that people in your industry or a group of people make.
- Talk about something you learn in a recent book that you’ve read.
- Ask a question to your audience. Yes it can be any question but not the generic ones like “how are you today?”
- Talk about some tools or tricks that you use in your life or for your business.
If you are looking for more prompts and ideas, click here to download 99 content ideas for your content creation inspiration.
This is as simple as it can get. The 3 steps will help you to start and continue to create content.
This is probably not the most exhaustive guide when it comes to creating content for your brand. However, compared to many other blogs who have talked about the same topic, I’ve distilled it to its most basic form.
All that is left right now is to just take action and do it.
There’s actually one more step in this, is to turn it into a cycle and repeat Step #3.
Following the steps, keep doing it and one day your brand will be known in the industry. The conversion rate will increase and you become the go-to person in that subject matter.