The internet is filled with nay-sayers spouting claims like ‘Personal branding is dead!’ and ‘Personal branding is inauthentic!’ and ‘Bring back Toobs!’.
To that, we say ‘Wrong, wrong and we concur!’.
The thing is, personal branding is essential to your business and you should take it seriously. Almost as seriously as buying your year 12 formal/prom dress.
Here’s what you need to do to be the Oprah of your niche.
Be authentic AND specific
Example: Marie Forleo
Marie Forleo spent YEARS being a whole bunch of different things. She was a bartender, fitness guru, and dancer and none of that was really getting her very far. She took a course on business coaching, started an email list, and is now a New York Times Best Selling author and one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world as the creator and founder of B-School and MarieTV.
Her secret? She stopped swimming in multiple paddling pools and jumped right into the ocean. She niched down, committed herself to one theme, and is now riding one hell of a wave of success.
Authentic AND specific. Write it down. Tattoo it on your butt. Do whatever you need to do to remember it.
Being fake and broad will get you nowhere.
Don’t aim for popularity, aim to be a thought leader
Example: Amber Rae
Unless you provide value, your audience won’t stick around for long. Many (many) years ago bloggers were able to build audiences and make money from simply existing. They’d usually post pretty pictures and write stories about their lives. This got boring REALLY fast and unless said bloggers got divorced and wrote scathing posts about their ex-husbands, their existences were made redundant pretty quickly.
The ones that survived became useful. Opened shops. Launched product lines. Sold training packages. Became thought leaders.
That’s where Amber Rae comes in. Essentially she’s not doing anything differently from her blogger pals of yesteryear, the difference is that she’s packaging her own stories/thoughts/ideas into digestible and relatable content.
She’s built her personal brand around making her followers go ‘Oh my god, me too!’ whenever she posts anything online.
Popularity is fleeting, aim to empower instead.
Drink your own Kool-aid
Example: Amber Fillerup-Clark
Let me ask you a question – would you trust a dentist that had gnarly, rotten, stumpy little wooden peg teeth? Nope. Neither would I.
That goes for any kind of business.
No one is going to believe your powers as a happiness coach if you continue to post videos of yourself online where you’re crying into a tub of Halo Top with Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’ blaring in the background.
You must drink your own Kool-Aid and live that Kool-aid dream. Obviously don’t lie but make sure you believe in and sustain a public (and private) interest in the thing you’re selling.
Take for example Amber Fillerup-Clark. One of the original internet It-girls she made a name for herself online mainly for being very pretty, marrying an equally pretty dude, having pretty children and basically being pretty while travelling the world.
Fillerup-Clarke is a smart cookie though and instead of letting her blogging ship sink when everyone got bored of slice-of-life style content, she launched her own hair extension range.
Now? Check out her Instagram feed. She still posts the same family-fun-oriented content, but she’s making sweet cash selling the dream of Rapunzel hair.
She drinks AND sells the Kool-aid and that’s the best business combination on the planet.
Do actual work
Example: Alexandra Franzen
There’s a lot of focus these days on social media presence and building your digital footprint (both very important things) but this can make us lose sight of the actual work.
Meet Alexandra Franzen. She’s a writer and creative consultant who DOES NOT HAVE A SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE. At all. No Instagram. No Facebook. Just a blog that she occasionally writes on, and an email list she sends to a few times a month
So how does anyone know who she is? Because she writes excellent stuff. And she does excellent work. And people talk about her and recommend her. She’s always booked up months in advance and has a client waiting list. All from an email list and word of mouth.
This is not an invitation to delete Instagram (although kudos if you want to do that!) it’s simply a reminder that your work is the most important thing so spend most of your time on that.
Unique beats normal
It can be so tempting to jump on the ‘normal’ bandwagon and try to be the best at being vanilla but what if you just did your own thing instead?
Take for example Bunny from the wildly popular YouTube channel Grav3yardgirl. Bunny isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but she has over 8 million subscribers to her sub-culture, permanent-Halloween style videos. Let’s repeat that – 8 MILLION SUBSCRIBERS.
Check her out on Instagram – she’s very unique but she totally owns it and it works.
Opt In Ideas To Mega Boost Your Email List
Take all the guesswork out of planning your next email list builder with this definitive list of opt in ideas. No matter what kind of content you do, what your niche is or your preferred method of delivery, your perfect opt in is on this list. Guaranteed.