How to Build Your Personal Brand Online

Written by Laura Roeder

On June 23, 2021

It’s 2021; if you don’t have a personal brand yet, then why not? It’s hard to stand out without one.

Even if you don’t own a business, you still need to know how to build your personal brand so you can grow in your industry.

Personal brands are all about connecting your personality with potential customers and clients. It’s about nurturing relationships.

When it comes down to it, there is enough space for everyone to succeed, even with similar business models.

Think about people like Marie Forleo, Tony Robbins, Rachel Hollis, and Oprah. They all offer motivational speaking and vulnerability coaching, but their unique spin attracts different clients.

There’s enough space in this world for them all to exist. Their different methods for delivering their content allow them all to excel within the same industry. That’s thanks to their personal brands.

How to build your personal brand

When you create your personal brand, there are some main points you can think about to get you started.

Create your USP

First things first, when creating your personal brand, think about your USP.

It is about aligning your personality traits to your job role or your business. When you first start with personal brand building, consider what your unique selling proposition is.

This can be done by using this sentence:

I help [insert your target audience] to achieve [insert a sentence about what you’re going to help them achieve] so that [insert the outcome].

the complete guide to building your personal brand

Write that down, even if it’s just the role that you’re playing within your business or if it’s the role that you’re playing when you’re starting a business. Step number one to developing your personal brand is having this unique selling proposition aligned with your personality traits.

The first part of that sentence is all about making sure you’ve developed an audience persona that will resonate with your brand personality. Then you need to think about how you resonate with them. How are you like them? Why do you understand their struggles and triumphs?

Ask yourself: What do you geek out on in real life? What gets you excited? Those are all part of your personal brand. Don’t be afraid to share some of those softer things as well.

People like Pat Flynn share a lot about loving Back to the Future. And whenever people see something about Back to the Future, they tag him in posts on social media because he shares that side of his personality with his followers. Even though he’s a business coach and a podcasting coach, it’s this more personal and softer side that people resonate with.

What kind of skills do you have? What type of core values do you have? Establishing these is important to developing a strong personal brand in the business world, especially when passion is poured into a business more than anything.

Be conversational and use what you geek out on in real life as a part of your personal brand; it will come across much more aligned and authentic.
 


 

Tell Your Story

If you own your own business, create a strong about page on your website. Take this example from MeetEdgar, where you can find the story from Laura, our founder.

On our About page, Laura shares her personal journey to becoming a business owner and CEO of a software company. It’s about her unique selling proposition, how she didn’t start out as a software owner, and her journey to get there. Stories sell your personal brand. Facts tell, stories sell.

personal brand about page

 

Think about people like Michael Jordan; he got cut from his JV basketball team. His road to success wasn’t easy, but he tried, tried again, and eventually became one of the best basketball players of all time.

People stinking love his brand, right? Why? Because we relate to that story, it’s inspiring. Think about how your past successes, failures, and struggles all weave into your personal story.

Share these struggles because that’s what humanizes you, and that’s what makes people resonate with you.

It is a hundred percent okay to come across as a real person to your followers. Think about the stories you can tell and the emotions that you can invoke in your followers. People want to do business with an actual human being, especially online.

One easy way to do this? Share the face behind the brand selfie! Studies have shown that a selfie is one of the best ways to bond with people because it’s an intimate photo. If you’ve never tried the strategy of sharing a selfie, even within your business accounts on social media, try it.

Say hi to your followers, tell your origin story and tell that sort of hero’s journey about why you created this, specifically for them and the outcome that you’re hoping it provides to them.

Stay aligned with your values

When building your personal brand on social media, make sure you work with companies that align with your values. It would be a bit odd if your brand is about health and fitness, for example, but you promote junk food.

If you write down your values, you can share them with potential partners to ensure you align before working together. Stay true to your values, and don’t do things on social media for a quick buck or potential shares. If you do, you’ll lose the trust of your audience.

Find your niche

You may be wondering how to create your personal brand so that it attracts the right customers.

Try to become an expert in one subject area. You’re not trying to please everyone, but trying to niche down on those who can benefit from your expertise. Create customer personas, so you have clarity about who you’re trying to reach.

Map out your target audience’s day down to the hour. What are they doing when they wake up? When do they eat lunch? After work?

Know what they’re doing throughout the day and what type of content will serve them at certain times of the day. Then schedule it on social media so that you’re meeting people at the right time.

When thinking about how to build your personal brand on social media, aim to build a company and a community. If building wealth is your brand’s only goal, it will not inspire anyone to become part of it.

Once you have inside-out knowledge of your audience, it will help you create brand guidelines. This is an essential aspect of personal branding because it allows you to stay clear about the language that resonates with your audience.

Be excited to sell

Remember as a kid, you’d start a lemonade stand and were so excited to sell your lemonade to every passer-by? You didn’t have any doubt about why you should sell it. You weren’t afraid to use your personality to sell it and tell everyone you made it yourself.

It’s okay to shout it out and be excited to sell it. People are attracted to your excitement and personality.

If you’ve created a solid and aligned brand, it does not come across salesy at all because you’re having a conversation with people. You’re saying, “Hey, this is what I have to offer, this is my unique spin on things, and this is why I think it would be great for you.”

Don’t take it personally if people say no. It has nothing to do with you.

If you know you’re putting out a quality piece of content or quality service or product, selling it becomes such a pleasure because you’re excited to help solve a problem for people.

Just like that kid at the lemonade stand, helping quench people’s thirst on a hot day.

Have patience

The online space is a little crowded these days. That’s not a reason to worry, but simply another reason why your personal brand can help you stand out and build momentum.

It may take a little while to get your brand in front of the right audience but be patient. You need to build trust amongst your audience.

Remember that word of mouth also goes a long way too. If one of your friends tells you about something, you’re going to trust it much more than if you randomly find it online.

It’s essential to build relationships and create relationships and conversational content. There are share buttons on social media for a reason, right? It’s so people who resonate with your content can share it with their community. That share button is almost like social media’s way of word-of-mouth marketing.

If you’ve developed your personal branding to know what your ideal audience will connect with emotionally, it makes it easy to create relevant content.

If you’ve ever been someone who sat down and said, I don’t know what content to create, what you’re saying is, “I don’t know my target audience well enough to know what they need to hear right now.”

Build a community where like-minded people can hang out and talk about things that resonate with them. If you want to create a personal brand, it’s ok to start small and grow slow.

Ultimately, be yourself

Remember, there’s nobody else in the world the same as you. Others may have similar interests and expertise, but they will portray them with a different spin. That’s the beauty of personal branding; everyone is unique.

Ask yourself the questions about what you want to be known for. If you could be an expert in anything that you wanted, what would it be? Use what you geek out on in real life, ask your friends and family what they’ve learned from you.

Are people coming to you to get specific questions answered a lot? Use that confidence to nail down your niche and perfect that personal brand.

What’s your unique selling proposition? Let us know on social media @MeetEdgar.

Remember to follow the format:

I help [insert your target audience] to achieve [insert a sentence about what you’re going to help them achieve] so that [insert the outcome].

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