Do you think you might need a personal brand? Did someone tell you that if you are not branding yourself online you are leaving money on the table?
Let’s explore those questions and give you some personal branding ideas plus do some brainstorming on what makes you unique?
So why do you even need a personal brand in the first place?
As an affiliate marketer you are all about branding your website yes? You’ve researched your niche, narrowed it down and spent countless hours working on your web design to accurately reflect that niche. Good job you.
Now you need to consider how YOU fit into that niche, that design, and that look and feel of your website.
Your website and your business are not a standalone beast. People buy from people and your audience want to know who is behind the blog. Regardless of whether you are a loud and proud extrovert or a shrinking violet wallflower, people want to know who they are taking advice from and recommendations on how to spend their money.
There’s just no getting around it – you are intricately entwined with your affiliate marketing business.
So let’s make sure your personal brand is helping and not hindering your online marketing success.
Audit Your Existing Brand
It is highly likely that you have an existing personal brand even if you do not consciously know it.
Every blog you have already written, every photo on Facebook whether put up by you or your “so called” friends, every comment you’ve made on a Twitter feed is all “out there” for the world to see right now.
Before you start thinking about the brand you WANT to portray, do an audit of what’s already out there on you. It’s as simple as a Google search to start with.
What comes up?
Check Google images also, you may be surprised at the images you have been tagged in over the years.
Do they work for you or against you?
If you find some unsavoury content, you can request the various social media sites or web pages to remove it. If you are unsuccessful in having it removed then you have to live with it, except that it is out there, make better decisions for your future and knuckle down to overriding any negative association by creating and marketing your re-invented personal brand.
It isn’t the end of the world.
First and foremost when you are starting to consider developing a personal brand you need to be authentic.
Dictionary.com defines authentic as:
- not false or copied; genuine; real
- having an origin supported by unquestionable evidence; authenticated; verified
- representing one’s true nature or beliefs; true to oneself or to the person identified
So when thinking about personal branding and being authentic – you need to consider what makes you … you.
There is no-one else on this planet with your exact nature, talents, personality and personal traits. You are unique and you need to find and expose your talents. I have included one of my favourite quotes from Oscar Wilde.
You have plenty to offer this world. You just need to decide which traits you want to bring to the forefront of your marketing efforts.
You do not need to manufacture a persona or a brand. In fact, DON’T DO THAT!
Trying to maintain a facade to your audience is fraught with danger, tiresome and to be honest deceitful. You will be caught out in your lie eventually.
Apart from that, it’s so much easier to be yourself. That’s why I can’t use the Glamorous Granny handle as much as I love it! It’s just not me.
I have found the easiest way is to sit down and brainstorm everything about yourself. Don’t be judgmental here. Just write as ideas come and don’t stop to edit or consider if they are actually true at this stage.
- Think about your life – are there specific events that have defined you? An accident, a trauma, a special event, an experience.
- What type of personality are you? Are you an extrovert or an introvert? Are you loud, colourful, boisterous or shy, quiet, timid. What other words come to mind to describe your personality?
- Do you fit a mould? Emo, goth, skater chick, nerd, mother, father, housewife, king, princess.
- Are there specific words that come to mind when you think of yourself? Talented, disorganised, messy, calm, flamboyant.
- What do you do for a living and what are your hobbies? Personal assistant, gardener, volunteer, event organiser, pilot, gamer.
Many people find this exercise difficult. If you can’t think of more than a few words to describe yourself ask someone close to you, a family member or a good friend to help describe you. It doesn’t need to be all sunshine and unicorn poop!
Ask them to be honest and let them know they won’t hurt your feelings.
Sometimes the themes we might initially consider to be negatives can be turned into positives. The Messy Assistant seems like a great persona for someone who writes about all the great office decluttering gadgets that are out there, and how to get organised in the office.
Once you have a good list of words and you can’t think of anymore put your list aside. Don’t review it now, give yourself a break and come back to it later or tomorrow. This gives your subconscious time to mull over what you’ve thought about and come up with even better ideas. You might find while you are doing other things more words come to mind.
When you come back to your list of words try to make some semblance of a handle out of them as I have done with the Messy Assistant (that’s pretty much me). Think of well-known celebrities eg. Jamie Oliver is the Naked Chef. This doesn’t conjure up images of a naked man cooking to me, it indicates that his cooking is raw, easy and uses clean ingredients.
You do not necessarily need to use the handle you come up with, but it will give you a definite direction for how to market your brand moving forward.
While you are thinking about your handle read the following to help you make the best decision.
Niche Down On Your Brand
As we do with our niche websites your personal brand needs to be small. Think micro!
I have this phrase stuck in my head The Glamorous Granny. Ever since I started researching how to develop a personal brand this handle kept coming to mind and I had no idea why. So I did a quick Jaaxy domain name search and theglamorousgranny.com is available.
I think about all the older women in my country town who would not dare to be seen down the supermarket without their hair done, makeup and stockings on. Even if it’s to rush down to buy a litre of milk they must be suitably presented to the public eye.
Are you a Glamorous Granny? If you are you can thank me later for finding your niche brand 🙂
Sorry but I digress.
This is the type of character or niche you can be thinking about to target your personal brand.
As you can imagine the Glamorous Granny is probably not going to be overly popular with an 18 year old emo skateboarder. But she sure will appeal to other grandmas, expecting grandmas and probably little kids who all love their grannies.
You don’t need to be all things to all people. There are enough followers and audiences to become a successful brand in a micro-niche. Plus this way your not competing with all the other Grannies out there. You are The Glamorous Granny!
Your brand niche doesn’t necessarily need to be closely related to your website niche, but it shouldn’t be diametrically opposite to what your business is.
A petite fashionista could be associated with improving the plight of homeless people as easily as promoting healthy eating or the newest range of top shelf clothing. If you have a passion for helping people and your focus is on the homeless but you happen to be a well dressed, 5 foot 3″ pocket rocket and you are being true to yourself and your uniqueness you will make it work.
Once again authenticity is key. It is the absolute truth and is all that matters in personal branding.
Where To From Here
Once you have a good idea of the direction you would like your personal brand to take you need to put it into practice. This could be in developing a sign-off, as in my See You At The Top signature (which you will find at the bottom of all my blogs).
It can be in the use of colour on your website eg. blues tend to be cool, calming colours or reds for action and excitement.
It can be in the images you use to portray yourself. Professional images suitable for your brand are fantastic, and I highly recommend them if you can afford it. As I said early on in this blog your followers want to know who you are and an image tells a thousand words.
If you are not at the stage of paying a professional, get some well lite portrait photos of yourself and also some action shots with you doing something relevant to your brand.
The Messy Assistant could be in front of a desk, with a handful of papers and complete chaos or immaculate organisation behind.
Also consider your ongoing use of language. Using curse words is far more accepted in this day, but consider if it is consistent with your brand eg. think Martha Stewart swearing like a trooper, doesn’t really work with the brand does it?
Hopefully you have some ideas to make a flying start on developing your personal brand. I know my research has given me much to think about.
One last thing you don’t need to rush into finalising your brand. Start the process and see what comes out of it. Some may find their brand niche easily, others may take some work. Neither is wrong.
I’d love to hear from you.
Do you have a personal brand now? Do you like it? Does it need updating?
Or if you don’t have one do you think you should?
Of course if you have questions arising on any of our personal branding ideas or you are stuck at finding what makes you unique drop us a comment or question in the box below and I’ll gladly help you out.
As always if you think this blog could help someone else share the love with the social sharing buttons.