5 Ways to Build your Personal Brand on Social Media (and get more clients)
Personal Branding has got to be one of the most effective tools for helping you elevate yourself out of the noise and elevate you as the go-to person.
As a small business owner, it’s easier for you to be the face of your business and get traction than it is for you to build your company brand. Personal Branding whether you are a solopreneur, CEO, or salesperson, is a way to be known and attract clients.
In this article, I’m sharing 5 ways you can build your personal brand on social media (and use it to get clients).
Before, I do, let me just explain why a personal brand is necessary for anyone looking to build a business in 2022.
Chase or Attract Model
There are only two games in town when it comes to getting clients; chase and attract.
If you don’t want to be hunting for clients and don’t want to be chasing people down on social media, you shouldn’t be building a chase-based model. If you would rather attract people who know, like and trust you - you don’t have to focus so much on selling, many of the objections you can deal with as part of your content strategy.
Neither is wrong, but a chase model requires more selling skills and in the long-run more time commitment.
Personal Branding isn’t quick, it can take 3-6 months to really feel benefit, but and this is a big but, in the longer-term, it will bring you more business with less effort.
Chase Models of getting clients usually rely on outbound messaging and cold outreach, these methods work based on ‘if we reach enough people, we’ll find businesses. Personal Branding is very much in the attract model, which focuses on building authority and trust at scale, countering objections in content, so as enquiries come in, they convert at a higher percentage.
If you need clients urgently – you need a chase model – as it can bring clients in days.
If you want to build a flow of consistent clients without cold sales outreach – you want an attract model.
Of course, you can combine the two, however, it can have negative impacts on your brand. I’ve known some people who use aggressive cold outreach to have their personal brand damaged when by people getting annoyed and deciding to go to social media and talk about it.
You have to be incredibly careful in using a hybrid model of attract and chase as sometimes they can counteract each other.
I also want to add, that a personal brand isn’t all branding and colour schemes. It’s about you being known for something specific. If you are seeking to use your personal brand for getting clients, you must be remembered for an extremely specific outcome.
One of the mistakes people make is trying to build a personal brand and be remembered for something generic or too many things.
I’m working hard to cement my personal brand below:
Dean will get you more clients and do it with less selling
I’m not including any of my personality or values into my personal brand message, because they’ll shine through in the way I do it.
Values and personality might be part of your personal brand, but the thing you want to be remembered has to be the key outcome you can deliver.
So, with that said, let’s get into it…
Newsletter / Blog
I’ve been writing blogs for 13 years. I share them on social media regularly and they get me lots of eyeballs and attention. Blogging or authoring articles is a fantastic way to demonstrate your expertise. You can add value by sharing insights, explaining concepts, and giving actionable advice.
Whilst article writing isn’t as hot as it used to be, this format over a concerted period, can help you build an audience who trust your advice.
I write an article every week and share it with my newsletter email list, I also publish the articles on Medium and LinkedIn. My social media accounts then circulate those links.
I’m not doing the articles for SEO, so I don’t mind posting the same content on multiple channels.
New people discover the articles each day and it helps me build my brand.
In every article, I give people a call to action, which can be as simple as ‘Share this’ or in some I promote my programmes and training.
Pro-Tip: Many people try to do too much in one article and then run out of content.
This article, for example, is high-level, but I can follow up with an individual article about each of the 5 points…
e.g., How to Build Your Personal Brand with Blogs
In other words, this article can become 5 more detailed articles.
I hated doing video content for a long time. I felt self-conscious and couldn’t bare to watch myself when it came to review and edits. I avoided it because they didn’t feel good enough. When the pandemic came a long, my in-person events were cancelled and now I had to use video. It became the only way to deliver the training and programmes we offer.
If I wanted to stay in business, I had to embrace video content.
Now, having done so much of it, I’m kicking myself I wasn’t doing it earlier.
I’ve discovered two things about video content.
Firstly, you can’t escape the awkward of crappy videos at the beginning. It’s part of the process. If you try to go all out Hollywood too early, you’ll make it difficult to sustain and get consistent output.
To build a personal brand, you need consistent output of value and tips.
I look back on many of my older videos and cringe. But I also get comments from people who tell me they’ve seen my growth and confidence in video.
More recently, I’ve started posting videos every day on social media as helps me get more comfortable and I get better at it faster.
I’m a believer that it’s exceedingly difficult to get something your happy with on day one, it might take 20 or 30 videos before you really find your stride.
I’ve also learned that making the videos and not posting them doesn’t help me get better. I can’t explain why, something happens to us when we create and post. We see the mistakes, remember them, and avoid them in future. When I do a video and don’t post, I tend to repeat the same mistake.
Secondly, I’ve discovered something powerful about video. I’ve known this for years, but I didn’t really understand this until I started making videos.
People remember pictures than they remember words. Video is visual and so people will remember and absorb more of the information, but they also get to experience my personality. Video gives people a deeper encounter with my personal brand.
They see the words come out of my mouth. They can tell if this is rehearsed, they can tell if you are just reading a script and they can tell if you believe what you are saying. They see your passion and they see your personality.
That’s why it is so powerful. I’ve had so many people message and talk to me about my videos, even the ones I think were not that good. What we see and what our audience sees are different.
Pro-Tip: Getting used to talking to a camera is the hardest part. The camera amplifies our personal insecurities about our appearance, mannerisms, and the way we speak. This fades over time.
I found the easiest way to get comfortable on camera is doing longer form videos. Whilst these didn’t get big views (because they were long), I got more than 20 hours of video content and got comfortable much faster.
Once you have a bank of long form videos, you can edit small sections which are good sound bites and use them on social media. These do well on LinkedIn, TikTok and Instagram.
I don’t want to take too much time on live video is like video content. There is however, one exception to this, in live video people can test your expertise.
That sounds scary, but having people ask you questions unscripted, can be incredibly powerful in building your personal brand. Why? People can see you formulating your answers in real-time. This builds huge trust and authority with your audience.
In the UK, every week we have PMQs, Prime Ministers Questions, an unscripted Q&A session with the Prime Minister. Every week the Prime Minister is asked questions for 30-minutes with no idea what questions are coming. Our media analyse how the PM performs and it can have a direct influence on how the PM is perceived.
Live video is unscripted and if you have open Q&A, it can massively boost your personal brand authority.
Pro-Tip: If you want to get started with live video, I find using LinkedIn Live is good as it you a more likely to get people tuning in. The other great part, is you can schedule and invite people, meaning it is much easier to get a live audience, than say Facebook or TikTok.
You might think I’m crazy but posting selfies can be good for your personal brand. In moderation they can help build your engagement and showing your human side can help people warm to you. One of the big components of a successful personal brand is that you’re setting out your stall of who you are as a person. We might not like it, but people buy into us before they buy into our products and services.
But you can go too far with these kinds of posts. I’ve seen people using selfies, in ways which harm your personal brand. Never forget the objective of your personal brand; being remembered for something extremely specific. It’s easy when you see controversial content to jump on the bandwagon.
Always ask yourself, will this get me remembered for the right message. Being visible and high-profile is good but being visible and high-profile with the right message is better.
Here are some ways your personal content can mess up your personal brand.
- Virtue Signalling – Posting selfies proving your virtuous deeds. Always check your motivations, if your primary motivation is to get attention, whilst it will get you noticed, it’s not really a good deed, is it? You’ve benefited from helping others.
- Polarity – This is one of the fastest ways to get attention. Dividing people on issues and topics can get you huge volumes of attention. Ask Donald Trump. This isn’t healthy and it’s a game of constant escalation and sensationalism. Be careful, as you must consistently raise the stakes to keep that attention. I recently saw a post about someone sharing about their struggles of being beautiful and how it is a disadvantage in business. What? Yes, this was a post and of course it got people angry, but in social media land, for every person you make angry, there will be someone who supports. The problem is, next time, you need to polarise people even more to get or hold attention.
- Pandering – Garnering attention is addictive. One of the most effective ways is leverage human goodwill and compassion. They share their struggles and personal challenges to gain attention. Human beings inherently want to care and be compassionate. It’s easy to exploit by talking about sad things that happen. We’ve seen examples of this recently where people have gained millions of views, but for all the wrong reasons, talking about genuine issues, but leveraging them for social media stardom. The official term is sad fishing, you see lots of people posting emotional posts and they are successful in growing followers and engagement, but often don’t help you build your personal brand with the people who matter – potential clients.
Posting selfies of you and your day-to-day a few times per week can help people warm to you and build a deeper connection. If you go too far you can confuse your message and goals.
Launching a podcast is great and an awesome way to build your authority. Again, your podcast needs to be focused clearly on your personal brand, so you can cement the theme of the podcast around your brand.
Podcasting gives a depth to your brand very similar to video content. People can hear you (or see you if you do a video podcast) and so they hear you talking and you giving insights and tips.
Launching and making a podcast successful, like anything requires commitment. Posting an episode once a month might take you 12-18 months to really build an audience.
Overall, podcasting will be great for your brand and using it to bring clients, but it’s important you focus on your core message and consistently deliver episodes.
One thing which is annoying is that podcasting stats are tricky. You can track downloads, but it is almost impossible to get listening stats. This is frustrating as most of the podcasts I listen to, I don’t download, I stream them. This means every podcast I listen to, doesn’t even see my listening stats.
It takes time to get healthy downloads numbers, but don’t lose hope, you may have listeners who don’t download.
- Add Calls to Actions to episodes and ask people to share topics and questions with you that the podcast can cover.
- Podbean and other services can help you distribute your podcast to all the streaming platforms like Spotify, iTunes etc.
- You don’t always have to host guests. You can start by sharing your ideas. I have a mix of solo-episodes and guests.
- Like video, just start. Over time you will improve and get better at it.
- Posting on social media is not once and done, post links to episodes regularly. Remember, you can post old episodes again in the future, don't let episodes gather dust, keep using them.
- Break down your podcast episodes into images and quotes, so you can use some of your soundbites of you/guests as content.
Building a Personal Brand is key to getting clients without the hard sell. All these avenues above, I’m doing for myself and many of them I’m repurposing the same content just in different formats for different platforms and different consumption preferences.
Don’t lose sight of your goal. To be remembered for an extremely specific outcome. This is what will make your brand powerful and profitable.
This is where being a stuck record can be lucrative.
Remember, your results from personal branding lag your efforts. The No.1 reason people fail at personal branding is they quit thinking it’s not working. It was working, but their patience wears thin.
My personal brand is by no means perfect, but it’s making me money consistently. I’ve built my business on building my brand and it’s paid off.
That’s because I invested in it.
Now after years of investment (and I’m still investing), it brings me hundreds of thousands of pounds in business every year (without any cold sales pitches).
Go make it happen
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