What are your best ‘Personal Branding Tips’ for entrepreneurs?
So for this article, I decided to reach out to 37 experts, and ask them to share their best personal branding tips for online entrepreneurs (bloggers, podcasters, authors, speakers, coaches and other content creators online).
And I must admit, I’m blown away with all the fantastic answers that came in. So before we dig into it, thanks for all the fantastic contributions, you guys rock!
What are your best personal branding tips for entrepreneurs?
So without further ado, here are their answers!
Personal Branding Tips For Entrepreneurs
My best personal branding tips for entrepreneurs are:
- Be yourself instead of a clone of someone else.
- Deliver on the commitment you’ve made. It’s the best way to brand.
- Oprah never called herself “The _____ Lady.” Don’t brand yourself like that.
~ Chris Brogan is an entrepreneur, best-selling author
Here are my best personal branding tips for individuals:
- Stop trying to do social media and just be social. Treat social media platforms and new connections just as you would in real life, be human.
- Start a blog. Sharing your opinions, knowledge and perspective through a blog is the easiest way to show people who you really are.
- Network. Who you know is just as important as what you know. Dedicate some time on a monthly basis to simply network with others.
- Be unique. Don’t create a brand that’s just like everyone else’s. Find out what makes you different and leverage that so people have something to remember you by.
A couple years back I interviewed Derek Halpern about building a blog/traffic/etc. After the interview he had some personal advice for me, “you know, Chris Rock doesn’t go on stage as Chris Rock, he goes on stage as CHRIS ROCK”. Basically, be an amped up version of yourself, because those extreme traits are what make you memorable. Derek does this on Social Triggers TV, and Andrew Warner of Mixergy.com is another good example. That is personal branding world #1.
But I like world #2 better. I’ve interviewed 100+ of Ramit Sethi’s students. One of the questions I ask is “how did you go from finding Ramit to buying one of his courses?” A big reason is they see Ramit as a guy that tells it like it is. No candy coating, just the blunt truth. And Ramit has told me himself this isn’t some sort of show he puts on. “This isn’t a shtick. This is actually how I talk.” Otherwise he couldn’t have kept it up for 9+ years. That’s what I try to do. I try to talk like myself and be myself.
~ Michael Alexis is a very successful writer and lawyer from Canada. You can get your hands on some of his awesome interviews with experts like Ramit Sethi here.
Creating a personal brand is now something that can be done globally with the evolution of the social web. Click to tweet!
It was just over 5 years ago when I discovered the social web. I joined Facebook, Twitter and started my blog. Along the way I learned that marketing, publishing and commerce had changed forever. It was no longer business as usual. The game had moved on. Authority, influence and business was moving online.If I distilled what I learned on that journey into 5 top tips to building a world wide personal brand they would be:
- Develop a laser type focus.
- Design and launch your own digital platform. This can be a blog or a website.
- Create and publish the best contagious content you can in a variety of media including text, video and images.
- Grow your own content distribution networks. This is done by building a large following on social networks, growing an email list and optimizing your content for search engines for distributing your content
- Build online credibility by publishing a book. You can now self publish on Amazon, Apple and on your own blog and get paid for it !
So if you want to accelerate your personal brand and be seen as a thought leader and expert in your industry or niche, then you need to create authority online.
To help people achieve that, I created a Master Class on “How to Create Authority Online” It shows the steps and the framework that I have discovered over the last 5 years that work if you want to succeed in building a powerful personal brand online”.
~ Jeff Bullas is a top Social Media Marketing Blogger and influencer, Strategist & Speaker.
Many people get caught in the beginner’s trap, thinking that you need years of experience in the marketplace in order to charge premium rates and attract ideal clients. The truth is that you can get known and stand out as a high-end brand from day one of launching your business. The #1 way to do this is through having endorsements from influencers in your industry prominently displayed on your website (which you should also invest in having beautifully designed). This immediately puts you in a category with those influencers.
The next question of course is: how do you get these testimonials? The secret comes down to consistently adding value to those you respect and admire. Get proactive, stay on the lookout for ways you can help them solve their problems, and offer your services pro-bono. When you find great ways to make a busy, influential person’s life easier, they’ll naturally thank you. With their permission, that “thank you” can become a testimonial on your website. Even if you can’t start with the superstars in your industry, start building that relationship with anyone more credible than you.
~ Selena Soo is the founder of Impacting Millions who helps visionary entrepreneurs, experts and coaches get known & stand out.
In our digital utopia small online communities flourish, the gatekeepers are withering away, and we are exposed like never before. So, it’s time to plant your flag and start building brand equity in a space that favors uniqueness and honesty more than ever. When it comes to personal branding, here are a few thoughts …
Don’t fear transparency:
In “To Sell is Human” Daniel Pink writes about information asymmetry … the old “buyer beware” world where the salesman knew more than the buyer. But today we are much closer to “seller beware,” which he calls information parity.
The old “secret” information is now there for the world to see, and because of technology it’s getting easier to spot the fakes a mile away. But this is good for you and your audience, because honesty prevails in the end.
It also helps to bleed a little:
Quick, think of three bloggers you’re crazy about. If your list is like mine, you have three writers very adept at displaying their wounds and past ugly business for the world to see. Expert at turning life experience into valuable, inspiring, actionable advice. Content that is thoroughly entertaining AND helpful.
Why not use your past experiences to craft great copy? Tell the world about your big mistakes and the lessons you’ve learned. There is nothing wrong with showing the world your private parts.
And own your niche like a tattooed food trucker:
The beautiful little niche is a boon to entrepreneurs online and in the brick and mortar world. Just look at food trucks and the way chefs are killing it. People formerly under the boot of the boss, restaurant owner or the bank. The chefs that are making their mark have clearly distinct offerings all their own, and they do indeed “own it.” To me, this is the spirit of a new day and we can all take a few lessons from these empowered entrepreneurs.
~ Craig McBreen is a branding & communications consultant.
John Lee Dumas & Kate Erickson (EoFire Team)
Personal branding is your connection to your audience, and it’s all about building person to person relationships with them. Once you’re able to build those relationships, you’ll find that you have loyal followers and raving fans who support you, which is integral to finding your stride and momentum as an entrepreneur and to growing your business. I feel there are three keys to building your personal brand online, and those are:
- Be yourself
- Be honest
- Be present
By being yourself, you’ll invite opportunities for your audience to connect with you on a personal level. If you try to be someone other than your true self online, it won’t last, and it will eventually ruin your brand altogether. Being honest helps build trust and credibility with your audience, which will lead to a loyal following who knows, likes and trusts you. Finally, being present is so important because if you’re not engaging with your audience, then they’ll have no reason to stick around. Continue building upon those relationships and you’ll find that your loyal followers will soon become your raving fans.
~ John Lee Dumas is the founder and host of the top ranked business podcast EntrepreneurOnFire and creator of Podcasters’ Paradise.
~ Kate Erickson is the Content Creator and Community Manager for EntrepreneurOnFire. If you enjoyed her personal branding tips, be sure to reach out to Kate on Twitter.
Tip #1: care. Give a damn about something. If you care about something I can feel it. When you put your ass on the line for something, I can tell. When I care about that same thing, it’s magic. If I don’t, you don’t mind… because you care about that thing enough to focus on it (which means saying “no” to other things).
Conversely, if you don’t care, I can tell. If you don’t give a damn, if you’re not putting your ass on the line, you’re bland to me, you’re not worth sharing, not worth smelling, not worth subscribing, not worth a comment… I’d prefer a Buzzfeed article about cat buttholes to you… because cat buttholes are putting their asses on the line.
Tip #2: (see tip #1… it’s worth two cuz cats are involved)
Tip #3: learn how to be yourself on the mic, on the page, on the camera, etc. Shit’s tough. Way too much to cover on this one, so I made this.
Tip #4: Wake up at the crack of dawn, get tips 1 and 2 and put them in a cup with 1 raw egg and drink it raw and then go on a run in sweatpants and a hooded sweatshirt and work really fucking hard for the next 8 years. You’ll probably have a pretty good brand by then.
~ Chase Reeves
Here’s my 3 best personal branding tips for entrepreneurs:
1. Be the real you. There’s no better way to foster a lasting and meaningful connection with your audience than by being your true self. Don’t be afraid to talk about things other people won’t say. It might make you polarizing, but it will also make you powerful. There are people who won’t like you or your brand no matter what – embrace it.
2. Be consistent. Your brand isn’t about your logo, it’s about the total experience you provide to your people. It’s the promise on which you build your business. If you’re flaky, why should they invest their time in you? They have a lot of other choices. Show up. Show up BIG. Show up without fail.
3. Be of service. People are so hungry for inspiration, meaning, and truthfulness. Create content that strives to embody those qualities and it will take on a life of it’s own. If you create a brand built around the people you want to serve (and not yourself) your personal brand will always have power and reach.
~ Marlee Ward is a Chief Radical Entrepreneur (aka CRE), marketing strategist, and speaker, and helping you create irresistible marketing messages and strategies with integrity and ease.
1. Even if you don’t use YourName.com to host your blog or main website, make sure you use it as a “home base” for everything that you do. Have some great pictures of yourself, links to everything you do, and a simple way for people to contact you. Think about everything you’d want someone to know about you within the first five minutes of Googling you and put that on YourName.com.
2. Whatever you do online, put more of YOU into it. Put pictures of yourself on your site, as your bio photos, etc. Make videos. Show your personality. Almost every brand I follow online is because of the people behind the brand. Make sure you don’t hide your persona.
3. Don’t be afraid to label yourself as “the ______ ______ guy/girl”. For example, Cliff Ravenscraft is the Podcast Answerman. Pat Flynn is the passive income guy. I refer to myself as the DIY Video Guy. Make it easy for people to understand exactly what you do in a few words or a sentence.
When it comes to personal branding, you want to make sure that you call-out to your brand when you’re invited onto other peoples shows, blogs and media.
That’s as simple as saying “Hey this is Jesse Krieger, author of Lifestyle Entrepreneur and creator of BusinessInAWeekend.co”
There you go, I just took my own advice and branded myself 🙂
But seriously, once you have established WHAT your brand is, then it’s all about getting out in front of different audiences and building relationships with others based on your brand and identity.
When you meet people and/or get a link from someone’s site, you want the place they go to really reflect your brand and clearly and concisely explain the value you have to offer them.
When I think of branding, I first think of a logo design and tagline. The imagery used, the colors, the curves, the message, these all speak to people’s needs as you make your first impression on them.
One example is my former company, USB Superstore. Our logo was an illustration of a flash drive, with the words “USB Superstore: Innovation In a Flash.”
It’s hard to be confused about what we did and who we served. Then the rest of the site showcased sliding banners, each of which spoke to an identified market vertical such as Marketing Directors, Universities, etc. that buy wholesale flash drives.
So here are some personal branding tips to put into practice right away:
- Define and design your brand. Get a great logo done that’s representative of your focus (doesn’t have to be expensive, but does have to look sharp)
- Proactively call-out to your brand when you meet people, get interviewed, do a guest post, etc.
- Have a next-step that people can take when they arrive at your site. Offer them something that deepens their experience with your brand, for free, in exchange for their name and email. Sample chapters from a book, a mindmap, a checklist, something that helps them achieve the promise of your brand.
Now you’ve branded yourself AND have a way to build a relationship once they’ve opted-in.
~ Jesse Krieger, Author of Lifestyle Entrepreneur & Founder of Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Press.
Be yourself and create useful, inspiring, and entertaining content to set yourself apart from the rest online.
The most important thing to remember is you must know your audience. Click to tweet!
~ Lewis Howes is a former pro athlete, lifestyle entrepreneur, author and host of The School Of Greatness Podcast.
My top 3 personal branding tips are:
1. Plan on being at the top. What would a top 10 do? Think as if you are already a massive brand.
2. Invest on advice. It’s hard to out of your own box. Ask people that have done it before what you should do.
3. Pick one thing. What are you going to be the BEST at? Don’t do 7 different things. Figure out what your differential is in the market and play up that.
~ Jaime Tardy is the host of the very popular show, Eventual Millionaire.
Three personal branding tips from Jim Joseph, author ofThe Personal Experience Effect:
1. Commit to a Goal. Determine what you want out of life and map a course to go after it. Run your life, don’t let your life run you.
2. Position yourself. Figure out what you are uniquely good at and showcase your talents in ways that will attract others. This will position you for success.
3. Be consistent. Apply yourself consistently in every interaction, all throughout your life. That way people will know what to expect from you and will appreciate what you have to offer. Over and over again.
~ Jim Joseph is an entrepreneur, professor at NYU and the author of the award winning books The Personal Experience Effect.