Branding

The Competitive Advantage of Personal Branding

The Competitive Advantage Of Personal Branding

Branding

To grow your business, a strong personal brand can be a massive advantage.

Why?

Competing with giant companies in your niche with sheer costly exposure is tough. You don’t have as many resources to spend on advertising as large businesses do.

Also, people don’t trust business brands like they use too. It’s not entirely your fault, as trust in business brands, in general, is going down the past years. This makes it harder for you to convert people into buying customers.

So, how do you get past these challenges? By building your personal brand.

But what is a personal brand? And how does it help grow your business so you can compete with other brands in your industry?

Let’s find out the answer below.

What is Personal Branding?

Personal branding is how you promote yourself to your target audience. It involves communicating certain qualities that you want people to associate with you. It is a marketing practice that sums up your experience, skills, values, beliefs, and purpose as a brand.

Simply put, your personal brand is how people think of you. It is your reputation that can make a difference in your business.

Everyone has a brand. However, only a few have managed to turn their brands into a strength. If you want your business to succeed, you should work on building a solid personal brand that works to your advantage.

Why Personal Branding is Important

Back in the days, brands used to be only for a select few. Branding was better left to businesses, celebrities, athletes, and prominent people. 

However, the emergence of new marketing channels such as social media has changed how branding is perceived. Today, personal branding has started to present itself as an essential element in business success.

With social media now allowing your voice to be heard, you get to reach and influence people. Likewise, it becomes easier for people to find you. Now, everyone has access to some degree of information about you.

For instance, you are a financial advisor and your prospects want to learn a thing or two about you. With a few taps on the screen of their phones, they can see your credentials and what other people are saying about you.

It would be a waste of opportunity if your prospects didn’t see what they want to see. As someone who runs a business, you would want to leave an impression on potential customers when they search about you.

That’s where personal branding comes into play. Taking the reins of your personal brand lets you control the narrative and show your audience what you want them to see. And that’s always good for business.

Benefits of Personal Branding

When you take control of the narrative surrounding your online persona, you are putting a face behind your business. A face that reflects your personality, hopes, dreams, and motivations. As a unique human being, you have interesting stories that attract people toward your business.

Building Your Personal Brand

Personal branding is a powerful marketing strategy. To further understand what a solid personal branding can do for you, let’s take a look at some of the most important benefits of personal brand to your business.

  1. You are Discoverable

In a crowded space where businesses try to vie for attention, personal branding allows you to stand out from the rest.

Say, you’re a financial advisor. You want your name to appear in Google when people look for “how to invest” on the search bar. But the problem is, you are competing with massive companies like Investopedia, CNBC, Bankrate, and Bloomberg on the search results.

Defeating these giants for that search term is virtually impossible unless you have a team and a large budget. It’s a major uphill battle that has no guarantees. However, there is a better way.

With a personal brand, you can make it appear like these established brands are competing with you and not the other way around. If someone searches “Your Brand Name” and “How to Invest,” even these giants would struggle to compete with a specific search actively requesting information from your brand.

That’s one of the powers of a personal brand.

  1. You are Shareable

Fact: content posted by a personal brand gets reshared 24x more than when it is posted by a company brand. It’s all about trust.

On average, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from other people over business brand content. This number translates into better engagement when you post content under your personal brand.

No wonder why a significant number of individuals have or are already building their own personal brands based on a survey by Steven J Wilson & Associates.

  1. You Establish Authority

One key to building a personal brand is by publishing valuable content. When I say valuable, I mean content that educates your audience and helps them solve their problems.

Each piece of content you post on your social profiles, website, or blog contributes to the development of your personal brand. As you develop your brand, you are also gaining authority in your field.

The content you publish presents you as an expert, making your audience think that you are the go-to person in your specific niche. And when you are seen as an expert, your credibility starts to grow.

People would start trusting you, and this opens up various opportunities not only for you as a personal brand but also for your business brand. You get to meet fellow experts in your industry, build partnerships, and attract a following.

  1. You Build Partnerships

With a solid personal brand, you get to meet other professionals in the field and work with them.

Now, let’s go back to the financial advisor example. With a personal brand, say, you meet another advisor who’s also winning thanks to his branding. As like-minded professionals, you form an alliance with one another so you can both benefit in your respective referral networks.

How you would work together depends on both of you, but you get the point. Having personal brands open up opportunities to partner with fellow experts so you can strengthen your business.

  1. You Attract a Following

When people trust your personal brand, you get to expand your network.

Developing a personal brand helps attract like-minded audience. This lets you build a network of people in your industry, prospects, and existing customers.

Having a loyal following to your personal brand is extremely valuable to your business. How?

An expanded network helps boost awareness of your business brand. You also enjoy an increase in visibility in terms of your potential audience. In fact, when people share content through a personal brand, it is 561% more likely to reach a new audience than when it’s shared by a company brand.

When you attract a loyal following, you are building a real asset that grows with both your personal and business brand.

  1. You Have Greater Asking Power

Personal brands also have the power to sway people into action.

Your audience is more likely to do what is asked if the personal brand meets their needs. Statistics show that personal brands who share content gets 2x higher CTR than company-shared content. Leads developed through individual social media activities are also 7x more likely to convert than other leads.

To improve your chances of people doing your intended actions, what you need to do is to ask. Yes, even if some tasks may seem obvious, asking people to do something is an easy and efficient way to improve the results of specific actions you want your audience to take.

Just take for example how YouTubers always ask people to Like & Subscribe to their channel. Every single time. Regardless of the size of their following.

Why? Because there is power in the ask. So, don’t leave it to chance. Make the ask.

  1. Your Business Becomes Stronger

Finally, personal branding strengthens your business.

When people can find you, trust you, follow you, and perform your desired action, you are creating a business that stands out from the competition. You forge strong relationships with your customers that is not easily achieved with business branding alone.

Ultimately, your business goals become more achievable thanks to personal branding.

Things to Remember When Building Your Personal Branding

Personal branding can be the key to your business growth. Before you start building your personal brands, here are some things you need to know so you don’t run into common pitfalls.

How To Build Your Personal Brand

Determine your brand voice

Your personality is what makes you unique. It is what sets you apart from your competitors.

To create a solid personal brand, make a list of your key traits. Include in the list your strengths and weaknesses. These qualities will make your brand as human as possible. Also, don’t forget to ask relevant people in your life what characteristics stick out at you the most.

Then, communicate those traits with your content.

The key here is to make your personal brand authentic, so be honest about it.

Know your target audience

Not everyone will be interested in what you are going to say. So, it’s best to direct your thoughts to people who matter to your business.

Like with any solid marketing plan, you have to narrow down who your audience will be. These people include:

  1. Those who will pay you
  2. Those who influence the person who pays you
  3. Those who will benefit from your message

Create a description of each person and include as many details about them as possible. Doing so allows your message to better resonate with your audience.

Build your online presence

Once you have your personality sorted out and who your target audience is, it’s time to get the ball rolling.

To get your voice out there, you have to determine where is “there” exactly. Start by knowing which platforms you should be establishing a presence in. Defining your target audience helps.

Then, decide what you will and will not be sharing in your brand.

Information about your family may be off-limits, like many entrepreneurs do. You don’t want to subject them under online scrutiny. On the other hand, you may want to share your personal struggles so your followers can relate more to you.

Deciding what you should and shouldn’t post entirely depends on you. There’s no wrong answer. Choosing not to share specific things doesn’t make you less authentic. That said, decide what you think is right for your personal brand.

Create a website

You may have the option to pick a social channel that you think will work best for you. However, having a website is a must.

This is because those social channels may disappear in an instant someday, along with all your efforts building your personal brand. But a website is something you owned and you have control with.

Having a website also allows you to publish a personal blog, which is essential in establishing your reputation online. Publishing quality content that shows your knowledge about the industry helps boost your authority. 

A website also allows you to publish other types of content such as your products and services, contact information, and membership forms. It is also an essential element if you want to be found online, especially when you follow SEO best practices.

In short, building a website is beneficial for your personal branding. Don’t go around establishing a personal brand without it.

Build relationships in the industry

How do you get found online when you’re just starting a personal brand? One way is by connecting with other well-known brands in the industry.

When you interact with these brands, you are making yourself visible to their already established following. That’s why it pays to engage with them whenever you have the chance. Leave feedback on their blog posts, comment on their social media posts and communicate with them.

Sometimes, your competition can also be a great partner that can lead you to the success of your business.

Taking the Power of Personal Brands to the Next Level

Indeed, personal branding helps grow your business in many ways. Now, imagine this: if your personal brand can have that much impact on your company brand, what more if OTHER personal brands also work for your business?

By other personal brands, we mean your employees.

Yes, employee personal brands tied with the company brand are a lot stronger than using yours alone. When employee personal brands work in harmony with your company brand, you are tapping into their extended reach, credibility, and convincing power.

Leveraging employee personal brands to your advantage is a step above the concept of personal branding—an approach dubbed as “Building Brands Within a Brand.”

In this method, you help your employees develop their own personal branding that attracts their own set of followers.

When you build employee personal brands, you are leveraging on your greatest influencers. And when employee personal brands build their own following, you are building a real asset that grows with you. Hence, your company brand benefits on the increased reach and trust.

Start Building Personal Brands Now

Whether it’s your personal brand or your employees’ personal brands, we’d love to help. My team helps employers and business owners build solid branding that allows for long-term business growth.

If you think personal branding is key to help you succeed in the long run, contact us.

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How To Utilize Email Marketing To Build A Trusted Brand

Building Brand With Email Marketing

Branding

Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to build brand awareness, but are you doing it right? Email lets you interact with your customers on a one-on-one basis. It is a great opportunity to introduce yourself and make a lasting impact.

When done correctly, email marketing can help paint a brand image that sells and builds customer loyalty. 

In this guide, we will show you how you can build brand awareness with email in the right way.

But first, let’s discuss why you should focus on email marketing for building brand awareness.

 

Brand Awareness and Email Marketing

Brand awareness refers to how well your consumers recognize your brand. The more familiar your target audience is to your business, the more likely they are to buy a product from you.

And what better way to build consumer familiarity than email marketing?

Why is this so?

First, email marketing is one of the most cost-effective digital channels available today.

It is not only a low-cost strategy to get the word out on your business, but it also offers one of the best ROIs for your dollar. To put that in numbers, email marketing generates an average of $42 for every $1 spent.

 

“Email marketing generates an average of $42 for every $1 spent.” — Data & Marketing Association, 2019

 

Second, email marketing is the only digital channel to provide direct and regular interactions with your audience.

When a website visitor subscribes to your email list, he becomes a valuable lead that shows a desire to engage with you.

With email, you can target this individual to turn him into a paying and loyal customer. The great part is: you can target him in the place he visits daily—his inbox.

It is only in email marketing that you have this kind of opportunity. That said, if you want to succeed in your business, you have to focus on perfecting your email strategy.

 

Elements of An Effective Email Marketing Campaign

To get better results with email marketing, you have to find out what makes an effective campaign in the first place.

An effective email marketing that builds brand awareness has the following elements:

  • Personality. The personality of the brand should reflect its email marketing communication. From the email copy’s tone and voice to the newsletter’s designs and templates, you must incorporate them into your newsletter.
  • Recognizability. With a brand’s solid identity, your email must create a sense of familiarity with your audience. What would you like your brand newsletter to be known for? Your reader must be able to easily identify the brand at his first few seconds into the email.
  • Consistency. The key to a memorable email is consistency. Your newsletter should be consistent with your website and other platforms where your brand exists. To do this, it is essential that you develop a brand guideline that will apply to all your marketing channels.
  • Uniqueness. Think of creative ideas to make your email stand out. The competition is intense in your customers’ inboxes. You have to find what makes you different from the competition.
  • Authenticity. Nothing resonates more with a reader than a genuine brand message. Strive to create content that deviates from a continuous sales pitch, and rather, offer more value to your audience.

 

Develop Brand Awareness with These Email Marketing Tips

Do you effectively incorporate all elements of effective email marketing? If not or you feel you need to improve- it is time to apply them with these eight actionable tips.

Tip #1: Establish tone and voice

Effective email marketing involves writing compelling copies. And in email copywriting, you have to think about how you would talk to your customers.

Should your brand be friendly or serious? Should you be conversational or formal? Should you be funny or matter-of-factly?

When writing the email copy, establish your email’s tone and voice based on the personality of your brand. Then, stick with it.

The most important thing about this tip is to be consistent.

Tone Of Voice Branding with Email Marketing
Source: Brafton

The voice of your email should match your succeeding emails, your website, your social media, and the other platforms where your brand is. On the other hand, your tone may adjust to what’s appropriate for a specific message given that it still adheres to your brand guidelines.

A consistent tone and voice create a memorable email copy. And being memorable is one way to build brand awareness.

Tip #2: Work on a uniform design

Aside from copy, you should also work on creating a uniform design.

Design and copy make your brand identity, and they should go together. For example, if you are writing in an authoritative voice, the design of your newsletter should use more professional-looking colors and images. If you are using a cheerful voice, you can be more playful with your fonts and color schemes.

Again, the key here is consistency.

Remember that you are building your brand identity. You would not want to confuse your readers with email designs that do not match the copy.

To achieve consistency in your email, it pays to develop a branding guideline. This makes it easier for even outside designers and copywriters to make memorable emails that are true to your branding.

Tip #3: Create newsletter templates

Templates streamline the email creation process. And they do not just save you massive time, they also build the foundation of solid brand awareness.

People love seeing patterns. This helps them retain the information they are seeing. When making your newsletter templates, try to incorporate certain formats in your layout that your audience would easily recognize.

For instance, you may always open your newsletter with an image. Or you can go for a bold text that captures a reader’s attention.

Find what format works well with your audience, and then stick with that template.

Tip #4: Personalize your email

When creating an email, personalize.

Personalization is the use of subscriber information to create some tailor-fit email content. And when we say tailor-fit, it goes beyond addressing your reader by his name on the salutation. It’s about creating relevant and individualized content for your subscriber.

Just take a look at OpenTable’s personalized email below:

Hubspot Email Personlization
Source: HubSpot

Personalizing your email is crucial because people want value. This tactic allows for a customer-centric approach that provides readers a pleasant experience.

And what does this mean for your business? You get better results.

In fact, statistics show that personalizing your email subject lines generates 50% higher open rates.

 

“Emails with personalized subject lines yield 50% higher open rates.” – Yes Lifecycle Marketing, 2017

 

To personalize your email, you have to segment your subscribers into a more detailed list which we will discuss in our next tip.

Tip #5: Segment and automate

Email list segmentation refers to the process of dividing your subscriber list into smaller audiences or “segments.” You divide them based on a set of rules to better target your audience’s interests.

There are many ways to segment your subscribers. But the best way to do it is segmenting by behavior.

In behavioral segmentation, your subscribers are the ones triggering the segment based on real actions. This makes it the most powerful way to segment because you get insights on how users “behave” on your website.

 

Email list segmentation is key to delivering the right, personalized content to the right recipient. Yet 50.4% of email marketers don’t segment their email list at all.- Get Response

Segmenting Email
Source: Get Response

For instance, if a new user visited your website for the first time, you can trigger an email automation workflow to send him a welcome note. You can also add him to your segments for later engagement.

With behavioral segmentation, you can create custom emails for first-time visitors, users who have searched or purchased a product, and people who abandoned a cart, among others. Thus, you can eliminate sending random emails whose content is likely to be thrown into the spam folder.

Both behavioral segmentation and automation can be done using software like MailerLite.

Tip #6: Complement your landing page

Email marketing does not end with a reader clicking the email. Often, the goal is for your readers to reach a certain landing page.

For instance, you have a one-time offer for your customers. You managed to get their full attention that they would even be eagerly clicking on your call-to-action.

Now, imagine the horror on their face when they get redirected to a landing page that looks completely different from your email. Worst, the page does not contain the offer at all.

It scares off people. And that is bad email marketing.

That said, ensure that you take the same effort in making your landing page just like how you did with your email. And if you require people to carry out a specific action, make sure it is simple enough to understand in both your email and landing page.

Tip #7: Create campaigns around your brand image

When we talk about email marketing for brand awareness, you should craft campaigns with your brand image in mind.

From your welcome email, purchase confirmation to your thank you note and updates, everything in the campaign must be built around the image you are trying to create. This is especially true for long-term email marketing campaigns.

Doing so paints a clearer identity for your brand, and it gives you a deeper understanding of the brand message you are trying to convey. The more you get familiar with your brand, the more it shows in your future content pieces.

Tip #8: A/B Test

The final tip in the list is to A/B test your emails.

A/B testing allows you to identify what aspects of the email resonate the most with your audience.

To test, create two versions of the same email campaign. Tweak one variable you want to assess, which can be the email’s subject line, body, CTA, or the use of visuals. Then, send it across sample groups equally and randomly.

The version that gets more open rates and click-through rates indicate what works well for your brand.

Just ensure that you’re running one test at a time to get valid results.

 

Build Your Brand with Email Now

When done right, email marketing can be your most powerful tool to raise awareness for your brand.

By knowing the elements that make an effective email marketing campaign, you get a better understanding of how you can craft pieces that get higher open rates and click-through rates. And with the actionable tips above, you’re one step closer to developing your brand with email.

Which of our tips is lacking in your current email marketing strategy? Share it in the comments!

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