Let’s talk personal branding!
I talk a lot with our clients and the Social Directions Agency team about nailing your personal brand. I believe it’s an underrated way of creating opportunities for yourself regardless of whether you’re self-employed or an employee.
Let’s discuss the benefits of a personal brand, and then I’ll take you through my exact personal branding strategy that has enabled me to scale Social Directions Agency.
How did my personal brand help me scale the business?
Forbes discusses The 9 Amazing Benefits Of Personal Brand, and specifically, point number 3 mentioned attracting opportunities for yourself. The beauty of a personal brand is that it’s free, and there’s no rule book. You can decide what you talk about daily, and that’s how I got to where I am today.
When I first started in this industry back in 2015, I didn’t really have a game plan. I just had a passion for taking photos and videos. I’d spend most days filming content for my Youtube Channel and share that content across my social media platforms. Although I will admit that it was all a bit random, the content featured me living my life. For example, filming myself going on holidays, the gym, or talking about college, anything really.
A few months after posting, I noticed that I was getting a lot of people messaging me with opportunities. Most of which broke into two categories.
- Paid video editing opportunities: people could clearly see my ability to edit through the YouTube videos I released multiple times each week.
- Travel opportunities in exchange for content: again, people could clearly see that I could feature anything in my video, and I opened doors with many different companies in exchange for a product feature. Two of which were Volkswagen and Mazda.
See, your personal brand doesn’t have to be cheesy sales. It just has to demonstrate what you do and your ability to do it. In fact, in my opinion, your personal branding performs better if you’re very authentic and almost forget that you’re selling. Those exact reasons were the reason I was able to start the first company. Since then, that has grown into a Social Media Management business. We make our clients industry-leading on social media, and this is all done through the foundations of what YouTube taught me: To Make Great Content Online.
There are two more core reasons I believe a personal brand can help you.
- Expertise: It allows you to become an expert in your field. This is because discussing a topic repeatedly forces you to improve. You can’t talk about something until you genuinely have a good understanding of it. If you do, it’s pretty obvious. If you’re a software dev, for example, if you discuss your approach to coding multiple times per week and highlight trends, opportunities in the industry and more. You’ll soon become known as the resident software developer expert for anyone connected with you in your network.
- Your network: If you’re discussing a topic repeatedly on social, you’re naturally going to soon see connection requests or follows from people who do similar. Your network begins to grow, and you’ll quickly start hanging around with people who have like-minded interests. This establishes your name and creates further opportunities to learn and grow in the space.
What is my personal branding routine?
It’s a daily ritual for me but only Monday to Friday because I genuinely believe weekends need to be a place without commitments as much as possible. So, I’ll focus on the two platforms that generate the most business every day. I’ve chosen just two because it’s all I can handle while concentrating on our clients. Once I start adding 3 or 4 into the mix, things become overwhelming, and I don’t enjoy the experience of personal branding.
Each day I take 1 hour to focus on the platforms: 30 minutes for Instagram and 30 minutes for LinkedIn. I spend the first 15 minutes on each reading and providing my opinion in the comments of 10 impactful posts. I read the post, digest and give my honest comments (It’s vital to be a human here, not a bot).
Here are some guidelines:
Example of What not to comment
“Cool Post” / “Wow”/ “Follow Me”
Example of What to comment
“John, this post got me thinking. I have to say I agree. In some ways, social media can be unhealthy, but it creates a lot of opportunities and motivation in others. It’s all down to who you’re actually following and whose content you consume daily.”
Once you’ve done your 15 minutes on each platform, it’s time to make your own posts. One per platform (not the same post on each). You will 100% be inspired after reading and commenting on 20 posts, and you can rely on your creativity to tell you what to post about. For example, I make my post on LinkedIn, which is always related to business and documenting business growth, whereas Instagram dives into my personal hobbies and interests with a touch of being an entrepreneur.
The secret is, the next day, you do the same again! It can be repetitive but compounded over a week, month or year. You’ll genuinely start to notice massive opportunities starting to come your way.
A personal brand is a future, and if you jump on it now, you’ll open up more doors than you could ever have imagined, so why wait? Instead, start your personal branding journey today!
About the author
Zackery O’Rourke is the Founder of Social Directions Agency. His journey on social media began in the world of content creation and soon developed into much more when he uncovered the power of social media and its direction. Social Directions Agency is now running for two years, and Zack has enjoyed every minute of driving this ship.