how to build a strong personal brand from scratch personal brand

Building a strong personal brand is a no-brainer for any small business owner or entrepreneur.

Building a strong personal brand should be a no-brainer for any small business owner or entrepreneur.Click To Tweet

In fact, people have a number of different reasons why they would want to develop their personal brand. Among other things, it allows you to control how your audience perceives you, and it encourages people to take you seriously.

But in the grand scheme of things, building a personal brand means setting the stage for future opportunities. If you want to effectively grow your business and close more sales, then a personal brand is mandatory.

In this guide, I’m going to show you all the steps you need to start building your personal brand today.

Let’s start with my favorite personal brand definition.

The Ultimate Guide to Building a Strong Personal Brand From Scratch

Table of Contents

What Is a Personal Brand?

Why You Should Build a Personal Brand

Benefits of Building a Personal Brand

How to Build a Strong Personal Brand From Scratch

1. Build Your Foundations

2. Know Your Target Audience

3. Build Your Online Assets

4. Create a Content Strategy

5. Create a Social Media Strategy

6. Put Yourself Out There

7. Find Yourself a Mentor

8. Host a Virtual Summit

Conclusion

What Is a Personal Brand?

How to Build a Strong Personal Brand from Scratch What Is

A personal brand is the ongoing process of creating, establishing, and communicating a clear statement or image of who you are to others.

This definition can be attributed to branding coach and author Los Ellis.

Put simply, a personal brand is who you are to people when you are not around. It’s how people refer you to others or tell them how you can help them.

McKinsey research has revealed that strong brands can outperform their competitors by 73% in sales. But for an entrepreneur like you, there’s more to a personal brand than just numbers.

Why You Should Build a Personal Brand

How to Build a Strong Personal Brand from Scratch Why Build

Building a personal brand is not about creating an alter ego to please an audience. You’re building a personal brand because you have bigger long-term goals to fulfill.

You are building a personal brand because you have bigger long-term goals to fulfill.Click To Tweet

Do you wish to launch a company?

Do you want to attract customers and investors?

Do you intend to command higher rates?

Do you plan to apply for a C-level position?

Often a common misconception in business is that the company’s brand alone matters. It may be true to a certain degree, especially in companies selling small ticket consumer items.

But for smaller businesses and service professionals, the individual’s personal brand is crucial for the target audience.

Why?

Because the person behind the company, product, or service is part of the value proposition.

Building-a Strong-Personal-Brand-The-Person

Entrepreneurs, coaches, consultants, personal trainers–they are all part of the core offer.

Benefits of Building a Personal Brand

Building of a Strong Personal Brand Benefits
A good personal brand guarantees you a strong groundwork for your future success.
Here are some tangible, long-lasting benefits that you will reap in time:

1. Your personal brand makes you stand out

Building of a Strong Personal Brand Stand Out

People are wired to notice what is different.
We distinguish the apple first in a basket of oranges. We pay attention to the person on the podium inside a jam-packed theater.

Your personal brand makes you stand out.Click To Tweet

Like the apple and the person on the podium, having a personal brand makes you unique. And your uniqueness is the source of your competitive advantage.

2. Your personal brand boosts your confidence

Building of a Strong Personal Brand Boost

Confidence is a natural outcome when building a personal brand.
Your constant view of your strengths and positive qualities make you feel validated. And knowing that you can offer something valuable to your audience makes you feel good about yourself.

Then you become comfortable sharing personal details, getting yourself in front of the camera, and reaching out to people.

3. Your personal brand gives you credibility

Building of a Strong Personal Brand Credibility

Even without decades of experience in your niche, a personal brand that’s built around the needs of your target audience can give you credibility.

It makes you relevant, which makes people trust you in a way. And it becomes easier for your audience to connect with you because they relate to your message.

4. Your personal brand builds your authority.

Building of a Strong Personal Brand Authority
Becoming known for something is part of a personal branding process. That’s why choosing a niche is imperative. It makes you an expert in that niche.

Once you’ve built your personal brand around a specific area of expertise, targeting a specific segment of the population becomes easier and more effective.

5. Your personal brand grows your network.

Building of a Strong Personal Brand Network

A personal brand serves as a magnet that attracts people who are interested in what you say. As a result, you’re growing a network of people in your industry and potential customers.
The relationships you have created within your network could blossom into something more profitable. This is my next point.

6. Your personal brand boosts your business

Guide for Creating a Personal Brand Boost Business

Having a network of people at your disposal can become useful when you want to advance your brand or promote your product/service. It could also open doors to new opportunities.

You’ll be amazed at how you have built your brand around something, and be approached with a bunch of different opportunities you never have imagined.

7. Your personal brand increases your value

Guide for Creating a Personal Brand Increase Value

Having a personal brand makes people regard you on an emotional level (as a brand) instead of an intellectual level (as a job title).

As your audience connects with you on an emotional level, your value increases to them. This is a great opportunity to raise your monetary value as well.

How to Build a Strong Personal Brand From Scratch

Guide for Creating a Personal Brand How to Build

Many entrepreneurs are intimidated by the idea of creating a personal brand.

But knowing all those tangible long-term benefits of building a personal brand? Now is the perfect time to get going.

Here’s a step-by- Step guide on how you can build a strong personal brand from scratch:

1. Build Your Foundations

Guide-for Creating a Personal Brand Foundations

Skipping this part of the personal branding process is a common mistake among entrepreneurs.

A personal brand without strong foundations is bound to crumble sooner or later.

What are these foundations?

Your values, passions, skills, and traits are the pile foundation of your personal brand. They make up your deepest foundation to support your personal brand vision, mission, and message.

Of course, your vision, mission, and message are equally important. Without these, there is no way for your personal brand to be distinguishable from others.

It is crucial to have focus when developing a personal brand. You do not want it to be just a mash-up of everything you can and want to do.

How to Build Your Foundations

Guide for Creating a Personal Brand How to Build Foundations

To lay the groundwork for your personal branding, do some self-audit of your present personal assets (values, passions, skills, traits) and then create your vision, mission, and message based on these assets.

Step 1: Know your values

Your values are what guide your attitude and actions.

Your values reveal what matters to you, what you care about the most, as well as the direction you want to take your personal and professional life.

Write down your answers to the following questions:

  • What are your most important values?
  • What are your principles?
  • What do you stand for/against?

Guide for Creating a Personal Brand What Are

Step 2: Know your passions

Your passions are a great motivator to keep you moving in your journey through branding.

Building a personal brand around something you are not interested in or passionate about is going to be an uphill battle.

Like values, your passions explain why you do what you do. It connects you with your target audience on an emotional level.

You do want to be authentic because it is much easier to find your audience if you have a good grasp of who you really are and where you want to be.

Write down your answers to the following questions:

  • What industries are you most interested in?
  • What are you passionate about?

Steps to Building a Strong Personal Brand What Industries

Step 3: Know your skills

Skills are particularly important to your personal branding success. More often than not, they are on the frontline when promoting yourself.

Take an inventory of all the skills you have acquired in life. Focus on those skills and make sure to nurture those you think your target audience can benefit from.

Write down your answers to the following questions:

  • What are your skills?
  • What are your training, credentials, certifications, or awards?
  • What are your skills that your target audience can benefit from?

Steps to Building a Strong Personal Brand Your Skills

Step 4: Know your traits

Knowing your personality traits is important so you would have an idea which ones to nurture and leverage and which ones to work on.

According to MIT, there are 638 primary positive personality traits.
The Big Five personality traits are:

  • Openness to experience
  • Conscientiousness
  • Extraversion
  • Agreeable
  • Neuroticism

Steps to Building a Strong Personal Brand Openness

If you still do not know what your dominant personality traits are, you can take this personality test from the Open Source Psychometry Project.

Step 5: Create your personal brand vision

After carefully assessing your existing assets, the next thing to do is to sort out your thoughts and come up with a personal brand vision.

What is a personal brand vision?

It is the way you want your audience to see you, and how you want to live your personal and professional life going forward.
Write down your answers to the following questions:

Your personal brand vision is the way you want your audience to see you.Click To Tweet
  • What do you want to be known for?
  • What legacy are you leaving?
  • What do you want your target audience to perceive you?
Steps to Building a Strong Personal Brand Known for
Step 6: Create your personal brand mission

Your personal brand mission is simply your goals and objectives.

Write down your answers to the following questions:

  • Why do you want to develop a personal brand?
  • What is your purpose?
  • What do you want to accomplish?
  • Who do you want to influence?
Step 7: Create your personal brand statement/message

Your personal brand message is used to communicate your vision and mission.

One easy way to create your brand message is to make a positioning statement.

A positioning statement (or elevator pitch as others would like to call it) is a brief, persuasive speech you use to tell others about yourself.

An effective positioning statement should include how you can solve someone’s problem (benefit-centered) apart from who you are and what you do.

When creating a positioning statement, make sure to include your value proposition or something that your target audience can benefit from.

Put your audience first. That way you can focus on what you can bring to the table.

Put your audience first. That way you can focus on what you can bring to the table.Click To Tweet

A positioning statement should not be generic; it should be clearly defined and unique in order for you to stand out.
Tip:

  • Use a one-sentence statement if possible.
  • Use verbs to describe what you do (job title).
  • Avoid jargon, acronyms, and overused adjectives (think strategic, motivated, driven).

Personal Brand Statement Examples

Here are some good personal brand statement examples to inspire you:

Graham Keen

“We are positive psychologists who engineer long lasting positive change in corporates, mostly Fortune Global 1000.”

Graham Keen and company is ultra-specific who they intend to work with by bringing up Fortune Global 1000. Being clear and specific with who your target customers are, eliminates the unsuitable right off the bat.

Dave Nelson

“I believe in you…Now you must believe in yourself.”

Dave Nelson is a certified personal trainer who helps obese clients lose some weight.

As someone who struggled with obesity in the past, Dave uses the “been-there” approach to encourage his clients and prospects that mental shift is needed to achieve their desired results.

Sofia Crokos

“Sophisticated. Authentic. Timeless.”

Sofia Crokos is a New York-based celebrity wedding planner whose clientele includes Robert Downey, Jr. and Marc Anthony.

Sofia’s personal brand statement example proves that sometimes you don’t need to explain yourself in long paragraphs to win your dream customers. It only takes three simple words to encapsulate what Sofia’s event management service offers.

Sujan Patel

“I grow companies.”

Another succinct personal brand statement example is from Sujan Patel, a digital marketer whose clientele includes several Fortune 500 companies.

Sujan’s personal brand statement is bold and straightforward enough to tell prospects what he offers. It’s a pie-crust promise, but he has the data to back it up.

Anne Handley

“Empowering ridiculously good marketing.”

Anne Handley is considered one of the pillars of modern marketing. Anne’s short personal brand statement example clearly shows what she does (empowering), a benefit she delivers (ridiculously good), and her industry (marketing).

It’s another proof that you don’t really need a four-sentence paragraph to introduce who you are and what you can bring to the table.

Personal Brand Examples From Scratch

Need some inspiration?

A lot of big-time influencers today have established their names from scratch.

Here are personal brand examples from four of the most successful influencers who have leveraged the power of the internet:

Guy Kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki is one of the first real social media influencers. He has an estimated net worth of $30 million.

Kawasaki is the chief evangelist at Canva. He has millions of social media followers. He gets invited to every business publication you can think of. All these without writing a book or building a company prior to his prominence.

How did he do it?

He used Twitter to advance his personal brand and attract followers.

“A large social media presence is important because it’s one of the last ways to conduct cost-effective marketing. Everything else involves buying eyeballs and ears. Social media enables a small business to earn eyeballs and ears.” – Guy Kawasaki

Steps to Building a Strong Personal Brand Guy Kawasaki

Neil Patel

Neil Patel is one of the most successful early adopters of online marketing.

How did Neil grow his personal brand?

Through consistent blogging, daily podcast, weekly video content, speaking engagements, and weekly guest posting, among other things.

Currently, Neil is drawing nearly 2 million views to his website every month.

Neil is now facing literally thousands of competitors who spends and earns more advertising budgets than him.
But what sets Neil apart is his transparency and his crazy obsession with quality.

Neil has built multiple businesses that are as successful as his name.

“All content is not created equal. Some content will go viral, generating tons of hot traffic to your blog, while other content will be lost in the archives. If you want more of the first kind, you’ve got to put your readers first.” – Neil Patel

Steps to Building a Strong Personal Brand Neil Patel

Ramit Sethi

Ramit Sethi became the favorite personal finance guru after publishing his best-selling book on personal finance called I Will Teach You To Be Rich in 2009. Today, Ramit’s blog has amassed over 23 million readers and loyal followers.

Sure, Ramit’s success can be attributed in large part to his book. But unlike many other authors with best-selling books under their belt, Ramit has managed to keep his massive following by continually providing valuable and actionable advice.

“Too many people in business are afraid to be known for one thing. They are scared that if they focus on something specific, they are closing the doors on other things.” – Ramit Sethi

2. Know Your Target Audience

Creating a Guide for Building a Personal Brand Your Audience

You’re pretty clear with your foundations–your values, passions, skills, traits, vision, mission, and message. It’s time to create a solid game plan.

Your game plan should start with knowing who your target audience is.Click To Tweet You need to be very clear about who you want to become your audience to achieve your personal branding mission and vision.

“One of the biggest mistakes that budding personal branders make is trying to appeal to everyone. Think about the game of darts: You have to aim in order to hit the board. (If you let your darts go without aiming them, you probably won’t be very popular.) If you hit the board, you score. And if your aim is very good and you hit the bull’s eye, even better!” – Susan Chritton, Personal Branding for Dummies

How to Define Your Target Audience

Creating a Guide for Building a Personal Brand Your Audience
When you are developing your personal brand your audience should be at the top of your mind. There are three kinds of people you want to target, as follows:

  • The person who will pay you
  • The person who influences the person who pays you
  • Your supporters

To know your target audience, ask these following questions:

Question #1: Who can elevate your professional or personal goals?

Pin down the person who is in charge of the next Step in your career.
Ideally, the person who will pay you is your main target. But who is it? Is it an investor? A client? A boss? A dream customer?

Question #2: What does this person look like?

Describe your target audience. The more detailed and vivid, the easier it is to pick the right audience.

Then, create an audience persona (or a few of them) with the following details:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Company
  • Position
  • Job description
  • Hobbies
  • Etc.

Dig deeper. Again, the more details, the better. If you want to use photos for your personas, do it–anything that will make your target audience closer to reality.

Question #3: How can you help this person?

After building your target audience’s persona, you should be able to know what wakes them up in the morning. What motivates them?

If you can find real people based on your created persona, go talk to them and learn their problems, frustrations, struggles, and goals.
From there, come up with ways to help them achieve their goals or purpose. That will fulfill yours too.

3. Build Your Online Assets

Creating a Guide for Building a Personal Brand Online Assets

This is where it gets a little techie. Building your online assets means setting up your personal brand website and social media accounts and taking care of your personal brand photography and logo.

If you think this is too much to handle, you can just hire people to do all these tasks for you. But you really have to work hand in hand because it’s your personal brand on the line.

If you want to take matters into your own hands, stick around.
In the next sections, we will bang out all the details on how to get your online presence off the ground.

Some of the things you will learn later include:

  • Content strategy
  • Social media strategy
  • Media outreach

Create Social Profiles

Creating a Guide for Building a Personal Brand Social Profiles

Today, social profiles are a no-brainer. You probably have them already.

Social profiles are as important as your personal website. You can use it to reach out to your audience, to share valuable content, and as proof of your existence.

In case you don’t have them yet, I’ll teach you the fastest way to build your social profiles at once.

If you have a common name, chances are your name has already been used or registered.

Tip: Use KnowEm or Namechk to check if the username you intend to use on social accounts is available. Also, you can use these tools to check if a domain name is out there for the taking.

You don’t really need to be everywhere on the web. But it pays to leverage these platforms to your advantage.

To maximize your reach, take time researching where your target audience usually hangs out. That’ll save you an awful lot of time and helps prevent targeting the wrong audience.
Here are the most important social media, networking, forums, and bookmarking platforms to help you build your personal brand:

Again, you don’t need each and every social platform out there. Know where your audience hangs out to prevent using the wrong platforms.

Set Up a Personal Brand Website

Creating a Guide for Building a Personal Brand Website

Your personal brand website is your face in the online world which makes it a really crucial aspect of your brand strategy.

Your social profiles are important too. But due to the constant algorithm changes and updates of social media platforms, it makes it more difficult for you to keep up.

Whereas, your personal brand website is yours and yours alone. You own the content, and you have complete control over it.

Right now, let’s focus on buying you a domain name, finding a reliable web host, and setting up your website.

Note that this is a really basic guide to building a personal brand website, just to give you an idea of the whole process.

If you want a step-by- Step guide on how to set up a personal brand website from the ground up, there are tons of available resources out there to walk you through the process.

Step 1: Check domain name availability

Your domain name is important in your personal branding strategy. I suggest getting an exact-match domain for your brand name. People tend to trust a website more with a domain that matches the name of the person.

However, you need to know whether or not your name or preferred domain name is available. Use Check Domain or Instant Domain Search to look up the availability of your domain name.

Step 2: Buy a domain name

Once your preferred domain name is available, you can purchase it from domain registrars and hosting service providers like:

These web hosts also offer a free domain name if you choose to host your domain with them. They also offer generous discounts so be sure to check that out.

Step 3: Set up a website

For beginners, I highly recommend WordPress as your content management system as it’s easier to navigate. Around 33% of websites are built on WordPress for what it’s worth.

BlueHost and DreamHost has a one-click WordPress install which automatically registers your domain to the platform after buying a hosting plan with them. That will save you a lot of time if you don’t know the nitty-gritty of installing WordPress and building a website.

Step 4: Choose a theme

WordPress has tons of both free and premium themes available. This year’s default WordPress theme (called Twenty Nineteen) is actually a pretty decent place to start. It is highly customizable and has all the basic functionality you need.

Customize your theme’s color, background, fonts, etc. to match your personal brand to a tee.

Step 5: Add content

As soon as your personal brand website is up and running, you’re ready to add more content. Make sure to prioritize your Home and About pages, as they are the first pages your audience will visit.

On your home page, make sure to have the following key elements:

  • A professional logo
  • Your professional photos
  • Social proof (media, testimonials)
  • Clear call-to-action buttons

Later on, you can add valuable content like blogs, case studies, white papers, etc. at your audience’s disposal. Learn more about content and social media strategy later as we have a dedicated section for that.

If you want to easily customize your website pages or create stunning landing pages, you can use drag-and-drop page builders to do that.

Some popular page builders for WordPress are:
Remember, content isn’t text-based alone. It could also be:

  • Beaver Builder
  • The Divi Builder
  • Elementor
  • SiteOrigin

Invest in Personal Brand Photography

Creating a Guide for Building a Personal Brand Photography

Personal brand photography is necessary if you want your visuals to help communicate the personality of your brand.

It makes good first impressions. In fact, personal brand photography impacts the buying decision of consumers.

In today’s’ more visual world, under-utilizing your photography assets can be a costly mistake. That’s why I highly recommend investing in personal brand photography to give your message more dimension to it.

You can use your photos throughout all your marketing strategies. Here are a few places to maximize your investment in personal branding photography

1. Your website
Putting professionally done photos all over your website can immediately create trust. In addition, the visuals tell the story of your business, your brand, and your value proposition.

More than anything else, your headshot is the most important of all your website photos. Remember, people do business with people, not the business.

2. Your social media profiles
Use the same headshot or any variations as your profile photo across all your social media accounts. Your photos prove your legitimacy one way or another.

Avoid changing photos too frequently. Stick with a certain photo for a long time, just enough to make people remember you by your photos.

3. Your newsletters and e-blasts
Make it a point to show your face on your email newsletters and email blasts every time. It makes your readers feel more connected.

4. Your press releases
If you’re pushing out press releases, you are one Step closer to attracting press coverage.

Attaching at least one personal brand photo make you look more credible. Don’t blow your chances just because you don’t have one or have amateur photos.

5. Landing pages
Your sales and any landing pages should have your photo on them.

This can lead to a better conversion rate.

6. Your email signature
Text-based emails are often too dull and boring to look at. Adding a photo in your email signature allows your brand to stand out, helping people to remember you.

7. Your guest posts
Once you start submitting guest posts on digital magazines, blogs, and other websites, send the same photo as you use on your social media and website. It makes you easier to recognize once a reader visits all your online channels.

Other marketing collaterals where you can use your personal brand photos include rack cards, brochures, mailers, and business cards.
Create a Personal Brand Logo

A personal brand logo is essential to keep your identity more recognizable. It adds a new dimension to your identity; it’s an extension of your ethos and character.

But do you really need a personal brand logo? Absolutely!

Think of it this way. You cannot use your name and your photo all the time. It would be weird to see your face as a watermark, right?
With a personal brand logo, even without your name and face, people can instantly tell that it’s you.

You know it’s Nike when you see the swoosh. You know it’s Adidas when you see the three stripes. The same as the half-bitten apple.

When creating a personal brand logo, make sure it’s consistent with your brand color and audience. Otherwise, your personal brand logo might do a disservice to your overall brand.

4. Create a Content Strategy

At this point, you’re ready to showcase your expertise, experience, and personality through blogging. But you can’t just go to war without a good plan in place.

Distributing valuable free content is an effective strategy to build your personal brand. It’s a great way to earn the trust of your target audience, thereby putting you in a good position.

It’s not a coincidence that content champions like Neil Patel, Gary Vaynerchuck, and Marie Forleo continue to produce high-quality, actionable content on a regular basis even if they have reached the peak of their careers as influencers. Content helps them nurture their audience.

Remember, content isn’t text-based alone. It could also be:

  1. Videos
  2. Podcasts
  3. Webinars
  4. Infographics
  5. Online courses
  6. Ebooks
  7. Whitepapers
  8. Case studies
  9. PDF guides, checklists, worksheets
  10. Slideshows

Your goal when distributing content is to attract the attention of people who can pay you. Without strategies, it can get tricky. Here’s how to create a good content strategy.

Step 1: Do a keyword research

In addition, do keyword research to find out which phrases are often searched on Google and other search engines.
Popular keyword research tools include:

  1. Google Keyword Planner
  2. BuzzSumo
  3. Answer The Public

In addition, Quora is a good place to start finding commonly asked questions related to your niche. Make sure that the people asking the questions match the profile of your target audience.

Step 2: Create a list of topics

Use the keywords to come up with topics that matter to your target audience.

List all potential topics that can answer the questions and solve the problems of your target audience. Use tools like Google Sheets and Trello to organize all your topics.

The latest happenings in your industry are also good topic ideas. You can provide insights into these events and what it means for your audience.

Later on, you can repurpose the best-performing content to zero in on generating more traffic.

Step 3: Think content syndication

Once you start writing your content, consider pushing your content out to third parties who can re-publish your content.

I’m not just talking about social media and forums. These platforms only share a tiny bit of the entire article and points it back to your website. And that’s not a bad thing–it’s still traffic.

However, you want to republish your content on platforms like LinkedIn, Pulse and Medium. These are a great place to bring your content closer to your audience or where they hang out. Make sure though to link back to the original post and state that the content is originally published on your blog to avoid tagging it as duplicate.

5. Create a Social Media Strategy

Social media channels are instrumental in spreading your message and your personal brand wider.

While Facebook is different from Instagram, so is Twitter from LinkedIn, you need to keep your voice, tone, and personality on brand, in sync across all social channels.
Here are some guidelines to help you with your social media strategy:

Guideline #1: Know your social channel

Decide which social channels you are going to focus on. Make sure to know their strengths. Once again, focus on channels where your target audience hangs out.

Avoid posting anything that would appear inappropriate to your audience. Avoid posting too personal stuff, the kind that’s way off your audience’s concerns.

Guideline #2: Beef up your social channels

Update your social media profiles. Use the same professional profile photo and color scheme across all your social channels.
Make sure to add all the necessary details that identify your personal brand.
If you have old accounts, update or delete them. Search through old posts from years ago and remove those that go against your personal brand. You don’t want your insensitive old self to bite you in the butt, do you?

Guideline #3: Automate your social channels

Manually managing all your social media accounts takes a huge chunk of your time.
Leverage automation tools like Buffer, Sprout, Hootsuite, and CoSchedule to schedule and publish posts on multiple channels at the same time. These tools support major social channels like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

When scheduling or posting, make sure to split test and analyze what time your audience interact with you more, what time your posts get more likes, what tags get more engagements and other factors like that.

Guideline #4: Post regularly

Share helpful articles from your blog on a regular basis to showcase your expertise.

In addition, repost other websites’ content as well if you see fit to give variety to your posts.

Your posts must give benefits to your audience.

Work on your captions. They are as important as photos or videos.
You don’t want to be overbearing by posting more than 10 times a day. Limit your posts to around 3-4 daily.

Guideline #5: Interact with your audience

Don’t treat social channels as a podium where only you are speaking. Think of it as a network of friends. It’s called social after all.

As much as possible, respond to comments and answer questions of your audiences.

Guideline #6: Join groups

Facebook and LinkedIn have groups that share the same interests as yours.

Join as many groups as possible. It will help you market yourself and find more meaningful connections. But be sure to abide by the rules to avoid being banned or kicked out.

6. Put Yourself Out There

Now, this, my friend, is the trickiest part of the personal branding process, especially if you’re building it from scratch.

Your website, blog, and social channels are at the core of your personal branding efforts. But without outside exposure, it’s harder to make it work with these platforms alone.

This is where outreach, guest blogging, and getting press coverage come in really handy.

How to Make Connections and Build a Network

Outreach is the act of tapping individuals or businesses with established audiences filled with people you want to reach. It’s an opportunity for you to sell yourself to the audiences in exchange for providing value.

Step 1: Engage with people on social media, groups, and forums

Social media is on the frontline when looking to connect with new people and make connections.

You can find people with the same interests as yours in social media groups and forums.

It can also be a place where you can build a following for your personal brand.

Look through your LinkedIn connections for leads–potential employers, business partners, clients, investors, and more. You can also join LinkedIn groups to find people in your industry.

The same with Facebook. Groups are the best place to meet people in your industry and see who are actually active and engaging.

On Twitter, you can find meaningful relationships by just looking at the timeline of your followers or people you follow. If someone fits your target audience’s persona, reach out by starting an intriguing conversation. Remember, common interests matter.

Step 2: Attend local events

Local events are a great place to connect with people and build solid professional relationships. Face-to-face interactions increase your chances for more opportunities.

Where do you find local events?

Pretty much anywhere on the internet. Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, forums, and more. A quick Google search (like Dallas business events) and platforms like Eventbrite and Eventful make it easier for you to find local events near you.

Remember, don’t just network. Make friends with speakers, influencers, and anyone who you think can help you level up your branding game.

How to Start Guest Posting

Guest posting or guest blogging is a great way to gain backlinks to your website. But more than gaining links, it’s important to provide real value to the audience through high-quality guest posts.

You can build a great reputation for your personal brand through guest postings.

You can write guest posts for SEO and branding purposes. However, make sure the website you’ll be writing for is relevant to your personal brand. That is, avoid fitness websites if you’re in the finance industry.

Here’s how to start guest posting:

Step 1: Find websites that accept guest posts

Use social media and search engines to find the top websites in your industry. Usually, they all have blog sections.

Visit their website and find pages like “Write for Us” or “Contribute” to reach out and express your intent to write for them.
If you can’t find these pages, look for contact forms or email addresses of editors where you can contact them or send in your pitch.

Note that bigger websites are more picky about the people they let guest post. If you’re experienced in the industry, you have a good shot at getting accepted.

Some great websites that accept guest posts are:

  • Forbes.com
  • Entrepreneur.com
  • HuffPost.com

Step 2: How to Write Guest Posts

Some websites accept already-written articles, while others require pitches first.

Regardless, your goal should be to write valuable content in your industry. Thin, low-quality website will just hurt your reputation in the long run.

Once you get a nod from a website, make sure to backread through the blogs and look for topics that haven’t been written yet.
If something’s quite popular, you know that’s a great topic idea. You want to create something around that particular topic and provide your own spin on it.

Use Ahrefs to check a blog URL’s popularity, including the backlinks, social shares, traffic, and other stats.

How to Get Press Coverage

Getting press coverage (either interviews or mentions) further solidifies your personal branding strategy and your position in the industry.

It’s a whole new ball game. You get access to more audiences full of people who can hire you as a consultant, partner, or employee. Greater opportunities will start knocking at your door.

But getting free press coverage isn’t a walk in the park. Aside from your experience, skill set, and your existing assets, you need a robust profile and grit to make it happen.
So, how do you do that?

Step 1: Join relevant organizations

Being a part of an official organization in your industry help you bolster your image and credibility. It’s a form of social proof that recognizes your expertise and backs up your accomplishments.

Step 2: Give free seminars/webinars

Hold a free seminar/webinar at a local college or on Facebook to talk about your industry or things you can help your audience with. You can put it on your profile to gain access to press interviews.

Step 3: Use PR outreach

Write press releases about your brand or company and distribute it to PR companies like PR Newswire, PRWeb, Newswire, and PR.com. You can also use HARO (Help A Reporter Out) and ProfNet to connect you with journalists for free coverage.

7. Find Yourself a Mentor

The personal branding process can really be tough, especially for someone who has to climb from the lowest rung of the ladder.

Try looking for someone who can help you through the process from the beginning.
When finding a mentor, he/she should look like you. And what I mean by that is:

  • You have the same vision and mission
  • You share common interests and passions.
  • You are both in the same industry.
  • You both resonate with your message and brand.

Why should you get a mentor?

I’ve got five reasons for you.

  • A mentor can polish your business ideas.
  • A mentor can help you learn a new field or trade.
  • A mentor can tell you what not to do.
  • A mentor can help you network with very important people in your industry.
  • A mentor can push you, inspire you, and help you keep focused.

If you think you don’t need one, know that many of the world’s most successful people have mentors.

Bill Gates had Dr. Ed Roberts, Steve Jobs had Robert Friedland. Warren Buffett had Benjamin Graham. Mark Zuckerberg had Steve Jobs.

8. Host a Virtual Summit

Creating a Guide for Building a Personal Host

Virtual summits have become one of the most effective digital lead generation strategies today.

Both experienced and new small business owners and entrepreneurs can take advantage of this powerful marketing tool.

What Is a Virtual Summit?

A virtual summit is an online gathering where a host virtually sits together with a panel of experts in your industry and discusses with them relevant, up-to-date topics for your audience.
Like a real-life summit or any gathering of experts, virtual summits involve a collection of online presentations.

Why Host a Virtual Summit

Hosting a virtual summit is not only good for your bottom line, but it can also help your personal brand in more ways than one.

1. Virtual summits increase your personal brand exposure

Hosting a virtual summit can attract hundreds or even thousands of attendees, even if you are a first-time organizer. A successful virtual summit guarantees your personal brand’s exposure thanks to your speakers and attendees word of mouth.

2. Virtual summits expand your knowledge base

Dealing with industry experts behind the curtain allows you to pick their brain and gain fresh insights. It’s something you could very well use for your personal brand.

3. Virtual summits grow your network

Having some behind-the-scenes time with your guest speakers gives you the opportunity to advance your personal brand and establish or strengthen your relationship with key individuals. Not only that, your chances for referrals are quite high.

4. Virtual summits generate leads
As a business owner or entrepreneur hosting the event, it enables you to leverage the success of experts to build your email list. Take into account the entirely new audience your speakers might be bringing to your doorstep.

We have created a comprehensive guide on how you can host a virtual summit in 90 days. If you’re interested in learning more, I suggest you check out the guide.

Conclusion

Building a personal brand is about piecing together the aspects of your personality and presenting yourself in the best light possible. It means you are highlighting your core strengths and values.

Building a personal brand is about piecing together the aspects of your personality and presenting yourself in the best light possible.Click To Tweet

Sure, it can be daunting. But in today’s cutthroat industries where many people look a lot like they are cut from the same cloth, you have no other choice but to stand out.

It’s not your IQ or hard work that sets you apart from your competitors. Many people have those. It’s your personal brand that makes yourself a cut above the rest.

As an entrepreneur, don’t use your personal brand to feed your ego. Use it to open more doors for you and help you make more money.

What about you? Why do want to build your personal brand? Leave your thoughts in the comments. Got questions? Let me know too.

If this personal branding guide helped you, I would appreciate it if you share this article.

How to Build a Strong Personal Brand from Scratch

 

Mentor: Liam Austin

Co-founder of EntrepreneursHQ, host of 15 virtual summits and founder of the Virtual Summit Academy.