In this post, I want to talk about why you have to learn marketing for your personal brand.
If you’re new to building a personal brand or setting up a website, this is really important. Even though I’ve been at this for several years, one thing that still sticks out in my mind is the distinction between having a website and a personal brand versus having an actual business.
What does it mean to build a personal brand online?
If you are trying to build a personal brand online, you’re likely trying to get some exposure for the expertise that you have. You’re trying to reach out to your target audience that you’re trying to provide value and services to. More importantly, having a personal brand gives you that authority if you’re trying to change careers, get a promotion, or start an online business.
Whatever your goal is for your personal brand, the #1 thing you need when putting yourself online is to have a marketing plan.
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How can you market your personal brand?
You don’t have to be a marketing expert, but at a bare minimum, you should know some of the fundamentals to digital marketing and how to really build and engage your audience. One of those things is utilizing email marketing and building your list early.
Many online brands, entrepreneurs, and solopreneurs make use of email marketing. I listen to a lot of podcasts, and one of the things they point out is, you have to have email marketing and you have to start building your list. I listen to Chris Ducker from Youpreneur and to Pat Flynn from Ask Pat and Smart Passive Income, and the mindset they have every time they talk about list building is, “I wish I started sooner.”
Why is Email Marketing important for your personal brand?
I actually agree with this mindset. When I started learning how to build WordPress websites and getting involved with digital marketing, I really didn’t focus on trying to build an email list.
But, why is that important?
It’s important because, first and foremost, every time you come out with a new blog post, podcast, or any new content on your website, you won’t have that network or that audience to share it with.
Some people might say, “Well, why does it even matter? I’ve got Facebook. I’ve got Twitter. I’ve got all these other social media channels to reach out to people.” Well, this might not be enough.
Why are social media channels not enough?
The number one reason is that you don’t own those channels. So, for some reason, if Facebook or any of these social media channels doesn’t like what you post, they can decide to remove your post or shut your account down. If that happens, you automatically lose your communication line to reach out to your audience. It actually happens more than you think, especially depending upon the types of content that you post.
By building your own email list, you can directly communicate via email to your audience and have them take action. You can have them go back to your website or to click on a link to a page that you’d like to promote.
With email marketing, you control the message, the content, and the ultimate call-to-action of where you want to send them. So, I definitely highly recommend it.
How can you get started with Email Marketing?
If you don’t have a marketing plan, the first thing to do is to start by thinking about and then taking action on choosing an email service provider.
I use ConvertKit for building my email list, and I love it because it’s so easy to use. There’s actually a million and one email marketing service providers out there. If you’re looking for one to start for free, you can also start with Mailchimp. It’s another one where you don’t have to pay for anything to start up front and start building your list.
What are the advantages of marketing your personal brand?
When you start creating content for your site and nobody’s commenting or seen them, it can be deflating to know that you’re taking all this effort to build your blog, your content, and your website and nobody’s listening, commenting, or you don’t have the traffic that you want. You need to market your brand, so that your audience can consume the content and you can actually serve people.
Of course, you have to provide value with your content, but being able to give yourself a marketing channel, such as email marketing, to be able to communicate with your audience and continue that conversation offline really pays off.
You can find out what pains they’re having to further define your audience and to further define the problems that they’re having. From this, you can create opt-ins or lead magnets, maybe a free PDF guide, to help give your audience some quick actionable tips, so that they can find some sort of success immediately.
When you do that, you’re building that brand authority and you’re building that brand trust. It will go a long way in not just building your business, but also with building that relationship with other people in your niche.
Building your brand, of course, takes time.
Unfortunately, a lot of people look at online brand building as something that should be instantaneous because we live in a time and in a culture where everything is at the tip of our fingers. But with brand building, you have to have the patience to do it, to stick with it, and to pivot when necessary.
A good example is a website I have called Blackbelt Entrepreneur. Right now, I’m going through a pretty big rebrand and moving away from that site. Not because I don’t believe in the mission because I obviously do. I still am creating content for it, but I’m taking personal branding to another level by using my own name dannyjliu.com. This is so that I can have a more personal relationship and connection with my audience.
Now, this brings us to the question…
Should you use your own name for your brand?
There’s really no wrong way to go about it.
In my case, Blackbelt Entrepreneur is more of a generic brand, but with dannyjliu.com, I can use some of those other strategies to create courses that have my name to them rather than a website.
Now, there are a lot of other personalities out there, like Pat Flynn from SmartPassiveIncome.com, who have built brands around a different name other than their own. However, if you ask them if they would’ve done it differently, sometimes they say, “Yeah, I probably would’ve tried branding my name because doing it after all this time is a little bit harder.” This may not be the case if you’re an A-list blogger. Still, it just goes to show you that the grass is always going to be greener on the other side.
I recommend starting with your name because if you’re having a hard time trying to come up with a crafty and clever name for a website, you could use your own name or some variation of it just to get started. As you move along, you can come up with crafty, clever names that would befit your niche.
Remember, building your personal brand is a long-term commitment…
Building a brand takes a lot of time and effort. You’ve got to look at it as this is a life-long thing. If you really want to build a brand, it’s not going to ever stop. It’s always going to be this constant improvement effort that you have to take in order to build that authority, to build that expertise, and to build those connections.
Your audience is not just people who are on your email list. They are also people that you encounter and connect with in your everyday life. I know a lot of people who are not on my email list whom I connect to in social media.
There’s different channels that you have to continue working on in order to reach out and just to connect to people on a human level. Whether or not they subscribe to your email list, that’s not important. The important thing is that you’re making those real connections.
If you have the money as you build your brand and your business to invest in virtual assistants, that’s going to go a long way for you as well. This way, you can outsource a lot of marketing tasks and some other daily tasks, so you can focus on creating more content, networking, or attending in-person events to further promote yourself and your brand.
So, in summary, learning marketing at a fundamental level at least is very important.
I hope this has helped you get started with marketing and building your personal brand. If you have any comments, questions, or feedback, feel free to leave them in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you. 🙂