So you want to become an influencer? Congratulations!
Now for the big question – what is it that you want to be influential about?
Defining your personal brand and determining what it is you want to be known for is an essential strategy for success. Don’t skimp on this part, or you’ll be setting yourself up to fail.
Take the time to really consider what it is you are building your influence for and get it right. You are in effect, laying the foundation for what you want to be known for.
A great brand starts with understanding who you are, what you stand for, who your audience will be and clever marketing.
There is a misconception that building a personal brand means creating a persona, which is inaccurate if you want to create authenticity. A ‘persona’ by definition is; a façade, a deceptive outward appearance and not a true definition of who you are and what you stand for.
Branding is not about positioning yourself as something you are not. It is about showcasing your authentic self to your audience and should be a true reflection of your skills, passions, beliefs and values.
Anyone with access to the internet can build an audience and attract a following, but 9 times out of 10 they will be unsuccessful if they do not have a strong enough brand to differentiate themselves in their chosen field and engage followers.
People are more interested in following other people than they are in following specific companies. By having a strong personal brand, you will in turn increase exposure for your company and hopefully increase profitability.
Why Micro Matters
The best personal brands come from carving a niche within your niche to create a microniche.
Narrowing down your microniche might be tricky, but get it right and you won’t look back.
The point of a microniche is to make you stand out in a crowd, and to make it much easier to be influential within that chosen space. The best personal brands are very specific. This makes it easier for people to remember who you are.
For example, a Podcaster who makes an audio or video recording and posts it online – is a broad niche. But a Podcaster who makes recordings about True Crime stories and posts them online is a microniche. My point is, becoming influential in such a broad sense is very difficult.
By knowing what your microniche is and creating a strong personal brand around this microniche, not only will this make it much easier to connect with your community, it will also be easier to create content and manage your personal brand if you are master in your field.
Once you have pinpointed what your microniche is, it will help you to achieve some real clarity to start building your influence around something you will be passionate about for years to come (as long as it will generate revenue) and become influential within the sphere of your natural talents.
It would be hard work to forge a passion in something you don’t believe in and as the saying goes, do what you love and you will never work a day in your life.
Benefits Of Building A Strong Personal Brand
Having a strong personal brand helps to build trust with your audience and position you as a leader in your industry.
When you have a strong personal brand that clearly defines who you are and what you stand for, it enables people to identify the value in connecting with you – attracting more clients online and offline – quickly and effectively.
With so much content and businesses starting up, competition is fierce. This is where it’s important to start on the front foot and create a strong personal brand that will last.
Believe in yourself – live and breathe your brand. If you don’t believe in yourself – why would anyone else? Think of your personal brand as your shadow. It follows you everywhere you go. It needs to be an honest manifestation of who you are. It’s a lifelong project that will be with you every waking hour.
Defining Your Personal Brand
Identify Your Audience
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as you build your personal brand is to try to appeal to everybody. Choose your target audience and build a brand that is attractive to them. You don’t need to appeal to everyone to build a successful business, you simply need to reach your perfect clients. If you try to appeal to everybody, you appeal to nobody.
Have A Clear Message
Decide what your key message is and stick to it. Creating content around your personal brand and keeping your message focussed for your target demographic is the key to engaging your community. Reinforce your message regularly, define who you are and why you matter and you will become prominent and highly influential in your industry.
Share Your Knowledge
Speak openly and honestly, be genuine and authentic – basically, be you. Tell your story and build a true narrative that envelopes your brand. Be raw, be relatable. Create a story your tribe can engage with. Some of the most effective ways to tell your story are through written content or video.
LinkedIn provides a free platform for you to communicate online through these channels to make a personal connection. Maximise the tools available to you and use them to share your story openly. Tell people how you can be beneficial to them.
Create Engaging Content
Influence comes from your ability to create a powerful online presence by means of effective content creation. If you know how to create original and engaging content and do it consistently, you will have an unprecedented opportunity to become one of the very few people – one of just 0.02 percent of all people on LinkedIn – with the ability to generate real influence. Content marketing works!
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