We live in a time where people can monetize themselves, their assets and their skills and make a decent living off of becoming a brand in their own right. From 2018 onwards, personal branding has taken off into a whole new direction, with micro-influencers gaining traction faster than ever, and the definition of the word ‘celebrity’ keeps on expanding.
Now more than ever, influential personalities from various backgrounds and mediums of media are chosen to endorse fantastical products that might not have had a market in the previous decade, but can now make decent profits thanks to the notoriously vapid social media influencer consumer culture. People buy from those they want to emulate, and that is an influencers’ lifeline, it keeps them afloat and most importantly- relevant.
Launching a personal brand from scratch might seem scary as first, but it’s not as hard as it looks. There is room for almost any kind of talent or skill- whether you are working on screen, from behind the computer or a camera. You can make a splash, with a fresh start.
Here are a few things you can do to take off smoothly while launching your personal brand in 2019:
Forget Being Camera-Shy, Be Camera Ready
Human beings have a tendency to play it safe, especially when starting off on new ventures. You might feel safer hiding behind your camera- but you need to get out of your comfort zone and face the lens head on. Instead of wasting your energy trying to manufacture a perfect image, develop a convincing on-screen persona that gives people what they crave the most- a connection. Build a relationship with your audience, which in turn will help you develop an organic following and a surefire boost to sell your personal brand to a much wider-reaching audience. Your onscreen presence will just serve as an amplifier for your brand.
Be Woke- Be Culturally Relevant and Respectful
If you come from a culturally diverse background or ethnicity, don’t mellow out your flavor just to appeal to the masses- spice it up. Stitch your background and personal history into the canvas of your brand and make it a personal part of your appeal. When you speak to your audience from the perspective of your own culture, you come off as a more genuine, open and warm person willing to let others into your experiences. Share the good and the bad with them, from your local customs and traditions, to the kind of food you eat and the holidays you celebrate. Your personal brand can become a positive representation of that community, and can teach others about cultures that they otherwise might not have known about. Patch together your upbringing with what is relevant today and you will have an approachable personal brand.
Create and Market Your Own Online Products
The best part about being online is that you don’t have to have tangible products to sell in order to make money. You can sell skills, in the form of online courses, master classes or exclusive content by creating the same kind of urgency in your audience, which compels them to make in-app purchases in videogames or online universes. You appeal to their sense of want rather than need. And you make your personal brand into a personal aspiration for your audience. You can grow your personal brand audience through various social mediums, from Instagram to LinkedIn- depending on your demographic. You want to stick to a subject that you feel you are the best at, and create a product which is both meaningful and real. If it lacks these elements, it will not work.
Never underestimate the power of engagement- the higher your reach, the wider your scope of possibilities.
What’s Your Identifier?
In a world where buzzwords and catchphrases define personalities, you need to find an adjective for your personal brand that you feel can become your identifier. Make sure that adjective perfectly defines your personality, that each piece of content you create is true to that adjective and your brand and the persona that you have created is the epitome of that word. You can start off by creating two or three keywords for your brand. These words should be able to communicate your tangible skills and soft skills. Your tangible skills are those that you can list on a resume (Making videos, editing, writing, and creating) and soft skills can range from anything from your ability to make the perfect scrambled eggs or winning impromptu rap battles. The more these words are a reflection of your personality the better. They can help create a filter for you which can help you streamline your content and make your personal brand stand out from the crowd.
What Have We Learnt?
By now, it should be clear that the hardest part is taking the first step. Curating a beneficial personal brand in 2019 is pretty simple once you know where to begin. All you need to do, is simply start.