Personal branding refers to the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands. It’s the building of your personality in an online format. According to “Brand Yourself”, a personal brand should reflect your actual personality and should not be an idealised version of who you are.
This quote works for personal branding just as well as corporate branding. Your personal brand is what enables you to distinguish yourself from the competition.
It’s what you stand for.
What you’re all about.
The core of who you are as a person.
Your personal brand is your secret sauce, the thing that sets you apart from everyone else. It’s what makes you unique.
And it allows you to charge a premium for your services.
The more you focus on your personal brand, the more visible you become, and the more you become known as the expert in your field. The more you’re known as an expert, the more opportunities come your way.
So, are you starting to see the power of your personal brand?
It's a Journey
In today’s world, personal branding is not an optional activity, but an integral part of becoming a leader in your industry and an influencer in your network.
It’s a journey; not an activity.
Building a personal brand requires both dedication to using technology effectively, and commitment to communicating in a way that reflects real—not virtual—human interaction.
Personal branding is about demonstrating authenticity in social media, helpfulness in online content, and leadership in the companies or organisations you represent.
As a thought leader, you’re creating a situation in which your prospects are followers who respect and enjoy your advice.
As they consider a purchase, your individualised expertise will be a huge selling point.
Remember: people buy from people.
Humanising social media information is important for prospective buyers.
In order to use personal branding for B2B lead generation, you need to:
1. Define your online persona
A personal brand has to be based on areas of influence and subjects where you have expertise. When you build a personal brand, your first step should be to define who it is you want to be online and how you want others to perceive you. Consider your background and your experience level. Understand that your brand can change in time, but start by building an authentic persona for others to engage with and share ideas with which you identify.
2. Tailor your message
What is it you will be posting content about? Choose key topics and subtopics related to your field. For this part, be as specific as possible. I focus on ABM, Social Selling and Business Growth as my main topics. That’s where I can really add value, that’s my expertise, the area I excel.
3. Get to know your audience
Invest the time to understand your audience. Don’t be afraid to speak to them, ask them questions, and on top of this do your research and find out the pain points and challenges they are facing. Based on this, produce content that truly adds value to them. Go one step further and create personas if needed and keep adding to them as you learn more.
Take note of their feedback. This is one of the things I love about LinkedIn, because you can get live feedback. This insight will allow you to learn more about what’s resonating, if there are any other angles or views and opinions to take into consideration.
4. Determine which social media platforms align with your goals
Create optimised profiles on the platforms where your audience spends the most time, and serve as a natural fit for your message. It’s extremely important you’re able to remain consistent with your posting frequency and engagement.
For me Its LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. I invest the majority of my time on LinkedIn and the other two are more general brand awareness. This manageable, and gets me the best results. Figure out what realistically works for you.
5. Become a content creator
Content plays a crucial role in marketing techniques and the branding of any business or brand. You need to ensure that your content is top-notch. Quality content means that it states exactly what you wish your target audience to know. Moreover, it provides them with unique, fresh, and useful knowledge.
The content that shows up about you on search engines demonstrates your tone, your sense of humour, your outlook on life, and plays an extremely important role in personal branding.
How to generate leads from personal branding on LinkedIn
What can you do on LinkedIn to build a personal brand and generate more B2B leads, beside simply creating and sharing your insights and experiences?
The purpose of content is to add value to your network. So, how good is your network? Are you proactively building your network and connecting with your target audience? Your network is a reflection of you. If you are going through the motions and just connecting and rejecting and wonder why you get so many sales pitches in your inbox, that’s why. Don’t dilute your network - take the time to connect with people within your target audience and those who you can genuinely help.
Actively reach out
If somebody has viewed your profile, something you’ve done or said has probably piqued their interest. They might be hesitant to send a request, so you should open up the conversation instead.
Look for win-wins rather than sales
It’s perfectly reasonable to connect with someone without a sales pitch. Can you create a win-win instead? Perhaps an interview, a service swap, or a shared content collaboration. Remember, all meaningful relationships start with mutually-beneficial conversations.
Buy into the LinkedIn blogging platform
LinkedIn wants to give its own blogging service a good reach within the platform, so it makes sense to publish content there – even if you’ve also published it elsewhere.
LinkedIn is not a popularity contest. Having lots of engagement and followers means nothing unless it’s from your target audience. At the end of the day, you want ROI. Focus on point one, building your network, and then keep track of the engagement you’re getting.
People are spending more time on LinkedIn and stats show that people trust content on LinkedIn 3x more than other social platforms. The opportunity is huge. When you’re reaching out to your target audience in a personalised and authentic way, your activity will reinforce your position as a thought leader and lead to warmer conversations.
While LinkedIn gets a lot of attention in the personal branding sphere, it is really just another distribution channel. It needs the same fuel to be effective: compelling stories, crafted into great content.
The difference is that LinkedIn is a community with active users who are already in the “work” mindset – ready to learn about how to improve their career, do their job better, make more money, hire better people, and grow a business. This is what makes it an unavoidable tool when building a personal brand.
I’d love to hear where you are at with your personal brand - from just getting started of records to active lead gen, please email me at email@example.com.