Fenty Beauty and Kylie Cosmetics are currently ruling the beauty space not just because they make great products but because their founders, Rihanna and Kylie Jenner, have built strong personal brands that anchor their businesses.
Elon Musk sends out a suggestive tweet about a cryptocurrency coin, and the price of that coin changes because he has branded himself as a technology expert.
From TikTok to YouTube, thousands of individuals have hustled their way into million-dollar net worths, empires, and lucrative careers simply by levering content to sell their personal brand.
Whether you’re running a business, growing your career, or raising awareness about your industry, creating and sharing content is one of the most effective ways to get yourself noticed.
In this article, we’re going to explore some of the ways you can leverage the power of content marketing to develop your personal brand, expand your reach, and build audience trust.
What is a personal brand?
Whether you like it or not, you have a personal brand. It’s what people think and say about you when you’re not there. It’s the impression that forms in the minds of new people when they meet you or stumble across your online profiles.
A personal brand is the collection of traits, experiences, values, interests, and interactions people associate with you. It’s the image that pops up in the back of their head when they come across your name.
Whether you like it or not, you already have a personal brand. So the question now is: does this brand reflect how you want to be seen? How does it set you apart from other people? Does it do a good job of telling your story and getting people to pay attention?
You have to be intentional about building a personal brand that’s aligned with the image you want to project to the world. This is where a content marketing strategy comes in handy.
How content marketing can help your personal branding
Content marketing is a long-term approach that uses the creation and distribution of relevant, high-quality content consistently to attract and foster strong relationships with your audience.
This way, they will come to highly regard your opinions and develop a sense of loyalty to your brand that will lead them back to you whenever they require a product or service related to what you’re offering.
Let’s say you’re a business strategist. Instead of constantly running ads about your services and telling people to hire you (which can get annoying fast and be quite expensive), you can leverage content to promote yourself.
You can write newsletters, create podcasts, share videos, and write educational threads on Twitter and LinkedIn breaking down concepts and strategies that people can use to grow their business.
People love getting helpful information for free, so they’ll begin following you, sharing your articles with other people, watching your videos, and regarding you as an authority on all things business.
As your platform and influence go, potential clients, collaborators, and employers will begin reaching out to you with offers because they can see that you know your stuff and are really good at what you do.
Also, the more you create content, the greater your online footprint will be, and the more visible you’ll become on search engines. However, not just any kind of content will do the trick. As nearly 60% of consumers will refuse to patronize a brand that has poorly-written content, you need to create stuff people get something out of.
How to create a content marketing strategy for your brand
Building a strong personal brand can seem daunting when you’re just starting, but having a concrete content strategy in place can help ease the process and enable you to reap the fruits of your content marketing efforts.
By following these steps, you can ensure that your brand remains aligned with your core values and experience even as they develop and evolve as you go along.
Step 1. Set goals
Creating a successful content marketing strategy begins with knowing what you’re working towards. You need to have defined goals laid out, then use the content as the vehicle driving you towards them.
Try to separate your professional goals from your content marketing goals. For instance, your dream might be to build a personal brand and ride that wave into a book deal, speaking engagements, work offers, sponsorship signings, and more.
These are all wonderful professional goals, but how will you go about getting them? What needs to happen for them to become a reality? This is where your brand content marketing goals enter the mix.
The goal of your content strategy could be to:
- Communicate your expertise and knowledge on a subject or industry
- Raise awareness and get people to know you
- Establish yourself as an authority, and a reliable, trusted resource in your niche
- Strengthen your relationship with your audience and cultivate loyalty
- Build strategic partnerships that can provide validation for you and the third party
- Become a thought leader who owns and directs conversations on specific topics and areas in your industry
Once you know what you’re trying to achieve, you can start mapping out a clear path to get there.
Step 2. Identify your competitors and target market
There are people in your industry or niche who have already established or are building personal brands that share your goals, audience, and want to solve the same problems as you.
Pay attention to what they’re doing and learn from them.
What kind of content are they creating? What channels are they using to promote their brand? How often do they share content?
If you’re going to differentiate yourself from them and be more influential, you need to know who you’re up against.
You also need to have a clear picture of who your audience is so you can create content that’s relevant to them and devise an effective plan to reach, engage, and retain them. When performing an audience analysis, there are different kinds of data you’ll need to collect about your target market. These include:
- Demographic data — age, gender, income, education, race, occupation, marital status, parental status, etc.
- Behavioral data — needs, aspirations, fears, pain points, platforms they enjoy spending time on, channels they use to communicate, how they shop or use services, factors that motivate them to purchase or convert, etc.
- Social data — interests, activities they enjoy, disposable income, how they spend their time, etc.
- Attitudinal data — how they feel about your subject, service, industry, what expectations they have, what problems you can help them address with your content, types of information/messages they find relevant, their preferred content tone and format, etc.
Step 3. Build a mission statement
This is where you get to define what you want your personal brand to be known for, what you want to achieve, and how you intend to go about it.
Your brand mission statement needs to describe the reason why you’re cultivating your brand, the expertise or knowledge you have to offer, why you believe what you’re doing is essential, and what sets you apart from other brands.
When crafting a personal mission statement, ask yourself the following questions:
- What’s my vision for my brand?
- What qualities, skills, values, or experiences make me unique?
- What gap are you trying to fill, what problems do I want to solve, and how will I solve them?
- Who is my target market?
- What types of content will I use to reach them?
- How will they benefit from the content I share, and why will they listen to me instead of another person?
Once you figure out these answers, it’s time to write out your mission statement and incorporate them into it.
Step 4. Find a niche for your content marketing
The point of building your personal brand is to expand your reach and attract people to your content and online profiles. To do this, you need to create the right kind of content — content that you’re interested in that will also resonate with your audience and address their needs.
Map out the core topics or subjects that your content marketing efforts will focus on, as well as potential secondary topics that might align with your personal brand. Think about the types of content that you can create and the content formats your audience prefers and find a middle ground between them.
It might help to write out a “what I’m all about” statement like this:
If your audience loves to consume content through videos over other formats, you might want to think about starting a YouTube channel or creating short videos for social media. Keep in mind that content is not an either-or situation. You don’t have to pick one to the detriment of all others.
You can explore multiple content formats from blog posts to podcasts, infographics, ebooks, videos, social media posts, and more at the same time. Just make sure you’re not overextending yourself and that your content stays consistent and excellent across the board.
Step 5. Choose content distribution channels
Now that your goals, mission statement, competitors, target audience, and content niche have all been identified and laid out, the next thing you need to work on is your content distribution plan.
Some common platforms you can use to reach and engage your audience through your content include personal blogs, email, websites, webinars, podcasts, social media, and print media.
You can also experiment with other typically ignored channels, such as starting a community forum or hosting a virtual summit.
Step 6. Craft a content calendar
You cannot build a sturdy personal brand by publishing one piece of content today then going silent for months. That kind of inconsistency will hurt your content marketing efforts.
You need to have a plan for when you’re going to publish content on the channels you’re using so that you don’t forget or get caught slacking. Setting up content calendars is a great way to schedule your posts and keep you on track.
Source: Evolving Digital
There are many content scheduling and task management tools out there with robust calendars that you can use to plan out your content. All you have to do is choose the topic you want to create content around, decide on the content format(s) you’ll use, and when you want to post said content across your chosen platforms.
Keep repeating the process until you’ve mapped out a content plan for a few months. Make sure your content goes out on days when your audience can fully appreciate and engage with them, rather than days when they might be too busy to consume it.
Step 7. Measure your results and adjust your strategy
How well is your content ranking on search engines? How many people have subscribed to your podcast or newsletter? Is your content being mentioned and shared across online platforms? How many views have your YouTube videos generated so far?
The only way to know how your content marketing strategy impacts your personal brand is by measuring its performance. This needs to be done constantly to enable you to take timely action to boost the effectiveness of your efforts.
Compare the results you’re getting with the goals and KPIs you set to see if you’re achieving your aims. The findings will help you determine what seems to be working and where changes need to be made.
5 content marketing ideas to try
There are many tactics and activities you can leverage to get your personal content marketing strategy off the ground and add value to your audiences’ lives. Here are some of the ways to get the ball rolling:
1. An ebook
Writing a book is one of the most effective ways to show your expertise on a subject, attract attention and leads, and provide content of real value to your audience. Ebooks allow you to go in-depth into a topic and provide more information than you would in an email, article, or social media post.
Authoring is not only a huge accomplishment because very few people can claim to have published books; it also increases your visibility and credibility. And if your ebook turns out to be really helpful, you can build an even bigger and loyal community around it.
Before you start writing an ebook, make sure you’ve selected a topic that your target audience needs and try to offer a unique perspective on the topic.
Additionally, consider adding high-quality infographics and images to your ebooks to make them more engaging and make sure the overall design of your ebook is aesthetically pleasing.
2. Video marketing
Videos are all the rage right now because they’re highly engaging, visually stimulating, easily shareable, and don’t require a lot of mental effort on the part of the audience to be consumed and understood.
There are lots of inexpensive ways you can incorporate videos into your content marketing strategy to give your personal brand a lift.
Start by turning your existing blog posts and how-to guides into videos, give viewers a peek behind-the-scenes of your daily activities, how you work, how you create your products, etc. Don’t worry about fancy recording equipment; your smartphone camera can do a great job and make you seem more relatable and authentic to your audience.
Video marketing isn’t just about creating video content for your website YouTube, TikTok, Instagram. It involves hosting webinars as well. Webinars are very easy to set up, you just have to pick reliable webinar software, and you’re ready to begin imparting knowledge via video.
3. Weekly blogging
Whether you’re publishing posts on a personal blog or contributing guest articles to external publications, blogging is one of the best content marketing strategies you can employ to grow your personal brand.
All it requires you to do is think about exciting and relevant topics that your audience should know more about, and then you craft informative content to educate them.
Blogging helps engineer trust, introduce your brand to a broader audience, and position you as a thought leader in a particular industry or niche. Sharing a blog post or two every week can help you build a loyal following, keep readers engaged and make them keep coming back to tap from your well of knowledge.
If you don’t already have a blog, it’s time to rectify that. Thankfully, starting one is easy, and the journey begins with picking a blog platform that’s right for you.
Making podcasts is another great content marketing tactic that allows you to get your message out there and build a following. Unlike with videos, you can hide behind anonymity without sacrificing engagement, trust, or relatability because listeners can still hear your voice, feel your emotions, and connect to you on a personal level.
The great thing about podcasts is people can listen to them on the go or while engaged in other activities, making them more convenient and accessible than most other content formats.
5. Social media
Marketing on social media by posting insightful content that showcases your expertise in your field is a can’t-miss way to increase your following, reach, and engagement levels. Don’t hesitate to share ideas and opinions on issues you’re passionate about.
Interact with like-minded people in your network, join industry-related groups and communities, and actively participate in discussions. The more you do this, the more people will notice you and trust your personal brand.
Let your personal brand speak for you
A well-articulated content marketing strategy can turn you from just another random person into an influential brand that people can’t help but notice. However, building a personal brand is not something that happens overnight.
It takes work, intentional practice, and implementing the right tactics to create awareness, develop relationships, and become a trusted voice in your industry. But, the doors your personal brand will open for you once established will make your efforts worth it.