3 Steps How to Build Your Personal Brand

Most of us have come across the word “branding” in our lives. We hear about branding companies have.

So, do only companies need branding?

We will come back to that in a moment. First, let us understand what branding really is.

What is Branding?

“A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers” (American Marketing Association).

So who needs branding?

Is it only companies?

We see that popular sportspersons and film personalities endorse products. They are called “brand ambassadors” of the company.

They are used as brand ambassadors because of their popularity, and because people tend to listen to such popular stars. However they have been hired as brand ambassadors because they actually are a brand in themselves in their fields, be it sports, film or other fields. They become brands because they excel in their fields.

Why Is Personal Branding Important?

A personal brand makes everything 10x easier.

If you want a job, you want to freelance, you run a digital marketing agency, you are an entrepreneur, you are an invester, you need a personal brand. It will help you get things done 10x faster.

If you have a strong personal brand, you will be able to influence people better, and get results faster.

A personal brand will improve your network, and when you have a personal brand, and so will also improve your net worth.

It has been said that, “The best brand will beat the best skills.”

How to Build a Personal Brand?

Here are 3 steps to building a personal brand

Step 1: Professional Photos

First of all, do a photoshoot and get professional photographs of yourself. Then put these on social media. It helps if you are able to make your face your brand.

Step 2: Build Your Brand On Assets You Own

Here are some “don’ts”…

Don’t build your brand some one else’s channel. Don’t build your dream house on someone else’s property.

Don’t build your brand on places like Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Facebook.

Why should we not build our brand on other channels?

The reason is that since we don’t own the channel, it is not impossible that our account may be shut down by that channel. And if that happens, where does it leave us? Years of our brand building could go up in smoke in a moment.

Instead, build your brand on assets you own. And in the digital marketing space, what are assets you own?

Your blog is your asset. You own it. Others cannot just shut you down.

Similarly your email asset is your own.

So build your brand on your blog and using your email.

Step 3: Build Your Brand By Adding Value to Others

The best way to build a brand is to help others. Zig Ziglar said, “You can have everything you want in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”

A Word of Caution

Remember that it is going to take some time to build your personal brand. So be patient.

Compounded growth can help you in the long term

Your branding compounds over time. Your branding goes through a personal branding funnel.

Your Personal Branding Funnel

Your branding goes through 4 stages which are part of the Personal branding funnel. They are:

Awareness -> Credibility -> Reputation -> Fame

Awareness

Awareness is where others just know that you exist. You don’t get benefits from just awareness.

As you grow your brand, you move from awareness to credibility.

Credibility

Credibility is once you have some social proof. You use social proof to show yourself off. Doing this long enough will help you move from credibility to reputation

Reputation

Reputation is very strong and much more unshakable. And reputation tends to stay longer. Building your branding further will take you from reputation to fame.

Fame

Fame is the pinnacle of the Personal Branding Funnel.

Once you have fame, things become much easier. More people come to you rather than you having to go behind others. You can choose your friends, and your partners. You will have many more business opportunities that walk in your door because of the fame you have earned.

When Should You Build Your Brand?

So what is the best time to start building your brand? The answer most likely would be “long back.”

What is the next best time to start building your brand? The answer is NOW!

Conclusion

So don’t wait any more. Start building your brand. Get good professional pictures of yourself. Start building your brand on your own blog and email list, and start helping other people get what they want.

And you will see your personal brand soaring rapidly and your life soaring even more rapidly.

All the best!

Digital Marketing Internship Class 2: Customer Avatar

Photo by Blake Wisz on Unsplash

In my previous post, I described what we learned in class 1 – where we came up with ideas of niches, realizing that “the riches are in the niches.”

In our second class, we learned the importance of creating a “Customer Avatar.”

So, what is a Customer Avatar? Why do we need one? What are the benefits of having a clear Customer Avatar? How to create a Customer Avatar? And how to use the Customer Avatar?

Read on to know…

What is a Customer Avatar?

A Customer avatar is the persona of a single person who represents the bulk of your target audience.

It includes demographics of the person such as age, sex, location, and so on.

It also includes psychographics of the person and includes their interests, likes, dislikes and fears of the person.

Why Do We Need a Customer Avatar?

Marketing is about good conversations. Digital marketing is about good conversations through digital mediums.

To have a good conversation, you need to be able to converse as if you were talking one on one with your audience. The audience should feel that you are talking to them directly in a one on one conversation. For this you need to understand them well.

Though you have a big audience, each person in that audience is in fact alone with their device. We need to be able to connect with them and talk to them one on one.

To be able to talk like you were talking one on one, you need to have the image of the person you are talking with, you need to understand their persona. To do this, instead of trying to start new conversations in their minds, we should be able to join mental conversations that they already have in their minds. Again to do this, we need to know them well, we need to know what is going on in their minds well.

People are tired of fake people online with social personas. Everyone is attracted to someone real.

That is where the customer avatar comes in.

If you want to be real, if you want to be able to talk to one single customer at a time through a mass media digital medium such as a blog post, a Facebook ad, a YouTube video, and your website, and at the same time you want each audience member to feel as if you are talking to just them individually, then you need to understand your customer avatar, and talk just to that person in your communications.

Benefits of Having a Clear Customer Avatar

One of the biggest benefits of having a clear customer avatar… is that because you understand your customer so well, and you understand their fears and dislikes, and their needs and desires, the product that you create will be in demand automatically.

If you create a product in isolation and then try to sell it, it is not likely to sell much. On the other hand, if you create a product based on understanding your target audience, your Customer Avatar, it is likely to sell much, much more.

We can learn from Deepak Kanakaraju’s example.

By understanding his customer avatar well, he realized that people in India are willing to buy courses. And based on this he launched many successful programs including 100 Day Blogging Step By Step, Digital Marketing Internship, and many more.

How to Create a Customer Avatar?

One of the best ways to create a customer avatar is to create a survey and have people from your target audience fill them.

You get better quality inputs when you have personal interactions with people. Ask them questions such as “why did you sign up”, “what challenges do you face”, and so on, to understand them better.

If you can’t meet them face to face, getting on calls with them is the next best option.

How to Use the Customer Avatar?

You don’t have to wait to get it perfect. Once you have the initial draft of your customer avatar, you can start using it and benefiting from it.

Email messaging is one of the most powerful media to influence people, create a brand and generate sales. The purpose of the subject line in an email is for the recipient to open the email. The purpose of the first sentence in the email is to get the reader to read the second line. The purpose of the second line is to get the reader to read the third line. And so on… Using the customer avatar, you can craft powerful email much more effectively.

You can target them in advertising better, address people by their first name if you capture their name as part of their contact details, write to them like to write to a friend, join the conversation that is already in their mind, and create products and services that will already be in demand by the time you create them.

My Customer Avatar

My niche is “Digital marketing for small business.” I created a survey and based on the survey inputs, here is my customer avatar…

Prakash (fictitious name) is in the age group of 18-34 years.

He has an income between 6-15 lakh rupees / year.

He is married.

He is an entrepreneur / free lancer, feels overwhelmed by digital marketing options, he wants to succeed in digital marketing, and be financially free.

Conclusion

To summarize, if you want to be a great marketer, you need to understand your customer so very well that you can create products and services they will love and pay for, and so that you can interact with them as if you were talking one on one with a friend and build trust with your audience.

The first step for all this is to create a Customer Avatar!

Wish you the best in your digital marketing journey.

Digital Marketing Internship Class 1: Identify Your Niche

Photo by Will Francis on Unsplash

I joined DigitalDeepak’s Digital Marketing Internship program. Here is what I learned in the first class of the internship.

Isn’t the Online Market Space Too Crowded Already?

I have always wondered if the online market space was not already too crowded? Is there any hope for digital marketing in this crowded space?

I learned that because of an ever-expanding market and the reality of how the economy is changing globally, market needs are always expanding, and there definitely is hope.

I also learned that “deciding where to compete is half your success”. If you are able to find a market need and create products and services to meet that need, then you won’t need to be pushy to sell them to the market, because the market will already be convinced to buy from you. Hence all the more reason for hope for digital marketing.

The ONE KEY That Will Unlock Digital Marketing Markets

The person who makes the most money is the one who solves more problems.

For digital marketing success, you need to LISTEN to understand what your market wants, and you also need to TELL them how you are solving their problem and what value you are providing to them.

Digital marketing is more about marketing than about digital.

The one key skill you need that will unlock digital marketing success is COMMUNICATION skill. In this course we will be having a key focus on communication and writing skills

Is Digital Marketing Dying?

With the amount of AI (artificial intelligence) that we see abounding in the world today, a question that comes up is, is digital marketing dying, since automation tools and bots are doing much of the work today?

The number and quality of the needs in the world are going up rapidly, and so are the solutions that meet these needs. Marketing is also increasing for bringing these solutions to market. Digital marketing is marketing plus technology. With increasing technology and increasing marketing needs, digital marketing is here to stay. The tools and technologies may change, but the need for digital marketers will keep increasing. And Integrated Digital Marketing is the way to go.

How Integrated Digital Marketing Works

The starting point of integrated digital marketing is content marketing. Content marketing is simply sharing content to the audience that they find very useful.

Then share the article on social media and use search engine optimization (SEO). Search engines will see this article is being shared a lot and will drive more traffic to it.

The next step is email marketing. When you publish a new piece of content, you can email your list and let them know.

You can then add paid advertising.

As you build trust with your audience, you can start offering them your solutions and convert them to buyers.

Starting Off Your Digital Marketing Journey – Find Your Niche

The first step in your digital marketing journey is for you to decide which niche you are going to specialize in.

The Riches are in the Niches!

To choose your niche, ensure that you are strong in the following 3 attributes for the niche:

  • You have talent in the niche
  • You are passionate about the niche topic, and,
  • There is good market opportunity for the niche.

Go deep into a sub-niche. Specialize in the sub-niche.

You can charge higher the more you specialize in a sub-niche just like a brain surgeon charges more than a general physician.

Remember that you need to become No. 1 in your niche, so that you stand out in people’s mind space. Hardly anyone remembers the No. 2 in your niche.

Finding Your Niche

To find your niche, you need to do market research, keyword research and competitor research. Some of the tools you can use are – Adwords Keyword Tool, Ubersuggest, Answer the public, ahrefs (paid tool), Moz, SEMrush, Search Console, KeywordTool.io, and google autosuggest.

Conclusion

What we learned in the first session helped us to leap frog into the world of digital marketing. Looking forward to the second session now…