Here in the Canada, we have a strong celebrity culture and a great deal of interest in famous individuals. Top achievers in sports, business, literature, music, art, politics and more are all looked up to in one way or another. We admire these people for what they do and often have favorites that we follow closely. It makes sense, then, that the personalities of these individuals would matter to us. These folks have the kind of clout that allows them to market things using not just an abstract logo and slogan, but their actual personalities. Whether they are world-class athletes or entrepreneurial success stories, we naturally crave learning about them and how they achieved the success they enjoy today.
There are a lot of different reasons that people achieve fame, but for our purposes it is important to separate the concept of celebrity level fame from a concept that is closely related to it, personal branding. This approach to branding lends it a more human quality and it has a long history, too. The key difference today is that we can use social media or interact more directly with our audiences using a blog so that they feel they are relating to the brand more as a person than a faceless corporation somewhere far from them.
Personal Brands Aren’t Easy But They Do Offer Powerful Advantages
Obviously, a sterile brand that is quite formal is not going to be easy to make popular. As difficult as it might be to leverage the uniqueness of your own personality to do marketing, it can often be the quickest route to achieving results for your business. Humans are inherently interested in others of their own kind and what personality based marketing allows you to do is quickly and easily carve out an identity in the marketplace within your chosen niche. You still have plenty of latitude in terms of the products and services you offer, though, because the business’s face becomes about you rather than a more abstract concept tied to a certain type of product or service. In essence, you are building yourself into an authority on what you sell, one way or another.
If you think about it, we describe people in vivid ways. We might say that Tim is a tech oriented guy who is very helpful and a precise person that can help you save money. We might say that Amy is very fashionable and always has the nicest, newest things, being extremely social and well-spoken, too. These are example descriptions of a person, but imagine if they were a brand. Could they work? Absolutely, plus it sounds a lot better than Company A that sells low-cost computer equipment, for example. When we add personality to the mix, we generate interest and get people feeling as if they can relate to us. This is great for business and can certainly be helpful in the early stages of your enterprise where winning over customers is so vital.
Business Brands Really Are Different Than Personal Brands
Those in business often think in terms of cash flow, dominance within their market and expanding their customer base. These are definitely valuable considerations for any business, but the problem is that these aspects of your company do not matter as much to the consumer. That means traditional business brands have to try to put together an array of ‘values’ and try to create a recognizable entity in order to do their branding.
They might use a mascot or an eye-catching logo and this can and does work just fine, but it has its drawbacks. People are quicker to criticize a company they do not feel they have a real ‘relationship‘ with and that they view as being out mostly for money and filled with people who are primarily interested in producing profits for said company.
Personal brands take a different approach
A more human connection really is about connecting at the emotional level and this is becoming even more important with the rise of the global marketplace. Consumers now have not just dozens of potential choices for about any product or service they might want to purchase, they often have hundreds or even thousands of options. You might recall that the kind of advice a marketing guru like Neil Pattel gives is to form a tribe of loyal customers that will come back to you again and again. This is quite a bit easier to do with a personal brand right away because of the more accessible nature that personal brands have.
Are you investing more of yourself into a personal brand? It’s definitely arguable that you are, but the results can be very rewarding. Instead of having a company that has its successes and failures, you are actually a more integral part of this process so when you succeed, it really will have to do with you and how you act towards those you are serving in business.
Coming Up with Your Own Personal Brand
Do you think you might want to develop a personal brand of your own? Excellent! The next step is to determine how you want to present yourself. It is important that how you do this does tie into what you are selling, at least in a certain way. If you think about celebrities, you can get something of an anchoring point. We know, for instance, that Nikola Jokic is a basketball player and that he does ads for various companies and so forth. We know a bit about his personality and that he often attempts to be funny when he is promoting things or uses his impressive size and sharp sense of style to create an impact.
However, we do not know that much more about him beyond points like these – and that is just fine! You do not have to reveal every single aspect of yourself to your audience. No one expects you to do this, anyway, and would probably find it a bit of a turn-off if you did.
A personal brand is how you present it…
Instead, think about characteristics that you have which people seem to respond to in your day-to-day life and connect them with what you sell. For instance, let’s say that you sell a barbecue sauce and you are known for being someone who really loves to talk about history, regaling those around you with the details of barbecue’s history and so on. Why not work that into part of your brand?
People will come to you because they appreciate your more authentic sauce and that you respect the culture of barbecue. You could make plenty of blog posts or even videos on the subject and become an interesting figure to follow online even for those who might not eat barbecue more than a couple of times a year.
This is just one example, but hopefully it serves to illuminate how you would leverage your own personal traits into a brand. You need to feel comfortable with doing so, but if you do it right? Well, Michael Jordan‘s Air Jordan shoes and pretty much everything Paul Newman‘s ever made are proof positive that people connect with personal brands. Maybe you’re mysterious, social, serious, energetic, intellectual or hilarious – whatever your assets are as a person, use them to your advantage in crafting a brand you enjoy being a part of. This is one more way to tap into your own natural passion and that is the best fuel any marketing campaign could possibly have.
Having trouble defining yourself in a way that sounds interesting? Below we have included some ideas you might like to try out that can help you define your personal identity to a degree that will make developing a personal brand easier. Have a look.
- Write up a brief questionnaire for your friends & family, asking them questions about how they view you – those who know you best often have great insight.
- Take a personality test online and examine the results to see if you learn anything about yourself
- Get an astrological profile made & see what it says about your personality – it sounds silly, but it could spark ideas if you’re having trouble
- Keep a journal on your smart phone or a small tablet in you carry with you for a few weeks of things you notice about yourself & use those details to craft a public image
Think You Are Up to the Challenge of Creating a Personal Brand?
Personal branding might not sense for all companies or even all people, but they can work out quite well for those of us who decide to use them. If you think you are up to the challenge involved, it can be an incredibly rewarding way to approach branding and it happens to be one that this very site is associated with. Yet, don’t we like this better than getting our advice from some company of anonymous folks we’ll never know anything about? I, for one, definitely enjoy the more personal brands and find a lot of inspiration when those brands succeed.
What about you? Have you tried personal branding in the past and, if so, how has it worked out for you? Are you considering building a personal brand and need help? No problem – we’d love to hear both your stories and your questions. All you need to do to get a response is leave a comment below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.