How to create income with personal branding
Posted by mandyf on July 3, 2012
Personal branding is a very simple concept that can go a significantly long way towards improving your income. A decade or so ago personal branding was not a concept that could be reasonably or even realistically attained by most people, but thanks to the rise of technology now everyone has a chance to increase the value of their personal branding and use that heightened exposure and respect to catapult their earnings to the next level. While this article will focus on personal external branding on the web, the best thing about personal branding is that when employed correctly it applies to your professional potential in a blanket manner.
In the simplest of terms, personal branding is the marketing of yourself in the same manner you would market a product. A well marketed person, like a product, has a broad appeal and solid reputation which creates demand. The laws of supply and demand are in your favor with personal branding, because no matter how great the demand is, there is only one you! There may be people that imitate your style, but a quality original is always in the greatest demand.
The first step to effective personal branding is finding your niche and becoming an established respected leader in that area. While that sounds hard to do, and it does take work, it is not impossible. Identify your strength and build upon it. The best avenue to explore first is seeing if you can find some way to get paid for sharing your passion which also matches your self impression and how people perceive you. Say for instance you and your peers see you as the “know it all” when it comes Barbie dolls, this an easy example to use to examine personal branding. While it may seem odd, marketing yourself as the ultimate resource of Barbie doll knowledge could be a viable personal brand.
Now that you have identified your niche identify a strategy to market yourself as the Barbie doll expert. Begin searching the web to assess your competition in the field. Examine how they are marketing their knowledge and then identify any platforms they have missed or ignored. Next take a good look at the mediums they do use to share their knowledge and identify ways to improve on their delivery system. The third step is to identify a place that will allow you the opportunity to build and establish your reputation as the the ultimate source for all things related to Barbie. A perfect example of how to begin building your reputation in this area of knowledge would be using a blog which could allow you nearly unlimited opportunities to share much of what you know while getting paid to do it. This allows you to brand yourself as an expert in that community on the topic of Barbie dolls and to transport that reputation to other mediums.
Transporting that reputation is the key. You have to be diligent in marketing yourself, and do not be shy about about bragging of your knowledge, without being arrogant of course. Use social book marking sites to spread your knowledge, and more importantly your name. Launch a blog, and even perhaps your own website to further enhance your visibility. The more places people see your name associated to the Barbie doll brand, the more you will be associated with the image of being a leader in that area of knowledge.
While marketing yourself as a Barbie expert, flat out market yourself as a person as well. Don’t present yourself as what you are not, but again don’t be shy about tooting your own horn. If you have other areas of expertise let people know about it! Let people see how many different resources cite your knowledge as an expert in your chosen fields of knowledge. This is important because the next step is cashing in.
Once you have established your personal brand as the expert on all things Barbie, use that reputation to get monetized. There are several ways to accomplish this.
One option is to offer your services in regards to this expertise to the highest bidder. Believe it or not, there are plenty of outlets that will pay for the ability to present an expert on almost anything.
Sell people the right to be associated to you. If you build a blog or site which becomes recognized as one of the leaders in any area of knowledge you can transcend traditional advertising and enter the world or truly targeted sponsorship. There are plenty of companies that are more than willing to pay quite well to have their brand associated to your personal brand if you are a recognized leader in a specific area of knowledge.
Use your reputation as an expert in one area to expand to being recognized as a more broadly versed expert. Again, using the Barbie example, ask yourself why stop there? Expand to encompass all dolls of an era, genre, manufacturer, or anything you feel you have the ability to realistically handle and maintain your excellent reputation. When you expand you already have a fan base of which a portion is likely to follow you in whatever direction you choose. The second benefit is you already have contacts
that you can tap to build an immediate commercial revenue base. If you have made money for someone on one project it is likely they will gamble on you again.
Market your knowledge in multiple mediums. As with this Barbie example, personal branding is focused on a web presence. but that need not be the ceiling. Use your personal brand to expand. Consider marketing your knowledge in a book, make yourself available as a speaker at doll shows, even an appraiser or authenticator of Barbie dolls and accessories. The point is that you have numerous ways to make your personal work for you in a monetary sense.
While this is a very basic example of how to self brand yourself it is highly effective. Everyday their are people on the web who employ personal branding techniques to launch or expand vehicles to realize their economic potential. While some people are content to build a fair personal brand and settle for that, why settle for being just okay? Begin small and focus on quality, and then expand slowly until you reach critical mass. While there is nothing wrong with using networking sites alone to get your name out and build a personal brand, it can be a tediously long process which is hit or miss at best. You have to be willing o take charge and be proactive when you market yourself just as you would a product, because after all, in a real sense you are a product people are waiting to consume.