LOS ANGELES, CA – MAY 1: (LR) Blake Michael, Coco Jones, Jadagrace Berry, Ryan Beatty, Peyton … [+]
Personal brands, aside from day jobs (or as a nice addition to them), grow from established high-level executives in large multinational companies to entrepreneurs and people starting out in a variety of fields. I am always amazed at how many of the top-class guest speakers from my marketing courses at the Business School have published on LinkedIn and how many likes and views these posts get. My personal LinkedIn posts with successes that I’m proud of always generate more Likes and Views than I expected. It’s surprising how many people care, and it’s a nice feeling. For anyone who shares their personal brand in many different ways on social media, seeing how views, likes, and comments pile up, and what parts of the world, companies, and job roles they have, is a satisfaction.
Why building your personal brand is important, whether you are a star in your company or a talented entrepreneur
Maintaining your personal brand is good because:
– Shows that you are a thought leader
– Humanizes you
– Makes more people aware of you, your personality, your insights and values
– Will serve you well during your future career
– You can potentially monetize it if you want to
For creators / artists / fashion designers / entertainers / writers:
– It shows the person behind the content
– You control the message
– It makes you more relatable
– It provides context and credibility for your content
– You can hopefully monetize it
Why are more people building their personal brands?
To better understand why people want to and more and more do want to build their personal brands, I spoke to entrepreneur and CEO Tony Tran, whose company Lumanu is making business easier for creators. Lumanu offers anyone passionate about being a creator the tools and resources to grow their personal brand and turn it into a business.
Tony: “Over the past year, economic disruption due to the pandemic has resulted in a huge increase in people starting out on their own to focus on their personal brand and business. In 2020, the surge in new business applications in the US hit a 13-year high, according to an analysis of the US Census Bureau’s data from the Wall Street Journal.
“New platforms like Clubhouse, valued at $ 4 billion, or Patreon, which added 30,000 creators in just one month in the first few weeks of the pandemic,” Tran said. “We saw Lumanu creators explode with new fans and collaborations.”
Blake Michael is an actor, entrepreneur, and creator, and Lumanus’ chief evangelist. In this role, he directs other creators to grow their personal brands. Blake started his career as a Disney star at the age of 13 and now has an incredibly dedicated following with over 5 million followers on his social channels. That number grew by over a million fans in the first few months of the lockdown. Blake shared, “During the quarantine last year, I got into the habit of posting on TikTok every day and saw engagement grow exponentially. It was exciting to wake up in the morning and come up with something fresh – it became a routine and an easy way to connect with fans on a more personal level. What I hear the most from people is that they fear they have missed the boat or that it is too late to get established online. Do it now because it has never been easier. Getting started is more important than perfection. The content is not expected to be highly polished or professional – rawness and authenticity are what followers value. “
Tran noted that we are in the midst of the “democratization of the creative economy”. It is easier than ever for budding developers to create content with powerful phones and distribute it on platforms from TikTok to Clubhouse, LinkedIn and Instagram, which can help them monetize it. “While creating content is easier than ever,” says Tran, “the question is whether creators can sustain it and turn that passion into something more than a hobby.” That’s why we founded Lumanu. We want to provide developers – from influencers and artists to business people and executives – the tools and resources to simplify the business part of creation so they can do what they love and grow their personal brand. ”
How to Get Started and Keys to Becoming a Successful Influencer
For many creators and entrepreneurs, the challenge is often how and where to start. Tony notes that new creators are looking for:
– Support and guidance – many even pay for personal coaching courses from established developers
– Help with negotiating contracts
– Help get paid and get paid on time
After observing what careers influencers are starting and why, Tony came up with 6 key takeaways that can help developers of all types build their personal brands:
1) Identify your style, personality and content
- Influencers and thought leaders need a strong personal style that is telegraphic and easy to understand
- For followers, the content needs to be distilled from its initial complexity
- Creators need to explain what makes them unique and what gives them their “superpowers” or their particular attitude towards things: it could be their childhood, challenges, training in another area, or a life changing event
- You need to be a source of information, data, or insight that no one else has
- You need a unique perspective or way of interpreting what is important to a particular community
- The individual’s unique personality should be consistent throughout the content
2) Choose ONE platform
First of all, choose a platform that you already spend time on and are familiar with. Platforms can vary from more sophisticated – like podcasts and YouTube – to more unconventional platforms like TikTok and Clubhouse. It is important to be comfortable. Choosing a platform that you are comfortable with allows you to focus your time and energy on the substance and nature of your content. According to Blake Michael, building a personal brand, initially on a platform, gave him the freedom to do what he wanted. When you have an audience, become your own distributor. Your audience will follow you everywhere, making it easier to expand to other meaningful platforms. ”
3) Determine time, commitment, and currency expectations
Determine early on how much time you want to invest. Are you wondering, is this a hobby or a career? How much money do I want / have to earn? From there, you can determine how you want to monetize it and how much time you are willing to invest in building a following, knowing that it may or may not happen.
4) Build follow-up through strategic collaboration
By working with other influencers or brands, there is an opportunity to build followers in order to question each other’s audiences. If you’re interested in personal finance or a rock star designer in your company, try to find established developers who come to your platform with the same audience. Don’t be afraid to suggest a way to work together!
5) Establish a cadence
Publication should be done regularly – at least once a week, supplemented by additional audience touchpoints during the week, including stories and short-form content.
6) Network and network even more
The creator economy thrives through the community. So use your network and offer your experience and expertise to help others grow and be successful.
As Blake Michael says, “I think everyone has a brand and social media allows us to expand that.”