TL;DR: As a creator, you need to sell yourself, and nothing promotes you like personal branding. Get it right and a personal brand will help you stand out, build trust, and get more opportunities!
What’s better, a Bentley or a Toyota?
Surely Toyota is the right answer considering the number of cars they have on the road. But why does owning Bentley cost crores of rupees while you can easily buy a Toyota for 5 lacs?
The materials and the performances. Sure. But does that justify the price? Nope.
It’s the brand value, the premium feel, and the status. That demands money. It’s why an unbranded white t-shirt goes for ₹300 and the same white t-shirt with a brand logo on the chest can potentially run into thousands of ₹.
Unfair? At times, especially when the raw material is shoddy. But it is what it is.
In today’s market, being an influencer is similar. Good content = good material and performance. But that’s half the equation.
You need brand value, and that comes with personal branding. The better you are at it, the more money you will command. It’s as simple as that.
What exactly is personal branding?
Personal branding is building a persona for yourself that you can use everywhere. Essentially, you create an ‘image’. Everything you do revolves around that image, which creates your brand persona.
For instance, how you talk and how you interact becomes your brand voice. And how you interact with your community/followers becomes your brand experience.
Take, for instance, Srishti Dixit. Her personal branding is quirky and funny (with hints of sexy thrown in these days). Kusha Kapila, on the other hand, is bold, outspoken, with satirical and self-deprecating humour.
Why is personal branding so important as an influencer?
Businesses sell products and services, and creators sell themselves. And that makes personal branding the most important asset for influencers.
1. Stand out from the competition
You know how we were told to fall in line and not try to bring attention to ourselves when we were kids?
Well, yeah, scratch that. As a creator, when you accept your weird quirks and make them your USP, they become your personal brand. And that helps people differentiate you from others in your niche. Remember, there are tonnes of creators in your niche, and you have to give the audience reasons to follow you.
Say, our founder, Ankit, is scrolling through Instagram looking for a new fitness creator to follow. He finds you and another creator. While you merely post content, the other influencer has a proper personal brand and professional online presence. Who do you think Ankit is going to follow?
2. Build trust with your audience
We are in late-stage capitalism and distrust towards corporations, and traditional media keeps on growing by the day. People are always going to listen to someone who looks and talks like them.
So use your personal brand to create an authentic image that mirrors your real self. You may be an ‘influencer’ but at the end of the day, you need to be more approachable and more ‘human’. Ensure to keep things simple and create a trustworthy community associated with your brand.
3. Increases your net surface area, bettering opportunities
Let’s face it, success is part hard work and part luck. You need the luck to be at the right spot at the right time, and a personal brand can give you that.
How? By casting a wider net and thus increasing your chances of catching a good fish.
Say a brand looks you up on Google and the first #thng they see is a portfolio or website. They also find your properly maintained social media, or some articles that link back to you.
All of these are part of personal branding, and they make you look legit to the brand. It builds trust because the brand knows you mean business. That increases your chances of brand partnerships, possible event invitations, and so on. So put in the time to create a personal brand.
Antidote the always-on public scrutiny
How you interact with your community is also a part of your personal brand. When you pour effort into dealing with it the right way and putting your best version out there, it pays off.
Especially because, being an influencer, your socials are always under the scanner. And by “always,” we literally mean always. #thngs on the internet tend to stay forever, and if you have a poor reputation, or have behaved poorly even once, it will catch up to you.
But a good personal brand can act as a salve.
How to create personal brands for influencers?
Your voice and your tone are the two most important #thngs for personal branding. Read this guide on how to get yours right.
Next, social media is your holy grail, and when all is well there, everything else is well too. Control the stuff you publish, like, and comment on, and it’ll maintain a healthy personal brand.
Creating a website is the next step.
Do you need it? No, every influencer doesn’t.
But if you have the time and resources to invest in one, then go ahead. A site gives you a professional patina and automatically adds more gravitas to your personal brand. It’s also a great place to showcase your skills, experience, and authority in your domain in a much more controlled way. Here are 5 tools to create your own websites.
Creating a personal brand is a long-term project and doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, effort, and commitment. Be patient, but once you set the ball rolling, it is completely worth it.
And if #thngs start to get too tough, remember we are just a click away!