How to Develop your Personal Brand

How to Develop your Personal Brand

How to Develop your Personal Brand

So, you’re in lockdown huh. Why can’t you work on your personal brand? Now is surely the perfect time.

Right now, I’m building on my writing brand. I’m sharing more posts on my writing on my blog, updating my Twitter following on the word-count of my new novel, sharing videos of me writing on Instagram and generally just building on that side of my platform.

I’m known for a few things:

  • Being a careers, lifestyle and books blogger at EllesBellesNotebook
  • Being one of the youngest Marketing Managers in the UK Publishing industry
  • And, being a writer

But each one of those’s brands is something I develop daily.

Everyone has a personal brand

Whether you know it or not you have a personal brand. You may not think you do, that you just have a job and a social media account and they’re separate but you would be surprised.

A personal brand is what people associate you as.

If you only share tweets about gaming news then your following, friends family, or otherwise, are going to think of you as a gamer. If you only share family news then they’re going to think of you as family-orientated. It’s all perception and judgment.

Everyone has a personal brand, with several people not realising it. But if you know you have one, and actively want to develop it then keep reading.

What is your personal brand?

If you’ve decided to develop your personal brand then there are a few steps you’ve got to consider first.

  • What platform(s) am I going to focus on?
  • Who am I trying to reach i.e. who is my audience?
  • Why do I want to be known as/for this?

You need to know the answer to these three questions before you purposely develop your brand, otherwise, what’s the point?

I never go about this thinking ‘I’m doing to become famous/be an influencer’ etc. I’m not, really! I’m doing it because I enjoy it and because it benefits my career which I also enjoy.

At no point should be working on your personal brand be a chore. It can be a job, but never a chore.

Now you have a brand, how do you develop it?

A lot of people are surprised by how easy it is to develop a brand. But don’t be mistaken in thinking that it’s easy to grow a brand, there’s a difference.

If you’re after ‘influencer’ level growth then I’m unlikely to be the blogger for you. I have very little interest in my analytics and my performance growth as I prefer quality over quantity.

Instead, I want people to read my blog, enjoy my books and follow my career because they’re genuinely interested and enjoy the content I share. It’s not my intention to have 1 million followers who know of me but don’t really know me.

When you go about developing your brand you need to think about which of those is your priorities:

  • Influencer numbers
  • Engaged audience

As it’s very hard to have both unless you’re one of the genuine influencer brands that are well-known and are classified C-list celebs these days.

If you’re after an engaged audience you need to tailor your content to them. Make sure that you’re sharing things that are genuine and realistic, not stuff you think they’ll like or will get you likes. A genuine person is a lot easier to follow than a disingenuous one, and I’m not going to lie, I’ve done the former and the latter.

I’ve posted images on my Instagram and tweets on Twitter that I thought would get me noticed rather than actually speaking from the heart or with a reason. But now I attempt to do that as little as possible.

My personal brand grew a lot more when I stopped focusing on whether people ‘liked me’ and focused instead on what I liked and what I enjoyed sharing. In the years since I’ve done that I’ve seen considerable growth in numbers as well as conversations, engagement, requests for work and appearances etc. And since I’m just being myself it’s been great.

Social media is key

Nearly every person has some form of social media and social media is the biggest platform from which to grow your personal brand.

You can focus on just one social media or you can focus on multiple ones. I’ve branched out and have Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and a blog but I would say my main focuses are on Twitter and my blog. I post very sporadically on my Instagram and my Facebook is mostly just my blog content and the occasional writing update.

I chose Twitter primarily because everyone within the publishing world is on Twitter and it is a very important platform in the industry. It’s also a great place to meet fellow bloggers, writers, and readers which is very much within my niche.

Instagram is great if you’re working on a visual brand or if you’re developing a career to do with art, film, media, music etc. But since I’m a writer I like to use my words – even in a limited number of characters – I prefer Twitter. If you want to choose Instagram though be sure to have a strong name, you can even use an Instagram name generator to help you choose this, and post regularly.

Whenever you post on social media just remember that if you wouldn’t say it out loud you shouldn’t be writing it down on social media. It’s practically the same thing. Don’t air your dirty laundry or argue/start fights. And remember, that whatever you post can be found later on so be mindful of your content: photo, text, or otherwise.

Sharing and Networking

Sharing and Networking are two very different things. When you share content, either your own or someone else’s that’s great, but it’s not the most engaging thing you can do.

If you want to grow your personal brand you need to engage with other people, be it bloggers within your niche, others in your career, people that you have a lot in common with, or people you admire. Sharing their content is a nice favour to them but it doesn’t really benefit you beyond telling your audience what kind of work/people you like.

Reach out as often as you can and comment as well like, retweet with a comment as well as just retweeting etc.

What are the benefits of a Personal Brand?

For me, since my brand is so tailored towards my career as a writer and someone in publishing, it has benefited my career.

I got every single one of my publishing jobs, bar my latest role, because of my work on social media and the growth of my personal brand. From starting a blog to developing my Twitter to networking with other professionals etc.

I also started my role as a journalist because of the pick-up I got from my personal brand when I shared an honest first-person piece on loneliness for the Huffington Post. That post led to speaking engagements, other writing jobs, and more.

By sharing my zero waste journey, branding myself as an activist, talking to others within the same mindset, and more I became a leading voice in beginning a zero-waste lifestyle and later an honest voice into the trials that come with such a lifestyle.

I’m forever grateful for all of the opportunities, and I only ever take opportunities that are genuine to me and my brand. But I also work on my blog, content, and audience engagement as much as I can when I can. It’s a never-ending process.

But, as I said above:

At no point should be working on your personal brand be a chore. It can be a job, but never a chore.

I wish you the best of luck with developing your personal brands and watching you fly. If you would like to share your social media accounts or blogs with me down below I would love to see them.

Love Ellie x

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How to Develop your Personal Brand

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