Tuesday, 04 June 2024 04:42

3 proven methods to grow your personal brand

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Content marketing. Are you doing it? If you are, does that content actually serve your growth and the goals of your business? 

Promotion has never been optional for entrepreneurs and the digital age continues to enhance the potency of content marketing in drawing eyeballs and closing sales. So if you said yes to either of those two questions, this article is for you.

One of the most common pieces of advice that people get when it comes to content revolves around "just going out and posting." 

While the old Gretsky adage is certainly true about missing all the shots you don't take, there has to be more specific and tailored advice for professionals and entrepreneurs looking to market themselves online.

Effective content has to have some sort of prima facie value that is wholly contained in the specific post itself. The key is serving people first - without them feeling like they're getting warmed up to a pitch or being sent down a funnel. 

With social media marketing, it's a long game, one that centers around building a reputation for adding value while asking little in return. So what does content that adds value to both you and your target audience look like?

Give Before You Ask

I spoke with Neel Dhingra on how professionals can be creating content that is a win-win for creators and audiences alike. Dhingra, a long-time loan officer in the mortgage and real estate industry, and now the founder and CEO of Forward Academy, helping professionals with their personal brands.

"Give before you ask," Dhingra advises. "Give valuable information that helps people." Usually, people put the customer on the left and a closed sale on the right. From first contact, so many entrepreneurs are asking people to start moving along that spectrum immediately.

But so many consumers, especially those from the younger generation, aren't keen on moving forward quickly. They have grown accustomed to a middle step in which they are able to gather informant information. 

They follow you, learn through your digital assets, and then gain the confidence to start asking more specific questions that lead to the results you want.

Instead of trying to focus on the bottom of the funnel, where people are rushing into transacting right now, this strategy allows you to reach people who may be six to twelve months away from buying your product or service.

It takes longer, yes. But this slow, methodical approach allows you to appeal to a wider audience, yielding higher results when they eventually warm to you.

Building Relationships Through Story

One of the difficult elements for people to navigate is coming up with creative ideas for captivating content. 

From a technical perspective alone, it seems like the framework for the most popular media is constantly changing. Optimizing and innovating on how specifically you are connecting through content is important. 

But while these details change as quickly as the latest Instagram update or the overnight rise of a new social media giant like TikTok, the essence of good content continues to surround relationship building. "To get all the benefits of social media," Dhingra says, "you have to create that connection with people."

What's a great way to foster this? By sharing your story. Opening up about the mission or why behind what you do is powerful stuff. 

People are attracted to somebody with a plight, especially when that mission ties into a problem that they can personally resonate with. "The personal aspect is what starts most of the conversations on social media," Dhingra says. 

Sharing the behind the scenes at work in addition to showing people a little into your personal life can have a big impact. It allows people to relate to you, which makes them feel comfortable to ask questions, enter conversations, and do business with you.

The goal is to connect your purpose and story with the needs and wants of the target audience. That, for someone who's ready to put out content of inherent value, is a formula for success.

Where To Post Content?

On the topic of where to post, Instagram's reels are still amongst the hottest mediums in town. Instagram is still lagging TikTok," he says. "Until they catch the user attention their competitor has, they're giving short-form content creators free reach."

Instagram is also particularly powerful for its integration of a direct message feature, essential for driving that relationship-building element mentioned earlier. Beyond this, long-form certainly is not dead. 

For those whose industry or subject matter warrant lengthier explanations, YouTube is still the place to be. Many of the entrepreneurs I speak to aren't using content marketing to its full potential. 

We live in a digital landscape that developed quickly and is now beginning to solidify its presence as a global mover of all things business. It's easy to look at that and leap to the conclusion that the ship has sailed to be effective content marketers of our personal and professional brand. 

But, with the right insight and good intentions for what you want your deliverables to give people, the sky's the limit for how you can network and grow through content marketing. 



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