Personal branding should be at the top of the to-do list for every aspiring professional.
It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in or what you’re doing. If you’re aspiring to be the very best you can be in your field, then you should be branding yourself.
What do I mean by personal branding?
We all have a name; your name is unique to you. It doesn’t matter how many people in the world have the same name as you, because to you; your name will always be identified with yourself.
Much like company names, your name represents something; it represents your personal identity, unique perspectives and expertise. For me, this is SEO and digital marketing. Taking this idea, it makes complete sense for me to create a website about SEO marketing and my interest, right? This is what I set out to do with daniellaw.org.
Personal branding and blogging
There are many significant advantages to personal branding via online blogging. In fact, when I say significant advantages, this is actually an understatement.
These seven important points are why I think personal branding via blogging is an absolute must for professionals who are striving to become the best they can possibly be.
#1 – Teacher and student learning cycle
I believe that we’ve all experienced this statement at one point or another. We learn about a topic by reading a textbook, that’s great. Well, by learning about it and then discussing it with a friend, this is where we accelerate our learning the most.
By writing about a topic, what you would have done is reprocessed the information in your head. You’ve made sense of it and explained it in a way that deepens your understanding of the subject. This is exactly why in anything you do, teachers or mentors always stress the fact that you must execute. Take proactive action on what you learn because understanding the theory just isn’t enough to achieve rapid success in learning.
#2 – An outlet to showcase your expertise and knowledge
Personal branding via blogging allows you to display your expertise in your field.
Let’s say, for example; you are working to become the best personal trainer in your city. The topics you would likely cover would be titles such as common dietary myths or top five most effective shoulder exercises. Ideally, you’d want to cover as many topics as possible relating to each topic theme (eg. diet, chest exercises, shoulder exercises and leg exercises, etc.).
Over time, you will slowly start to realise that your blog can work as your online resume or portfolio. This is invaluable to an employer as it shows long-term, personal commitment to self-improvement in your field. Additionally, your branded blog will represent a magnitude of other positive things. It will represent that you take pride in your work, you’re a self-starter and can work independently without the need to be managed.
Think about it, if two candidates were applying for the same position and both are equal in experience and skills, who would you hire? Kind of hard right? Well, what if I said one had consistently branded him or herself for two years and the other having not. Would the decision now be simpler? Quite frankly, I’d be more interested to see what the branded blogger would have to say.
Never underestimate the power of showcasing your work, after all, you never know who could be watching. By putting yourself out there, you exponentially increase the chances of being found.
#3 – Improve your writing skills & vocabulary
The title says it all. If you write, then you’re going to get better gradually. It’s nature’s law of cause and effect. You might not notice it within a week, two weeks or even two months, but surely and slowly you will improve.
By consistently writing, you will pick up on new terms you thought you’d never use. You’ll improve on your grammar and spelling, and soon enough you’ll be publishing two thousand words articles in a heartbeat. My point is if you consistently stick with it, you will only get better.
It’s important to understand that no matter how bad you are at writing or how scared you are about blogging, the most important thing is that you start.
If you’re afraid of your work been judged, just know that somewhere in the world there is at least one person who would find value in what you have to share. Always ensure you’re providing genuine worth, you can not lose.
#4 – Freedom of expression & connection
We’re a species that can not survive alone. Most of us need to express ourselves freely in order to feel accomplished and free. When we’re in this state, we thrive.
Blogging is a great channel that allows young professionals to openly express ideas and thoughts on a subject matter. Its ability to bring us closer to like-minded people and connect and expand on ideas is a very powerful concept.
For example, you’ve just met someone for the very first time and you immediately start discussing the latest subject in your chosen area of expertise. The other person responds and builds on top of your list of ideas. Five minutes later, you find yourself lost in deep conversation. You think to yourself, where has this person been all my life? The moment you feel this is the moment you feel a sense of accomplishment, personal fulfilment in other words. You’ve achieved this by freely expressing your ideas leading to a genuine connection with a like-minded individual.
Via blogging, you’re able to quite easily achieve freedom of expression and connection. Express your ideas as you please because the web is simply too powerful of a tool to not be utilised.
#5 – Build a targeted, high-quality loyal following
We’ve all seen it before, Instagram athletes with one million followers and makeup channels on Youtube with a five hundred thousand subscribers. This is the time to be building massive loyal followings of like-minded people who see genuine value in your work.
Brand yourself by creating a quality blog that consistently releases valuable content that your community is looking for. There’s no way around hard, time-consuming work. However, if you dedicate yourself entirely to building your personal brand, then you’re already on the inclining path to becoming an authority in your field.
There’s no better time to achieve this than now, the present.
If you were to think about it, a short twenty years ago, the internet wasn’t as freely accessible compared to what it is today. Social media and personal blogs were nothing but a fantasy. The available channels to connect with mass markets was controlled by the media (television, radio and newspaper). There were very limited ways for individuals to be able to get their ideas out there to the masses.
If you wanted to advertise or publish an ad or article, you’d quite literally be required to pay thousands of dollars. Individuals like you and me simply had no chance of been heard.
Fast forward twenty years, and we’ve been gifted with the power of online communication. The ability to publish anything we want, at any time we want, and instantly be heard. That’s the power of personal branding via blogging; you’re essentially creating your own media outlet.
#6 – Blog monetization by providing immense value
This idea expands on point #5. We live in a capitalistic society where nothing of man-made value is provided for free.
Cristiano Ronaldo gets paid thousands of dollars per Twitter Tweet. Instagram models are showered with free products for them to feature in a simple photo. In return, the advertisers receive a nice bump in sales and massive brand exposure.
When it comes to blogging, we too can achieve the same thing.
Say you’ve been working on your personal brand for two years. You’ve consistently made quality blog posts and have now amassed a daily visitor count of one thousand people per day. One way of monetization is to place relevant ads on your blog. Another channel of monetization is to review quality products that your following will find value in purchasing. In return, you may receive a commission on each sale.
There are many, many monetization strategies you can use. Some more effective than others. This would work on a case-by-case basis and would heavily depend on your audience and industry. The most important thing to keep in mind is to never compromise the integrity of your brand in exchange for cheap monetization techniques.
What I mean by this is, imagine if someone like Cristiano Ronaldo had featured in a television ad for a company who designed very low quality football boots. The company would have offered a very high figure sum to ensured he signed the deal. While Ronaldo would have been laughing all the way to the bank, the reality is that he would have heavily tarnished the integrity of his brand by associating himself with low quality boots.
One way to prevent this from happening is to envision what your personal brand symbolises from the beginning. This allows you to stay focused on building the brand you want to eventually grow into. While the concept of your personal brand may slightly change over time, it’s important to always keep in mind of your brand’s core values. After all, these values are the same values that will help grow your brand to connect with its users. Sudden changes in your value can result in loss of trust.
#7 – Become an industry authority
Becoming an industry authority may sound daunting. It may even sound a lot harder than it is. The reality is that it’s possible.
For example, I know two friends who are absolute dog lovers. They know everything about dogs, from breeds, pet behaviours, common diseases to best pet groomers in the area. What this all is, is specialised knowledge. What you can do with specialised knowledge is brand yourself as the ‘dog expert’. Write about absolutely everything related to dogs. Their common habits, specific breeds, how to best take care of them, everything!
By researching, writing and publishing new valuable content a frequent basis, this will eventually land you as a trendsetter. You will naturally attract more and more users. Competitors and other related websites will start referencing your work, and you will have attracted a community of like-mind people.
The best part is, you will have become an industry leader possibly without you ever realising. Commitment, focus and passion all compound. With time, it will ultimately compound your personal brand to becoming an online authority.
Take action and start your personal brand now.
If you’re passionate about your field and believe your potential to influence and steer your community in the right direction positively, then personal branding is the way to go.
Along with all my listed points of benefits of personal branding via blogging, it’s a no-brainer that you should be starting your personal brand now.
In my next blog, I will cover all the steps to successfully creating your own blog and starting your journey of self-branding. Stay tuned for more!
Disclaimer: Like everything in life, to achieve long-term goals means you need to invest the hard work consistently. By work I mean, establish your website, have it hosted on a server, learn content writing, learn editing, SEO, online marketing and much more. For some, it will come naturally, for others who aren’t tech-savvy, I recommend reading as much as possible. There are plenty of guides on the web and finding a reliable article shouldn’t be hard.