Having been working at a marketing agency for the last couple of years, I’ve had the chance to work with different kinds of brands. And, although every brand has their own needs, one category stands alone: personal brands. In 2018, the industry of personal branding has been in incredible incline. More and more young and middle-aged people are catching the wave of building a strong personal brand. They see the tremendous upside that it can bring to their lives, personally and professionally, and more and more people see how all aspects of their lives can be improved through embarking on such a journey.
But are they doing it right?
What I see is many social media influencers today are forgetting one of the most important things when it comes to branding: USP, your unique selling proposition. In fact, when branding ourselves, we are in a way selling ourselves to be more attractive, more professional, more human. Brands of products have been doing it for years. Through advertising and positioning, product brands have tried to appeal to our feelings and to our “human side”. For example, Coca Cola has always positioned itself with smiling people, winking at happiness, and their latest slogan “Taste The Feeling” is a powerful emotional driver.
What does this have to do with personal branding?
Well, be it obvious but too often overlooked, personal brands don’t have to “try hard” to appeal to our human side, because personal brands are by definition humans. Let’s take the example of fashion and style bloggers. They are known for posting professional pictures of themselves wearing their suit or dress of the day. They write a witty line as the description and leave it at that: product. What many of social personalities today are missing is the human connection between influencer and fan. Their “edge” lies in the fact that they have the advantage of not having to fake human qualities. It never hurts to put a little more effort in investing in that connection.
One of the most effective ways to foster a stronger connection with your fans is by incorporating your values system into your personal brand. We all have core values that we follow (e.g. accomplishment, ethical) and things that we stand against. Sharing these values with your fans is part of what makes you so attractive. Fans can agree or disagree with your point of view on matters, and will be able to relate, or not, with your core values which they share, or not. This in itself sparks a conversation that allows people to feel more connected to you, in a more human way. The good thing about core values is that they rarely change for a person. For example, if your neighborhood pet influencer (who could have a show about pets), is in love with giving back to her community through regular donations and volunteering, and you happen to share that quality with her, you may feel more connected to her and may give her more attention. Such a connection is genuine, wholesome and, well, human, which is what this is all about right?
Thanks for reading,
P.S. For more info on personal branding and influencer marketing, check out the free course on our website.