Whether you’re selling products or just simply applying for a job, your personal brand is equally as important.
In both cases, when you shift your strategy to focus on your personal brand, you will make more money.
Are you selling products, or yourself?
If you said “products,” read on to find out why this way of thinking is flawed.
Many people seeking to make money online have spent all their time strategizing about how to market products.
They find a product that appeals to their niche market, such as frugality, blogging, or fitness. Then, they market that product as an affiliate marketer on an affiliate site. And that’s it. Their branding is all about the product they’re selling, not about themselves or their company. There’s nothing to distinguish their product from other marketers selling the same product.
This strategy doesn’t lead to big money.
For many online marketers, personal branding goes only as deep as whether they have a high seller’s rating on Amazon.com. They think that all a customer cares about is whether you ship quickly, send what you’re selling, and don’t rip people off.
So not true.
Many affiliate marketers think about personal branding even less since people leave their sites as soon as they click on a link. Therefore, they are buying a product from somebody else instead of buying it directly from you.
If you want to make more money, you need to sell yourself FIRST.
Let’s take a look at ways and situations where you can make more money through developing a good personal brand, both online and offline:
What is personal branding?
Personal branding is selling yourself to the public. It’s about taking responsibility for how you present yourself…and it should be an image that is in line with you career goals.
According to Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder:
Most workers have some sort of online presence today– and more than half of employers won’t hire those without one. This shows the importance of cultivating a positive online persona.
Furthermore, this article goes on to say that of the employers using social media today to screen candidates, “54 percent have decided not to hire a candidate based on their social media profiles.” Whoa!
This means that not only are potential employers judging you based on what they find online, most potential customers are bound to be just as influenced. Your image online informs them whether or not you’re an expert that can be trusted.
How can you take control of your public image
Although the Internet and social media make it easier for potential employers and others to find out about you, social media lets you take control of what people see and think about you in a way that you were simply unable to do before Facebook became popular among older adults.
Social media gives you the opportunity to rebrand yourself as a serious professional, quirky tech-savvy Twitter fiend, or whatever else you think will help you out in your job interviews. Having a Facebook profile that conveys a positive personal brand will help you to get a job and get paid more once you’re hired, since you’ll be in a better position to negotiate a higher salary.
Furthermore, when you start a company, your personal brand is more than just the “company.” It assigns a “personality” to your company and the products that your company sells.
Personal branding: Becoming an expert
After you’ve gotten your foot in the door, at some point you might want to start your own business and be your own boss. Who decides who’s an expert? Well, in business, nobody. In the science world, it’s people who make important discoveries and lead groundbreaking research (but even they have to market themselves within academia). Alternatively, in business, you can become an expert by showing that you’re an expert and taking your claim seriously.
If you act like an expert, people will think you’re an expert. If people think you’re an expert, you are an expert.
One great example of an online brand: Neil Patel. He’s a digital marketing expert, and he obviously practices what he preaches. His bald head is a big part of his branding! Not only does he come across as trustworthy and successful, but he’s also recognizable!
What does this mean for your business?
First off, if you’ve branded yourself as an expert, clients are less likely to micromanage and second-guess your decisions, which helps you retain clients even when they don’t get the results they want. This is because they see you as a trusted agent, someone whose knowledge lends credibility. With credibility, people take what you say about your area of expertise to be true. You can then use this advantage to charge expert rates.
That’s how you use your personal brand to make more money.
Secondly, once you establish a likable and trustworthy personal brand, any product you sell will be a reflection of that expert “personality.” This is how you sell more products, grow your company, and become a lasting brand and money maker.