The Importance Of A Strong Personal Brand In Influencer Marketing
2 January 2020 11:52am
Influencers are often branded as lazy millennials who can’t get a ‘real job’. However, the misconception that they are just entitled kids who have landed on their feet is highly inaccurate. Whilst this may be true of some ‘influencers’, as it is true for people in life generally, the best creators are those with talent and a strong personal brand. For authentic creators, their personal brand comes before anything else. We’re taking a look at why it is so important, and the kind of work that goes into creating and upholding a personal brand.
What is a personal brand?
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos famously said: “your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” A personal brand is how you showcase your expertise. For creators, as well as those in other professions, it’s an ongoing process of developing a reputation and establishing yourself as an expert within a niche. Personal branding involves showcasing your unique skills, experience and personality in a way that is authentic and relatable.
Building a personal brand requires a person to take an active role in marketing themselves. Instead of promoting a product or service, for many creators, they themselves are the brand. As such, it’s essential that they remain authentic and stay true to their personal brand so as to avoid being lost in a sea of creators who have a stronger sense of identity.
What goes into building a personal brand?
Creating a personal brand is hard work. Alongside consistently putting out content, building a personal brand requires a dedication to authenticity in a number of ways. Take a look at some of the essential ingredients needed to build a personal brand:
Finding an authentic niche
To build a strong personal brand you have to have something you authentically believe in and consistently put it out there. Many content creators spend years figuring out who they are and what they’re good at before they start creating content that engages people. It’s not possible for creators to build a personal brand based on things that they don't genuinely care about. People will always see through it. Therefore, finding an authentic niche will always come first.
The world of influencer marketing has evolved in recent years, with consumers and brands now placing value in authenticity over anything else. Working with brands for money doesn’t work anymore, and most creators who took that route have ended up fizzling out pretty quickly. Nowadays, being open and honest, and authentic to yourself, is the only way to create a personal brand that people are interested in.
Creating relatable and inspiring content
In order to build an authentic following, it’s essential to create content that is relatable and inspiring. Essentially, content creators need to add value to other people’s lives. The content needs to be useful and interesting, whilst also being relatable. People want to follow lifestyles that inspire them, but at the same time aren’t too far from their reality. Content has to be aspirational and relatable, or people will lose interest.
Staying true to the personal brand
Once a personal brand has been created, it’s important that creators stay true to it. For Influencer, as an influencer marketing platform, this means bringing creators into the early stages of a campaign, so that they can collaborate with brands in a way that is authentic. Instead of just putting out a brief, we’re putting out a brand message and asking creators how they would respond. For creators, this means staying authentic to the brand but also being authentic to themselves. Instead of ‘selling out’ and working on campaigns aren’t aligned with their values, staying true to a personal brand is essential.
Keeping in line with a theme
Whilst remaining authentic is possibly the most important part of building a personal brand, it’s also key to have a theme that is consistent. Once a creator has found their niche, it is key that they remain consistently within this niche, stretching only to peripheral topics. If you’re a fitness creator, the occasional piece of travel content will interest followers but they probably won’t want to see your friend’s new baby.
Why is personal branding so important?
Whether you’re a social media content creator or not, in today’s world, having a personal brand is extremely important. Whether we like it or not, our online profile often precedes us. Thus, showcasing your expertise in your particular field or niche can work in your favour. Producing consistent informative content on your speciality will instil trust and credibility in you among your followers or those within your industry.
Influencer marketing is built on trust, with followers trusting the creators they follow to give them genuine recommendations on products and services they use and believe in. Thus, for content creators, establishing a trusted personal brand is of the utmost importance if they want to work in partnership with companies.