Learning More About Personal Branding Strategy: Tips for Success
If you've been paying attention to the trends, then you know that we're moving toward individuality. For instance, companies and nonprofits are leveraging the power of influencers and micro-influencers.
Many people care about what other people similar to them have to say — and less of what global organizations have to say. As a result, we've moved away from old school advertising in which nonprofits dictated when and how they would connect. Now, you have groups using the power of a personal brand strategy by their executives to promote their causes.
Having a personal brand, even as part of a nonprofit, can pay you dividends. Creating a personal brand means developing a public image. As an example, think of heads of state, celebrities who are part of music bands or groups, and corporate executives. Many of them have personal brands that allow them to influence their followers. But their personal brands also promote what's happening with their countries, bands or businesses.
Benefits of Creating a Personal Branding Strategy
If you're a nonprofit executive, there are several reasons why you would want to consider developing a personal brand. First, as I mentioned, it allows you to leverage your followers to support your nonprofit. Also, when you create a personal brand strategy, you're the one who is communicating what you want to say. And because of it, you don't have others saying it for you.
Probably the best example of this (whatever your political party) is President Trump and his Twitter account. For better or worse, he says what he wants to say, and no one understands his brand better than him. However, others also know very well how to leverage their personal brands. Think of people such as Michelle Obama, Cristiano Ronaldo and Jane Goodall.
So, if you're ready, let's take a look at how to make your personal brand a part of your marketing plans.
Personal Branding Tips to Get You Followers
Side note, when you think of personal branding, remember you don't have to be a member of Generation Z or the Millennial generation to do it well. It doesn't matter how old you are; creating a personal brand can create a new way to approach and leverage followers for your work. Just a few examples of awesome older people with distinct social media accounts include Accidental Icon, George Takei and Iris Apfel.
1. Believe in Yourself and Your Digital Brand
First, before you even create a Facebook page, or better yet, an Instagram account, you have to believe in your brand. Take a little bit of time to reflect on yourself, and think of what makes you uniquely you.
Remember, social media followers can spot a fake in a heartbeat. So, if you have a personal style or are passionate about something, this is the time to be yourself and show it. Also, you have to believe in the brand you're building. Don't listen to what anyone else has to say about being you. You're the only you there is; follow your instincts and gut on what you want to share — and how.
2. Learn What It Means to Create a Personal Brand
Next, take the time to do a little research. Sure, you and your marketing team understand how to promote your nonprofit. However, creating a personal brand is different. Take the time to read a few books available that could offer you ideas.
For instance, read “Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future” or “Social Media Marketing 2020: Build Your Brand and Become the Best Influencer Using YouTube and Instagram Marketing.” Social media changes all of the time. Therefore, because of it, you want to stay ahead of the curve, especially if you seek to build a following.
3. Determine Your Boundaries
One of the things that I think is important to do, especially in the age of easy shares and social networking, is to think about your personal space. While you want people to get a sense of who you are as a person, you need not share everything.
For instance, one of the things many people choose not to share is their family life. Perhaps you have children, and you want to protect them. There's no reason to share anything about them in your social media account. However, if you wish to share your family life, that's OK, too. In the end, only you can determine your boundaries, but make sure to consider it before you start.
4. Consider Creating a Personal Website
Something you should consider is creating a personal website. Creating a site allows you to show other aspects of your personality.
Also, while social media is where most people will see you when you create a personal brand website, you fully control the message. Your site should complement your social media profiles visually and in the content you share. Remember, this is the authentic you — so that should be consistent from one platform to another.
5. Be thoughtful in the content you curate
Once you get started, think about the content you share. Create a profile of your target audience. In other words, think about who you want to attract. And, once you have an answer to that question, consider what is of value to them.
As an example, let's say you run a nonprofit serving the elderly. Because of it, you have a passion for this issue, as you well should. Perhaps you decide that you want to show how to grow older in an empowering way. Take the time to share how you're doing it in ways that are of value to your followers.
Finally, remember that the best social media accounts for personal brands are those that are authentic, but also fresh and fun. People will know if you're having a good time. So be yourself, and have a good time with it.
Kristy Morris is a creative professional in corporate and nonprofit social media advertising and brand strategy. As the chief marketing officer at Funds2Orgs and Elsey Enterprises, she works with a suite of global fundraising brands and manages national campaigns for her clients. She hosts a monthly webinar with Funds2Orgs, teaching nonprofits how to make an impact with their social media strategy. Kristy is a passionate individual that loves nothing more than to help others make an impact in their market and the world.
Kristy also contributes monthly to her NonProfit PRO blog, “Marketing IRL.”