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Thanks to a rise in recent years of industry leaders preaching the importance of building a personal brand, most entrepreneurs realize it can no longer be ignored.
Gone are the days where you could hide behind your product and still dominate your competition. Now, thanks to an abundance of market choice, consumers want to know more about who they’re buying from before making their buying decisions.
The businesses that will experience astronomical growth in the coming years are the ones who intentionally put their founders in the spotlight to show their audience that they’re real people. In other words, you need to place significant focus on building your personal brand right now if you want to stay connected to your audience and at the forefront of your industry for years to come.
The only problem? There’s a lot of misinformation on what it actually takes to build a personal brand people buy from. After spending the last decade of my career building my own personal brand and helping thousands of business owners do the same, I want to pull back the curtain and debunk some of the most commonly heard myths that may be keeping you stuck and confused when it comes to building your personal brand.
Related: How to Build an Authentic Brand
Myth 1: Getting on TV isn’t as lucrative as it once was
If you’ve ever thought your business would explode if you had more followers on social media, this first myth might sting a little. Unfortunately, consumers are more skeptical than ever before due to the pay-to-play approach some brands take with social media. With some personal brands paying for fake followers just to look more authoritative, consumers can smell it from a mile away. This means having a large social media following is no longer as impressive, or trustworthy, as it once was.
So, what is? Nothing other than traditional TV.
If you think getting on TV to speak about your business won’t help grow your personal brand, think again. Right now, it’s never been more impactful and effective to be seen on TV, because unlike buying followers on Instagram, you can’t buy your way into the press. The barrier to entry is thicker, but the authority and consumer trust you’ll experience as a personal brand is tenfold.
While it’s not as hard as some entrepreneurs may think, it is absolutely critical that you nail your pitch if you want a chance at capturing the press’s attention, and ultimately, landing yourself a spot on national television.
Myth 2: If you have a great product, customers will buy and remain loyal
While this might have been true years ago, times have changed. Having a great product is no longer the only thing that convinces a customer to stay with a brand long-term. If you want to grow your personal brand, it’s time to consider how you can incorporate critical social needs to your business’s initiative.
One of the most effective ways personal brands are doing this right now is by weaving their activism into their brand’s story. In simple terms: Pick a social cause you are genuinely passionate about, and start communicating it with your audience. This will not only deepen your audience’s trust in you, but set you apart from competition.
Related: How to Position Yourself as the Go-To Expert in Your Niche
Myth 3: You just need to post consistently on social media
A strategy guaranteed to not grow your personal brand is to post and pray. In other words, posting on social media alone isn’t going to catapult you to becoming a top-trusted authority in your industry.
While social media can play a huge role in helping you grow a platform and a brand, you need to keep in mind the other most important piece to the social media puzzle: Clear communication.
Anyone can create content, but content that goes viral and builds your personal brand is content that’s well communicated. Taking it one step further, clear communication is just as important offline as it is online. I learned that the ability to communicate was important to success. We put such an emphasis on social media, that we forget about real relationships. Go network, meet people in person, sell yourself and help people.
Myth 4: Just be relatable
Finally, if you want to build a strong personal brand, you need to know that being relatable to your audience doesn’t automatically grant you a ticket to success. While being vulnerable and relatable can help your audience see you as a human being, you need to focus on earning their trust if you want them to buy.
You may be able to capture attention, but trust is the key to convert that attention into sales and profit. Bottom line: It’s never been a better time to build a personal brand your customers love buying from, but the key is to approach your brand with one main goal in mind — to build unshakable trust.
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