Do you have a Personal Brand? You have a business page on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, but how are you using your personal Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram? If you aren’t building and developing a personal brand by splitting yourself away from your business pages and using both your business and personal communities to develop the other, you’re missing the #1 marketing white space in 2019 – and this window is going to close very soon.
Think about the greatest businesses of the last twenty years – all of them have notable people leading the company. Most of the time they have several notable people. Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple – the best companies with the longest staying power have the most prominent personal brands behind them (or are forced to leverage the brands of athletes and celebrities which have proven to do well in the short term but ultimately fizzle over the years).
Now take this idea local – hyper local – your corner ice cream shop as a kid, for example. There’s a reason startups in your area are called “mom-and-pop” stores and not “man-and-woman” stores. The words we choose are never an accident – it’s because you know your mom and dad and you know the owners of these stores, too. Before there was digital personal branding, the people with the greatest brands were “mom-and-pop” stores and restaurants. It’s why you stop calling it by the store’s actual name and start calling by the owner’s name, “Let’s go to Ed’s Place,” when it’s really, “Corner Bar and Grill.”
In today’s day and age, mom-and-pops don’t have the social influence on their local communities because they haven’t been able to take their stories to the digital world. Before digital they could wait for people to walk in and charm them with their work ethic and customer service. In 2019, they’ve been circumvented by advertising dollars and more charismatic (or knowledgeable) online personalities or mascots (because if you don’t have a personal brand leading a company you have to have Ronald McDonald).
Practically speaking, developing a following with your personal Facebook account, Facebook groups, personal Instagram, personal Twitter, LinkedIn, and Meetup, gives you many ways to cultivate recognition, and, arguably, make any business feel “mom-and-pop” no matter how big they are. You can post in your personal brand and retweet it as the business. You can write an article on LinkedIn and share it in a Facebook group. You can start a meetup to meet at your place then use your old school personal mom-and-pop charm to convert customers to regulars. This is the essence of lifetime value – but first you have to get as many people into your “funnel” as possible. Which is really just to say you have to touch as many people as possible online by leveraging every social platform.
Good news: it’s 100% free. It just takes some mom-and-pop work ethic. For example, you can read about how to run a marathon, but eventually you have to strap your shoes on and get to it. There is no replacement or outsourcing effort here – your personal brand has to be you, your smart phone, and your two thumbs just like I’m doing now.
Don’t be intimidated by this process: everyone starts with zero followers. The key is to continue to engage with the most active people, get to know them, and then let your engagement do the work for you – every time you can end a sentence with a “?” you greatly increase the chances of keeping the conversation going. When you keep conversations going, you bump to the top of the thread not just for the person you’re engaging with, but everyone they know, too. Push to end every sentence with a “?” – ask questions of your community, don’t dictate to them – multiply this principe times every interaction every day for 365 days a year and I guarantee you’ll have more business by this time next year.
This article itself is an example for you to run with – I wrote it while addressing our franchisees in a private Facebook group, pushing them to engage and develop as much content as possible online while utilizing every single free resource at their disposal. This is how you develop content in “real time” – you just have to pay attention to the issues that face you every day, document them, post them, and share them everywhere there are eyes.
Now let’s go do it!
Hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org if there’s anything I can do for you.