How is your personal brand doing?
No, really—how’s it doing?
Do you open your inbox each day to a flood of people talking about how they love being your customer, how you changed their business, health, and life, or about how incredible your message is?
Or do you open your inbox only to be doused with comments from upset customers and people complaining about something you said in an article four months ago?
We live in a day and age when much crap is produced. People want to buy from and follow a business that has a relatable figurehead, someone who is personable and trustworthy—who speaks to their specific needs.
So, I will ask again: How’s it going for you?
If you are struggling to build your personal brand and are looking for actionable steps you can take each day to double the size of You, Inc., improve your income, and increase your impact in the world, read on.
Note that not all of these things have to be done daily. This is a guide full of different ways you can double your personal brand.
As Bruce Lee said,
“Absorb what is useful, reject what is not, make uniquely what is your own.”
In my experience, building a personal brand is hard work. It’s hard work to get it off the ground. It’s hard work to grow it. It’s hard work to sustain it.
So, why do we do it?
Because it’s fulfilling. Not only do you get to experience personal fulfillment, but you can improve the lives of those around you. Building a personal brand is worth the effort because it increases your positive impact in the world.
Besides, a personal brand helps you financially. Whether you run your own business or work as part of a larger business, there are virtually no downsides to building a personal brand.
If you’re ready to double the size of your personal brand—and enjoy the many life benefits that come as a result—this is the article you’ve been waiting for.
1. Write from the heart
One of the best things you can do to build your personal brand is to write daily/regular authentic blog posts where you talk about your life, your struggles, and your triumphs while offering real value to your audience.
People love to read the authentic stuff.
You can’t fake authenticity. It’s hard to open up, to be real, to feel raw, and to share things that are, well, heartfelt.
But what does this do for your personal brand and your audience?
It will show others you are a real person, just like them, and make you far more relatable. People like to know the person from whom they are buying, and doing this positions you as a “friendly expert.”
2. Take a picture doing something you love, and post it on social media
A picture is truly worth a thousand words. Posting regular pictures on social media of you partaking in a favorite activity will make you more relatable to everyone and will build special rapport with people who share your interest.
For example, gym pics, pics at the gun range (a highly polarizing activity that will likely generate some controversy, so be warned), in the kitchen, or at the movies are all great ways to seem more personable and start great conversations with your followers.
3. Create a daily YouTube video
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a billion or so, right?
Have you ever noticed that a lot of the YouTubers making millions of dollars built up their following through daily vlogs?
This was not by accident.
Getting on camera for thousands to see is hard, but if you can pull it off, people will get to peek into your life. It makes you far more relatable, often to the extent that if they meet you in person, they will already feel like they know you.
There’s a huge value in that. Your brand isn’t just an artificial projection of what you want people to see. With video, it becomes a reflection of who you actually are.
4. Start a daily or weekly podcast
If you have a radio voice (even if you don’t), podcasts can be a great option to build your personal brand.
You can talk about your life and important issues for 10-15 minutes a day and get things edited and uploaded rather easily.
This is easier than YouTube, and while it is not quite as personal, it will still get the job done.
Podcasts are alive and well, and there are hundreds of thousands of people who still get their daily earful while commuting to work or while exercising.
5. Write one heartfelt Facebook post every day
If you have a large Facebook following, writing out a few-hundred-word Facebook post that intrigues readers and invokes responses is a great way to get your voice out there and develop rapport with your followers.
Often, the most engaging Facebook posts are the most sincere. Facebook is meant for camaraderie and close relationships. Use the platform for what it’s meant to do—create rich and meaningful relationships.
Creating Facebook groups is one way to ensure your personal brand stays close-knit. Take this example from a Facebook group. The person who shared this post got more than 100 reactions and comments in just a few hours.
Also, don’t be afraid to be polarizing. The more you stay true to your beliefs and opinions, the more respect you will get, and the more press you will receive.
6. Open up about issues that are bothering you or challenges you’re facing
If you find yourself keeping your challenges to yourself, hiding behind the comfort of the Internet, you limit the conversation to boring topics instead of talking about issues and challenges that can inspire readers and make you more relatable.
Nobody gets excited over a personal brand that’s flat, bland, or drama-free. That’s not personal. That’s guarded.
I mean this in the nicest way possible: Get over yourself.
Seriously. We’re all people here. We all face challenges. The more we open up about our struggles, the more feedback, heart, emotion, and relationships we can develop.
A great example of this is Tim Ferriss’s post on suicide. The number of responses and amount of feedback this post got was staggering, all because he was willing to be vulnerable.
7. Create an aura of professionalism
Here is the thing: you are supposed to be the “Friendly expert,” not the “Friendly loser.” Just because you are trying to be relatable to people doesn’t mean you should completely abandon professionalism.
Everything I explained about authenticity and vulnerability above holds true. But keep this in mind—stay professional.
Obama is a professional, holding one of the highest offices on the planet. He can be down-to-earth and authentic, but even in those most playful moments, he keeps it professional.
It takes skill to pull off a stunt like that. But it also takes a high degree of professionalism.
As real as you are, you’re not looking for a thousand shoulders to cry on. You’re not posing as a dramatist. You’re a professional person who does great work and wants to help others do great work as well.
Lewis Howes knows how to create a powerful personal brand. As authentic as his writing and podcast is, he still maintains a sense of decorum and professionalism in all his publications and visuals.
You need to make sure your site and pictures look professional and the content you release is top notch, period.
8. Do crazy stuff regularly
Want to know one of the best ways to increase your personal brand? Be memorable! The world is full of boring people trying to make it online. Don’t be one of them!
Skydive in New Zealand, make a crazy gamble, commit to learning a new language in a month and offer to give your whole email list a free book if you fail.
Richard Branson has a great personal brand, and he doesn’t hesitate to show pictures of himself doing crazy stuff, like posing next to a snoozing employee.
Many personal brand builders are eager to open up about their hobbies and passions. That’s why they have a personal brand. Others love to get a glimpse of their lives and maybe be inspired to do things they wouldn’t otherwise do.
James Clear runs a highly successful personal blog. One of his passions is travel—but not your typical touristy travel. He does ultralight travel, and he tells you how to do it too.
Sure, it may be crazy. But it’s also engaging.
Do memorable stuff, and people will flock to you.
9. Show yourself with friends and family
Have you noticed that the two biggest keys here are being relatable and likable? Good! Because, THEY ARE.
If you want to be super relatable, show yourself hanging out with your family and friends.
People often get intimidated by experts. But if you show them you are a regular person who eats, drinks, and uses the bathroom just like they do, you will be much more successful. And showing yourself being with your family and friends is a great way to do this.
10. Talk about yourself and your life
Make sure in your content, you relate the topic, no matter what it is, back to your life, your struggles, and your successes.
Basically, show people that whatever you are teaching is not just for the select few—it’s for everyday, ordinary people.
11. Get mentions from reputable sources
What would it do for you if I gave a shout out to your company? What if Richard Branson gave you an endorsement?
While those things probably won’t be happening anytime soon (although if you create some really amazing content, we can talk), climbing the mentions ladder and catching the eye of big names is a great way to build your brand quickly.
12. Share a “lesson of the day/week” in an email
Another great way to build your brand, especially with a large email list, is to share regular emails discussing a lesson you have learned.
If you do these right, making them purely about giving value with no promotional cause, people will respect you more and be more inclined to open emails you are sending to sell stuff later on.
13. Just be yourself
The most powerful way you can build your personal brand is to be yourself. Be authentic in everything you do.
You’ll have ups, downs, challenges, breakthroughs, scary moments, euphoria moments, and it will all be worth it. Do you.
Never espouse an opinion that is not yours. Never recommend products you do not believe in. Never pretend to be someone you are not. People will see through it, and your brand will suffer.
While doing all 13 of the things on the above list would certainly grow your brand and fan base at a record fast pace, it would probably also kill you.
This is not meant to be a comprehensive guide to building your personal brand but rather a list of ideas you can implement to grow your brand at a faster pace than you already are.
So pick three to five of the above things (in addition to number 13, of course), and start executing on a daily basis. Give it a go for the next 6 months, and just see where it gets you.
I’ve experienced remarkable success in building my personal brand. Why? It’s not because I’m special. It’s simply because I’ve worked on it for more than ten years.
Six months is a lot shorter than ten years. But I’m confident that in six months from now, as long as you do a few things on this list, your personal brand will double in size.
With that kind of success, who knows where you’ll be in ten years?
What tactics have you tried in building your personal brand? What worked? What flopped? What would you try again if you were guaranteed to get results?