If you're a rising star, whether a musician, actor, author, speaker or any type of performer, you might have heard of personal branding. But do you know what personal branding means for your career and whether you need it or not?
Let’s explore why personal branding is important for rising stars, and then how to get started figuring out your personal brand.
WHAT IS PERSONAL BRANDING?
Personal branding is how you personally are seen and remembered by others. It's your values, unique ideas, how you present yourself to the world, whether online or in 'real life'.
You might feel that when you're with people, you have a strong enough personality to be memorable, but what about before they meet you? A strong personal brand will have people talking about you, in the way you want them to - whether you are there or not.
WHY PERSONAL BRANDING IS IMPORTANT FOR RISING STARS
But surely that's all the marketing stuff that gets taken care of once you're represented by an agency, publisher, or maybe nabbed a recurring role in an awesome TV show?
The reality is, these days you need to get your personal brand sorted before any of that happens.
You’ve laid the foundations for a career in your chosen field, and you’re working hard at it. So the next thing on your agenda is getting yourself in front of the right people, whether it’s people you’d like to collaborate with, important connections, or fans who are likely to purchase your book, tickets to a show, and so on.
If you're looking to create a buzz about your latest project, or get more work in your industry, then having a strong personal brand is going to do a lot of the hard work and selling for you.
This is because personal branding is the secret ingredient that makes you stand out. It’s what differentiates you from everyone else in your genre. More importantly, it helps build trust with your audience, and creates an impact which makes you memorable.
Being memorable is what most rising stars get excited about, but please don’t discount ‘trust’. Trust is a huge factor when it comes to making connections with people who can help you get a deal or work in your industry.
This is why you want to work on your personal branding before you start promoting yourself and your projects. Having your personal brand refined will help you create marketing pieces that really catch the eye of those you’re trying to connect with. This is going to save you an incredible amount of time and unnecessary frustrations. It helps you avoid the issue of sending out press releases, one-sheets and other marketing pieces only to hear nothing back.
PERSONAL BRANDING GETS YOU TO YOUR GOALS FASTER
Have you ever wondered why someone who isn’t as talented as you has gotten more streams, more book sales, secured that job or deal, and so on? How the heck do they do it?
You might think it's a lot of promotion and knowing the right people. And you're partly right. The way they got to that point of having people willing to promote them, is because someone noticed that unique thing about them which clearly demonstrated them as being marketable.
The same goes for the audience. They connected with the performer, author, speaker, rising star, because they felt they related to them in some way. And more often than not, that relatability has more to do with a ‘special something’ brought out by personal branding, rather than what it is they’re offering to the world. This is why personal branding puts you ahead of the game.
BRING ON THE FANS!
Now if you’re a creative, this is where you might think “well, people will either like my music/writing/work or they won’t - how would personal branding make any difference?”
Again, personal branding helps you to be relatable and memorable. So if you’re trying to extend your reach online, your followers need to care enough to click through to your music, your video, to Amazon to see your book, and so on. Posting “Hey check out my new…” just doesn’t cut it. Not unless you’re already famous or already have an extremely dedicated fan base who are actively waiting for your posts. Whereas personal branding allows you to be magnetic so that your audience stops scrolling when they see your social media posts.
Not only does personal branding help you to create social media posts that keep your audience interested, it also helps your fans feel closer to you and invested in your journey. This is how you get super fans. Fans that are invested in what you’re doing, are the ones who will buy from you, and will happily spread the word, becoming a free, 24hrs a day, publicity machine for you.
However most people get this backwards on social media. They think they need to grow a following on social media quickly, then figure that somehow their followers will magically become raving fans. But that’s not how it works.
Think about it. If you have thousands of followers on social media, and what you’re posting isn’t resonating with them - there’s no reason for them to interact with you. And we all know that Instagram, Twitter, Facebook (and any future platforms!) push out content they feel your followers will like.
The result of building followers before working out your brand is having a whole lot of followers and barely any of them seeing what you post - including posts announcing you’ve just released a new album, going on a book tour and so on.
AGENTS, DEALS AND JOBS OH MY!
Knowing who you are as a brand, and being able to express it, is also what gets you noticed by agents and companies you want to work with, or be represented by. It’s what distinguishes you from others in your industry and genre. And this makes it easy for them to know you’re going to be the right fit for the project.
Agents and companies love working with people who already understand their brand. They know it means you know who you are, and where you’re going. And that you’re coming to them with a dedicated fan base. That makes you highly marketable.
HOW TO GET STARTED WITH PERSONAL BRANDING
So what's going to help you stand out? I alluded to it before, and that is ‘You’.
You are going to be the only difference. So you might be thinking “Awesome! Then I don’t need to do anything except be me”. But the trick is to make sure you present that real you in a way that others notice. Because there's a big difference between being authentically you, and others actually being able to connect with you, and be fascinated by you.
One way to do this is to make a list of things that clearly distinguish you as a person, and as an artist, performer, speaker, author etc. What is it about you, and what you do, that makes you interesting to your audience? What do they get from following you? And what is it about you, and what you do, that would make you the best candidate for that job or deal?
These things that you list, are going to create the foundations of all your future marketing. You want to have this list close by and refer to it when you're posting on social media or creating any of your marketing materials.
This allows you to be consistent with that brand. Your social media posts, your one-sheet, your website, every part of your marketing needs to reflect your personal brand and making sure everything aligns with each other.
So now I hope this post has given you the encouragement you need to work out your personal brand, then get out there and shine like the star you are. Let me know how you’re going with your personal branding, I’d love to hear from you. Or if you’re ready to supercharge your career with your personal brand and social media, give me a yell, I’d be happy to answer your questions on this topic.