The internet is an incredible resource for those looking to build a strong personal brand. It can provide you with a platform to reach a worldwide audience, specific to your industry, helping to position yourself as an expert and thought leader.
When I first founded my marketing agency, I leveraged personal branding to scale its growth. Over time, that personal branding effort helped pivot the company from a service provider to an online marketing consulting agency. That pivot wouldn't have been possible without a solid personal brand already established. If you are ready to amplify your personal brand online, consider these four tools.
1. Facebook Groups
Strengthening your personal brand requires that you get personal, and there is no better platform than Facebook. One of the most effective way to engage with people within a specific industry is via Facebook Groups.
Create a group, then invite your audience to join. Your email list and social media followers are a great place to start. I would highly advise you to create a private group and approve members before adding them. This screening process will help to eliminate 99 percent of spam issues.
Facebook fan pages are a thing of the past -- groups are where the action and engagement is these days, and anyone that is currently active in a group or runs one already, will tell you that Facebook is putting a lot of energy into the feature.
Once you have an audience, it gives you the ability to host round-table discussions, Q&A sessions and even broadcast live to your group. As the value you provide increases, so will the number of requests to join your group, as word can travel quickly when a group is providing exceptional value.
2. Educational video courses
Video courses are hot right now for two reasons. First, video content is easy to digest and consumers prefer it over whitepapers and long-form blog posts. Second, there are so many platforms that you can use to distribute video content, allowing you to be seen and heard by consumers in your industry.
If you provide exceptional value, your personal stock will increase tremendously. You can self-host videos on YouTube or Vimeo, but if you want to leverage the power of an e-learning audience, consider using platforms like Teachable, Udemy, Skillshare or one of the other dozens of online course marketplaces.
"Self-publishing online training videos is a great way to put your expertise out there, and build trust and reputation, as a result. It's a platform that rewards those that truly have something to teach and experiences to share," says Steven McConnell, Director or Marketing of Arielle Careers.
If you are looking for a profitable side hustle, creating and self-publishing courses might be a good idea. It's a great solution for busy learners and a great business idea if you have something to teach other people.
As mentioned before, video content is extremely popular right now, making webinars a very valuable component of personal brand building. Not only can you analyze the engagement metrics of a webinar, like when viewers drop off or respond to a call-to-action, but all of this can be done on auto-pilot by using pre-recorded webinars.
Software combos like WebinarJam and EverWebinar allow you to automate the entire process, allowing users to sign up for your webinar at anytime and be presented with what appears to be a live presentation. Consumers are smarter than most marketers think, so don't insult their intelligence by claiming it's live -- but if you do want to take it a step further, you can host live webinars for an extra personal touch.
One of the best-kept secrets is Quora. The platform's tag line describes it perfectly: "A place to share knowledge and better understand the world." It's a Q&A resource that features a sea of questions about the industry and topics that you want to become the expert in.
It's a very beginner-friendly platform that will allow you to find your voice, connect with and start to build an audience. You can use it as a stepping stone for additional personal brand building, and it takes nothing more than time, expertise and consistency.