by Tina Courtney
Thanks to the irrepressible popularity of social media, the lines between personal and professional branding have been almost completely erased. Today, it is essential for any business person to have an established personal brand; personal branding helps to authenticate an individual as a thought-leader, expand their reach, and contribute to their revenue stream.
Building a rock star personal brand is a daunting task. It requires boldness and fortitude, and the willingness to expose yourself authentically to the world.
Building a powerful online persona is not for everyone. But for those who aspire to brand greatness, there’s a way to blaze a trail.
On October 14th, 2015, Mark Fidelman, CEO of Fanatics Media, hit the Blab.im platform and delved into this essential marketing tactic by exploring why personal branding is essential for everyone in business. He was joined by branding experts Grant Cardone, Shanna Moakler, and Dr. Joyce Knudsen. Watch the replay below:
Grant Cardone is a wealth coach, serial entrepreneur, and New York Times best-selling author with a highly engaged following of more than 1.5 million individuals across social platforms. Grant has built his personal brand into a personal empire.
Executive Director for the Miss Nevada USA pageant, Shanna Moakler is herself a former Miss Teen All American and Miss New York USA winner. As an actress, model, and entrepreneur, Shanna has turned her name into a business that has worked alongside massive brands such as TJ Maxx and Calvin Klein. She has likewise appeared in national publications like Cosmopolitan and Maxim.
Dr. Joyce Knudsen is a business mentor and expert image consultant with more than 30 years’ experience. She’s also the youngest 71-year-old we know. Her company, The ImageMaker, Inc. helps aspiring individuals to understand and cultivate a strong and positive self-image. With more than one million followers across social networks, Dr. Joyce is a world-renowned image professional. (Due to technical difficulties, she joined the later part of the conversation).
Here’s what these brand gurus had to say about the process of becoming an iron clad entity.
The Benefits to Personal Branding
As the Blab opened, Mark asked his panel what the benefits of building a personal brand are:
Shanna stated that by putting oneself out there, individuals make it easy for brands to find them and interact with potential offers. She then reflected on how she helped Miss Nevada winner, Nia Sanchez, build her personal brand; she now has over 140,000 followers on Instagram and business opportunities galore because of these efforts.
Grant shared a similar sentiment pointing out that if people are not opening themselves up on social by letting others know who they are and what they stand for, no business will seek them out. Without a prominent personal brand, most people remain invisible.
Mark then inquired about the first step in the process: “Before you got started in building your personal brand, how did you determine what that was?”
Grant answered that he first drew a diagram consisting of what channels he could share information through and what areas he was knowledgeable in. He advised not to worry about the money; that will come in time with authenticity.
Shanna revealed that people just need to figure out who they are and what they love and to go after that. She emphasized establishing a target audience and encouraged folks to ask questions to find out what they want to learn.
Is Personal Branding for Everyone?
Mark highlighted that not all folks are extroverted and do not feel comfortable in the spotlight, and wondered if personal branding is fit for everyone.
Shanna felt that it is for everyone, no matter what their niche may be. She stated that for business owners, “It can quadruple your business if you get out there and you learn to showcase yourself properly.” She also said that personal branding is all about finding the social channels people personally enjoy; that’s where passions can be showcased and discovered.
Grant agreed, stating: “If you’re not willing to go out into the marketplace and talk to people, you’re not going to do well on this planet.” But he did dispute Shanna’s social media claim, pointing out that social media is not about what makes the individual comfortable, but about connecting virtually with your audience in the places where they like to hang.
Building a Brand
Mark got to the heart of the Blab when he asked: “What specific activities have helped you build your brand the fastest?”
Dr. Joyce advises, “Initiate conversations. They need to do notifications and mentions. They need to talk to people. They need to make themselves available when somebody wants to ask them a question and then select the people that you think are high influencers to Follow Friday with.”
Shanna responded, “For me it’s just really interacting with my fans on social media. My brand was built the fastest by using social.”
Grant took a different approach. “For me, it’s frequency and content. People need to be willing to be frequent and to create an audience where you are delivering something dependable. You cannot get quality fans without quantity. It is impossible.” Grant also went on to state that content should be delivered daily, or it simply won’t be as effective.
Selecting Social Channels
With all the social media platforms in existence, Mark asked about those just starting out. What channels should they focus on?
Grant called out the big three: Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Shanna’s answer slightly varied as she favored Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Periscope.
Shanna then poised a question to Grant: “What is something that you think that I can do on social media to start getting people more attracted to my page?”
Grant highlighted the value in lifting up others. “I think collaboration with other people that have followings. How can you help other people?”
Mark then asked, “Is there one key activity that you recommend somebody do that is just starting out that will help them launch themselves?”
Dr. Joyce’s advice was this: “The last thing I would recommend is for somebody to keep promoting themselves. People don’t like that. People don’t like to be sold. So I would say, find your niche, find what’s good for you, that’s going to work for you and work it.”
Shanna felt the most important thing is wholly focused on engagement with the intended audience.
Grant returned to the importance of frequency: “For big goals, you need a lot of activity.”
As the Blab wrapped up, Mark asked his panel for some final sage advice. “What are the lessons learned, good and bad, that you’ve had as a result of building a personal brand?”
Dr Joyce stated, “I follow people that are very, very open and honest and want to learn things.”
Grant’s thoughts: “Don’t ever give attention to trolls and haters. Disregard them.”
Shanna proclaimed, “Keep your personal life out of your social media.”
Think you are ready to transform yourself into a personal brand? Get in touch; we can help get you recognized.