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Claire Bahn Q&A on Building a Personal Brand

Claire Bahn Q&A on Building a Personal Brand

You asked and I’m here with all the answers! I have quite a few people reach out via DM or my website with questions on building a personal brand. So when I asked you all on Instagram, which questions you wanted to answer the most, these were the top contenders.

The topic of personal branding has become diluted over the years, which is why it may seem difficult to get a straight answer. The reality is, your personal brand is what you make of it.

All it really does is highlight what’s unique about you or your product. With that type of specific knowledge laid out, you can come up with a better business plan. Your marketing will be more niche and more noticeable, and your target audience will become more defined.

And with all of this knowledge in your back pocket, you will have a better chance of becoming successful quicker with a carefully laid out personal brand.

Another reason I wanted to do this Q&A is that I’m currently prepping for the Alt Summit in Palm Springs. I will be one of the speakers at the convention, so I wanted to be able to gauge which questions people might ask at the summit.

By the way, the summit is this weekend, so if you haven’t already, I highly recommend getting your tickets. I will have a following up blog on what I learn, but this is a one-of-a-kind networking opportunity that you don’t want to miss out on.

YouTube Q&A

You can also catch this Q&A on my YouTube channel! The following is a transcript of what is said in that video. I also wanted to make this a video in case you wanted to save it so you can refer back to it the next time you have questions.

Here is the video:

Also, I wasn’t able to answer all of your questions in the video, but at the end of this blog, I answer a little more FAQ’s that I receive as a personal branding strategist!

With that in mind, here are the most common questions that people ask about building a personal brand.

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Question: What do you mean by “personal branding?”

My Answer: What a successful personal brand basically boils down to is:

What’s going to compel someone to work with you or buy from you?  

Most people buy products and services from people they know, like, and trust.  This trust can come from a long time follower, word of mouth, or by showing up in search as the clear choice.

Using the latter example, most consumers do research before they purchase. So when someone does a search on you, your business, or your area of expertise, what will they find? 

Ideally, you’d like them to see your social media, a blog article, or a video on your YouTube channel that specifically speaks to them. They then recognize you as the “Authority” and hence believe that you can help them solve the problem they’re currently having. 

Essentially, they feel comfortable with you because you are a clear authority and an obvious choice to help them. This is exactly what you want when you’re building a personal brand: to be recognized as a source to a specific problem. 

Question: What are some good personal brand examples? 

My Answer: Think of those people that are synonymous with solving certain problems. 

I like Neil Patel for SEO and digital marketing and Marie Forleo for business tips. Both of them blanket several channels with consistent information that is designed to help you. 

For them, it’s not about “selling” or promoting themselves but rather, they give to the community to such an extent that they define the authority in the space so that if/when you are ready to make a purchase, they are the first ones that come to mind.

I went into depth on this in one of my recent blogs. There are three people in particular that I mention who have pretty hit the nail on the head when it comes to building a personal brand.

Question: Do I need to be on every social media platform?

My Answer: I don’t believe you need to be active on every single social media channel.

In fact, you will find that anyone that can populate many channels with synergistic content has a team working with them (it’s a dirty little secret of social media that they neglect to tell you).

Even if you can’t operate across many social channels right now, it is important that you secure the same handle on every social media platform you can. And when a new one pops up, then you need to do the same with that new one.

Social platforms will rise and fall. You don’t want to load all of your content in just one platform in case it declines (Vine, anyone?). Or worse and you do something that irks the platform and they remove you.

As new platforms rise you will want to join them and secure your handle, just in case. I recently signed up for Tik Tok and I don’t even know what it does!

When you’re starting out, I believe it’s best to focus on 2 social media channels.  The ones where your ideal customers are hanging out. 

Don’t know where they hang out?  Do some research, Google, or ask a friend.

Question: Saw your blog! When do I need a personal branding photographer?

My Answer: I don’t believe that all of your photos need to be professional, especially when you’re starting out or you are on a tight budget. 

I do think that it’s a good investment for your primary photos, like the ones that are the “hero images” on your website or your social media profile photos. For the rest of your photos, you can get away with using the timer on your smartphone to get some good images.

I don’t really think that selfies are always the right solution since holding your camera at arm’s length can distort your face and its less desirable. You can always ask someone to take a quick photo of you, too. Most of the time they will say yes!

RELATED: WHAT IS SOCIAL MEDIA BRANDING?

Question: Do I need to be building my personal brand on social media?

My Answer: First and foremost, you need to figure out where your target audience is hanging out.

Next, you want to start posting content. A good rule to follow is to give more than you get. That means posting content that answers questions your ideal audience has or is curious about without asking them to do anything in return. 

I recommend posting once a day, which means you need at least 30 pieces of non-repetitive content to display on your platforms every month.  Use hashtags that your ideal client uses to increase exposure.

Question: Do you offer free tips?

My Answer: Yes, every week on my blog!  

I also do regular FREE personal branding masterclasses in my private Facebook group (more on that below).

Question: How will personal branding help my business?

My Answer: People that have established their authority on a subject will earn people’s trust by becoming a go-to expert and thus have influence.

People want to buy from people that they “know” who they recognize as an authority. Hence why your personal brand will help your company grow. It will help because you are the face of your company and solid personal brand will propel the company (and it’s revenue) forward.

Question: At what point should I hire a branding strategist?

My Answer: You can hire a brand strategist at any point in your business. 

In the initial stages, they can help you fully define your brand and set you off on the right path from the beginning. 

If you’re already established, they can help you keep on track.  Every business changes from year to year, which means your personal branding statement and your goals may change too.  It’s important to stay on top of that so that your messaging, branding and positioning are always on target and match.

 

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More FAQs

I couldn’t get to all the questions I received on Instagram, so I’m using this blog as an opportunity to indulge in some of your other Frequently asked questions!

What should I focus on first?

I wrote about this in my How I Started My Business From Scratch blog. But essentially what you want to focus on first is your personal brand. You can’t formulate a strong business plan without first defining what your company (your brand) is about.

What is your personal branding masterclass?

My personal branding masterclass happens once every two months in my private Facebook Group. You can think of it as a personal branding mentorship program… that’s free! My next class starts on Monday, March 16th and it lasts for 5 days.  I hope to see you there!

How can I stay consistent?

Consistency is by far the most difficult part of owning your personal brand. Whether you work primarily online or at a brick and mortar, staying consistent online is tough work.

My saving graces have been the following:

A) Automation. I use Later to schedule my social media content in advance. I also use it to save hashtags that I’ve researched at the beginning of the month so that I don’t have to keep typing it out. I also try to bulk write my blogs for the month in a day or two and schedule them in WordPress!

B) My team. As I mentioned, at some point you won’t be able to do everything all by yourself. I have a small, yet wonderful team of people who help me and my businesses stay consistent.

Do I need to be the face of my brand?

In my opinion, yes. While there is, of course, plenty of successful brands that aren’t associated with a single person it is becoming an old-school tactic. Today even brands like Tesla are associated with individuals like Elon Musk. Again, it goes back to the whole know and trust concept. You can’t like a brand that doesn’t have a voice and you can’t trust someone you aren’t actually seeing. 

Who needs to build a personal brand?

Everyone. Real estate agents, authors, boutique shops, restaurants. The first people that pop into your head when you think of any particular business or industry expert are the ones who have built an incredible personal brand.

What is the best place to share my expert advice to build my brand?

It’s up to you. Wherever you find an audience is where you should focus your attention. If most people reach out to you via Instagram, capitalize on that. Share advice in stories, posts, and IGTV. If you have terrific website traffic, write blogs.

For example, my biggest platform is on Instagram which is why I am on there daily. However, I like to elaborate on my thoughts and advice which is also why I maintain a blog.

Should I be networking?

Absolutely! Even if you are looking to be a well-known digital influencer, getting out into the real world helps build your brand and reputation. That’s one of the reasons I’m going to the Palm Springs Alt Summit this year (and many many more). You can start small with local networking shops, but I highly recommend going to at least one big conference in your industry this year.

People like Rachel Hollis have even formed their own “networking” type events. Rachel’s Rise conference gives her the opportunity to give TED-style talks built around her own brand and it gives entrepreneurs a great place to network!

NEXT: THE BENEFITS OF MENTORING FOR ENTREPRENEURS

And that’s it for now! Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments for other topics you want to hear about building your personal brand.  Remember, you can watch this Q&A on my YouTube! You can always go back to the video if you want to refresh your knowledge on building a personal brand.

Now if you’re ready to brainstorm how to apply these ideas specifically to your personal brand, I am here to help you do that.  Learn about my private coaching and schedule a free consultation!

Claire Bahn

Hi! I’m Claire Bahn, a personal branding expert, and CEO and Co-Founder of Online Profile Pros and Stratus Branding. I have been helping people strategize and create their best personal brand for over 10 years. As an influencer with over 80k followers on social media, I’ve learned so much about the importance of creating and maintaining your personal brand. I want to help you leverage your personal brand to develop the authority, influence, and trust you need to exceed your business goals.

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