7 Ways to Profit from Your Personal Brand

monetizing your personal brand

How do you know when to start monetizing your personal brand? Here’s your first clue: You’ve built a decent-sized audience. However, that’s not all it takes.

You also want to build your authority and trust with your audience by establishing yourself as a thought leader. You do this by focusing on answering your audience’s challenges and giving them solutions based on your expertise and experience. You want to build industry recognition so others in your industry can engage directly with you, which adds social credentials, furthering your authority and reputation.

Lastly, you want to cast a wide net of public exposure through podcasts and journalist articles to raise awareness of your brand globally and not just locally. Once you’ve done all that, the question becomes, “How big of an audience do I need to monetize my personal brand?”

The answer depends on the size of your target audience and how much of it is engaged with your messaging. Building audience momentum can take time, but the right omnichannel strategy can boost the ROI of your personal brand within months, not years.

For example, many people will monetize their brand by leveraging their expertise and audience by creating and selling online courses, ebooks, coaching programs, or other digital products. To put that into perspective, the e-learning market reached over $187 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $1.223 trillion by 2027. In other words, monetizing a successful brand will get easier and more lucrative going forward.

However, you might choose to monetize your brand in many ways beyond selling courses or writing books, so let’s focus on monetizing a successful brand the right way.

7 Strategies for Monetizing Your Personal Brand

Personal brand monetization is a dynamic pursuit dependent on your reputation, platform, goals, audience, and other variables. Here are Seven “big-picture” strategies to get you started:

  1. Paid Board Seats
  2. Write a Short E-Book
  3. Paid Speaking Engagements
  4. Become an Industry Influencer
  5. Leverage Your Podcast,
  6. Webinar,
  7. YouTube Channel monetization

Leverage existing platforms to create branded offerings and promote them across multiple channels. I suggest making a 30 to 60-minute webinar, podcast, or YouTube video to test the waters. Then, recalibrate your personal brand monetizing strategy based on your audience’s reaction. Poll them for feedback and requests to get a birds-eye view.

Remember, you must construct a recognizable personal brand before monetizing it. Nobody wants to pay for someone they don’t know, respect, or need. For instance, fledgling speakers might bring in $5,000 for a speaking engagement, while someone who has written a successful book or started a popular YouTube channel might make $20,000 or more.

If you build it, they will come…That is if you already have a powerful personal brand.

1. Paid Board Seats

One major benefit of building strong industry recognition through a personal brand is that CEOs and board members of corporations in the industry you’re interested in will learn about you and frequently reach out to you directly to participate on the board. In addition, Board recruiters are always searching to fill openings on various boards.

They first reach out to individuals they know about, i.e., those with a strong brand. When you’re ready to start monetizing your brand, it is important to make it clear that you are open to or looking for these types of roles.

2. Create an E-book

Many people attempt to take advantage of the success of short-form books ( less than 30 pages), otherwise known as E-books. One of the most popular places to sell these is on Amazon. However, authors without an engaged audience because of their personal brand have a very hard time making any money from their books. Authors with a large, engaged following can promote their books and share excerpts to get the audience interested.

Ask for feedback on snippets or ideas and generally prime their audience to be ready to buy.  One shortcut to these e-books is tracking your most successful blogs/articles and then combining two or three along the same theme to create a fast ebook that others will be interested in. The fact that you are now an Author has the added benefit of adding even more social proof to your brand and helps to build your authority even higher.

3. Paid Speaking Engagements

Bookers for major speaking engagements always look for the “next new person”  to liven up their panel or conference. Building and leveraging a large brand is a great way to get in front of the bookers. Add to that that you’ve been on some top-rated podcasts, have a growing YouTube channel, and have a recipe for success.

Most bookers for major speaking engagements will expect you to have a speakers package ready for their review. Things like the title of your speech, the length of your speech, some key takeaways for the audience, and even a speaker’s reel is pretty standard.

However, this is not an issue because, while building your brand, you know what topics and blogs your audience reacts to, and there is the basis for your speech. Paid speaking engagements can range from a few thousand dollars to upwards of $20,000 for a 1-day spot.

FACT: You can join several speaker networks to get in front of the right bookers even faster.

4. Become an Industry Influencer

Depending on your type of expertise and experience, your brand might lend itself to becoming an influencer supporting other products or services. It’s all about building a brand and an audience others want to leverage for their benefit.

You can earn money from endorsements, product reviews, and sponsorships while continuing to grow your audience and even get exposure to new potential audiences interested in the product and services you’re promoting on behalf of others. It’s essential to create a “ one sheet” that outlines your audience and demographics and the target audience you appeal to. It should include the rate card for various engagements you offer, like a one-off social media post or a social media series.

You are creating a YouTube ad or a video review for your client. All of these are possibilities and should be outlined. Again, there are influencer networks where you can join and promote your influence to other brands/products.

5. Create a Podcast

Creating your podcast to share your expertise and maybe even interview others in the industry is a great way to accelerate and expand your brand. In addition, podcasts tend to give a global flair to your brand and now have the same cache as “Author” status for your brand.

To be transparent, building a successful podcast is not easy and will require additional advertising based on our experience. The days of producing a podcast and an audience will find you are over. However, the upside of your podcast can be a great deal of exposure.

When the number of subscribers gets to a certain point, the market will let you know, and when that is, other brands will approach you to promote their brands. You will earn directly through the sponsorships these relationships entail. Many podcasters seek sponsors once they have a consistent and engaged audience of at least a few thousand listeners per episode. Still, you should wait until you have consistently 200 downloads/episode to start the process.

Consider that Big sponsors will pay $25-$40 per CPM (per 1000 downloads) to sponsor podcasts. You can get a better idea of the earning potential of your podcast by checking out this Podcast Sponsorship Calculator.

6. Create a Webinar

Creating a webinar can be a highly lucrative way to monetize your personal brand. This is especially true if you consider the fact that you can record the webinar and sell it over and over again. There is an entire ecosystem of webinar software/platforms that will help you and run everything for you, including payment and, in some cases, marketing.

If 95% of marketers consider webinars essential to their marketing strategy, then you know a lot of people are making money off of leveraging their personal brands to offer webinars. Again, you have all the market research you need at your fingertips since you know how your audience reacts to and engages with the various topics and articles you create. You need to combine a few of these into a coherent webinar and “how to” and promote it on all your channels.

You might even consider adding some PPC into the mix to get in front of a wider audience. Webinars are so successful that there are even Webinar calculators to tell you what you need to profit from your webinar. Check out a webinar calculator to figure out what you need and how much profit you will make.

PRO TIP: Retool your website to describe and promote your upcoming speaking engagements and invite others to book you for upcoming events.

YouTube Monetization Guide for Personal Brands

Monetizing a YouTube channel for a personal brand can generate income while building your online presence and offline reputation. In simple terms, it’s making money from your videos while becoming well-known for the expertise you share.

The Basics of Monetizing Your Personal Brand on YouTube

Revenue from YouTube monetization varies widely depending on multiple factors, so set expectations accordingly. You need at least 4,000 valid public watch-time hours in the last 12 months and at least 1,000 channel subscribers, or you’re ineligible. Also, enabling YouTube’s monetization scheme requires joining the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) and complying with the platform’s community guidelines.

Grow your audience with quality content, strategic channel promotions, and topics your subscribers want to learn more about. Here is a list of the YouTube content types that get the most engagement:

  • Short-form videos – 31.8%
  • Long-form videos – 15.51%
  • Interviews/Expert Talks – 13.84%
  • Live Broadcasts – 12.37%

As impressive as monetizing your videos sounds, there are many strings attached. What matters most is how well your videos perform, which depends on many factors in and out of your control. However, the more views you can get on your YouTube content, the more cash you’ll stash.

Setting Up YouTube Channels for Monetizing

Keep in mind that it takes about 30 days for YouTube administrators to review monetization applications, and in some cases, it may take longer. You must live somewhere YouTube offers the Partner Program, but some countries might require additional checks. Either way, you should set up an AdSense account and link it to your channel for legitimate earning and performance tracking.

Next, set up a 2-step Verification. Use the Google account associated with your YouTube channel to create a robust digital safety net. Then, study the platform’s copyright, monetization, and community guidelines to ensure compliance. If you get caught violating policies, here’s what could happen:

  • Your ads could get removed from your videos
  • You could get suspended from the program
  • Your account could get terminated

Don’t freak out yet. YouTube always sends emails about policy violations, and they’re pretty good about providing options for avoiding suspension, termination, or revoked advertising. If your application for entry or re-entry gets rejected, wait 30 days and re-apply. Double-check YouTube’s feedback and implement it in the interim.

PRO TIP: Improve your video titles, descriptions, and thumbnails to align with YouTube guidelines and optimize SEO.

What to Expect

Each personal brand’s experience monetizing YouTube is different. Thus, your expected earnings depend on multiple factors, including channel size, niche, engagement rate, location, relevance, and ad formatting. Generally, however, large channels with many valid watch-time hours and engaged subscribers earn more.

Fortunately, even small YouTube channels with a highly motivated and engaged audience can produce significant earnings. That’s because some niches attract higher advertising rates than others, and videos with high likes, comments, and shares make advertisers salivate.

Be consistent, target a specific niche, and share authentic experiences with your audience to build a community and increase income potential. Earning money on YouTube means turning the tiny increments into a slow-growing but steady fortune. Here is what the average YouTuber can expect to make from monetized content:

  • About $0.018 per ad view
  • Around $18 per 1000 ad views

Multiple factors can influence the size of your paycheck, including:

  • Click rate
  • Ad quality
  • Ad content
  • Ad blockers
  • Video topic
  • Video length
  • Revenue stream
  • Sponsorships
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Merchandise sales

A good YouTube channel makes a decent side gig and additional revenue stream, but you must have engaging content that attracts large audiences or at least satisfies your niche. Unfortunately, reaching that point can be an uphill battle for an unprepared, underinformed, or unrepresented personal brand.

Promoting Your YouTube Channel When Monetizing Your Personal Brand

Promoting your YouTube channel and running ads helps increase visibility and attract more subscribers, viewers, and clicks. So first, optimize each element for search and discovery. Create a compelling channel banner and profile picture, then write an interesting description using relevant keywords and SEO best practices.

Next, organize your videos into easily navigatable playlists and add links to your social media profiles and websites. This step may require special skills and abilities, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. The secret is to develop a unique and engaging content library and help those who need to see it, see it.

Stick researched keywords into titles, descriptions, and tags for maximum exposure and search visibility. For real-time insights, use tools like Google Keyword Planner or TubeBuddy. The next steps involve promoting your YouTube channel or videos across various social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, X (Twitter), and LinkedIn.

Remember, the idea is to encourage your social media followers to subscribe to your channel, watch your videos, interact in the comments, share your content, and click on ads.

Collaborate with other professionals in your niche and YouTube influencers to grow a robust, multifaceted audience motivated to listen and share. Let relevant and supportive creators expose your channel to new audiences, leveraging the exposure for broader influence and increased revenue.

How to Run Ads on YouTube Channels

Running ads on YouTube involves setting up campaigns through Google Ads, which allows you to create and manage your advertisements from a centralized hub. Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started:

Step One: Set Up Your Google Ads Account

This step is super easy because the Google Ads website provides simple prompts that take you from start to finish in about 10 minutes.

Step Two: Link Your YouTube Channel

Click the “Tools and Settings” icon in the upper right corner, then navigate to “Setup” and “Linked Accounts” to add your YouTube channel.

Step Three: Create Your Campaign

Click on “+ New Campaign” to choose your goal. Then, use the “Brand Awareness and Reach” or “Product and Brand Consideration” tools to promote your YouTube channel.

Step Four: Select Campaign Type

Select “Video” as your YouTube channel promotional campaign type to allow ads in and on your content. Double-check platform advertising policies at this stage to avoid future issues.

Step Five: Establish Your Campaign Settings

Do you want a specific campaign name, budget, bidding strategy, start and end dates, language, location, or target audience? Now is when you decide and make it official.

The final step involves creating or uploading your ads, reviewing the information, and launching to track success or adapt the strategy. Remember, the more influential you and your content are, the more likely you’ll profit from a YouTube channel and advertising, even if your audience is small.

How to Become a YouTube Influencer

Social media platforms and digital marketing tools birthed the dawn of influencer marketing and YouTube channel monetization. In the past, brand influencers were usually celebrities, public figures, or experts in their field. Nowadays, with a strategic approach, almost anyone can become a successful YouTube or social media influencer.

Today’s most influential people come from diverse backgrounds, and what sets them apart is their authentic, relatable storytelling abilities. In many cases, everyday influencers are more impactful than scripted celebrities.

However, becoming an influencer in today’s digital landscape requires a combination of factors. Identify a specific niche or topic that you are passionate about and knowledgeable in. Include photos, videos, blog posts, or podcasts, depending on your strengths and preferences. Then, engage with your audience regularly by responding to comments, messages, and feedback.

Authenticity is also crucial to building trust with your audience. Share your personal experiences, opinions, and insights to connect on a deeper level with your followers. Stick to a regular posting schedule and refine your content based on what resonates best with your audience.

Many influencers leverage influencer networks or personal branding agencies to connect with clients and partners. These networks facilitate collaborations, sponsorships, and partnerships for a broader range of opportunities and to potentially increase your earning potential.

PRO TIP: Research different influencer networks and agencies to find ones that align with your values, goals, and target audience. Then, negotiate fair compensation and ensure the partnership terms are clearly outlined in a contract.

Other Tips for Monetizing Your Personal Brand for YouTube

Let’s explore a few more ways to earn money from your personal brand’s YouTube videos:

  1. Paid Sponsorships
  2. Affiliates
  3. Channel Memberships
  4. Patronage
  5. Branded Merchandise
  6. YouTube Super Features
  7. YouTube Shorts Fund
  8. YouTube Premium
  9. YouTube BrandConnect

Let’s break it down. Paid sponsorships are when brands and businesses sponsor a content creator to use or demonstrate their product in a video. Unfortunately, sponsorships can be challenging for personal brands without a unique perspective or established audience, so affiliates may be a better option.

An affiliate marketing program sends your audience to a brand’s product or service via an affiliate link. If the user successfully purchases something, you earn a commission. Meanwhile, channel membership fees and patronage costs can help leverage your loyal following with a third-party platform to generate additional revenue.

Affiliate links, memberships, and patronage incentives are where your branded merchandise sells. For example, YouTube channels with over 10,000 subscribers can sell merchandise from a merch shelf on each video page. You can use Super Chat, Super Stickers, and Super Thanks features to rake in more cash from live streaming and direct engagement.

YouTube Shorts, Premium, and BrandConnect: What You Need to Know

YouTube started a $100 million fund for Shorts creators in May 2021. That means content creators and monetized personal brands can make more money depending on their engagement, views, and library volume. The eligibility for funds refreshes monthly, so if you don’t qualify today, try again in 30 days.

As for monetizing on YouTube Premium, subscription earnings are distributed with ad revenue payments at the beginning of each month. The amount also depends on how many Premium members watch and engage with your content. However, YouTube BrandConnect links brands with other creators for content campaigns and strategic partnerships.

Conclusion

Monetizing your personal brand isn’t just about having an audience of millions of people. It depends more on the size of your target audience and the engagement you get from that audience.

The most successful personal brands leverage their expertise, authenticity, and dedication to craft a brand that resonates deeply with their audience. But remember, success requires strategy, patience, and continuous refinement. Your brand will undoubtedly pay off for you in a myriad of ways, but it’s more like a 401K than a get-rich-quick scheme.

You must keep at it and have a long-term perspective to get the most out of it. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t profit to be made along the way as your personal brand grows. The key is starting small, experimenting, and adapting based on feedback.

Your audience’s trust and respect are invaluable assets that will pave the way for lucrative opportunities. So, seize the moment, unleash your creativity, and let your passion guide you. Because when you build it with authenticity and dedication, success usually comes knocking.

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About Claire
Marketing Agency, Strategic Communications, claire bahn group, claire bahn
Claire Bahn is a personal brand strategist and the CEO and Co-Founder of Claire Bahn Group. She has been helping high achieving entrepreneurs, investors, founders, and executives create their best personal brand for over 10 years. She helps entrepreneurs leverage their personal brand to develop the authority, influence, and trust they need to exceed their business goals.
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