How to Launch Your Personal Brand if You Have Zero Credibility through PR

Honey Singh, Co-founder and CEO, ARM WorldwideCreating a brand from scratch and more importantly establishing a recall amongst audience can be a daunting and overwhelming task for individuals or companies alike. Digital consumption, in fact, has revolutionised the way businesses are performed and what seems like a daily proliferation of social media content, marketers are left with more choice than ever when considering how they prefer to reach their consumers.

Public Relations are an easy way to create right brand perception within media & target audience. While PR is important for brands, it helps leaders in building community trust. For people driven business, founders & senior leadership is the face of company.

Everyone in the industry is trying to stand out of the crowd to build their personal brand. Personal branding is an amalgamation of personal, professional, digital, social, content, on online and offline platforms. To burst the bubble, personal branding is not just for celebrities but for entrepreneurs, wantrepreneurs, it can be used by everyone.

Personal branding takes time to build and cannot be achieved with the move of a magic wand or by throwing money. Thankfully, through my journey in the industry for over ten years, I have been able to chart out some tried and tested methodologies, tools and tactics that help build a ‘personal brand’. This not only established your credibility as an individual but brings clients too.

Personal branding can help you in building the right perceptions for you & organisations you are associated with. For startup founders & CXO’s this is the best way to do the thought leadership. Your personal brand is who you are, what you do, and your leading quality in the eyes of your ideal target market. Thought leadership can help you in getting media exposure & build you as an industry leader.

Below are few pointers which can help you in building the thought leadership from ground:

1. With #longform content type, establish your credibility as an expert

Many a time, it’s quoted that ‘content is the king’, and rightly so. Personal branding is not about tom tomming yourself but your content. A longer piece of content with usable advice and well-researched material puts you on the map and breaks the clutter of many voices. The digital space is crowded with zillions, trying to make a mark for themselves with a ‘5 tips to become xx’ content format. In such a scenario, scouting for ‘real information’ becomes challenging for readers. Leveraging the gap, opt for long form while starting out. It’s also important to cross share and cross-promote your content to help build the ‘personal brand’.

2. Millennials will rule the roost

Research shows that there are 2 billion millennials in the world, with $1 trillion purchasing power; 16 million searches with the keyword ‘millennial’, 43,674 articles written about millennials.

Public Relations are an easy way to create right brand perception within media & target audience.

Create your personal brand where this large chunk of demographic likes to hang out, make use of social media channels to interact with this socially connected generation.
Understand their likes and dislikes, play with content formats that are most consumed by them, be it images or short videos.

3. Maintain an honest approach

At the end of the day, we are marketers telling stories about ourselves or our brands, but the audience is looking for authenticity. Sometimes, even in our personal relationships, we seek honesty. Same is the case with your audience, back up your content with authentic facts or data to make a compelling appeal for them to come back on your platform, service, etc.

4. Look the part you want to play!

In a digitally connected world, the first impression is often made by social media profiles. In an attempt to make ‘personal branding’ work, make sure you use strong visuals and the right content. People draw conclusions from your profile pictures, the content you create, retweet on professional platforms like Linkedin, Twitter or blogs. If you want people to see you as an expert professional in a particular field, ‘look the part’ too.

5. Keep the audience incentivised and engaged

The key to building leadership is gaining relevant audience engagement. While managing the brand we intend to incentivise the audience, but an incentive is not always in the form of free products, it can also be well-researched content for which your audience always wants to stick to the timeline.

6. Weird for some is memorable for others

Personal branding can be done through unique traits, features. It might seem to be out of place, but if it creates recall value, the purpose is solved. For instance, it might seem obnoxious for some that an anchor appears in a red t-shirt on all his videos/ vlogs. However, using the same symbol/ feature creates a better recall in the minds of the audience.

We are accustomed to white as the colour of business cards with certain typography, a simple change in format or shape, has chances of creating a niche which can be remembered.

7. Right influencers do the trick

Choosing the right set of influencers becomes important in the process of building a ‘personal brand’. Even ‘personal branding’ cannot and should not be pulled off single-handedly. Connect with the influencers from your beat and make them your brand advocates. It’s important to reiterate here that brand advocates tell stories which are authentic.
Any suggestion or tools for your business will require you to understand your business needs well and the purpose of your ‘personal branding’ well, so what suits your style best?

8. A trend to watch out for - Content Marketing

People enjoy reading fresh and relevant content, which appeals their personality type, reading regime or serves their concern. You must customize your pitch to fit their preferences better. A useful tip here is, make the optimum use of social media – Twitter, Facebook or Social bookmarking sites, you can spread your information online and make connections with like-minded people across the globe. Write articles and blogs that can augment audience’s knowledge about your brand in the industry. You should explore the power of content marketing & define a content calendar for platforms like linkedin pulse, Twitter and the like.

Without consistency one can’t build the trust. Make sure to do less but follow a consistent timeline for initiating regular interactions on social as well as on offline channels. Below are few useful tips which will help you in maintaining the same:
● Define a proper content strategy & follow it. This will create a uniform imagery within the audience.
● Spent some time to go through industry whitepapers & research-reports, create a short summary & then publish it on your timeline.
● Have regular interactions with thought leaders & media in your niche. Best platform to do is Twitter.