You have great skills. But the world needs to know about them for you to be able to monetize them.
In an era where people are trying to sell anything, everything, in any way they can, you have to stand out to attract quality business. That’s why self-marketing and personal branding have become a necessity for sustainable growth.
With social media taking the front seat, in this article, we will show you how to market yourself and build your personal brand through social media. So, buckle up! You might be in for a steep ride.
What is self-marketing?
We all know what marketing is. To tell people what you have and convince them to buy from you. Right? Right.
Self-marketing is something similar. It entails individual people showing their skills to the world to attract better work opportunities and build their personal brand.
There is, however, a thin line between self-marketing and being a boastful dum-dum that no one likes. You have to tell the world you are good at something and convince them of that without appearing too obnoxious or proud of your skills and achievements.
What self-marketing should not be like.
Sounds tough? Don’t worry! We’ll help you navigate the tricky paths of self-marketing in just a moment.
But first, let’s see why you should consider self-marketing.
Importance of self-marketing: building your personal brand
Self-marketing, when done right, can take you to the top of your industry. It involves building your personal brand, which is a sure-fire way of appearing trustworthy to people and getting more business.
There are many examples of people who, coming from humble beginnings, rose to fame by knowing how to market themselves and building their personal brand. Case in point: Gary Vaynerchuk.
He began by managing his father’s business until he discovered the powers of social media. One of the early adopters of platforms like Twitter and YouTube, Gary leveraged the potential of these platforms and built his personal brand.
Today, people know him as energetic, loud, humorous, and even profane. What he says does not resonate with everyone. But it gets to the right people – his audience – and that’s what he wants.
With self-marketing, consistency, and an audience-focused approach, Gary won his battles. He is now a five-time bestselling author, vlogger, entrepreneur, and a multi-millionaire, who built his own empire, with its foundations laid firm in intelligent self-marketing and strong personal branding.
If Gary can shape his destiny with personal branding on social media, then why can’t you?
However, to be able to reap the pros of self-marketing, you need to build a solid social media self-marketing strategy. Let’s see how.
How to do self-marketing on social media
Long gone are the days when only successful celebrities and front-line athletes could do personal branding. With social media proliferation, anyone can market themselves and build their personal brand. All they need is the right approach:
1. Pick the right social channel
Facebook has 2.74 billion monthly users, which means it offers excellent exposure. But, if your target audience spends more time on Pinterest than Facebook, you will earn nothing by self-marketing on Facebook. So, find out where your audience is and pursue that channel.
Every social media channel has its own personality. You have to make sure the personality you are looking to build for your brand aligns with your choice of social media.
For example, if you are a corporate professional, building a personal brand on Instagram might not do you much good. However, self-marketing on LinkedIn might bring about the benefits you are looking for. Statistics revealled, most likely 55% of your audience is decision makers, who like to consume material supporting their business decisions, so at this point Linkedin could be better your choice.
2. Understand yourself
Authenticity is at the crux of self-marketing and personal branding, and we saw that from Gary Vaynerchuk’s example as well.
You have to let your authentic self appear at the forefront of your self-marketing campaign because your brand needs a unique personality to stand out. And there is nothing more unique than your own personality.
So, find your personality. Understand it. And let it reflect in your marketing tactics and branding. If you have a sense of humor, you can build your reputation as a laid-back, funny person.
However, if you feel more comfortable when things stay formal, you can build your brand around being a professional, prim, and proper individual.
Remember, consistency is the key. Your tone and personality should be consistent across all your social media channels and in all your posts because consistency builds trust and adds value.
3. Contribute to gain
Gary Vaynerchuk authored a book named “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.” The essence of this book is to give so much value to people that they are almost compelled to buy from you whenever you ask them to.
As we said, too much self-marketing can come off as bragging. And no one likes people who brag.
You have to find a way to strike a balance between promoting yourself and helping your community.
The thing is, 30% of people use social media to find entertaining content, while 36% of them use it to fill spare time. So, if you always appear on your followers’ feed with content that gives them nothing and only talks about you, you will drive them away.
Develop your marketing strategy to include content that adds value to your followers’ life, entertains them, helps them, or gives them what they need. Then slip self-marketing content in between. So there is a nice balance between promotional and valuable content. Your followers trust you and reach out to you when they need help.
Alex Cattoni, Copywriter and owner of Copy Posse does an amazing job of personal branding and striking a balance between promotional and valuable content.
This promotional post is blended in between super-valuable or entertaining content like:
4. Figure out your USP
Every brand has a USP or unique selling proposition. And if you want to market yourself as an individual brand, you have to develop and promote your USP.
Discover what value you are providing to your customers or clients. And center your marketing tactics around this value. But remember to demonstrate it with facts and proof.
Find gaps in your industry and fill those gaps with your skills. Your value manifests from your unique skillset. If you don’t already have a unique skill set, build one.
For example, if there are a lot of people who offer photography services but none of them writes Instagram captions along with the photos, you can do that. Caption writing skills combined with photography and professionalism can be your unique skillset.
But remember, be authentic. Only include and market skills that you really have.
5. Stay relevant, up-to-date, and active
Social media thrives on the latest updates. And if you cannot stay active and keep up with trends, you cannot succeed.
Try and stay active on social media. Post as frequently as the social platform requires. For example, if you are building a brand on Instagram, you might need to post two feed posts and two stories a week – as Instagram chief recommends.
Make sure to create content that is current. If your audience is talking about the latest Apple gadget, you can’t talk about the first iPod release. Stay up-to-date with what your audience is talking about and adapt your content accordingly.
6. Say what your audience wants to listen
Will your audience of baby boomers laugh if you crack millennial jokes? No. That’s why it is crucial to adapt your content to your audience.
Before you set out to market yourself on social media, research your audience and find their pain points. Then create content that soothes those pain points and solves your audience’s complex problems.
This way, you will set yourself up as a thought leader and become the resource to go to whenever anyone needs help.
7. Become a thought leader
In a survey, 49% of business decision-makers claimed to have awarded business to a company because of their thought leadership content.
Here are the results of another survey, to drill in the importance of thought leadership:
Thought leadership adds value to your business and convinces your target audience that they can trust you to do their job well. It is at the heart of personal branding, and you should adapt your self-marketing tactics to manifest results that set you up as a thought leader in your industry.
To become a thought leader, you need a dedicated niche. Carve a particular niche and become an expert in it. If you are exceptional at writing email marketing copies, adopt it as your niche and build your brand around being an expert email copywriter.
Continue to learn and leverage your skills to create content that is new, innovative, and nothing like your audience has ever seen before. Promote this content on the right platform. Engage with your audience and help them whenever you can.
Self-marketing is a habit. You can’t do it once and expect it to yield continuous results. Since the results of self-marketing manifest over time, you must develop a routine of marketing yourself to build your personal brand and stay consistent with your efforts.
By incorporating the tactics we have shared in this article, you can start your personal branding journey today and market yourself with humility and modesty to become a thought leader in your industry and monetize your skills.