The basis of establishing a really strong and lasting personal brand, is producing information that solves your audience’s problems, helps them achieve their goals, educates them, and helps them make better decisions or simply live better.
Commandment #1 – Be a Space Commander
The best known brands own a specific, unique, recognizable and valuable place in “space.” For example, Apple commands the music download and mobile listening space, via iTunes, iPod, and iPhone. Apple’s dominance extends to the mobile entertainment space, now that iPhones are responsible for more than 60% of all mobile searches.
Personal brands are similar, but the “space” you command may be much smaller and still yield enormous benefits for you – if you are clever about how you make money (by leveraging your audience). The real difference between making it big in product marketing versus personal branding is what you as an individual have to give away in exchange for loyal followers.
For example, let’s look at the really big personal brands in business communication space. Seth Godin owns “permission marketing,” and seeks to own even greater territory in “relationship marketing.” He’s so big, that he’s giving away his new book (in exchange for a donation to a foundation) and evangelizing for everyone to give away their intellectual property (because real fans will buy your book as a “collectible”). Peter Shankman owns “no-cost access to journalists,” via HARO. He gives away leads to anyone willing to sign up for his Help A Reporter Out email blasts, and just sells ad space at the top of the blast (three times a day). The advertiser also gets his personal endorsement (I wear these pajamas! kind of thing). Chris Brogan is at least part owner of “social networking.” He recently impressed the daylights out an a NYC entrepreneur group, who all received his book, Trust Agents, as a gift.
It’s time for you to define your area of expertise, information, approach, or talent within a tribe. What do you know? How can you codify it? Maybe an ebook? Maybe podcasts? Maybe assessments? And, how can you capitalize on the loyal audience you command? Great consulting gigs, best job offers, speaking fees, advertising – the list not on goes on, it grows as you build your personal brand.
Next Up: Commandment 2 – Sell Your Signature!