In Mark Schaefer’s recent post, “I was saved by my personal brand," he shares that, despite the pandemic, his business is thriving. While so many other companies are struggling, how can this be? It's because Mark has put in time and effort over the years to invest in personal branding. As a result, he is well-known in his industry, which gives him a permanent, sustainable advantage. In his post, Mark says, "I do feel good about the fact that every time I created a piece of content over the years, I was making a deposit into an insurance policy for my career. Now it's paying off. I'm making the 'withdrawal' on the authority, reputation, and presence I worked so hard to establish."
Blogging’s Role in Personal Branding Success
There are many times when it’s a challenge to keep up with writing. It’s often pushed to the bottom of the to-do list, like many other marketing activities when life gets in the way. However, persistent blogging pays dividends when building a personal brand.
No matter how tired I am or what else is on my plate, I make the time to maintain a consistent blog schedule. I have seen first-hand the impact that consistency has on my company's bottom line. Because of my blogging and social media efforts, I've had the opportunity to work with clients from all over the world. The experience and exposure have given my team and me keen insight into what it takes to be an online authority. That's why I specialize in helping those who wish to become subject matter experts and thought leaders in their field.
Top Three Truths About Blogging for Personal Branding
While every individual’s situation and strengths are unique, several fundamentals stand universally applicable when building a personal brand.
1. Sustainable, long-term benefits trump immediate, short-lived virality.
Steady brand-building wins the race because it lets you earn trust and develop a reputation for being an expert in your field. Consistent content marketing over time is a key element for gaining that level of respect and authority.
2. An authentic voice is critical.
Becoming “a rockstar” in your industry can’t happen if you try to copy someone else’s style or thoughts. To be known and respected, you need to project your genuine voice and share your personal insight.
3. You need exposure to generate a following.
No matter how few or many followers your social media channels have, you must share your blog content through those platforms so that people will see it, comment on it, and, most valuable of all, share it. Also, look for opportunities to syndicate or submit guest blog articles to other websites related to your industry. Relying on Google search ranking alone (due to so much competition) won't likely generate enough traffic to your posts to move the needle. My mantra for people who want to expand awareness of their expertise online is, "Content has no value if it's not read."
The Myth—and Reality—of “Build It and They Will Come”
I've always dismissed the notion that you can build a brand by adopting a "build it and they will come" mindset. However, that concept isn't entirely without merit. While you can't create a website and social media presence and expect to attract followers if you let your presence sit idle, honest effort and energy can yield benefits exponentially. Just as Mark shared in his blog post, putting in the work to build a strong, trusted personal brand pays off. So, if you build it—and continue to build it over time— you can achieve a reputation of credibility and distinction that will help sustain you even in the most challenging times.
Your Turn! Have you been blogging to help showcase your expertise? What challenges have you faced in building your personal brand? I’d love to hear about your experiences, so leave a comment! P.S. I also welcome you to contact me if you want to discuss ways I might help you establish “rockstar” status in your niche.