Top tips on building your personal brand
The concept of branding is nothing new. Ever since the likes of Don Draper lit a Lucky Strike in the sixties, it has been big business. However, with the rise of social media, branding is no longer solely the domain of corporations. Now it’s personal.
Like it or not, if you are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media platform you are a brand. Everything you post, like and share is building an image of who you are and what you stand for. This is why it’s important to pay attention to the brand you are building – especially if you are a rider looking for sponsorship. One of the first things a potential sponsor will do, is check you out on social media. Before you panic and cancel your accounts, developing a personal brand isn’t as scary as it sounds. There are a few simple rules to follow, to make sure you get the right message across and reach the right people.
Here are our top tips on building your personal brand:
People are pretty savvy these days and they will quickly see through a fake persona. It’s also exhausting trying to maintain an alter ego, so be yourself – warts and all – and you will create an authentic brand people can relate to. Life isn’t always perfect and it’s ok to share the bad days, as well as the good.
By sharing special moments your fans will feel connected to your brand, so give them a behind-the-scenes look they won’t get anywhere else.
You need to maintain a consistent message and style across all your social profiles. Establish a preferred tone and direction that fits in with your overall brand and your aspirations – and stick to it. You can easily damage your reputation if one of your profiles shows up content or images that don’t represent you well.
It’s a good idea to create a content plan for your personal brand, so you don’t resort to recycling old posts. Include images, videos, interesting articles you have read, and questions that will inspire engagement.
For every post, ask yourself what is its purpose and why are you sharing it? And be honest. If it doesn’t inspire, educate, entertain or inform then ditch it.
Yes, you should be yourself, but there is a place for personal outbursts and it’s not across your brand. Resist replying to negative comments about you (chances are this will happen), or offering your opinion on controversial current affairs. Stay professional and keep quiet.
While it’s important to have opinions and ideas when building a brand, it’s also vital you listen to what your followers have to say, in order to create a conversation. Say thanks when people share your content, and make the effort to reply to their comments. Never underestimate the power of clicking a heart or like button.
When it comes to creating great content, video is king. It makes up 79% of all internet traffic and generates 1200% more shares than both images and text.
There are a number of free tools out there that can help you create engaging videos for social media, without spending a lot of time and money.
Instagram Stories has stickers and filters so you can personalise your content, while apps such as Boomerang allow you to capture short videos that loop back and forth.
Giphy.com is great for creating your own animated gifs and stickers and it also has a library of gifs you can download.
Facebook Live is another great tool that lets you connect to your followers. Don’t worry about creating perfect content – this type of video content is all about spontaneity.
Have some fun with your social media, and make interesting, funny, colourful, creative videos that your followers will want to comment on and share.
Connecting with influencers in your industry is a great way to build your personal brand. These online relationships can take time to develop, but reaching out to people in your industry, who you respect and admire, will add credibility to your brand, and hopefully gain new followers.
Building your brand should be an important part of your daily routine, alongside riding your horses. Treat it as part of your job – and schedule in time each day to create new content and put up posts. It’s all well and good having followers, but if you don’t give them something to look at, you will soon drop off their radar.