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How to Create a Personal Brand

By now you may have heard of the “Instagram aesthetic” – a diminishing trend of cultivating the perfectly curated feed native to the platform. This phenomenon enabled social media influencers to expand their realm of influence and generate a following based upon creating relevant content that resonated with a specific audience. So, how did they do it?

By creating a strong, personal brand.

Though this idea may sound repulsive to some, personal brands can be extremely effective ways to generate income and leverage greater influence among a specific audience. Some equate this practice to “taking pretty pictures” or “writing a blog every now and then” but creating a personal brand and monetizing influence takes time and intentionality.

The investment may seem more than anticipated, but creating a strong brand can lead to many benefits, including more credibility and exposure within your field, additional streams of revenue, and a more personal connection to your audience. The dedicated following that comes with having a personal brand may just make the journey worth it to tackle your dream projects.

Ready to give it a go? Here are some factors to keep in mind when establishing a strong personal brand.

Choose your niche

The most renowned personal brands are typically quite specific and are focused on a certain niche. Choose a topic that excites you and brings you passion. You don’t have to drop all of your hobbies but when it comes to generating a following, choosing one topic in particular like fashion, marketing, psychology, or fitness can help target a specific audience while allowing you to become known in your field.

Find someone to follow

Because personal brands exist for nearly every idea, find an influencer or brand you resonate with, and follow them closely. What topics do they post about? What patterns in their content strategy do you recognize that you can implement? What interviews, podcasts, or blogs about their journey do they share in regard to getting started? Take note, and learn from their example. 

Cultivate a social media following

Building a strong and faithful following online is one of the most effective ways to have an audience to both serve and sell to. Create content with your target audience in mind and develop a strong tone to your writing.

Focus on writing to one clear person and you’ll begin to attract the people you would like to influence. Post about similar ideas and as with a personal brand, don’t be afraid to become a bit vulnerable on your journey. Additionally, invest your energy into the platforms where your audience spends most of their time.

Define your audience

Develop a content strategy and examine your analytics as you generate traction or ensure you have a clear idea on the front end of who you’re targeting. Implement marketing tactics and practices that most closely resonate with your audience.

For instance, podcasts may work well with millennials, but YouTube is more effective with GenZ.

Create partnerships

Influencer marketing and affiliate marketing are great places to start in this respect. If you don’t have the follower count to make connections try looking for like-minded people online who are doing the same thing as you. Come up with giveaways or encourage your audience to look into partners’ websites and contents, and ask them to return the favor. Finding your competition and working with them will benefit you more often than not.

Collect information

Most influencers focus on growing an email list so they have the rights to information, so in order to build out your brand to leverage influence, ensure you are creating content that serves and creating lead magnets to convert your audience.

Create a strong community

We live in a digital age and many people online are in search of the community they don’t have. Use that to your advantage – having a specific audience that attracts like-minded people is a strength. Instead of making your brand just about you, bring your audience together and they’ll follow you over a cliff.

How to Build Your Own Website (Without Code) From Scratch

With so many easy to use web development platforms in existence, building a website is easier than ever before. Since many web platforms offer more drag and drop features and e-commerce options for one price, many creatives and business owners have chosen these platforms for the sake of time and convenience.

However, when determining your website’s goals, it is important to consider that not every web development platform is created equally.

For instance, providers like Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com (different from WordPress.org) may not be as ideal depending on your goals. For established businesses and brands, web ranking may not be as significant as an objective, but if you’re looking to generate traffic this way, you may want to reconsider.

If time is on your side and you’re looking to grow your traffic, here is a simple strategy to build your own website to increase your creative control, SEO, all while decreasing your spending.

Consider implementing your own domain and hosting strategy

More often than not, we are drawn towards an all-inclusive option that provides the domain, hosting, blog plugin, template, and many of the essential features of a website. Otherwise, we invest large amounts of capital into hiring a web developer and spend a fortune relying on them to update a website.

Both of these alternatives leave us without an understanding of how our website actually functions.

If you have the time, it’s worth it to buy a domain from a website like GoDaddy, and update the DNS, or domain name server, settings to send it to separate hosting – something that can also be done through GoDaddy. In my experience, they’re the easier provider to work with and will even set up your WordPress admin account if you call customer service.

Create a plan

Begin to write or type out the plan for your website.

What pages will you need? How do you want your site to appear? What type of theme or brand should it convey? Do some research, and write out your own sitemap and structure to ensure it includes all you’ll need. Look at other personal blogs, businesses, influencers, and consultants for examples.

Write out your content

Instead of writing your content while designing your website, do this beforehand so you aren’t developing directed attention fatigue (or exhausting yourself doing multiple tasks – in this case, tasks which are very different). Research content that will increase your SEO ranking, and explore other responsive websites that implement content features you enjoy.

Choose a responsive theme for desktop and mobile

Just because you’re hosting your own website doesn’t mean you have to learn code and become a Javascript or HTML expert. Instead, look for an easy to use, responsive theme. You’ll get a clean and optimized template while still being able to control many of the features of your website.

Build your site

Once you have everything in place, begin putting each piece together. If you’re using WordPress, you can install different drag and drop plugins that simplify the process for you and customize your website.

Include calls to action

An important rule of thumb to follow is ensuring each page and piece of content has a goal. That goal should include the call to action, or action step, you desire your target audience take. Whether it’s clicking a button, reading a blog post, learning more, or making a sale, always ensure that your website is calling your audience to do something.

Add the bells and whistles

Now that your website is almost complete, incorporate additional features such as analytics, shopping carts, and lead magnets. These tools will take your website to the next level, enabling you to gauge your traffic and generate more revenue over time.

Though this process may seem tedious, remember it will not only save additional revenue in the long run but also give you complete creative control and authority over your website.

Pro tip

Always, always, always have the technical side of your website created first before you design. This means hooking up your domain and hosting before you design.

If you need help with your website or need one quickly, let me help you.

Instagram

  • "You should dye your hair."⠀
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"I hear Americans get drugged."⠀
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"Are there terrorists?"⠀
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I've stayed in a lot of places that are considered "dangerous" and these are the comments/questions I get the most. ⠀
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My response is always the same.⠀
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Altering my appearance to "blend in" is silly and not all parts of Central & South America or the Middle East are dangerous. In Israel, you're going to see soldiers with machine guns in public places. Expect to see the same in most of Latin America outside of resorts. ⠀
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If you're looking for trouble you're bound to find it, regardless of location. (And as a writer who covers oppressive/corrupt governments, I know I'm not always going to be the most welcome wherever I go.)⠀
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But, I choose not to live in fear. ⠀
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(#TBT to these crystal clear waters in the Dominican Republic)
  • Drunk or just drunk in love?? 🥂😅🧐
  • With #BlackFriday quickly approaching, be cautious about ads featuring "cheap flights" or "great vacation deals." If something seems too good to be true, it usually is. ⠀
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If you're looking to book your 2020 travel soon, have an idea of standard ticket prices as you search. ⠀
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For example, I’m not impressed by round trips to New York from Europe for $500+ when I know that I can probably find something cheaper from Chicago without having to use my flight points or spend the time to get from Indianapolis to NYC.⠀
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The way I see it, round trips from the Midwest to major cities in Europe like London, Paris, or Zurich are reasonable if priced $400-$600. It’s an incredible deal if you can find a round trip like this for $400 or less.⠀
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One ways to Europe from New York are reasonable for $200-$300 but are especially good deals if you can get them for $200 or less.⠀
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And any flight from the Midwest or East Coast to Asia for $1,000 or less is always a great deal IF they are nonstop or have one short layover.⠀
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Read more about how I buy cheap plane tickets #ontheblog ⠀
(Oh and I booked Colombia 🇨🇴 Send your recommendations my way!)
  • Hey, @kylepierce17 can we just get married next weekend? I’ll see what our priest has going on. #307DaysToGo 😆
  • #TenYearChallenge (Closer to 9 years apart, though.) Same hair cut, same desire to wear all black, SAME PIECE OF HAIR THAT STICKS TO THE SIDE!, better eyebrows! 🤔🤣
  • An honest review of camel milk: the series. 🐫 SWIPE 😂
  • I went with a bare face to TWO meetings this morning?! I’ve always struggled with my skin and finding a good dermatologist, skincare from @the_lassi_indpls, and @michianamicroblading have been instrumental in taking care of acne and scarring from my teenage years + thin and frail brows. Plus moisturizing. And drinking water. And washing my hands before I touch my face. And wearing sunscreen. #AsSheIs
  • One of the biggest reasons why Americans don’t travel abroad – other than not having a passport – is the cost of airfare. Rising taxes, hidden fees, and baggage add-ons don’t help, but if you can manage to travel only with a carryon and during the offseason, then it IS possible to travel frugally. ⠀
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My roundtrip from Cincinnati to Iceland? $300⠀
Chicago to Paris? Close to $350⠀
One way from JFK to London? $290 ⠀
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I don’t usually travel outside of the U.S. during Q4 (because it’s expensive) but I’ve got Colombia, Peru, Iceland again, and wherever we decide to go on our honeymoon on my list for 2020. I’ve written a list of the biggest ways I save money on plane tickets #ontheblog. ⠀
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Where do you want to go in 2020?
  • *me, looking to find something witty to say about the time change; really it’s all a racket by the federal government*🇨🇭photo taken during my trip to Switzerland this past spring with an overpriced latte
  • Damn what a month. 4+ AIER titles on Amazon, wedding planning in full swing, clients served, and my article reprinted by @entrepreneur!? Like what!? 😳 
You CAN turn your passion into your dream career. It’s not easy but the adventure is worth it. ❤️ Read the full article at the #linkinbio
  • Five years ago & a lifetime to go. #PerfectlyPierce ❤️
  • Wishing I had more photos of me with camels so I could post one every hump day (Wednesday.) This fella loves Kit Kat bars, giving kisses (he had some nasty breath tho 🤢), AND he sports a nose ring.

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