A powerful personal brand can differentiate you from your competitors and build trust with people. It allows you to attract quality prospects, connect better with your customers, build stronger relationships, collaborate with ideal brands, create like-minded communities, and share great content to become a figure of authority, which leads to trust, and often, more sales. You don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression, so make one that not only sets you apart, but one that also reflects who you truly are.
For the past few years, the founder of AuthorRise Media, Wilbert Wynnberg—serial entrepreneur, bestselling author, and expert in marketing and personal branding—has helped many business leaders, c-suite executives, and entrepreneurs who want to take their reputation to the next level get themselves noticed. The venture started as a journey for Wynnberg to help himself and his brands gain more exposure, but over time, many people started approaching him for help and advice. As he helped others, he noticed a demand for people to enhance their branding in the world, which led to him founding AuthorRise Media.
Building a strong personal brand may seem confusing, especially to newbies trying it for the first time, and even to seasoned veterans who aren’t familiar with the latest trends. Where should you begin? Here are Wynnberg’s top 5 tips for building a stronger brand, both online and offline.
1. Build Your Digital Presence
How can people get to know you? If you’re still handing out business cards at networking events, making sure those cards contain more than just your phone number and email is the first step. “If I search your name on Google and you’re not the top search result, it’s not a good sign,” said Wynnberg. “Of course, depending on the type of business you have, you might not need to rank on a search engine to be successful. But if you want to build a strong personal brand, people need to be able to find you.” What is your “online persona” like? How often have you used LinkedIn to express your professional perspectives on things happening in the world? Have you reached out to other thought leaders? Have you ever been featured in news publications or magazines? What do your business/personal websites look like—are they interactive or outdated? “202 has forever shifted networking online, so you need to be sure your online brand matches your offline brand if you want to stay credible and relevant,” Wynnberg added.
2. Speak on stage
If you’re a successful businessman or businesswoman, people will want to know your story. The story of your ideas, hard work, and overcoming adversity can inspire others in their business and life. Anytime you speak and put yourself out there, you have the opportunity to deliver nuggets of wisdom, which could turn out to be the missing piece that leads somebody else to success. “Videos have become one of the most-consumed forms of content online, and you can build your brand by appearing on—or even starting your own—podcasts, videos, or virtual conferences,” Wynnberg observed. “Over time, as you make more appearances and provide more value, more people will want to feature you. This is how successful public speakers eventually get to make more than $50,000 per event.” Let people see you, invest in building your brand, and you’ll get to see it paying off.
You don’t need to do everything yourself, and cooperation is always better than competition, so start reaching out to people. Are there any similar experts in your field whom you respect or admire? You could look to collaborate with them and do a live Q&A session together on social media. Be open to share your database of contacts, and receive theirs in exchange. What overlap do you have with your other connections, and how can you grow this to the next level together? At the very least, catch up with them over coffee (virtually if necessary) and start brainstorming together! You’ll be surprised by what great ideas you can conceive. In 2017, I founded Think Act Prosper as a platform to empower and educate entrepreneurs around the world. Through that process, I was able to collaborate and work with industry experts such as Brian Tracy, Elena Cardone, Les Brown, Kim Perell, Tim Storey, Kerri Kasem, David Meltzer, Sheena Chohan and the list goes on. As a result of these collaborations, Think Act Prosper’s brand was able to grow quickly and effectively across the world.
4. Publish a book
If you’re capable of writing 200 pages of valuable content in your field of expertise, publishing a book can help build your credibility and establish yourself as an expert. If your book becomes popular and attains bestseller status, it can really launch your career globally. People like Simon Sinek (Start with Why) or Robert Kiyosaki (Rich Dad Poor Dad) all had their big break after publishing books that became international bestsellers. “The publishing world has changed dramatically in the past decade. By self-publishing your work, you no longer need to have your book accepted by a publisher to put your book out,” Wynnberg commented. “Rich Dad Poor Dad was self-published, as was E.L. James’ 50 Shades series. One of 2020’s bestsellers, David Goggins’ Can’t Hurt Me, was self-published, and sold 900,000 copies within 4 months of its release. It has since become one of the most popular audiobooks ever released. Can you imagine what a book could do for your career?”
5. Get Verified
Getting your profile verified on social media can be a real game changer for your brand and online presence. Some consider the blue checkmark the “Holy Grail” of personal branding—a verified account means you have established yourself as an important, legitimate thought leader in the world, and adds weight to anything you say or publish online. “It puts you in a favourable position in the online algorithms. more traffic will be driven to your content, which includes even your comments on other people’s posts, and you’ll be able to reach more people globally with less effort,” Wynnberg said. Getting verified isn’t easy (otherwise everyone would be verified) but it is possible. It takes a combination of a strong personal brand and online presence that repeatedly delivers value. When your social media accounts are verified, you and your brand will truly shine. “Branding has never been as important as it is now, and with more people focusing on enhancing their online presence, don’t get left behind,” Wynnberg remarked.