You have great skills. But the world needs to know about them so that you can monetize them.
In an age when people try to sell anything, everything, in every way possible, you have to stand out to attract quality businesses. This is why self-marketing and personal branding have become a necessity for sustainable growth.
With social media at the forefront, in this article we will show you how to market yourself and build your personal brand through social media. So buckle up! You might be in for a steep ride.
What is self-marketing?
We all know what marketing is. To tell people what you have and convince them to buy from you. Law? Law.
Self-marketing is something similar. It involves individual people showing their skills to the world to attract better job opportunities and build their personal brand.
There is, however, a thin line between self-marketing and being a boastful dum-dum that no one likes. You have to tell the world that you are good at something and convince them of it without appearing too obnoxious or proud of your skills and accomplishments.
What self-marketing shouldn’t be.
Does it sound difficult? Do not worry! We’ll help you navigate the difficult paths of self-marketing in an instant.
But first, let’s see why you should consider self-marketing.
Importance of Self-Marketing: Building Your Personal Brand
Self-marketing, when done right, can get you to the top of your industry. It involves building your personal brand, which is a sure-fire way to appear trustworthy to people and get more business.
There are many examples of people who, from humble beginnings, rose to fame by knowing how to sell themselves and building their personal brand. Concrete example : Gary Vaynerchuk.
He started out running his father’s business until he discovered the powers of social media. One of the first to adopt platforms like Twitter and YouTube, Gary harnessed the potential of these platforms and built his personal brand.
Today people know him as energetic, loud, humorous and even secular. What he says does not resonate with everyone. But it gets to the right people – its audience – and that is what it wants.
With self-marketing, consistency, and an audience-centric approach, Gary won his battles. He is now a five-time bestselling author, vlogger, entrepreneur and multi-millionaire who has built his own empire, firmly anchored in intelligent automarketing and a strong personal branding.
If Gary can shape his destiny with personal branding on social media, then why can’t you?
However, in order to reap the benefits of self-marketing, you need to have a solid social media self-marketing strategy in place. Let’s see how.
How to self-market on social media
Gone are the days when only successful celebrities and frontline athletes could create personal branding. With the proliferation of social media, anyone can market themselves and build their personal brand. All they need is the right approach:
1. Choose the right social channel
Facebook has 2.74 billion monthly users, which means it provides great exposure. But, if your target audience spends more time on Pinterest than on Facebook, you won’t gain anything by self-marketing on Facebook. So find out where your audience is and pursue this channel.
Each social media channel has its own unique personality. You need to make sure that the personality you are looking to build for your brand matches your choice of social media.
For example, if you’re a business professional, building a personal brand on Instagram might not do you much good. However, self-marketing on LinkedIn can provide the benefits you are looking for. Statistics revealed, most likely 55% of your audience are decision makers, who like to consume material supporting their business decisions, so at this point, Linkedin might be a better choice.
2. Do you understand
Authenticity is at the heart of self-marketing and personal branding, and we have also seen this in the example of Gary Vaynerchuk.
You need to let your authentic self come to the forefront of your self-marketing campaign because your brand needs a unique personality to stand out. And there is nothing more unique than your own personality.
So find your personality. Understand it. And let it be reflected in your marketing tactics and branding. If you have a good sense of humor, you can build a reputation for being laid back and funny.
However, if you feel more comfortable when things are kept formal, you can build your brand by being a professional, staid, and appropriate person.
Remember, consistency is the key. Your tone and personality should be consistent across all of your social media channels and across all of your posts, as consistency builds trust and adds value.
3. Contribute to win
Gary Vaynerchuk is the author of a book called “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook”. The essence of this book is to give people so much value that they almost have to buy from you every time you ask them to.
As we said, too much self-marketing can sound like bragging. And no one likes people who brag.
You have to find a way to find a balance between promoting yourself and helping your community.
The thing is, 30% of people use social media to find entertaining content, while 36% of them use it to occupy their free time. So if you always show up on your subscribers’ feeds with content that gives them nothing and only talks about you, you will drive them away.
Expand your marketing strategy to include content that adds value to the lives of your subscribers, entertains them, helps them, or gives them what they need. Then slide the self-marketing content in between. So there is a good balance between promotional content and valuable content. Your followers trust you and reach out to you when they need help.
Alex Cattoni, writer and owner of Copy Posse does an incredible job of personal branding and strikes a balance between promotional and valuable content.
This promotional message is mixed between super valuable or entertaining content like:
4. Determine your USP
Each brand has a USP or unique selling proposition. And if you want to market yourself as an individual brand, you have to develop and promote your USP.
Find out the value you bring to your customers or clients. And center your marketing tactics around that value. But don’t forget to demonstrate it with facts and evidence.
Find gaps in your industry and fill them with your skills. Your worth is manifested from your unique skills. If you don’t already have a unique skill set, create one.
For example, if there are a lot of people offering photography services but none of them writing Instagram captions with the photos, you can do that. Caption writing skills combined with photography and professionalism may be your unique skills.
But remember, be genuine. Only include and market the skills that you actually have.
5. Stay relevant, up to date and active
Social media is thriving thanks to the latest updates. And if you can’t stay active and keep up with the trends, you can’t be successful.
Try to stay active on social media. Post as often as the social platform requires. For example, if you are building a brand on Instagram, you might need to post two feed posts and two stories per week – like Head of Instagram recommended.
Make sure to create current content. If your audience is talking about the latest Apple gadget, you can’t talk about the first version of iPod. Stay on top of what your audience is talking about and tailor your content accordingly.
6. Say what your audience wants to hear
Will your baby boomer audience laugh if you make millennial jokes? No. That’s why it’s crucial to tailor your content to your audience.
Before you start selling yourself on social media, research your audience and find their weak spots. Then create content that soothes those pain points and solves your audience’s complex issues.
This way, you will position yourself as a thought leader and become the go-to resource whenever someone needs help.
7. Become a thought leader
In a survey, 49% of business decision-makers said they assigned deals to a company because of their thought leadership content.
Here are the results of another survey, to understand the importance of thought leadership:
Thought leadership adds value to your business and convinces your target audience that they can trust you to do their job well. It’s at the heart of personal branding, and you need to tailor your self-marketing tactics to manifest results that make you a thought leader in your industry.
To become a thought leader, you need a dedicated niche. Develop a particular niche for yourself and become an expert in it. If you are exceptional at writing email marketing copy, embrace it as your niche and build your brand by being an expert email copywriter.
Keep learning and leveraging your skills to create new, innovative content, and nothing your audience has never seen before. Promote this content on the right platform. Engage with your audience and help them whenever you can.
Self-marketing is a habit. You cannot do it once and expect it to produce continuous results. Since the results of self-marketing show up over time, you need to develop a marketing routine yourself to build your personal brand and stay consistent with your efforts.
By incorporating the tactics we’ve shared in this article, you can start your personal branding journey today and market yourself with humility and modesty to become a thought leader in your industry and monetize your skills.