How to create content for your personal brand in 4 stepsJun 15, 2021
"I want to create content, but I don’t know what to write about!"
"I want to have more visibility, build a brand, and become a face of my business. I am just not sure what I should be writing about."
"To be honest, I think there are enough pictures of everyone’s coffee, restaurant meals, and patio cocktails on social media. I do not want to come off as someone who posts for the sake of posting."
Does this sound familiar?
You are not alone. Every entrepreneur who does not want to build visibility for visibility’s sake but is not clear on his or her brand, shares these same concerns. When we attempt to do marketing (and yes, creating social media content for your personal brand is self-marketing) before we achieve brand clarity, we are often left confused.
Here is what you should do to unlock your creative block and to start creating content with ease. Let me guide you through the steps you should take to define your 2-4 content buckets. Once they are defined, you will no longer have to worry what to post and what not to post. You will simply refer back to these content buckets (also called “content pillars”) ensuring you don’t dilute your brand by talking about anything that is irrelevant.
Identify your core area of expertise. The goal of personal branding is to position you as an expert or thought leader, giving your brand credibility and differentiating your business as a result. But expert or thought leader in what?
This shouldn’t be hard to define. This is WHAT you do.
Own a construction company? You will likely want to position yourself as an expert in construction. Own a wine boutique? You will want to showcase your expertise as it pertains to wines. Self-awareness coach? Build your thought leadership by sharing your expertise around the concept of self-awareness. The more precise you are able to be, the better. Businesses thrive on going after targeted, niche verticals - and the same holds true for personal branding.
You may have 2 expertise pillars if you own two completely distinct businesses and want to build your personal brand in both spaces. Having more than 2 would dilute your brand positioning, so I recommend capping it - even if you are a true portfolio entrepreneur and you operate in a variety of businesses. Look for a common denominator between them and let that define your area of expertise.
Identify 1-2 pillars that will humanize your brand. These have nothing to do with WHAT you do and have everything to do with WHO you are. An energy coach may decide to share how he applies energy maximizing techniques in his own life. It will then be relevant for him to share content about some of his pastimes, athletic pursuits, maybe even travel. You might be able to do the same depending on your expertise pillar.
Another option is to choose something that might be completely disconnected from your business(es) but humanizes you nonetheless. I talk about my background being an immigrant. This has nothing to do with my areas of expertise or what my businesses offer, but it gives my audience an insight into who I am simply as a person.
How do you define a content pillar that is not reflective of your area of expertise? Think of a topic or two that are so close to your heart, that you are so passionate about, that you are caught talking about them as often as someone is wiling to listen (or maybe even more often). Is this something you would want to be known for and associated with?
Another option is for you to choose a content pillar more strategically. If you are looking to build brand presence in a narrowly-defined geographic area, you may choose that area as your content pillar. For example, if you are interested in building a brand presence in Chicago, you would benefit from posting frequent content about Chicago, thus creating a clear link and positioning in the minds of your audience.
Do not deviate from these pillars - no matter what. You may be passionate about so many different topics and issues, especially the hot-button ones, but you will want to protect your brand from becoming diluted. The more you stay “on topic” (i.e. “on brand”), the more you will benefit from clear brand positioning over time.
It does take time to build a brand. Ultimately, you want people to know WHAT you do and for them to consider you an expert in that field, and you also want them to know WHO you are so that they develop affinity towards your brand. It is a slow and deliberate process, predicated fully on clarity and consistency.
Now that you have clarity, are you ready for step 4?
Time to create content!
Marina Byezhanova is the co-founder of Brand of a Leader. She has given talks across the globe & has been featured in media outlets including Forbes, Inc., Success Magazine, Yahoo!, the Financial Post & more.
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