In this post, we will discuss tips that can help you build a viral personal brand online so that you can monetize that brand and create wealth. Without further ado, let’s look at those tips in detail.
Tell a great story
Storytelling is the most important part of building a great viral brand. If you really think about it, storytelling is something that you do on a daily basis. When you tell a great story about yourself, you form an emotional connection with your audience, and that makes them more invested in your well-being and in your success.
Where building a viral personal brand online is concerned, your story is what makes you unique and it essentially defines who you are to everyone that is watching. Online marketing experts have known for years that it’s difficult to build any kind of brand loyalty unless you are able to make people fall in love with that brand, and that storytelling is the most effective way to increase the appeal of any brand in the eyes of the audience.
There are a few key characteristics that make a great story for a viral personal brand. The first characteristic is that the story should be memorable. In order for a story to be memorable, it has to be short and sweet, and it has to be interesting. If you can recall your creative writing class back in school, you know that a good story should introduce characters, introduce some sort of conflict, resolve that conflict in a climactic way, and then end on a high note. That is what your personal brand story should be like.
Your brand story should also be relatable, inspirational, and people should be able to connect with it. People are always interested in stories that are uplifting. They want to hear about how you overcame certain challenges in the face of unfavorable odds. They want to hear about how you proved naysayers wrong, and how you succeeded in something just by sheer force of will. When people hear such stories, they imagine themselves in your position, and live vicariously through you, at least for the duration of the story.
Your story also needs to stand out. You might have a great story of personal triumph, but if that story is commonplace, people aren’t going to feel inspired by it. For example, you have probably heard numerous stories about how a person grew up poor, worked hard at school, went to college, and he or she now has a great job and lives in a big city. That story may be memorable and relatable, but it certainly doesn’t stand out because it’s just too generic. If that is your story, you may want to tell it from a different angle.
We all know that there is nothing new under the sun. You may have a great story, but it may be similar to the stories of hundreds or even thousands of other people out there, so the question becomes, how do you make your story stand out? Some experts suggest that if your personal story seems generic at first glance, you should inject personal details into it, the kind of details that make you vulnerable to the people who listen to the story. ‘Vulnerability’ is one of the most relatable emotions out there, and it’s very effective when it comes to making people empathize with your story and connect with you.
You may have lots of different stories that encapsulate your personal brand, so how do you decide which one to use when you are trying to connect with your audience? Well, you first have to consider the type of audience that you are dealing with. You have to think about who they are, and what kind of story they respond to. For example, if your audience is mostly made up of young men in their early 20s, they aren’t going to respond to a touchy-feely personal brand story.
However, they might respond to a story about how you pushed yourself hard, sucked things up, and conquered whatever challenges you were dealing with. Even if it’s the same story that you are trying to tell, it should differ depending on who you are telling it to. Storytelling is the first step towards getting people to know you and to start understanding what your brand is about. Once you let people enter into your world by telling them your original story, you have to keep updating them on the progress you are making in your personal journey. For as long as you want to monetize your personal brand, you should never stop telling your brand story because your audience will be hooked, and they will keep looking at you for more inspiration.
Before you decide on a story for your personal brand, you need to ask yourself a few questions in order to find out which one of your personal experiences deserves the most be your brand story. What is the bravest thing that you have ever done? What is the greatest achievement of your life? What inspired you to start your venture? What is the biggest challenge you have ever faced? What is the most surprising fact about you? If you look into your life story and try to answer these questions, you will be surprised to find that you have plenty of stories that you can use to introduce your personal brand to your audience.
Be authentic and real with your audience
If you want to create a viral personal brand on Internet, you have to do more than just push content on social media. You have to make sure that you are perceived by your audience as authentic. In recent years, there has been a general increase in the demand for authenticity, and lots of brands have been punished for lacking authenticity.
You have probably come across social media campaigns where people, including celebrities, have been ganging up on cosmetic companies and fashion magazines and condemning them for using airbrushed models to sell their products. People are generally fed up with pretentious and inauthentic brands, so you shouldn’t make the mistake of trying to present yourself as something that you are not.
Authenticity is about acting in a way that feels natural to you. If you find that you are deviating from who you are as a person, or that you are misrepresenting yourself in your portrayal of your personal brand, you should know that it’s not going to serve you well in the long run. A person who is authentic is not afraid to show his or her flaws. Your online audience expects you to create high-quality content at all times, but they also expect you to show them what goes on behind the curtains. If you perfectly edit your online videos, posting an occasional bloopers reel can go a long way in making you look more authentic.
Authentic people always tell the truth, and they always share both their wins and their losses. If you are sharing your personal journey online (for example, if you are running a site where you teach people how to invest), you have to disclose your setbacks so that people get a real picture of the challenges that come with doing what you do. Most people will respect you for it.
Authenticity also about accepting the fact that not everyone is going to like you. If you create content online, you are bound to get negative feedback sooner or later. You shouldn’t be the guy who deletes all the negative comments. Instead, if there are real issues that some of your followers are raising, you should try to address them in an objective way. If you are dealing with haters, just ignore them.
Finally, you have to share aspects of your personal life with your audience instead of only focusing on the business angle. Let them know if you are married, if you have kids, if you have a pet, if you are a sports fan, etc. When you are branding yourself, you need to remember that you are not a faceless company. The more personal you get with your audience, the more authentic you feel, and the stronger your personal brand becomes.
Don’t just show the end results, show the process as well
If you want to create a viral personal brand, you have to understand that people are interested in seeing the process that goes into creating and defining your brand, not just the end result that you present to them. They want to witness your transformation and they want to be part of your journey. For example, if you are a successful entrepreneur and investor, your audience wants to learn exactly how you manage to do it all. They don’t just want to see you showcasing your wealth on screen.
Your brand is more likely to go viral if you are transparent about your practices, and you are willing to share actionable information with your audience. Transparency inspires trust. If you keep making wild claims about your success, but you don’t show your audience what really goes into bringing forth that success, they may assume that you are a scammer, and they will be unwilling to put their money into any product or service that you offer them.
Even if your intention is to create wealth by charging your audience for insider advice, you must be willing to give something away for free. For example, if you are monetizing your knowledge of social media marketing by selling an eBook on the subject, or by offering an online course, you could give away the first couple of chapters (or the first 2 lessons of the course) for free before introducing a fee on subsequent chapters.
People want to see that you are offering useful information before they commit to your brand and before they are willing to part with their money. If you make vague promises that seem too good to be true, and then you ask people to make a financial commitment before you give them anything of value, you will lose a huge chunk of your audience right off the bat, and the ones that remain will have a difficult time trusting you fully.
Identify what makes you stand out from the crowd
As we’ve mentioned several times already, everyone has a personal brand. That means that all the people that are posting photos, videos, and other forms of content on the internet have brand stories of their own to tell; so the question becomes, how do you make your personal brand story stand out enough to the point of going viral online? Well, first you have to be able to identify the characteristics that can make you different from everyone else, and you then have to highlight those characteristics and use them to your advantage.
We have talked about how you can figure out what your strengths are. This is where you now have to apply those strengths to the best of your ability. You should create content based on what you are truly good at. If you are eloquent and creative, you may be able to create strong text content and powerful video scripts. If you have a flair for the dramatic, you can use your abilities as an actor to create captivating videos. You should factor your strengths into your strategy, and you shouldn’t limit yourself to other people’s rules when it comes to deciding what strategy to go with.
If you want to stand out, you have to make sure that you establish an area of expertise for yourself, and that you focus on perfecting your understanding of that particular area. Don’t be a jack of all trades and a master of none. You are more likely to succeed in creating a viral personal brand online if you focus on a specific niche and you become a leading voice in that niche than if you try to throw everything to the wall in order to see what sticks.
Understand what you want to be associated with
In business, the term brand association refers to anything that is deep-seated in the mind of your audience about your brand. It’s amazing how powerful brand association can be in the long run. Let’s use the example of common company brands. What comes to mind when you hear someone mention Apple or Mercedes Benz? When these brands come up in conversations, your mind immediately registers the fact that they are premium brands, or that they are related to luxury or affluence. Brand association works the same way when it comes to personal brands.
You want people to associate your personal brand with your core values, your skills, and strengths, or even with certain things that you are passionate about. You may want people to always think of your content as fun and entertaining. You may want them to think of your insights as trustworthy. If you are marketing certain products, you may want them to associate your personal brand with reliability. You may want people to think of you as a subject matter expert on a certain issue.
Brand association is created through consistency. You have to be consistent in the way you present your brand if you want people to think of it in a certain way. It would be difficult to create Brand Association if you keep sending mixed signals to your audience. For example, if you are a social media influencer, you may want to market products of a certain level of quality, and stay away from products that differ from your brand in terms of quality.
Focus on providing value and building a community before you start worrying about making money
When it comes to creating a viral brand online, your priority should be creating real value and increasing your social media followers, not making money. People consume content because they are looking to be informed or to be entertained; so unless that is your central focus, people won’t buy into your personal brand in the first place. Your audience understands full well that you are creating content because you want to make money. However, unless you offer them something valuable, they won’t feel like they owe you anything. It’s the good old principle of reciprocity — if you offer your audience information that actually benefits them in some way, they will feel the need to reciprocate, and they will consider buying your product or subscribing to your service.
If you start trying to sell products to your audience even before they have gotten to know you, most of them won’t stick around for long. No one likes to feel as though they are being hustled. People are also going to notice if you offer them content that has dubious value just so that you can influence them to make certain purchases. The internet has a term for this type of content —it’s called clickbait. It’s where a person pretends to offer content of a certain quality, but when the audience follows his link with the intention of consuming that content, they find that it’s mostly just useless information, combined with not-so-subtle product pushes. If you do this no one is ever going to trust your brand, and most people are going to block you on their feeds or label your content as spam.
When we looked at the case studies of Kanye West and Muhammad Ali, we discovered that self-confidence is extremely important if you want to create a powerful personal brand online. So, how do you build your confidence, and how do you use it to create a viral personal brand online? If you want to build confidence, you have to understand that true confidence comes from being a real expert on a certain issue. If you have studied an issue extensively, you will be confident when you talk about it and your audience will notice that confidence. Being well informed will empower you to be confident.
You can also build confidence through practice. Nobody ever becomes self-assured in one day. Every confident person learns how to overcome their fear and anxiety in order to express themselves in a more effective way. The good news is that if you are interacting with your audience online, you have ample time to craft a perfect impression. You can try out something many times to build your confidence before you put it out there for the world to see. For example, if you are shooting a video, you can do dozens of takes until you are able to talk and act with confidence. If you are posting a photo, you can shoot as many photos as you want, and then post the one that portrays you as most confident. Even when you are dealing with text content, you can write and edit multiple drafts before you decide on a final draft. The beauty of the internet is that it makes it possible for you to practice and to build your confidence, so make sure that you take advantage of that.
Psychologists have long understood that most human communication has very little to do with the words we say, and it has more to do with how we say them, and the non-verbal expressions that we use to supplement what we are saying. If you are posting personal branding content online and you are hoping to get it to go viral, you have to make sure that you are very expressive.
If you are creating a video, make sure that you use lots of hand gestures. Research shows that hand gestures actually make people pay attention to what you are saying. You also have to make sure that you use facial expression to convey the emotions that you are trying to pass across. To perfect your use of facial expressions, practice them in front of a mirror before you shoot your video. You should practice how to express surprise, anger, curiosity, and every other emotion that you may have to express. Most importantly, you should practice how to smile.
Smiles are infectious, and they are very effecting in helping you connect with your audience, even if they are watching you on a screen. You should also study body language in general, and understand how things like your body posture, can affect the way people interpret your message. You also have to use your voice in a more expressive manner. Nobody wants to listen to you if you are speaking in a monotone for the entire duration of a video.
Even if you are creating content in a niche that requires you to be professional formal, you can still vary your voice and use different tones to make your content more interesting. You can alter the volume of your voice, your tone, your pitch, the length of your pauses, and the way you enunciate certain words. You can also be more expressive when creating text content by changing your diction, and using various literary and stylistic devices to convey certain emotions. You, however, have to be careful when you are being expressive because if you overdo it, you may come across as inauthentic.
When we talked about storytelling for the purposes of personal branding, we mentioned that vulnerability can make your story more relatable. We would like to expound on that concept a little bit. ‘Vulnerability’ is the kind of imperfection that makes your personal brand more perfect because it makes other people perceive you as a real person and not someone who is ‘plastic’ or ‘robotic’. Content goes viral because people share it, and people share content if it resonates with them (unless of course, it’s content is about celebrities).
A lot of people think that they have to showcase perfection in order to gain the trust and respect of their audiences. Some believe that they have to fake it until they make it. That is why many young entrepreneurs go out and rent luxury cars so that they present themselves as successful. If you understand the power of vulnerability, you wouldn’t do that. Instead, you would take your audience along with you on your journey to success, and they will be able to see your personal brand become more powerful as you become richer before their very eyes.
Let’s hope that it was informative and that it provided you with all the tools you need in order to start crafting your own strong personal brand online, which you will be able to use to create wealth.
The next step for you is to start your journey towards creating an authentic and relatable personal brand online. As you set out on that journey, you have to remember that nothing is going to come to you easily. You should be prepared to invest a lot of your time and other resources into crafting the best possible personal brand.
As you present your personal brand to the public, you should be prepared to deal with haters. Even if you put out a positive and uplifting piece of content to promote your personal brand online, there is always someone who is going to find something negative to say about it. Haters can be vulgar and unnecessarily hurtful, but you should understand that they are just a part of everyday life these days. In fact, when the haters start showing up, that’s a good sign, because it means that you are actually doing well! Hate often stems from envy, so when people start hating you, it could mean that your success is just around the corner.
You also have to remember that in order to create a powerful viral personal brand online, you have to tell a story that people can relate to. People won’t relate to a story that they don’t find believable. You may be tempted to exaggerate your success or your expertise in your niche, but if you do that you run the risk of coming across as implausible. Remember that the truth is always more interesting than fiction and that you can’t fool everyone. Be creative when you craft your brand story, but remember that is should be firmly rooted in the truth.
You should also remember that it is never too late to rebrand yourself. The great thing about personal branding is that everyone expects you to evolve with time, so you won’t come across as inauthentic if you decide to reinvent and rebrand yourself. If your initial brand doesn’t bring you the wealth you were hoping to generate, don’t be afraid to switch things up and to try something new.