Growth hacking refers to employing unusual, and often bold, techniques to bolster the growth of a business, or even your personal brand. This is done by bypassing the usual channels of marketing. Companies that have done this successfully employed a mix of integrated marketing, aggressive social media and email marketing, along with the production and distribution of quality content. The method saves time and money, which is ideal for new businesses.
You serve as an extension of your business. You are its leader, its ambassador, and its main representative. The establishment of your personal brand is just as important. When you apply growth hacking techniques to your personal brand in addition to your business, your overall marketing efforts become even more powerful.
What is a Personal Brand?
According to Investopedia.com, “A brand is a distinguishing symbol, mark, logo, name, word, sentence or a combination of these items that companies use to distinguish their product from others in the market.”
A brand is what a company uses to uniquely identify itself and in the process distinguish itself from the competition.
Successful individuals are brands in themselves. This means they have a unique presence, a one-of-a-kind perspective, industry authority, and an impressive social following.
Their success of their products or services benefits from having their name associated with it. This takes place over time, organically, but by applying growth hacking techniques, you can expedite the process. Making the most of your social presence is a great starting point.
Spruce up Your Social Presence
In my experience, if you make yourself out to be a big deal, others will see you in that light. If you are to present yourself as a brand, and a successful one at that, you must begin by optimizing all your social profiles. For personal branding, the two to start with should be LinkedIn and Twitter. Consider Periscope or Instagram if you plan to integrate photos and videos into your content creation plans. Beyond claiming your name and setting them up, you could:
- Create interesting and informative bios. Don’t simply state your name and position. Are you a left-handed bowler? Include something that will make your profile memorable.
- Use a professional-looking profile photo that also shows off your personality.
- Follow influencers within your industry, including well-known blogs, media publications, former and current clients, as well as whoever you feel is relevant to your industry. Your aim is to gather a big audience with whom you can have rich and informed conversations.
- Participate in discussions. Leave your followers richer for having read your comments.
- Create quality content and share it regularly. Invite questions/feedback.
- Respond to comments.
- Speak like a human, not a robot. Since you are also representing your business, you need to keep the business values and aspect in mind. But that does not mean you do not talk about anything else on the planet. Don’t be dry or boring. A bit of personal touch is essential to get people to connect with you.
- Be a regular on social, don’t disappear for a week without explanation!
- Stay on top of all of the new features on the social networks and be sure that you are making use of them.
Build Authority and Thought Leadership
For the owners of startups and small businesses, it is essential to building a repository of ideas or content online.
This can be a long road, but you need just a few articles to get started. Be sure they showcase your expertise and provide a unique perspective.
Seeking out guest posting opportunities for authoritative blogs is ideal for establishing yourself as a thought leader and gaining recognition in the process. However, you can start by creating fantastic content for your own blog.
Participate in trending discussions and industry-related conversations on social to get your name known.
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Quora – all of these platforms, in varying ways, allow entrepreneurs to interact with a wide audience. Insightful answers and generous sharing of expertise can earn you hundreds of followers in a short time.
Tell a Compelling Story
Every great business starts with an idea. There’s a dedicated thought process behind it. There is vision, expertise, experience, passion, and courage guiding the idea. There is euphoria, heartbreak, and vindication behind its execution.
In short, there’s a tremendous story in every business and the founder/owner is the best person to share it.
People love hearing about entrepreneurial journeys. There are a ton of topic ideas in there for you to blog about or share on social.
When you pour your heart out like that, you will be surprised how fast you will see your follower count shoot up.
The credibility that you build via your posting will inherently increase your brand value. Depending on what you share, you can become the go-to person on that topic among social communities.
That is an excellent way of not just establishing and growing your brand, but also benefiting your business.
The aim of a robust social presence and narrating one’s story is not to toot your horn or boost your ego. It is to position yourself in a certain way. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- What do you want to be known as in the industry?
- Are you an ‘expert’ in your field? Do you have a niche?
- What is the purpose of your social activity? Are you selling something, or are you just sharing knowledge? If the aim is to eventually be able to sell, does your social media strategy take that into account?
The best way to market is not to market. It’s counter-intuitive but it’s true. Let your expertise win people over, and you will find more prospects approaching you than you could handle!
Cultivate a Voice
This refers as much to what you stand for as it does to how you put that across.
Some people have a chirpy, casual style of talking, which is also how they tweet, and their writing isn’t much different either. Others are serious and blunt.
In order to stand out as a brand, you need to cultivate a distinct voice. This is simpler than it sounds, you simply need to be yourself. The online persona should match the real person. Don’t imitate others. Dare to share your thoughts. People should know what to expect when they see a post by you. It’s important to write with belief and passion. Your personality will shine through!
Combine Growth Hacking With Life Hacking for Best Results
There are many reasons to position yourself as a brand and to growth hack it. It gives you a presence, and by extension, your business, a competitive advantage.
What people seek the most in a brand (personal or business) is trustworthiness, reliability, and relatability. While expertise takes years of experience to build, you have to begin to share it at some point to let the world know of it.
This is where life hacking comes into the picture. Before you can impress others, you have to be convinced your thoughts are worth sharing. You should be comfortable being vulnerable and confident enough not to get derailed by (inevitable) criticism.
You would also need to polish your writing and speaking skills. As you grow your skills across board, you will find that presenting yourself as a brand comes more and more naturally to you.