The benefits of having a personal brand are so strong that I’d recommend every entrepreneur set aside time each week to build theirs. People are more likely to buy your products or hire you for your services if they know who you are.
Moreover, conversing with people can become the catalyst for launching products; you learn from your audience what they like, what they dislike, and what they want.
Someone who has built a strong personal brand is Paul Jarvis, an author who creates and sells software products after years in the industry looking after corporate clients like Mercedes Benz and Warner Music (you can listen to my podcast interview with Paul here).
Paul told me about his newsletter he sends out every Sunday, which reaches over 30,000 people. He focuses on adding value, sharing things he’s interested in and what he thinks will interest them.
“Ninety percent of the time I’m not selling anything…but then when I do have something to launch, after listening to people, after listening to my audience and seeing what they want from me, then those are the people who are the most keen on buying it”, Paul said.
Obviously, those are the people Paul knows will take a chance as early adopters of what he has to offer.
Your clients end up buying from you over and over again, because they become advocates for what you have to offer.
In Paul’s case, the example of the newsletter works particularly well. But, there are many ways to build your personal brand on a variety of channels: Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, YouTube, Medium, TikTok, and the list goes on.
But the goal is the same: Converse with them, listen to them, and most importantly, add value.
Your Personal Brand and Getting Funding From a VC
I spoke with a prominent NYC VC called Charlie O’Donnell (you can listen to that podcast episode here), who had another reason why building your personal brand through content in invaluable.
Charlie spoke about how baffled he is by the number of founders who approach VCs with a product and expect to be written a cheque, without anyone knowing anything about them. He suggested reverse engineering funding by:
- Writing a medium post or a blog that is in the same industry a particular VC invests in.
- Sending the post to them for their opinion.
- Building the relationship (assuming what you’ve said is something they agree with), and when it becomes time for investment, you’re on their radar.
The same thing can be achieved via volunteering to speak at an event, or by writing a free Ebook.
Think about this: No matter what Elon Musk, Richard Branson, or Jeff Bezos do next, we’ll take notice because of their personal brands.
The same can be said for people like Tim Ferriss, who has built a successful personal brand from scratch that he successfully maneuvers from product to product.
One of the biggest mistakes professionals make is not building a personal brand. Make sure you pay attention to yours, as it’s the only commodity that stays with you throughout your career.