10 Steps to Build Your Personal Brand on Social Media

Feb. 8, 2022

Take a moment and think of your favorite brands. Now think about how they make you feel. For example, Nike pushes you to get going with 'Just Do it. With its tagline 'Think Different, Apple makes you think of its products when you want to create something unique. That is how we build the association with a brand's personality.


Now let us think of brands like Virgin and Tesla. Chances are you would recall the CEOs of these companies, Richard Branson and Elon Musk, more than the company themselves. Oprah Winfrey's empathy differentiates her from the entertaining Jimmy Fallon despite both of them being talk show hosts. Likewise, Simon Sinek's intelligent, fair, and honest corporate coaching is starkly different from Gary Vaynerchuk's street-smart and raw scrutiny of corporate work culture. 


They are what we call successful personal brands. A personal brand is similar to a corporate brand except that it talks about a person, their personality, and how they communicate their unique identity and values to a potential audience.


The Personal Branding Edge

According to Forbes, "42% of people distrust brands, as opposed to 92% of consumers who trust recommendations made by individuals, even people they don't know. Studies show that 82% of people are more likely to trust a company when its senior executives are active on social media."


Here is what is happening - the consumer trust has shifted from companies to the genuineness of the people representing them. So if you are looking to establish yourself in an industry where you have relevant skills and expertise, this would be the right time to do some personal branding. 


Your employability and future ventures will be met with support from stakeholders through self-branding because you have an established public personality compared to someone unknown. Eventually, as you build your brand credibility and consumer connections, it will be easier to convert media relationships and could have the advantage of offering your services at a premium. 


Get ready to develop your brand

Now that we are aware of the perks of having a personal brand let us indulge in developing one. 


1. Crack the cocoon.

Every personal branding journey begins with a spiritual question – "Who are you?" 

Also Read: Online Consumer Behaviour Impacts on Brand Marketing

Take the time to introspect on your strengths and weaknesses. If you don't know, ask your friends and family. Figure your core values. Circle in activities that energize you and rule out the ones that drain you. Make a note of your past achievements and compliments. Equally, look for things where you have consistently needed support. See if there is room for improvement in any areas. Finally, ask if your goals are in tandem with who you are. List out everything based on what drives you. 

Congratulations! You now have identified your 'brandable' personality.


2. Establish the niche.

Once you have the list ready, it is time to identify what you offer uniquely. No matter how diverse your talents are, always start by focussing on a single area that effortlessly motivates you. At this juncture, ask yourself, "how would you like people to remember you," "what would you like to be known for", and "how differently can you solve the problem". E.g. you aim to provide tips to aspiring entrepreneurs, be a personal life coach, target other businesses or sell services to consumers directly.

Answers to these questions will help you establish your niche and positioning for your brand. Know that your brand evolves as you evolve. 


3. Research. Research. Research

Market environments change with consumers. Increasingly, brands are adopting disruptive models as new generations move towards individualistic and revolutionary products or services. If you are going to stay relevant in your industry, you must play the long game. This is where research plays a crucial role. 

While following the personal branding process, one must research three things: competition, industry trends, experts, and peers.

Researching your competition can give you an alternative roadmap to strategically approach and achieve your branding objectives. The simplest exercise is to list the keywords you want to rank for and then study the pages appearing on search engines. These are your competitors. 

To stay on top of your industry:

  1. Subscribe to channels or sources that update the latest trends.
  2. Observe what the experts, thought leaders, and peers are up to by following their social media.
  3. Read their blogs or tune into their podcasts, which may give you insights into making transitions or adopting methodologies to improve exposure.

Learn and apply.


4. Define your audience. Decide your style

Define the audience you want to reach out to based on your niche. Are you targeting recruiters or looking for affiliations with beauty gurus? 

Once you have your audience, decide how to communicate. Do you want to come across as friendly, formal, funny, serious, etc.? For example, if you look at Apple's ads, you will find they have a formal and revolutionary tone. Similarly, Nike sounds inspirational, and Coca-Cola is friendly and passionate. 

Once you determine your voice, you are ready to set sails on your communication and establish content narratives.


5. Find out their hangout

One of the most vital steps in the personal branding process is choosing where to share your story. Where does your audience spend the most time? One can leverage platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter to target decision-makers, whereas a personal website will help freelancers showcase their portfolios to clients.

Choose the right platform that reflects you. For example, photographers will do well on Instagram and Pinterest as these platforms support various creative image formats. On the other hand, if you are a musician or a performer, YouTube, Meta, or TikTok can be a more suitable platform.

Curate your communication according to the platform. Suppose you own a T-shirt company, your communication about your stores, manufacturing, or distribution would be relevant on LinkedIn compared to Instagram. In contrast, showcasing product designs would be appropriate for the latter.


6. Broadcast consistently

You own unique positioning, have a defined audience, specific communication style, and identified social media channels. Now it is time to launch your content. 


To begin, make a list of questions often asked by your audience. Start creating content to address them. 


Remember, content is not only about self-branding but also about providing value. So periodically post content that delivers value to your audience to attract engagement. For example, besides providing expert advice on project management, you can share e-books on industry insights and the latest case studies or even share affiliate product links with discounts on the application software.


One of the best practices to ensure content consistency is maintaining and managing a content calendar. Using software like Hubspot and Buzzumo can automate content organization and scheduling. 


7. Be an Original

As shared earlier, people are looking for more than brands to believe in and build relationships with. So having a good personality alone won't do. It is imperative to communicate authentically, honestly, and as humanely as possible.


8. Socialise

There is no purpose to a community if there is no participation. Therefore, engaging in conversations with your subscribers is as essential as finding new followers. 

Take time to interact, respond to comments and answer user queries on your social media. Make them feel that you care. Be proactive about their preferences, e.g. conduct polls or surveys to identify topics of interest.


9. Show up when they need you

Be present across touchpoints where your audience may need your expertise. Utilize the platform tools and real estate for personal branding advantage. For instance, update your professional profile on LinkedIn. Use Google Business to create a business profile. Showcase your domain expertise by answering questions on platforms like Quora. Share your social media or website links. 

Employ a concise introduction of who you are and what you offer for display. A website domain registered in your name will establish exclusivity for your brand. 


10. Network and Introduce

Personal branding is a consistent effort. It does not end with just sharing content. When your brand gets into a saturation phase, you may require rebranding or affiliations to broaden your audience. Networking can help you during such times.

Reach out and introduce yourself to industry experts and peers via websites or social media where they are active participants. Seek advice and industry tips, and ask if they are open to collaborations. 

Always have a brief elevator pitch ready for introductions. In addition, recommendations and endorsements from current or former colleagues on LinkedIn will add value. 

The more you network higher your brand recall.  


The Future of Personal Branding 

According to, "Social network platforms almost tripled their total user base in the last decade, from 970 million in 2010 to the number passing 4.48 billion users in July 2021." 

The increasing number of content creators and their accessibility to tools that aid in producing content on social media platforms have contributed to this growth. For example, Substack, Patreon, Gumroad, and Cameo enable creators to interact and sell directly to their clients.

As a result, new businesses are shifting their models from attention economy to creator economy. "YouTube alone is expected to generate $30 billion in revenue by the end of this year from self-made entrepreneurs. Meta has also reportedly offered cash pay-outs to creators to produce short- and long-form videos for Facebook Watch," states Forbes.

In a nutshell, the future looks bright for anyone who takes advantage of social media and adopts contemporary technologies that enhance their use. So follow these strategies and make your passions work for you.

Written By Lakshmi Pavithran