What makes the difference between two people of the same age, identical educational and professional achievements in the marketplace?
While there could be a wide range of differences from cultural background to height or what ice cream flavour they'd prefer, it is generally agreeable that personality is likely to be the most differentiating factor that matters in the marketplace.
And the labour market actually assigns a big premium to this, such that hiring someone with the right personality is much more important than just hiring for the skills.
The argument is simple; skills can be taught, but passion and having the right attitude i.e. personality, cannot.
Or can it?
In today’s digitally interconnected world, someone’s personality - or what builds up to become a personal brand - is even much more important than just being able to sit well and speak right for an hour long interview to secure the bag.
And when you think about money, the effectiveness of one’s personal branding can be said to have a strong positive correlation with one's income potential. If your personal brand is weak or nonexistent, you lose - big!
This article explores ways one can monetise their personal brand.
A personal brand is the impression your community, industry or marketplace widely holds in a nearly uniform manner as your identity based on your competencies, values, achievements, character traits, expertise and experience.
Bonus Tip: Ask yourself, what do others say about me when I’m not in the room?
Your personal brand is crucial because it is the simple, most easily recognised and memorable "product" you offer any audience, online and offline.
In light of this, there are as many different categories of personal branding as there are people. A 2011 New York Times Study on the personality of sharing arrived at six personal brand "personas" as follows;
The Altruist Identity/Brand – refers to individuals who build their brand on their commitment to helping others.
The Boomerang Identity/Brand – refers to individuals who create a buzz by sharing controversial content that creates discord that generates interactions. They could be for or against a "taboo or hot topic", as long as they come off as provoking.
The Connectors Identity/Brand – these are individuals who have a knack for successfully bringing people together for a cause. This persona's primary focus is on their connections. That means openly using your network to unite and achieve specific goals.
The Careerist Identity/Brand - these individuals have a higher preference for professional advancement over personal achievements.
The Hipster Identity/Brand – if you like to pioneer tasks and share your process, this is most likely your brand identity type. This persona thrives on "fringe culture". These individuals consider themselves progressive and embrace individuality above all else.
The Selective Identity/Brand – this is mainly about exclusivity. This persona’s content is curated to the general needs and interests of the target audience and shared with specific people.
Personal branding then, is the enlightened and intentional effort to create and influence public perception by positioning oneself as an authority, a "mover-and-shaker". The intention is to elevate your credibility and set yourself apart from the competition, mainly for career advancement.
The process of personal branding is an ongoing one. Depending on your inclination, you could be specifically building your personal brand as the product to be sold to audiences or the product that audiences consume and advertisers pay for the audience.
This article focuses on the brand building and monetisation of a personal brand in the online space.
It sounds easy enough – however, this non-negotiable requirement must be evident in all types of content you produce. Ensure that you consistently provide content that accurately communicates and engages your audience.
Consequently, such content often generates leads - converting online users into prospective buyers, viewers, subscribers, followers and so on.
If your content is quality enough, you have the opportunity of creating premium content that is only available to paying subscribers only.
But content does not have to be paid for by users for you to make an income - you can have advertisers paying you to communicate to the audience you have built.
Or for the careerist persona,. your audience could be prospective employers, partners or business leaders who may hire you solely based on the expertise you have showcased with your content.
An interview allows your audience a "backstage pass" to your brand creating a very effective way of leaving a lasting impression on people who would otherwise have been unaware of what you have to offer.
There are several levels of interviews you can get starting with being featured in a small blog, a YouTube channel, an industry panel discussion to a mainstream media feature.
While the latter may be a little difficult to land in your formative years, you could easily find yourself being a go-to expert for journalists a few years into your career with the right positioning.,
If you get interview invites, make sure to evaluate the suitability of the platform or host to make sure you are spending time reaching the right audience and your brand is being accurately and expertly captured.
If you already have a growing audience you can partner with others with similar platforms and cross publish interviews to benefit from the pool of audiences you both already have.
You can choose to connect with your customers and leads in real-time via live sessions that have thankfully become a norm ever since the Covid-19 pandemic.
During a live broadcast, you can discuss topics that interest your audience the most via live streaming on social platforms such Tiktok, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Once you have mastered the art of hosting successful live events, you should move from just audience building to monetisation which can take many forms - from paid partnerships, brand placements to direct sales to your audience.
If you choose to be an educator, this profitable option means you can sell your expertise in a specific field or skillset.
People generally prefer learning a new skill in manageable increments especially when your audience is composed mainly of employed professionals.
As such, it is a good idea to keep your lessons no longer than one hour (ideally 40 minutes) and let everyone interested self pace themselves.
You should definitely consider dividing your masterclasses into modules rather than one long video. You can then charge a specific amount per module and have a discounted rate for someone who purchases the entire masterclass at a go.
Since gifting has gone digital, if you are running masterclasses, make sure to give people the ability to gift their friends, colleagues and loved one our products.
This is specifically for someone who is running a blog or YouTube channel as part of their personal brand building. You are essentially making every word count from creation to distribution.
Google Adsense uses an automated algorithm to find ads that go well with the content that you are producing. Once you have set up the Adsense account, you get paid when people click on or watch promotions that are placed on your website and YouTube channel respectively.
Whether you have an established web presence or are just getting started on personal branding, the right content and tools can successfully help you monetise your brand.
Here are some bonus ideas to generate revenue that you can take up too:
All in all, demand these two things of yourself, "To be intentional. To not be focused and not be everything to everyone ”.