Today's world has many successful personal brands – Tim Ferriss, Gary Vaynerchuck, and Tony Robbins to name a few. Their success has led many to believe that their own ideas and philosophies can be practically applied to the world market for improving other's lives. These success stories, combined with the recent surge in social media and the ease of use and high potential for Facebook and Twitter marketing has created a very big illusion – personal brands are easy and will carry high success with their creation. Unfortunately, this is statistically almost never the case. The reality is that very few people are able to create a personal brand that earns them an equal amount of money, let alone more money, than their existing occupations do.
Quite the contrary though is also true, so I do not mean to say it is impossible. In fact, there are numerous people who you have probably heard of with successful blogs and online businesses making six-figure incomes. When people think of creating their personal brand, the focus must really be on… themselves. The individual is the product. Whether it be their E-Books, podcasts, speaking, or physical books. This content must provide a way to enrich and supplement another person's career or lifestyle. And most importantly, the content must contain thought out actions or strategies an individual can utilize that prove to be consistent in showing positive results across a customer base..
Here's why many personal brands fail…
1. Not Niche-Specific (Trying to appease too many)
Some products are generic. Personal brands can never be generic. The marketing for selling toothpaste need only promote the goodness of the toothpaste. Everyone buys toothpaste. The marketing for a personal brand must be highly specific for it to reach the desired audience better than any competitors, or for it to be even found to begin with. When we think about how most personal brands grow, it's usually for one of two reasons: 1) the brand is found through an internet search, or 2) more importantly, the brand is introduced to another through a devote follower and consequently they become a customer. The catch-all strategy will only leave you fighting to stay afloat in the personal branding world. It's better to develop your brand around your unique niche with your own spin on things and capture 10% of possibly applicable traffic – and keep them, also converting them into subscribers, readers, purchasers what have you, than to go after 90% of one market. The fact of the matter is, trying to appease too many potential customers will leave you providing 50% awesomeness to less than 50% of people. Be specific, but more importantly, be the best person out there for one position.
2. Aesthetics Really Do Matter
If your materials look like junk, it doesn't matter if your content is junk, people will think your entire brand is junk. And I mean that 100%. You can test it against yourself. How often do you arrive on a page via Google, only to click off of it in a matter of seconds because the site looks pre-Y2K. Invest in your business, spend the extra money it takes to hire a decent web developer to properly design and develop your site. You'll thank yourself later when it comes to SEO, site metrics, and general overall usability. Plus this route gives you no excuse not to produce a unique and sweet looking site.
3. Persistence is More Important Than Everything Else
To think that you can just set up a website, Twitter, and Facebook page, and in six months you'll have ten thousand followers is absurd. It took the three people I listed above years to get to where they are today, yes YEARS. So don't tread lightly. This personal branding thing is just as much full intensive job as is any other job. In fact, it's probably more so than most 9-5 jobs. First of all, just throw out that 9-5 concept, start thinking more 7AM-2AM, yeah that should do the trick. All of this leads me to my next point: If you're in it for the money, get out. Just get out. The most successful personal brands are so because they provide compelling and actionable resources. They help other people do things better or that they couldn't have previously done at all. The money and online following – all of that comes, but with time, and so your thinking must be in the right place first. If it's not, you'll burn out long before you make your first 100k.
4. The Product Isn't Well Defined
A personal brand's purpose should be identifiable in no longer than a few seconds. A couple keywords, a tag line, and some images should be all it takes to educate your customer on what it is exactly that you're offering. Any longer than that and you've probably already lost vital time that should've been spent converting them!
Stear clear of these reasons why personal brands fail, and who knows – you might just be the next big personal brand to emerge from the shadows!