Your personal brand is how other people view you and how they think of you. It's about what they say about you when you're not in the room, as Jeff Bezos defines. Everything you do shapes how other people see you. For instance, what kind of clothes you wear has a big impact on your brand. So does your facial expression: if you smile more, it can improve your brand.
Personal branding is, therefore, about sculpturing other people's opinions about you. It's about marketing yourself.
But why is your personal brand important for you?
That's because a strong personal brand can be a key to success. Of course, the meaning of success varies for everyone. But for me, success is about freedom. It's about not having to go to meetings, not having to see dickheads, not having to say Yes to things I don't want to do.
How do I even plan to achieve that? - By creating sources of passive income.
Passive income is money you earn while sleeping. Active income, on the other hand, is money you earn by exchanging your time and energy. A typical example of active income is your salary from your 9-5 job. You're exchanging your time and energy for money. With passive income, however, you don't have to exchange your precious resource for money because your passive income sources earn it for you. In the meantime, you can do whatever you like - go travelling, staying in bed all day, go camping, etc. And that sounds like freedom to me!
But what does passive income have to do with your personal brand? In short, a strong personal brand makes it easy for you to create solid sources of passive income.
There are many sources of passive income. Things that earn you money while you sleep - returns from investment, earnings from your book, ebook, poem, online course, affiliate links, etc.
Investing is the easiest option that doesn't require much effort or a strong personal brand. However, other types of passive income are more tricky. Sure, you can start selling a book or an online course without a well established personal brand. But who would buy them? How would people even notice you wrote a book? Why would people buy your products with no idea of who you are?
Having a strong personal brand is a huge advantage when it comes to selling your products. It signals:
1. who you are
2. what you're passionate about
3. how you can help others
If those things resonate with people, they will become a fan of your work. This means you have a group of amazing people who you can easily talk to about your new books or courses. Maybe they will be the first ones to buy your products, leave reviews, and tell their friends about them. This is a BIG advantage! Having a good personal brand allows you to kickstart the creation of solid passive income sources.
It's simple: to build a strong personal brand, you have to work, and share it with the public. Changing your Twitter bio to "Aspiring writer" won't get you anything. The only thing that matters for personal branding is your work. It can be your articles, youtube videos, podcast or books.
You might say you don't have anything to share because you're not an expert on anything. Many people who share their work aren't either! But what they do is leverage the power of the Internet. You can literally learn anything on the Internet for FREE! They simply google what they're interested in and write about it, create a video about it, or talk about it on their podcast. Remember that you don't have to be an expert to share your work. You share your work so you can become an expert.
Equipping yourself with a strong personal brand can be a key to freedom and financial independence. Many people think it's too hard to build a personal brand. But, all you have to do is to share your work. Granted this takes lots of effort (e.g. researching, writing, filming), but it gets easier once you start.