4 Steps to Building an Online Brand

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Although we tend to work with high-growth startups the mission of SouthFound is to help entrepreneurs from all walks of life “find their voice”. So, we like to mix up the information we share. The good news is that the steps I am about to share for creating and growing an online personal brand are pretty consistent whether you are focused on your personal brand or your company’s branding.

4 Steps to a Personal Brand You Will Love

I don’t want to oversell the steps I am about to share. Building a personal brand takes a lot of energy and time. But these four steps create a great foundation for building a personal brand that you can be proud of. In an effort to be even more transparent, I did not follow these four steps myself with my own personal brand. But that is exactly why I am sharing the lessons I learned with you today. Ready? Let’s do this.

Step #1 — Figure out your authentic self

With the prevalence of social media it is easy to get wrapped up in what other people are doing to build their own brand. If you aren’t careful you will catch yourself designing your own personal brand around the way someone else, that you think is successful, designed their brand. I have seen entrepreneur after entrepreneur bounce from brand design to brand design in an effect to mimic other people. One day they are a credit repair specialist the next day they are a motivational speaker.

Before you dive too far into establishing your brand make sure it is one that represents your authentic self first. That might sound easy. But if you are honest with yourself you will realize it isn’t as easy as you think. If you are amazing at origami then build your brand around folding paper into really cool shapes. Trying to be someone you aren’t can be exhausting. It will also set you up for failure.

Step #2 — Pick one platform

With the number of social media channels out there it can be tiring trying to establish an online presence. So much so that most people starting up their own brand try to be in every social media channels possible. Instead of spreading yourself thin I recommend focusing on one channel at a time. For example, my personal Youtube channel has shown the most potential when measuring interaction with my subscribes. Another channel that was worked great for me has been Quora.

Step #3 — Deliver quality content

Now that you have picked a platform to focus on its time to start attracting subscribers. The best way to do that, without using paid ads, is to deliver high quality content that your audience is looking for. If you chose TikTok as the channel for you to focus on then you need to be delivering some very, very entertaining videos. You also need to deliver them consistently so that your followers know when to expect content from you.

Step #4 — Monetize

We are all in business to make money. Don’t be shy about it. Money itself isn’t something to be reviled. It isn’t to be worshipped either.

One of the mistakes I made early on in building my own brand was trying to monetize too early. Back when I was building out my own brand every single “coach” was promoting the idea of having your own books and courses to sell. In fact, you can still see this going on. Books and courses are great ways to establish yourself as an expert in a field and to create some passive income. But trying to monetize too early in the life of your brand can cause you to lose fans.

Instead, I recommend giving away as much valuable content and information as you can for as long as you can stomach it. Then focus on monetizing once you have established a strong base of fans or followers.

In the queue

Next up I will be sharing with you when you should consider incorporating your business into a legal entity.

I’m a former C-level banking exec. and 3x startup founder leading a corporate innovation/product team and have helped companies raise over $500M in funding.

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