Lesson 3, Topic 1
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5 Pillars of a Personal Brand [You Can’t Do Without]

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#1 Be good and do what you say you’ll do.

Understand your strength and how those strengths or skills are going to help the world. Every popular blogger started with the aim to solve a problem – they are a voice for the world. What is your aim? Stick to commitments.

Think of someone who fulfilled a commitment. What did the gesture make you feel? You will consider the person genuine, dependable and reliable and in all likelihood, you wouldn’t stop from giving that person a recommendation, right?

Become this person.

As a blogger, focus on the content 80% of the time.

#2 Tell stories.

We all relate to stories better than anything else. The form of the story – text, video, images – doesn’t matter. What we understand is the story and our relatability towards it.

For example, I remember Pat Flynn as the person who was struggling to make online passive income and finally does it through hard work and dedication – this is my perception of him and I relate with his story. Similarly, I remember John Chow who was there at ‘the right time’ when the Internet was growing and became one of the world’s top bloggers.

All successful people tell a story. Take Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba. Fired from every job ever and stressed with the lack of opportunities, a sudden resolution and commitment led him to start Alibaba and we all know his status in the entrepreneurship ecosystem today.

Aspire to be big. Be relatable. Tell “authentic” stories.

#3 Have uniform online presence.

Securing the domain with your name is important across all channels. Neil has NeilPatel.com, and a variety of others have their own names as their domain. It’s necessary to use the same name identity on all channels such as websites, domain, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, email communication, Skype and any other means.

Your online image should be “uniform” – same name, domain and image.

#4 Do not appeal everyone.

You can’t.

What I specifically mean is you can’t appeal to every kind of people. If you want to be in the HR field, concentrate on the same. Don’t talk about “making money online”. It not only comes across as stupid but also dilutes your effort to build personal brand.

There is no point in trying to be the jack of all trades and certainly, you will be the master of none.

Only exception is when skills overlap. For example, being a content writer, content marketing is also a specialized vertical and talking about social media is a by-product of working in the Content field. There is a notion of association.

Don’t go into the multi-skill segment. Take one specific skill / niche and try to become an authority on that one.

#5 Create and build influential relationships.

Blogging has changed since I started in 2011. The blogging world was simpler and you could build relationships simply. Connecting with influencers is a struggle these days. Network a lot.

If you’re just starting out with networking, use tools like Brand Mentions to find out about industry influencers, what they are doing and connect with them. I am using Brand Mentions for the last 2-3 months and it has changed the way I function online in terms of mentions monitoring and to follow chosen people. You can search for any person / brand and see their online presence.

Since brand building and influence outreach follows a symbiotic relationship, you can also use the tool to measure your brand presence. For example, I created a search parameter with my name and the tool sends me instant emails whenever my name is mentioned anywhere on the web. It’s better than Google Alerts.

Now that we’ve gotten the basics out of the way, let me show you how to set up a blog you can use for your personal branding efforts.