Singer-songwriter, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter has it and television personality Kim Kardashian West has made millions from it. But what is “it” exactly?
Savvy self-branding (also known as personal branding).
Two of the world’s most talked about celebrities are brand masters; having created global enterprises from the mere mention of their name. While it seems like luck to some, and ingenuity to others, the secret is simple: they are constantly finding new ways to connect with their respective audiences.
“If you crave the elusive spotlight for your small business, ditch the ad copy and fancy marketing campaigns and do as the celebrities do. Point, click, and share your way to a celebrity brand.”For example, in December 2013, Beyoncé shocked fans with the release of her fifth album on her Facebook page, dubbed “Self-Titled, Part 1. “Beyoncé” was released on the morning of Friday, Dec. 13 — exclusively via the iTunes Store without any pre-release announcement — and it sold 617,000 copies through the week ending Sunday, Dec. 15, according to Nielsen SoundScan. That’s a record high sales week for Beyoncé,” according to Billboard.com.
Thanks to the power of the Internet and social media, you too can achieve impressive branding results while keeping your marketing budget intact. Entrepreneur Brandi Temple understands the power of social media and an online presence all too well. As the founder and CEO of Lolly Wolly Doodle and hailed by Inc magazine as the hottest seller on social media, Temple (a North Carolina native) built a thriving customer base for her online children’s clothing startup by posting custom dress designs on her Facebook page. In less than 7 years, Temple has gone from stay-at home mom to multi-millionaire– all without investing a large amount of funds in traditional marketing and advertising tactics. The mompreneur is said to conduct “more sales on Facebook than any other brand.” (Source: Inc.com)
If you need a celebrity brand strategy of your own, follow these three personal branding tips:
Create Shareable Content
“Shocking Secrets Revealed” … sound familiar? While shopping at your local supermarket it is not unlikely to find provocative, gossip-laden headlines splashed across notable tabloids. And no matter how much you want to look away you may find yourself inching toward the magazine rack to get a closer peek. This is because they understand how to engage with their audience at the right time, and the right place.
According to Voiceseducation.org, “One of these devices is the strategic placement of tabloids at the checkout counters of supermarkets, along with magazines and self-help booklets, so that bored customers might be led to look at them while they wait to pay for their groceries. A second device involves the layout of the front page, with its provocative photos and large, vari-colored, eye-catching headlines, often in block capitals reminiscent of comic-book captions. It is the nature of these headlines that is the focus here – specifically, the various linguistic devices that tend to recur in a fair percentage of headlines from issue to issue and that seem, whether by design or not, to function as lures to the reader’s attention.”
When creating content, apply these same principles: sensationalized headlines, catchy copy, sexy pictures, and newsworthy topics. “Don’t just blog, create value,” says Isaura Gonzalez, CEO of Hudson Psychological Services and contributor to Latina Magazine. “Let your customers get to know you.”
Gain Expert Recognition
Experts provide tangible and invaluable expertise. And while it seems like a tough proposition, it can actually be achieved by using simple and proven tactics. Real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran attributes her seemingly overnight success to the “Corcoran Report,” a quarterly examination of New York City property sales. Frustrated by a lack of press, she compiled statistics from the sales at her real estate agency and mailed it to every reporter at the New York Times. Soon after, it was featured on the front page of the real estate section, giving her instant credibility.
The lesson is simple: Don’t be afraid to create something of value and reach out to the news media. Reporters need stories and you need press mentions to build your brand. Online PR websites like Help a Reporter Out (HARO) and ProfNet are full of hungry reporters and journalists looking for sources so take advantage.
Partner Up with Like-minded Brands
“Align your brand with other like-minded brands and think about ways to go to market together that will be mutually beneficial,” suggests Dan Slagen, Chief Marketing Officer at HourlyNerd, an online talent marketplace that connects top tier MBA students and graduates with small and medium-sized businesses. Building your power posse should be your first step to growing a rockstar brand.
No local, or national, celebrity can do what they do without partners to bring out their full potential. This principle rings true for building a brand as well. Cross promotional activities can range from guest blogging and cross-brand promotions in your email newsletter to exchanging content on social media platforms.
If you crave the elusive spotlight for your small business, ditch the ad copy and fancy marketing campaigns and do as the celebrities do. Point, click, and share your way to a celebrity brand.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Tylesha Juliano is a marketing strategist and coach inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs, change makers, thought-leaders, and social misfits become more visible. As the founder and CEO of Launchista, she’s hot on a mission to transform your “almost there” identity into a deliciously addictive brand that changes the world. Connect with @launchista on Twitter.
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