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How to build a personal brand business online

Secrets of success from digital entrepreneur Lauren Tickner How to build a personal brand business online

University is a destiny for the majority of teenagers nowadays. We go to school, where we are taught how to get into a ‘good’ university, often to please our parents. We spend thousands of pounds, despite the fact that, for some of us, it’s not what we should be doing.

I am a 21-year-old digital entrepreneur. I dropped out of the UK’s best business degree that I spent my entire ‘teenagehood’ studying relentlessly to get my three A grades in order to get in.

Best decision I ever made

Does that make me crazy? To some people, yes. But I’m about to tell you why I think it was the best decision I’ve ever made.

I quit my business degree to pursue my own business: I believe that taking action is the best way to learn. And I also think that now is the perfect time to build a personal brand online business because:

• There is endless opportunity of who you can reach online - you can do business worldwide, which is a market you otherwise may not have been able to reach.

• There are low overheads. You don’t need to pay for a location, as doing business online allows for total freedom of location.

• You can be open 24/7, despite the fact you’re not actually working. This allows you to stop trading time for money.

• Over 2.6 billion people are using social media.

• More and more people are using and trusting the internet every single day.

• Children are growing up with the likes of Amazon and Netflix being the ‘norm’, which means their generation will know nothing other than using the internet - it must be tapped into now.

• People want to do business with people more and more nowadays. They trust real humans over businesses and building a personal brand allows for that.

I’ve managed to build both my following and income to six figures at the age of 21. And funnily enough, I did it by accident.

Top tips

I started on social media first, which I then built a business on top of.

However, here are a few things I wish I knew when I was first starting out that will help anybody who is wanting to build a personal brand business:

Focus on your target audience

The first thing you need to get crystal clear is who you’re aiming to help. If you know who you want to help, you can speak directly to them. Don’t worry about turning off some people: you need to focus on going all in on your people.

When you’re clear on your target audience, you can become a true expert and make that evident to people through giving them tips, tricks and strategies. This means you can become the ‘go to’ person within your field and will gain top-of-mind awareness within your niche.

For example, my target audience is those who want to build a personal brand and online business. That means, I centre all my content around this topic.

I speak about personal branding and the topics/feelings surrounding it so much that people know me for it. When they think about personal branding, they immediately think “Lauren Tickner”. So if they then want to seek a coach or mentor, they immediately know who to turn to.

Find the best social media platforms for you

When you know who your target audience is, you can figure out where they’re hanging out.

If, for example, you’re trying to target CEOs of banks, you may choose to use LinkedIn and have a podcast. If you’re trying to target people who want to get fit, Instagram and YouTube may be your best bet.

It’s all about reverse engineering to ensure you can get in front of the people whose lives you know you can help.

The most important thing is to use one video/audio platform. Your audience will be able to connect with you on a deeper level through video or audio, which is going to be critical for you when it comes to building your brand.

At the beginning, you need to be creating organic content for two platforms. As time goes on, you can expand, but if you try to be everywhere you’ll be spreading yourself too thin.

And if you only do one platform, you’re taking a risk by putting all your eggs in one basket. Two is a perfect middle ground that isn’t too overwhelming and allows you to ensure your content remains quality.

I started with Instagram, but quickly expanded to YouTube and that video platform is where I have been able to create that deep connection with my audience. Now I also have two podcasts: The Millennial Podcast and The Business Meets Fitness Podcast.

Post valuable content consistently

And make sure that content adds so much value to your target audience. Social media is critical for building a personal brand business. A few of the biggest mistakes I see are:

• Not posting every day.

• Not providing valuable information to your audience (eg, posting a photo of you speaking on stage with no caption - this is not valuable content).

• Not putting enough time into your content.

• Trying to sell too soon.

Every time you post to social media, I want you to ask yourself: “What value is this adding to my target audience?”. Doing this will ensure your content truly is helping the people you’re trying to (eventually) sell to.

If you give value for free without expecting anything back, your audience will begin to love and trust you. That means that, by the time you come to sell something, you’ll have fans will want to buy from you.

Remember, you can hire a virtual assistant to outsource your video/audio editing if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Similarly, you can repurpose your content. If you don’t have a big following right now, it doesn’t mean you’re wasting your time through creating your content. You can use the same ideas in the future when more people are following you: people will not follow you if you have nothing to offer them.

Follow Lauren Tickner:

The Millennialaire Podcast

The Business Meets Fitness Podcast Read more like this

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