21 steps to build your personal brand

After studying marketing experts such as Gary Vaynerchuk and Seth Godin, I’ve compiled the 21 steps necessary to build a successful personal brand for yourself (inspired by Vaynerchuk’s book Crush It):

  1. Identify your passion. What activity makes time go by quickly for you?
  2. Come up with at least twenty awesome blog topics around your niche to ensure this isn’t short-lived.
  3. Answer the following questions:
    1. Is this really my passion?
    2. Can I talk about it better than others?
    3. Why is this my passion? (If you can clearly answer this, you’re ahead of most people)
  4. Name your personal brand. You don’t have to refer to it anywhere in your content, but you should have a clear idea of what it is. For example, “The no-bs real-estate agent,” “The connoisseur of cookware,” “The master of youth entrepreneurship.”
  5. Buy your-user-name.com at GoDaddy.com. Although new domain types are available, .com is still the gold standard. Try not to settle on lower-value domains such as .cc.
  6. Choose your medium: video, audio, written word, photo. A combination of these would maximize engagement, but have a main focus.
  7. Start an account at WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr or any of the new platforms available. For design, I recommend Squarespace. For Evernote posting: Postach.io. For quality writing: Medium.
  8. Hire a designer for the creation of social media profile images, logos, etc.
  9. Include a Facebook Connect link, Call-to-Action button, Share functions, and a button that invites people to do business with you in a prominent place on your blog.
  10. Create a Facebook fan page.
  11. If you’re a minimalist like me and love automation, write your content in one place and auto-post to other sites as a distribution method. Google AdWords or Facebook Ads are excellent ways to gain visibility as well – they come at a usage cost though.
  12. Post your content. Focus on quality, uniqueness and personal voice. I call those the 3 pillars of content creation.
  13. Start building community by leaving comments on other people’s blogs and forums and replying to comments with your own comment. Guest posting is also a fantastic way to drive visitors from other sites to yours.
  14. Use Twitter Search to find as many people as possible talking about your topic, and communicate with them. Try to answer their questions and problems instead of hard-selling yourself.
  15. Find more blogs that are relevant to your subject via Google Search, i.e., “Your-Topic” blog.
  16. Join as many active Facebook fan pages and groups relating to your blog topic as possible.
  17. Repeat steps 12 through 16 over and over.
  18. Do it again.
  19. When you feel your personal brand has gained sufficient attention and stickiness, build in a compelling call-to-action form to begin converting your community to sales opportunities.
  20. Start reaching out to advertisers and begin monetizing.
  21. Enjoy the ride.