Gary Vee and Others Share Advice on Personal Branding

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If your tweets, blogs and listicles aren’t getting much traction, experts say it could be from a poorly executed brand image, the content isn’t providing value or the brand is in the thick of the noise.

Take the Design Process Seriously

When it comes to building out your brand name or logo, Dan Norris, co-founder of WP Curve and best-selling author, said entrepreneurs need to make brand design a priority.

“I think the biggest challenge, is that most people don’t take design seriously or believe that it’s important. I think people will come up with a name and not give much thought to it,” Norris says.

Most of the time, founders launch their brand image with poor execution and even less creativity. Norris explained that entrepreneurs need to start thinking globally in their approach – how their name flows in conversations, how they describe their brand to an audience and how to understand if the brand can compete on the world stage.

“The approach people have to design [is typically] to choose one out of four bad logo options and get friends on Facebook to tell them which logo to choose – even though [their friends] don’t know anything about design,” Norris says.

Founders need to ask themselves is this brand designed like a world-class startup or something quick and cheap? If you don’t have the means to hire a good designer, Norris said to become a student of good brand design.

“I think it’s very hard to build a brand no matter who you are – it’s especially hard if you are short on race horses. Start learning about design and get a good understanding of what represents a world-class brand versus one that is thrown together. Take design seriously and don’t skimp on it.”

Build Trust

Building trust in one’s brand means maintaining a consistent, authentic message throughout every piece of content and managing your online reputation.

In a recently survey by Domain .ME conducted by Wakefield Research, “57 percent of Millennials surveyed have changed their opinion about someone based on content they saw about them online.” Gary Vaynerchuk, best-selling author and branding expert, explains that people will get to know and develop an opinion about you well before they meet you. In his new book, #ASKGARYVEE, Vaynerchuk writes:

“Everyone, from dates to schools to employer will rely on the Internet to see what they can learn about you before ever meeting you. It’s in your best interest to shape what they see.”

Create Content for Communities

After you’ve read through an industry expert’s post and leave with a nugget of knowledge, consider if you are providing those pieces of gold to your audience. Without providing content filled with truly useful and valuable information, what will incentivize people to return?

Vaynerchuk said in a recent conference that your approach needs to address what is relevant for the moment, to have the audience in mind and possess a human element. Vaynerchuk, again, from his book:

“Good content should rarely be about what you want. Instead, think about what your audience wants, and give them lots and lots of it. Quality content appeals to the heart.”

Norris suggested that if you are trying to get the attention of influencers, first and foremost, provide them value to their community.

“Every influencer wants help. If you are just sending them messages to get attention, it’s going to annoy those people. [Instead] add value to those people and help [their] community,” Norris says.

Engage in Emerging Social Networks

Engaging on new social media outlets and getting noticed early on is one of the secret ingredients to spreading your content.

“All you have to do is put in the time in and be aware of emerging social networks. That’s how I got my start. I didn’t have millions of dollars…I distributed my content on new platforms. They were free and easy to use and no one else there was doing what I was doing, which meant that my content got noticed,” Vaynerchuk writes.

While it is a risk that a platform could fail, the payoffs are worth it.

“If you are early, you get an early on platform advantage and a lot of followers and traction when people shout out; but you risk that it will go to zero,” Norris says.

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Written by:
Tishin is a technology journalist and correspondent. She has written for TechCrunch, Demand Studios and Fitness, and has regular network segments on local Phoenix affiliate stations. She holds a Master's degree in Clinical and Sport psychology, and has covered many areas of technology ranging from 3D printing and game development to neurotech and funding for over 15 years.
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