Your competitors — other UGC creators — are offering the same services as you. For the same price. You are all utilizing the direct response marketing formula, and have similar backgrounds in a relatively new industry. How do you stand out? Your personal brand.
Building a personal brand is not about vanity, it’s about survival. Creators with strong personal brands are visible, credible and relevant in the industry.
I’ve heard it before: ‘I don’t want to be an influencer, why would I need a personal brand?’… I hate to break it to you, but if you are a service provider in 2023, you have a personal brand. As a UGC creator, you are building a personal brand whether you like it or not.
If you aren’t working to build yours, it becomes easy for you to get lost in a sea of sameness. Here’s a quick and nasty guide to building your personal brand as a creator.
Understanding Personal Branding
As you delve deeper into UGC, you’ll be seeing ‘personal brand’ everywhere. Or at least, that’s what it feels like when you don’t have a grasp on what it actually means. By personal brand, I don’t mean followers, I don’t mean your logo. It’s much wider reaching.
What Is A Personal Brand?
A personal brand is the unique and distinct image, reputation, and perception that you build around yourself. It is the impression people form about an individual based on their skills, expertise, personality and values.
Similar to how companies and products have brands that differentiate them from competitors and convey a specific message, individuals can also establish their personal brand to showcase their identity, expertise, and the value they offer to others.
Your personal brand is not just about what you do but also about who you are and how you want to be perceived by others.
Key components of a personal brand include:
〰️ Identity: Your personal brand reflects your authentic self, including your passions, values, and beliefs. It’s about understanding who you are at the core and conveying that to your audience.
〰️ Expertise: Your personal brand should highlight your skills, knowledge, and areas of expertise. Demonstrating your expertise helps you stand out in your field and positions you as a credible authority.
〰️ Differentiation: Your personal brand should showcase what makes you unique and sets you apart from others. Emphasizing your distinct qualities helps you stand out in a crowded marketplace.
〰️ Value Proposition: A personal brand should clearly communicate the value you bring to others. This could be in the form of solving a problem, inspiring others, or providing expertise that benefits your audience.
Building a personal brand is an ongoing process that involves a combination of self-awareness, intentional communication, and actions aligned with your values and goals.
Why Build A Personal Brand?
A strong personal brand can lead to increased opportunities, influence, and connections both personally and professionally. It allows you to showcase your expertise, attract like-minded individuals, and make a positive impact in your chosen field or industry.
For UGC specifically, building a personal brand can:
〰️ Attract Inbounds: When you have a well-established personal brand, you become a magnet for inbound opportunities. Industry players are more likely to reach out to collaborate with you, naturally be drawn to your content and ideas, creating a self-sustaining cycle of organic growth and exposure.
〰️ Help You Stand Out: In the vast sea of UGC creators, standing out is essential for success. A well-crafted personal brand sets you apart from the competition and gives your content a unique voice and identity.
〰️ Command Higher Prices: A robust personal brand enhances your credibility and fosters trust with potential clients. Brands are more willing to invest in expert creators, allowing you to negotiate better compensation for your work, leading to increased revenue and financial stability in your UGC endeavors.
Ok, so we know what a personal brand is and why we should work on ours —- but where do we even begin?
How To Build Your Personal Brand
There are numerous ways to build your personal brand, a quick Google search will provide you with more approaches, strategies and frameworks than you’ll know what to do with it.
It’s also easy to lose a lot of time getting lost in the depths of branding, when really, you just need to establish your core values and get to work communicating them consistently. That’s it. That’s the post.
First up, establish core values.
Identify Your Brand Pillars
Brand pillars are the key themes or core values that define your brand and serve as the foundation of your messaging and positioning. Do not over think these. Use the following exercise to get to the root of your brand as a UGC creator, and then pick out obvious pillars.
Self-Reflection: Think about your passions, strengths, and unique qualities. Consider what drives you, what you believe in, and the impact you want to make. Ask yourself questions like:
What am I passionate about?
What are my core values and beliefs?
What makes me different from others in my field?
Audience Analysis: Understand your target audience and their needs. Identify the pain points, challenges, and aspirations of the people you want to connect with. This will help you align your brand pillars with what resonates most with your audience.
Who is my target audience?
What are their problems and desires?
How can my expertise or offerings address their needs?
Values and Beliefs: Clearly define your personal values and beliefs. Your brand pillars should reflect these principles as they are fundamental to building an authentic and credible personal brand.
What are my core values?
What beliefs guide my actions and decisions?
How do these values influence the way I approach my work and interactions?
Core Expertise: Identify the areas where you excel and have unique expertise. Consider the skills and knowledge that set you apart from others in your field. Your brand pillars should be rooted in your core areas of competence.
What are my areas of expertise?
What skills do I possess that are valuable to others?
How can I leverage my expertise to provide value?
Ensure that your brand pillars align with your overall personal brand narrative. They should complement each other and work together to form a cohesive and compelling brand story.
Keep your brand pillars focused and manageable. Ideally, aim for three to five pillars that capture the essence of your personal brand. Too many pillars can dilute your message and make it challenging for your audience to remember and connect with your brand.
Now, it’s time to put them into action…
Which brings me to my favorite framework: Pitch, Publish, Productise, Profile, Partnership. I personally don’t focus on partnership when focusing on my brand as a UGC creator, but if you have aspirations to diversify your income streams it’s also a consider.
The Pitch stage involves crafting a compelling and concise elevator pitch that communicates who you are, what you do, and what value you bring to your audience or potential collaborators. A well-crafted pitch helps you clearly articulate your unique selling points and grab the attention of others.
Publish centers around creating and sharing valuable content to showcase your expertise, insights, and perspectives. This content can be in the form of videos, podcasts, social media posts, or any other medium that aligns with your personal brand and resonates with your target audience.
Consistently publishing high-quality content can position you as a thought leader and increase your visibility.
This step involves turning your knowledge, skills, or expertise into tangible products or services that provide value to your audience. I don’t mean ‘UGC guides’… I mean your packages, or introductory offers for clients. These services can be offered for sale or used as lead magnets to attract and engage your audience.
By productizing your expertise, you can diversify your income streams and further establish yourself as an authority in your field.
Profile emphasizes the importance of optimizing and managing your online presence and personal brand across various platforms. This includes having a professional website, updating and maintaining your social media profiles, and curating your online image to align with your personal brand. A strong and consistent online profile enhances your credibility and makes it easier for others to find and connect with you.
Profile makes you an authority. It gives the brain a bias to choose you over someone else.
Don’t Get Lost In The Sea
In the crowded world of UGC, standing out is a must. If everyone is offering services at the same price, how do you rise above the rest? Your personal brand.
It’s not vanity; it’s survival. A strong personal brand means visibility, credibility, and relevance in your industry. You already have a personal brand as a UGC creator, whether you like it or not: why not lean into it?
Don’t get lost in the sea of sameness.