Being authentic is a concept that has gained popularity in social media over the last few years.
Although it seems like a buzzword, authenticity is an important concept we can't ignore, especially if you're a creator, an influencer, or an online entrepreneur with a personal brand.
So what exactly does having an authentic personal brand mean?
Authenticity means being "real or true to one's character". Personal branding means the conscious and intentional effort to create and influence public perception of an individual.
So, authentic personal branding is the act of being your true self as you curate what information you put out there.
While being on the Internet feels inherently inauthentic, creating an authentic personal brand as a creator is possible.
In this article, we're going to cover:
- Why creators need a personal brand
- What makes an authentic personal brand
- 7 tips to have an authentic personal brand
Why do creators need a personal brand?
Creators need a personal brand so their fans can remember who they are and what they're about.
As of 2022, there are 50 million people contributing to the creator economy. With this many people creating content, the competition can get tough.
There are 3 reasons why having a personal brand online is beneficial:
It helps you stand out online
Sometimes, too many creators talk about the same thing, but your personal brand helps you separate from everyone because being yourself is your most significant competitive advantage.
It acts as a compass for your goals
Having a personal brand helps you figure out your goal online. Whether your goal is to become an entertainer or educator, your personal brand helps you develop a strong goal and mission with the influence you want to create.
It gives reasons for people to follow you
When people know you for your personal brand, it makes it easy for them to differentiate your work as they get invested in your story, values, and mission as a creator.
What makes an authentic personal brand?
Your unique story
A big part of being an authentic creator is knowing who you are.
We remember the creators we follow because of their personal stories. When they share their stories of struggles and how they overcome obstacles, it sticks with us.
But this only happens because they've dug deep as to what makes them unique as an individual.
For example, one of the creators you might heard of is Ali Abdaal because of his unique creator story. He was a junior doctor at NHS and grew his YouTube channel to millions of subscribers.
His story is unique because most people quit their day jobs to become successful YouTubers and entrepreneurs.
But Ali went with a different approach where he said, "I'm a doctor AND a YouTuber," and from there, he developed a personal brand of being a part-time YouTuber that led to his successful business of Part-Time YouTuber Academy.
So figure out your unique story, and start sharing from that perspective to make it compelling for others to follow you.
A showcase of your strengths
Having an authentic personal brand means showing a lot of your strengths as a creator.
For instance, Tanvi is an influencer, a creator, a radio host, and a model, which tells us that she's a multi-hyphenated person. She said in an interview, "I'll admit that some people are better at it than others. I'm really organized. My to-do lists, my timetables, my calendars are immaculate."
Showing her organized, but multi-dimensional self allowed her to bring a strong personal brand.
So start thinking about the attributes that make you feel different and learn how to turn them into strengths as a creator.
Work that reflects your voice
Your authentic self online has a voice.
It's where you can share your views and opinions on different issues online, no matter how big or small they are. A part of being a creator is standing up for something you believe in, no matter how strong the opposing view is.
For example, Daniel Vassallo is an example of a creator with a different approach to becoming a creator.
Most people will tell you to find your niche or launch one product when starting out. Daniel believes that it's better to launch many small products no matter how small or big your audience is.
His Twitter page and Gumroad work reflect his voice about this topic as he made 6-figure revenue on a course called, A portfolio of small bets, which teaches the perspective above.
6 tips for building an authentic personal brand online
1. Stand for something
When people know what you stand for, it becomes easier to "influence" others with your perspective and ideas. That creates an impact. Your platform is your voice.
2. Have a mindset of "this is who I am, and this is what I do"
When you show up online, figure out who you want to be known for. When you show up with your values, you create a relationship-based community.
3. Create content based on what you do in real life
Content creation will be second nature, and it'll be easier to maintain momentum when you base your content on real life.
4. Start your authentic journey as a side hustle
Focus on educating and inspiring other people. Then, the money will come. Creating sponsored but authentic content takes time, so start as a side hustle.
5. Know when to say NO to opportunities
Say yes to everything at first, and then gradually say no. You can maintain your work-life balance by knowing when you're spreading yourself too thin.
6. Network organically to create opportunities
Increase serendipity in your life by exposing yourself to the world.
- DM people you admire
- Go to creator events
You never know what opportunities will strike. If not now, maybe later.
Having an authentic personal brand can feel contradictory since most creators' lives online are curated.
However, you can still share your personal voice and create an influence that reflects your personal goals.
If you liked this article, and want to know more about personal branding, listen to the full conversation with Tanvi.