When you’re an influencer, your professional and personal brand are the same. Everything you say and do reflects the way you do business.
Now, before you get terrified of this pressure, you’ll be glad to hear that building a personal brand isn’t as hard as it seems.
One of the most important things that you need to ensure is consistency. Without it, it can be very hard to connect with your audience on a deeper level.
Luckily, here you’ll get a chance to learn from the best. Kim Garst has decades of experience in brand building, so you can pick up quite a few nuggets of wisdom from her.
Who Is Kim Garst?
An international speaker and best-selling author, Kim Garst possesses out-of-this-world digital marketing prowess. She works with hundreds of influential businesses, including IBM, Microsoft, and MasterCard.
On top of supporting other businesses, she also co-founded her own. Boom! Social is a prominent consulting firm that helps businesses leverage the power of social media to boost sales.
With decades of experience in social selling, Garst has amassed incredible popularity. She’s one of the most retweeted people in the world, and she’s on the Forbes’ list of Top 10 Social Media Power Influencers.
As she often says:
‘I did not choose social media, social media chose me.’
This is very true, as her background doesn’t have much to do with what she does now. After getting a Bachelor of Science in Political Science, she started working for a top law firm.
But after she had her son and decided to be a stay-at-home mom, she realised that she needed a way of making extra money.
At the time, she didn’t know much about how the online world worked. But she was willing to work her butt off to learn. Just like that, she became a master on the topic.
And people started coming to her for advice. Little by little, this turned into a hugely successful business.
So, if you’re looking to learn more about building a strong personal brand, you can count on Kim Garst. Let’s see some of the best tips that she has to share.
1. Have a Clear and Consistent Message
For an influencer, there’s nothing more important than knowing exactly who you are. If you don’t, how can you expect your audience to?
Before you even start spreading the word through your speaking, make sure that you have a clear picture that you want to send out into the world.
This shows confidence and lets people see exactly what you can offer without beating around the bush. In addition, it helps you connect with your audience and make them remember you among the sea of influencers.
If you go to Garst’s page, you’ll see a succinct and direct message:
‘I help entrepreneurs start and build a profitable business.’
She knows what she has to offer and how to phrase it in the best possible way. Your message needs to be short, benefit-driven, and memorable. This is how you leave a killer first impression and maintain your direction.
2. Master the Art of Social Selling
Social selling is one of Garst’s strongest suits. After all, helping businesses sell through social media is at the very core of what she does. Make no mistake though, this is a talent that not many people have.
Generally speaking, most people have no problem sharing their life online. But when it comes to asking for something in return, they freeze up. For whatever reasons, they feel like asking people for money is a bad thing.
This is a mindset that you want to get rid of as soon as you can. As a speaker, you need to be an excellent salesperson if you want to grow your business. You want to be an influencer so that you can grow your following in a way that scales your business.
Garst knows exactly how to do it without sounding like a saleswoman. She understands that sweet spot that you have to hit if you want to sell to others inconspicuously.
This is not to say that there’s a perfect formula for this, as every influencer will have their own strategy. Nevertheless, you should never be afraid of letting people know that your work deserves value in return.
3. Leverage Your Uniqueness
Garst believes that the biggest secret to your success is… you. There’s no reason to look for it anywhere else because your life experience is all you need.
No matter what you do, there are always people who will resonate with your message. Even if you think that you’re living the most mundane life ever, there are those who will be able to relate to it.
Good or bad, your life experience is your main competitive advantage.
Are you coming from a broken home? Just like millions of others, and they’d love to hear your story. Made a ton of money through your business? Everyone will want the formula.
It all comes down to creating connections. This is the most important thing for any speaker.
You’ll come across many people who won’t connect with your message, and that’s absolutely fine. What matters is that there will always be a group of people who will benefit from what you have to say.
So what about you that others might find interesting?
Choose a few key things that you feel are marketable. Then, go out there and spread the word as far as you can. Eventually, it will reach those who will turn into raving fans of yours.
4. It All Starts with Your Passion
Garst says that the biggest mistake that people make is thinking that branding is all about slapping their name onto a product or service. As she puts it:
‘Simply throwing up YOURNAME.com will not provide “branding” for you and your business.’
She explains that there are millions of people out there who are or will be doing the same thing. It’s all too easy to get eaten alive by the competition.
So what is it that can set you apart from the crowd?
People want to see someone who truly believes in what they do. They don’t want to listen to generic ideas that you learned off a script. Instead, they want you to speak from the heart, and that’s what you’ll have to do if you want to reach theirs.
This is why your persona requires you to think long and hard before you start marketing yourself. Garst states that if you don’t find a way to stand out, all your branding efforts will be in vain.
So, before you even think about sharing your message with the world, choose your message very carefully.
This ties back to your life experience. What’s the part of your life that you truly care about? It can be your business, family, or even small things like food. No matter what it is, you need to show a strong emotional tie to it.
This is what draws people in. It’s what will keep them at the edge of their seats as they listen to you speaking.
5. Give More than You Receive
While your brand message is all about you, the same doesn’t apply to your whole business. It’s not about what you want – it’s about what your audience wants.
But wait, how does this tie in to what we’ve talked about so far? Isn’t it all about sharing what you care about?
That’s true, but you always need to put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Remember that you’re there to serve them. They’re trusting you to deliver value, and you’d better justify that trust.
Instead of just sharing your story, think about the most valuable lessons that your audience can learn from them. They want to hear about solutions, not problems.
It’s your job to inspire them with your storytelling if you want them to keep following you.
What’s Your Brand Persona?
Now that you’ve seen how one of the world’s top marketers builds her brand, you’ll want to take a few notes and give these tips a try. While everyone’s brand will be different, the above advice is applicable to all.
Remember – it all starts with figuring out who you are and how you can share it with the world. If you don’t have your persona in place, everything you build on it might crumble.
So, go ahead and take a look in the mirror. See what it is about your life that’s worth sharing with the world. Focus on the things that can benefit others the most.
And if you need help figuring this out, here’s what you can do: