Why your personal brand isn’t profitable (The 4 common personal brand breakdowns + how to fix them)Mar 30, 2023
Can you realistically build a 7-figure personal brand business? A cash-cow business (low overhead and high value) that revolves around your unique personality and experience?
The answer is unequivocally, yes. Here are some examples to prove to you this isn’t an outlier phenomenon or the stuff of far-fetched (read: false) Facebook ads:
- Caitlin Pyle an expert at teaching “word nerds” how to start proofreading businesses - $2.4 million/annually
- Lauren McManus and Alex Nerney- Create and Go founders - online courses to show people how to build profitable blogging businesses $1.2 million/annually
- Steve Appelbaum started a vocational school called Animal Behavior College (ABC) - $12 million/annually
Notice none of these creators are flashy house-hold names either. They are simply people who identified a market, and squarely positioned their experience and personality in that market to deliver value and drive revenue.
Unfortunately, so many people unknowingly sabotage their personal brand earning potential.
The difference between your personal brand and its full earning potential can typically be found in one of of these four personal branding cardinal sins:
- You haven’t nailed your audience
- You haven't clarified your value
- You don’t have a consistent or strategic content strategy
- You haven’t positioned your packages appropriately
This week, I’ll break each of these down and lay out a clear path to overcome them, so you can start actualizing your earning potential with your personal brand.
- Nail your target audience.
Story time: I had a client who has grown her audience consistently from 1,000 followers to 10,000 followers in one year. Her posts consistently hit over 100 reactions, and her audience of business leaders adored her.
Then, 3 months ago, we decided to experiment by niching her audience to focus on Chief of Staffs who support those business owners. All of a sudden, her posts’ reactions shot from 100+ to 1,000+.
Before when speaking about general leadership mindset:
Decent engagement for her audience size and good repost rate.
After hyper-niching to focus on “Chief of Staffs”:
Additionally, in a matter of only 4 months, she added 4,151 new followers to her page and launched a 90-minute masterclass on LinkedIn that generated over $5,400 in revenue.
Let’s take that a step further. If all she did was host masterclasses on LinkedIn once a month for 90 minutes, she’d have a $65,000 a year business. And that assumes that her attendee rate is unchanging instead of increasing as her following increases.
Now, she’s whip-smart and one of the most strategic people I’ve met, so of course that’s not where she’s stopping. Her consulting clients and keynote prices round out her lucrative personal brand business, but I want you to see how straightforward and profitable niching and nailing your audience is.
To do: What’s a specific group of people you can help?
Cheat code: Where were you two years ago? What did you learn? Usually a great starting audience are folks who are a few years behind you in a specific endeavor who need to know the next thing to do.
Bonus: Selecting this audience allows you to relate to them closely, since it was you not so long ago! Unsurprisingly, this client was a Chief of Staff to celebrity CEOs, so she knows alllllll the pain points of the position.
- Clarify your value.
Now that you’ve clarified your audience, you need to clarify your value. How do you do this? By getting clear about a problem your audience is facing, and laying out how you are uniquely positioned to help them overcome that problem.
Here’s a great example:
Say you were a working mom who used to enjoy a 90-minute “Start Your Day” routine before the littles came along, and then realized with kids, not only do you have zero time to dedicate to your morning routine, you also are getting zero sleep.
So, you started the 5-minute morning ritual, a hyper focused quick-hitting routine to help you intentionally start your day.
That’s very specific and very valuable!
You have your target audience:
- Working moms (if you want to get even more specific, working moms of kids 1-3 years in age with corporate jobs, etc.)
You know their target problem:
They have no time to themselves, let alone a plan to reset themselves in the morning and as a result, always feel 20 steps behind.
And you have value:
A 5 minute method that you’ve proven works for yourself and your friends.
Now, you can start posting content that relates to new moms, their challenges, and mindful hacks that lead someone to your mini course.
See how different that is than just saying you help working moms with productivity?
The value is centered around you, your experience, and specific customer pain point!
- Develop a consistent content strategy.
You could be the GREATEST thing since sliced gluten-free bread for people with a gluten allergy, but if you don’t consistently share about that value or the challenges your fellow Celiac-sufferers face, you are nothing but a best-kept-secret. A high-potential brand not actualizing your potential.
You need to develop your content strategy. The good news here? I actually wrote a whole blog article called “The Definitive Guide to Developing a Content Plan to Grow and Monetize Your Expert Personal Brand,” so you can simply read and implement it here.
- Position your packages appropriately.
Congratulations, you nailed your audience, you understand their specific problems and how you solve it, and you are touting it at volume 20/10 all over. You should be sailing past the million-dollar-mark, right?
When you haven’t packaged up your expertise, your audience will struggle to understand how to work with you.
It’s like walking into a Sushi restaurant with no menu and the chef looks at you and says, “So what do you want?”
Sure, the restaurant specifies what it does, and it has great praise, but when you get there, how in the world would you know what to order? Even if you were a fish connoisseur, you likely don’t know how to blend flavors together to get the perfect roll.
As a personal brand, you need to have your “menu” set so by the time your audience is ready to swipe their card and work with you, there is no confusion around which package is right for them.
Package your passion and expertise. For personal brands, that typically means:
- Listing out specific keynote talks and workshops.
- Developing an online course.
- Publishing a book.
- Having online coaching cohorts.
Regardless of if you do one or all of these things, the key point is you’ve packaged your passion and experience in a way where an interested prospect is empowered to “pull it off the shelf” and engage with it without having to have a whole big discovery call with you.
That’s when your personal brand goes from 6-figures to 7 without all the time and overhead.
- Building a 7-figure personal brand is very doable.
- Nail your specific audience.
- Get clear on the value you provide.
- Develop consistent, high-value content.
- Prepare clear packages for people to engage with.
Join the LinkedIn Brand Accelerator Cohort for April to Build Your Profitable Personal Brand