First coined by entrepreneur Sean Ellis in 2010, a growth hacker is “a person whose true north is growth”. In this post, we outline five growth hacking tactics to help boost your personal brand and, in turn, expand the overall marketing strategy for your app startup.
A growth hacker differs from a conventional marketer in the sense that all of their efforts and strategies focus on lasting growth. The word hacker represents the fact that these tactics for growth are not mainstream or “by the book”. This does not mean they work outside the limitations of the law of course, but this approach to marketing is often unconventional and very creative, bypassing mainstream marketing techniques and promoting huge amounts of growth – often with little to no cost at all!
The term “personal brand” refers to the total experience others take from you. This includes the thoughts and ideas they have of you and how they recognise you as a person.
Having a good personal brand attached to an app startup and/or enterprise mobile app is a great way to promote consumer loyalty. For example, real estate tycoon Donald Trump uses his name extensively on his businesses and products (E.g. The Trump Organisation).
Growing your personal brand is a great way to set yourself apart and be unique. Setting aside some time and effort into growth hacking your personal brand will lead to much better results when implementing your overall marketing strategy over traditional marketing alone.
Social is a standard place to start when you’re talking personal branding and is my go-to place to promote growth.
Traditional Marketer vs. Growth Hacker. Source: Inbound Marketing Agents
Social media is more often a place where users or potential investors go to find out about you. So why not show them what you want them to see?
It’s important to be true to yourself on social networks while keeping the values and contentions of your brand in mind. Just as it’s essential to be relatable, you must also be professional and valuable. Make sure your profile photos show a unique, fun side of yourself, while still keeping them polished and professional.
Make use of the different social networks available. Find out which one your potential app users flock to and concentrate on those. If you’re an online marketer, try LinkedIn or Twitter. On the other hand, if you’re into retail you’d do better focusing your efforts on Facebook or Instagram. Regardless of your industry, first you must identify your target audience, find out where they “hang out” online and then focus your efforts on those social hubs.
Remember, if you’re trying to grow your personal brand as quickly as possible you want relevant followings from people within your industry, who can then share your valuable content, not your second aunt, twice removed.
The benefits of a powerful Personal Brand. Source: Buffer
Identifying Your Strength
The first step is to find your strengths when creating content for your audience. Releasing content that you’re passionate about and well educated in is the quickest way to finding your niche. This will promote brand loyalty and a good volume of app downloads while identifying yourself as an industry expert. With consistent writing and insightful content on your social sites and blogs, you will soon propel yourself to becoming the to-go guy in your field of work!
Once the hard work is done and you have an interested group of strong followers, they will want to listen to more of what you have to say. This will give you the opportunity to start talking more openly on subjects that might interest yourself, further broadening your potential audience.
Stay a Student in Your Industry
Along with releasing consistent content to your audience, you must stay hungry and continue learning. Educating yourself in the latest news and information keeps you at the forefront of your industry. It’s not enough to simply learn new things, you must share what you learn to get the credibility as a professional in your field.
Learning doesn’t stop at content, finding new ways to present your information via social networks, videos or even webinars is a great way to keep relevant and continually grow your brand. Rachel Perkins, Associate Director of Social Media at Michigan University, insists “Personal branding doesn’t end once you get a job. You are constantly building your brand, especially as a student or young professional”.
Many people believe that you have to portray your brand, speak or act a certain way to be successful. This can be painfully strenuous and tiresome as even the smallest falter in your brand’s image can have a tremendous effect on its reputation.
Instead, be real with your audience and just be yourself. People connect better to people and would prefer if they really believe they were communicating with a real person instead of a ‘fake’ persona.
Remember to tell a compelling story that includes your ups and downs in life. Remember back to when Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, got fired from his own company? He came back years later, smarter and more refined, eventually reforming Apple to become the powerhouse we know today. That’s a relatable story and did wonders for his personal brand. Everyone has their own unique story full of excitement and who’s better to tell that story than yourself?
The evolution (or lack thereof) of Steve Jobs’ personal brand. Source: Fast Company
Networking online and in person is mandatory to grow your personal brand. According to Lynne Sarikas from Northeastern University, “LinkedIn doesn’t replace networking—it makes it easier to find the right people with whom to network. While it can be a great enabler in the job search process, it does not replace the power of building relationships.” Sharing good content and creating a mass following is a great place to start your personal brand but definitely not the whole package.
Speaking to clients and professionals will help promote your brand and give you opportunities to talk at big events. Start small and always speak with confidence and vindication. This gives you the opportunity to voice ideas and share your knowledge. It’s also an amazing way to meet new people and promote networking growth.
Building your personal brand won’t be an achievable overnight, but it’s definitely worth the time and effort. It’s one thing no one can take away from you and will be with you for the rest of your career. Needless to say, it requires consistent maintenance and tweaking but using as many of these growth hacks as you can help skip a lot of time between being a nobody to someone that stands out as an industry leader.
Are there any other Growth Hacks we should consider for Personal Branding? Let us know what works for you in the comments section below.