Over the past decade or so, personal branding has been about who you know, how many followers you can attract, and how much engagement you can accumulate on social media.
As a result, influencer marketing has taken off, as personal brands with solid social followings gleam in the new possibilities of creating careers peddling brands and products.
Everyone from CEOs to interns have been cultivating their personal brands as well, not necessarily to sell anything but to grow their online presence as public figures, gain influence and make a greater impact.
We all have personal brands, whether we are intentionally working on developing them or not. As personal branding continues to evolve in the new digital age, so do the demands that come with the job.
Because your income is tied to your time; fulfilling client needs, creating and promoting content and all the other responsibilities that come with the title, selling your services limits your profits and opportunities.
Sooner or later, you will hit a wall.
Which is why it is so essential to pivot your personal brand to one based on authentic knowledge rather than that of social currency.
Turning your existing knowledge into digital and physical assets that serve the problems of your community or industry, furthers your influence. Not to mention, it frees you from the time-for-money trade and allows you to focus on creating a personal brand that produces quality, consistent and high valued content.
Knowledge is no longer power. Sharing knowledge is power.
― Michael R. Hunter, Founder of PersonalBrand.com
Productizing your expertise really comes down to you packaging your methodologies into products and services that can scale. Ideally, these products are built or designed once and can be sold many times.
Personal brands, and thought leader experts who sell digital and physical products provide comprehensive solutions to problems and step-by-step guidance for reaching goals. They don’t just share bits of information; they provide full-scale solutions.
There are countless ways to productize your knowledge. If you’re not sure where to begin, here are a few of our recommendations to get started:
Write a Book
Books are one of the oldest forms of productized knowledge. It’s a way that people have recorded, taught, and learned for thousands of years.
Whether you are sharing a philosophical idea or complex processes, a book can get your message delivered in a compact and straightforward way.
In this age, it is easier than ever before to publish a book. You no longer need a publisher’s blessing to package your knowledge in this medium. You don’t even need to have an inventory of your book when it is purchased, as you can print them on-demand, making your financial risk lower.
If delivering a physical version is daunting, you can always package your knowledge as an eBook for higher margins.
Writing a book is also a great credibility builder because of the barrier for entry as an author. Use your book as an anchor and reference point in meetings, trainings, content marketing or speaking gig to gain credibility and influence.
A book can serve as a permanent place for your frameworks to live and makes it easier to protect your intellectual property/ideas.
To make writing a book more profitable, try pairing it with an online course, which brings us to our next productizing idea…
Develop an Online Course
Online courses are a great way to condense what you know and inspire true action from a community toward a similar goal.
Courses enable you to create step-by-step processes that people can follow to achieve specific results. Rather than you having to service an individual client in a 1:1 trade of your time, you can teach and empower them on how to do it on their own.
This is especially important because you can scale this knowledge to those that wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford your time or services!
Typically, in a modern online course, there are videos, worksheets, checklists, and communities where people can engage. This media-rich medium activates multiple learning senses: visual, audible, and kinetic reinforced by progress which feeds their dopamine levels.
Economically, it is scalable because of the high margins and low operating costs. If you’re ready to make your knowledge/services more accessible and profitable, consider creating an online course.
Start Group Coaching Program
Group coaching is another excellent way to productize your knowledge. It takes you from 1-on-1 coaching and improves your effective hourly rate by coaching multiple people at once.
This medium is where your clients can see the greatest breakthroughs, because of accountability and real-time feedback.
It’s also a great place to test your frameworks, ideas, and get the most powerful testimonials from your customers. They can build off of each other’s progress and eliminate roadblocks they may face. If you prioritize the building of a community through this exclusive group, you will see loyal brand ambassadors arise as a result.
By talking through the process with your customers, you find the blind spots in your work, forcing you to simplify. You’ll hear the questions customers ask over-and-over again, inspiring your content marketing efforts. You can answer those FAQs once rather than in eight 1-on-1 sessions.
Create an Elite Membership Site
Another way to productize your knowledge is by creating a membership site.
This is a digital home for your ongoing content and touch point for your most engaged community. It is an excellent complement to your online course and a place for sharing your cutting-edge content. Think of it as an online course combined with group coaching.
Your membership site is also where you deepen your trust and loyalty with your community. By delivering your elite content, people have a persistent reminder of why they chose to follow you.
This becomes amplified when you are regularly answering their most important and pressing questions. It is also a catalyst for the interpersonal relationships within your community, taking word-of-mouth digital.
The financial advantage of a membership site with regularly updated content is the ability to charge month over month because of the new value being created for your members. This decreases the dependence on finding new buyers every month.
Host a Live Event
Live events can boost your credibility like you never thought possible.
By bringing people together into an event setting, you accelerate the word-of-mouth process and provide an intimate environment for your most loyal followers to engage and connect with one another.
As you take center stage as the knowledge facilitator, you increase your influence by further demonstrating your thought leadership.
When you are training, it is easier to sustain attention, portray your message, and engage the audience in captivating storytelling. You control the messaging, curriculum and offers at the event, leaving less for interpretation.
Because of the immense value add of your personal time, people will fall in love with your brand, creating raving fans that spread the knowledge learned at your event with their existing communities.
Live events make great opportunities for partnerships and promotions, sponsorships, and social proof of leadership.
In addition to all the benefits above, events open up the opportunity to cross-sell your products to the attendees. With the increased brand reception and the in-person persuasion, you can sell your higher tiered products here, increasing the profitability of your event.
There are many ways to productize your knowledge, and no cookie-cutter mold fits all. It will take persistence and an iterative process to create products that you are confident and proud of. But the more you do it, the better you will get.
Over time, you’ll be able to pinpoint the exact products that your community needs, solving specific problems and generating more brand equity.
You’ll save time, too, because you will no longer be bound in an exchange of time for money which will allow you to spend more time creating high valued and soul-fulfilling content.
You don’t have to do it all. The important thing is that you follow your natural curiosity and experiment productizing your knowledge as you build and scale your personal brand.
How are you going to productize your services in the next 30 days?
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