How to Build a Profitable Personal Brand in 2020
2019 was a monumental year for personal brands and personal branding. At the start of the year, we forecasted three critical components of building a profitable personal brand for entrepreneurs. The ingredients included messaging, creating a systematic and straightforward business model, and the variety and quality of reach. These three components remain as critical differentiators that separate people who are trying to make money by making noise, and legitimate visionaries who want to improve the world.
In working this past year with entrepreneurs and personal brand leaders, we’re upping our expectations for the next decade.
We’ve identified three new differentiators that will help personal brands break free from the clutter and take their platforms from six to seven figures.
In 2020, the three components that will help you build a profitable personal brand include maintaining a results-based focus, productizing high-value, high-touch offers, and creating meaningful subscription opportunities.
Let’s go to the replay to level-set where we’ve been before we look to where we’re going.
A Recap of 2019
Please don’t mistake our new list of priorities to mean that messaging, systems, and reach are no longer relevant. These factors are still critical, and here’s a recap as to why:
As the marketplace gets exceedingly more cluttered, it’s still essential that you create messaging that differentiates you from your competition, and that is rooted in a well-researched and innovative value proposition.
A Simple, Systematic Business Model
To build a sustainable, profitable personal brand in 2019, you must have a sound business model. Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of building a business model that is overly complex when they are spread too thin. To be successful, you need to establish a simple, systematic business model that provides direction, clarity, and focus.
Variety and Quality of Reach
A recent study revealed that eighty-six percent of young Americans want to be an influencer. This data means that as cluttered as the marketplace is, it’s about to get even more inundated with people claiming to be gurus and experts. To build a following and convert sales, you’ll need to rely on the basic marketing fundamentals of targeting the right people at the right time with the right message.
Keep these three critical personal branding components in mind in 2020, but know that to sharpen your edge, you’ll need to take advantage of the next three under practiced business strategy differentiators.
The Road to Profitability in 2020
#1. Maintaining a Results-Focus
In 2020, make sure you are spending time ideating around your value proposition and ensuring you have devised a methodology that will help you achieve predictable results for your clients.
The fight for attention and mindshare is only going to shrink in 2020 as even more people attempt to launch a personal brand or influencer career.
It already feels like every time you swipe through your social news feed that there is a new, self-professed expert claiming to have the secret to personal, professional, or wellness success. With the potential to earn seven figures through personal branding, unfortunately, the possibility is drawing attention from dreamers without substance who primarily want to get rich quick.
Building a personal brand is a marathon, not a sprint.
It takes years to develop the methodology, community, messaging, and reach needed to make a significant influence on peoples’ lives.
While it may seem like some of the most influential entrepreneurs appeared on the scene instantaneously, what we as followers don’t see are the years of hard work and early failures that helped them to refine their craft before they achieved wide-spread recognition.
If you want to be a personal brand success, you need to commit to the long-term game, which means committing to procuring repeatable, predictable results for your clients through the creation of a proven methodology.
Let us be succinct: What you sell has to work.
As we always say, a personal brand is not about what you say about yourself. It’s about what other people say about you. If you devise a system that helps people achieve their business, professional, or personal goals, and you successfully produce consistent results for your clients, they’ll become raving fans and your best sales advocates. Their testimonials will do more for amplifying the reach of your personal brand and filling your marketing funnel than any amount of clever advertising.
In 2020, put in whatever effort it takes to ensure your offering produces calculable and foreseeable results. Push through the reps. Run the laps.
Learn what works and what doesn’t. Don’t automate your marketing funnel until you are confident about messaging, networks, and audience. Put in the time and effort, and you’ll be years ahead of every competitor who thinks being an influencer means pretty selfies, witty comments, and millions of followers.
#2. Create and Monetize High-End, High-Touch Products, and Services
A results-oriented focus dovetails perfectly with our differentiator—developing genuinely impactful and personalized products and services. In the era of Google, the one thing that your prospective customers don’t need more of is information. They need results.
The most successful personal brands are creating offerings that don’t scale. Accomplishing such success means more than publishing a book, or hosting one-size-fits-all seminars open to anyone who can pay the admission fee (more on this later). If you want to separate your personal brand from the competition in 2020, focus on creating high-end, high-touch products and services. Such touchpoints should include highly specific and thoughtfully planned out workshops
Google the phrase business events in your area, and you’ll likely find a litany of available seminars hosted by self-identified experts. If we’re honest, these “gurus” are more interested in hearing themselves talk and signing copies of their latest book then in enabling your success.
What will differentiate your personal brand in 2020 are niche workshops that help attendees take impactful steps to reach their goal while on-site.
When an attendee leaves an event feeling overwhelmed by pages of notes and rhetoric, directionless, and exhausted, the event leader has failed. Contrarily, when an attendee leaves an event with pages of actionable strategy, the impetus of a business or marketing plan, and the enthusiasm and confidence they lacked before they arrived, the event leader has succeeded.0
If you want your personal brand to stand out in 2020, don’t clutter the marketplace with more informational seminars that are veiled sales pitches for products and services.
Right-size your price point to attract serious prospects. Extend out the timeframe from two days to seven to accommodate plenty of individualized coaching and workshop opportunities. Do it right, and you’ll be doing it differently—better than all of your competitors, and in a way that will help you get wins for your customers.
#3. Go All In on Subscriptions
Too many entrepreneurs think of subscription services as opportunities to earn recurring revenue. To all those misguided business strategists, we hate to break it to you, but there is no such thing as set-it-and-forget-it when it comes to successful personal branding.
The most successful personal brands don’t just sell a singular product. They devise a methodology. A pedagogy.
A way of life that lends itself effortlessly to a variety of products, services, and pricing tiers, not because revenue is the end goal, but because helping people is the end goal, and because their unique approach has the legs.
If you are the type of entrepreneur who genuinely wants to help people to improve their lives, then you don’t want to sell them a book, a one-on-one consultation, or invite them to one speaking engagement and then walk away from their progress.
Changing people’s lives means asking them to be part of a community—an idea that is larger than any one person. Growing collectively is the new standard for learning and professional development.
It also means creating a viable barrier to entry, differentiating between what’s possible in your free communities vs. your more indepth, advanced training communities.
For all the people who are trying to become influencers with promises of get-results-quick programs, there are also plenty of people looking for programs to get-results-quick.
Subscription services allow you to draw a line in the sand—even if it’s only a low-investment line. They allow you to set apart dedicated prospects who are committed to positive change, and who will be able to optimally leverage your time, investment, and development. After all, no matter how big of a team you create, you are your personal brand, and your time and one-on-one reach are limited.
Remember that the right membership or subscription price point could make the difference between a six and seven-figure personal brand. Learn more about why a monthly subscription should be an essential strategy for your personal brand in 2020 and how to increase subscription retention.
If you’re interested in learning more about our philosophy around building a profitable personal brand, click here to read this post where we cover the four core areas to focus on when building a successful personal brand.
As part of your productization ideation, learn why you need to start a mastermind now.