by Tracy Johnson
A strong personal brand takes time, attention, and effort. A personality brand doesn’t just happen without thought and active management. Just being on the air doesn’t lead to success. Some personalities have been in the same time slot on the same station for decades, yet have never made a lasting impression.
Personalities: Don’t leave your image to chance. Make this the year you step up and take matters into your own hands.
Having a personal brand is like managing a business and marketing a product. Successful businesses grow through stages of development. For radio shows, I call it the 5 Stages of a Personality Success Path. Shows advance from Stage 1 (Introduction) through Stage 5 (Love) by using 8 important building blocks.
A strong personality brand makes it easier to connect with listeners, advertisers, and online followers. All are important audiences for an air personality.
Defining personality traits is a primary, fundamental step. I explain this in detail here. But that’s only the start of the journey.
Once the character brand profile is complete, it’s time to build a brand on a solid foundation. Here are steps every personality should take next.
If you don’t know who you’re talking to, it’s impossible to build a fan base. Great personality brands become wildly popular with a portion of the audience. But great brands are not for everyone.
Building a brand is impossible without a clearly defined target.
Identifying an ideal listener helps personalities focus on content choices. It includes knowing who you are for, and who you are NOT for. This keeps personalities out of the dreaded Zone of Mediocrity.
Among other things, a clear target helps:
Defining an audience takes time and research. Start the process by following the steps to create a composite listener profile.
A Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is much easier to develop after a personality profile and composite listener are in place. Essentially, a USP identifies the primary reason for a personality to exist. It explains why a listener would care enough to become a fan.
There are two key questions:
These are scary questions. And they’re hard. But it’s an important part of the process of developing a significant brand.
A USP takes time. Don’t rush it. In the end, it should be a single-sentence statement highlighting a benefit.
Perhaps your USP includes discussing relationship issues. Or maybe it’s a single feature, such as Prank Phone Calls or Second Date Update. Or maybe it’s based on a dominant character trait in the personality profile.
An “elevator pitch” is a short explanation of what the personality has to offer.
The idea is to develop a pitch for the brand in an elevator before the other person steps off. That leaves 30 seconds or less to explain and sell the concept.
The elevator pitch can sometimes be used in social channels and online bios as well. Some personalities even turn it into on-air promos or a series of online videos.
Here’s how to find it:
A great example comes from The Bert Show. It is clearly positioned. The elevator pitch is just two seconds: Real. Funny.
Most personalities are active on social media, but few strategically manage it as a brand.
Here are some key components:
To check your online image, start with a brand audit. There’s a ton of information available.
By the way, this isn’t a one-time exercise. Schedule routine reviews at least once per quarter.
Every personality needs a website. Maybe management won’t allow you to promote it on the air. That’s okay. Build it anyway.
There are many reasons, but the most important is this:
When changing stations or markets, what happens to your online profile? If it’s in the hands of others, you start over. If properly managed, it maintains and often builds momentum.
Jeff Dauler is a veteran personality in Atlanta. When he found himself “on the beach”, he launched a podcast that has grown his fanbase and influence beyond his radio following. Why? He actively managed his online brand.
Don’t let third-party sites (your company or station) shape or control your online brand image.
For details on what should be on a personal website, go here.
Think about celebrity brands like Kim Kardashian, Warren Buffett, and Tom Brady. Each has a story that feeds their brand.
Each has built a brand by carefully crafting – or at least considering – how the story is told.
Your brand story may be elusive. It could be hard to find. But it’s there. Find it. Then write, edit, and polish the story. It could result in public speaking opportunities, which is a great source of additional income.
Brands use style guides for a consistent look.
At a minimum, a personality brand should include the following:
Personal branding isn’t a popularity contest, but it helps to know the competition and study how they’ve influenced their audience.
Collect key data about other personalities based on:
Be sure to check search engines, too. Look for results to key phrases on Google like:
Study the results for insight to compete more effectively.
A personal brand is how the world sees you. Everyone has a personal brand, but some are better curated than others. That’s why it’s important to actively manage and polish it as an active part of a personality’s marketing process.
Invest in these areas to enhance your career.
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