How to Become the Authority in Your Industry by Growing Your Personal Brand

Do you want to grow your personal brand? Wondering how to become the authority in your industry?

In this article, you’ll find a five-step process (ACMES) on how to connect deeply with your audience, build long-term relationships, and scale up your personal brand.

Tom Cruise is a personal brand. People go see “Tom Cruise” movies. So are Tony Robbins and many other marketers, influencers, authors, politicians, athletes and entertainers whose content show up on your feed. And who can forget 22-year-old poet laureate Amanda Gorman who captivated the whole world by delivering one of the most unforgettable experienceS.

These names weren’t always household names, but along the way they made an impression, connected deeply, and took the necessary steps to stay relevant.

The Rise of Personal Brand Building on Social Media.

Your personal brand is an asset. Therefore, when you meet someone and create a personal experience, your asset grows in value.

Social media marketing is the best tool for growing personal brands because of its wide reach and free access to personal marketing tools.

Personal brands connect with an audience from a position of confidence and authority on a particular subject. They evoke influence, credibility, and create trust. As a result, mature personal brands grow in value, which can then be monetized in the form of speeches, books, online events, partnerships or new career advancement opportunities.

David Aaker, for many known as the father of branding says, “Every person has a brand, represented by a name and face. This brand has a host of associations. The brand will influence all relationships and affect how a person is perceived and/or respected.”

Challenges to Growing A Personal Brand.

Here are some of the biggest challenges many face when growing personal brands:

    • Inadequate marketing planning.
    • Unclear message.
    • Guessing at who your target audience is.
    • Delivering dull experiences.
    • Implementing one-off tactics vs. building a system.

A Five-Step Process to Grow Your Personal Brand

#1 Align Strategy with Results. What is Your Most Critical Marketing Objective?

Firstly, invest time in properly aligning your goals and objectives with the right marketing campaigns. Are you looking to raise awareness, increase authority or improve conversions? What metrics will define the success of your campaign?

80% of marketers use metrics related to reach and engagement to evaluate success with regard to social media marketing ( Is this what you want to measure? In our experience with first time clients, if we do not define the right objective, then we fail to meet expectations. This results in wasted resources and ineffective social media ma­rketing campaigns.

As marketers we’re not in the business of short-term strategies but long-term solutions.

Thought leader Daniel Pink in his book When. The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing says, “Although we can’t always determine when we start, we can exert some influence on beginnings -and considerable influence on the consequences of less-than-ideal ones.”

The Perna Syndicate on Social Media.

The Perna Syndicate


Thought leader Mark C. Perna is a keynote speaker, author, and CEO who is shifting the paradigm in education across North America.

Mark’s personal brand is in front of in-person and virtual audiences year-round. One of his goals is to make a greater impact by inspiring audiences to lean in.

He uses social media to familiarize people through his show The Perna Syndicate. The goal is to continue building deeper relationships with his audience by providing great value which consequently grows his personal brand.

To achieve maximum results, you must first decide what is your most critical marketing objective? How will you make the greatest impact:

    • Will reach and brand awareness help me achieve my financial goals?
    • How does an increase in social engagement translate into sales?
    • Does my website support my social media marketing efforts?
    • How do I define activities that reflect intent to purchase?
    • How do I elevate my content marketing efforts?

#2 Clarify Your Message. Write a One-Liner.

After you decide on a strategy you need to work on clarifying your message using a one-liner. If your message isn’t clear to you it will never be clear to your audience.

Start by reviewing the copy on your website or landing pages and evaluate every point in the customer journey. A helpful tip is to reverse engineer this part of the process and look at the final objective first. Is there enough value represented clearly? What is the final call to action? If done incorrectly this step of the process can become the biggest money waster.

There is transformative value in communicating clearly. Confusing messages denotes a lack certainty or confidence. When clarifying your message on your website remember clear is kind, and unclear is unkind. Start by writing your one-liner.

Donald Miller.

Master wordsmith Donald Miller in his book Marketing Made Simple explains, “The one-liner comes from Hollywood. When the screenwriter writes a film, she must also write a one sentence description of the screenplay that makes investors want to take a risk on that story.

We credit the one-liner as the single most powerful tool to grow a brand because it costs nothing, and it makes the biggest impact. Successful decision makers have no time for cute and clever. They need to know in 10 seconds whether they’ll give you the time of day. The one-liner has 3 parts:

    1. Problem: The problem is the hook, and it makes your story interesting.
    2. Solution: What you offer is the solution to their problems.
    3. Result: This is the transformative value that your solution provides.

Before you move onto the next step on this process write your one-liner.

#3 Meet Your Audience. Listen to Who they Really Are.

Defining your target audience is as much art as it is science. First, we need an accurate description of who is our target audience, and then we can research people with similar interests and likes.

Like in any relationship we begin by getting to know these people – personally. Go beyond the emojis and become a social media forensic investigator.

C.R.A.F.T. : Social Media Optimization

Here are a few tactics that will reveal the interests and likes your audience shares which later on you can use to target :

    • Cross-post across multiple Pages. Use aggregators like Buffer and Hootsuite to increase efficiency and stimulate engagement. This will show you who are your most engaged fans.
    • Get Reviews from customers and clients. Twice a week ask for 2 reviews and learn who your customers are, what they like, and learn to personalize interactions.
    • Ask open ended questions. Get to know your fans opinions and range of knowledge by asking open ended question. This show you hot topics and reveal the influencers in your network.
    • Use Facebook and Instagram Stories. When you post a story (vertical videos or images) you can see who is watching. This gives you a unique perspective on what content might be resonating better.
    • Timing is critical when looking to reach the right audience. Facebook’s ‘Page Insights’ helps you understand the time blocks your followers are more active during the day.

Hypertargetting on Social Media.

I decided to test how hypertargeted a campaign could be by running a campaign targeting a single person on Facebook. Using what I knew about her, and what I could find on social media I realized very quickly that geography, age, and gender will greatly narrow my audience. Then I added additional filters by marriage status, a film they had seen, a personality she follows and ended with a potential reach of under 1000 people.

I knew that to capture her attention the creative had to be very specific, so I ran a messenger story campaign with just one-word: turbi? In the afternoon of the 4th day, she comes to me with her mobile phone open to the ad and says, “why did you send me this post?”

In this step of the process, test your targeting skills by running a hypertargeted campaign. Focus on a single person, serve them a specific ad, and learn the importance of getting to know people personally.

Use the comments section of this article to share what kind of results you get and what you learned. The better we get at meeting and listening for those common denominators, the more effective our audience building becomes. This results in stronger connections and deeper relationships.

#4 Use EQ to Create a Social Media Experience. Emotions by Phone.

Using EQ to embed emotion in ad creative, copy, and overall social media marketing strategy, helps connect a brand with its audience at a more personal level.

The Social Media Experience (SMX) is the result of a series of online activities designed to personalize interactions by eliciting emotion, resulting in stronger and deeper relationships with customers.

Engaging with social video and connecting one-on-one is how successful brands use Emotional Intelligence (EQ) to increase engagement.

Emotion is what triggers engagement on social media, resulting in increased user perception and intent to buy. Remember most purchase decisions come from the heart, not the head.

Brands who understand the importance of EQ are able to:

    • Challenge audience behaviors.
    • Understand and diagnose issues before they boil over.
    • Personalize communications.
    • Process data to make better-informed marketing decisions.

Rather than react to trends, emotionally intelligent brands are able to proactively map out content that is creative, relevant and direct.

Keith Ferrazzi and the Social Media Experience.

Digital emotions are different from physical emotions. And the future adoption of new devices and applications enhance, connect, and extend human emotions. 80% of consumers are more likely to do business with a company if it offers a personalized experience (Epsilon Research). Brands who are more sensitive to digital emotional cues, can use this information to guide thinking, behavior, and decisions across platforms.

A great example of someone creating and delivering a social media experience is keynote speaker, author, and thought leader Keith Ferrazzi. He uses Instagram Live and really places high importance on the relationships with his Community. One uneventful day I saw a post and made a comment that went like this: “Hi Keith! How does Keith Ferrazzi bring his A-game every minute of the day?” Much to my surprise, he used IG-Live to answer my question publicly, and tagged me in it. As an audience member this made me feel heard, important, and cared about. This is a perfect example of how a personal brand can build deep relationships by delivering a social media experience.

“Your smile is your logo; your personality is your business card. How you leave others feeling after having an experience with you becomes your trademark.”  —Jay Danzie

#5 Build a System. Scale Up Your Personal Brand.

Finally, to grow and scale up your personal brand you need to build a marketing system.

A marketing system is a series of digital marketing activities working in synergy to increase subscription base, grow virtual audience engagement, develop deeper and stronger relationships with clients, and drive conversions.

Social media marketing yields better results when supported by other digital marketing activities like email, video, text, etc.

Christine Cashen and the Cashen on Life Social Media Show

Christine Cashen is a motivational keynote speaker who uses a system as a long-term solution to grow her personal brand. During her virtual motivational presentations, she is able to capitalize on the experience she is delivering and use a text for email tool like or to methodically capture audience information in under 2 minutes during the presentation.

Then she created an entertaining video show that not only provides great value, but keeps her brand top-of-mind, across channels, for long-term engagement.

And finally, she leverages the social media experience to continue nurturing and building these relationships while growing and scaling her personal brand.

Final Thoughts

Whether you just started doing Zoom virtual presentations or have an established personal brand, use this process to leverage the Social Media Experience (SMX) to connect deeply with your audience, build long-term relationships, and scale up. Just remember the acronym ACMES:

    • ALIGN


    • MEET


    • SYSTEM

Use the comments section of this article to share what kind of results you get from implementing this process. I look forward to getting to know one another better.

About the Author

Daveeed Wagner is a keynote speaker, Founder & CEO of 1marketingidea, a marketing agency that leverages the social media experience to transform personal brands who struggle at connecting and engaging with their networks, resulting in deeper and stronger relationships, repeat business, referrals, and higher profits.

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