EMBRACING YOUR PERSONAL BRAND IN THE AGE OF AI
Updated: Apr 12
Remember when AI was a futuristic notion? It would be unrealistic to say it appeared overnight, but it sure feels like it. In the blink of an eye, AI is being used just about everywhere.
It’s here. It’s happening. And to be honest, it has a lot to offer us as small business owners.
In this age of AI, there’s one type of brand that really stands to benefit: personal brands.
For solopreneurs, companies of one, and small boutique businesses, this is your time. It’s time to embrace being the face of your brand and create a personal branding action plan to make the most of this era. Let me help you thrive as a personal brand.
What the research says about connection between consumers and brands
WHY PERSONAL BRANDING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER
As I write this in my Content Marketing Planner inside Notion, it prompts me to use their AI feature to produce content. So I type in the heading above and this is what the AI generates on the topic:
“Personal branding is more important than ever because of the rise of AI content. While AI can produce content that is informative and even persuasive, it lacks the personal touch that comes with human connection. Building and maintaining a strong personal brand can help establish trust and credibility with your audience, which is essential in an era where there is so much noise and competition for attention. Additionally, a strong personal brand can set you apart from others in your field and make you more attractive to potential clients or employers.”
It’s funny, eh? AI knows that AI is the reason why personal branding is so important.
I’ll admit, this AI feature just saved me probably 15 minutes or more trying to find the words that convey, more or less, exactly what is written above.
I’m not here to dismiss the benefits of AI. There are many. But in the age of AI, I want to elaborate on the benefits of personal branding and how to use it to your advantage as society quickly adopts this new technology.
THE BENEFITS OF PERSONAL BRANDING IN THE AGE OF AI
1. Earn trust faster through personal connection
Trust will always be earned faster through a personal connection with a real human. Relatability is a core pillar for establishing a connection with your audience. AI may be smart, but it can’t replace the individual behind the brand with real stories and purpose. Embracing your individuality is gold for earning trust with your ideal audience.
2. Appeal and demand for personal brands will rise
This isn’t all that new. The online market space has been flooded with businesses over the last few years. As a result, consumer preference has shifted away from overly polished, faceless brands.
With so many businesses to choose from, it’s become a buyers market. People want to feel good about the brands they support and are gravitating to those brands they feel a connection to. This need will be amplified in this age of AI.
3. Personal brand consistency will improve your bottom line
Having a personal brand strategy to guide your business will allow you to stay true to your mission and purpose as a brand. A study by Lucidpress revealed that brand consistency has the ability to increase revenue by 33%. Don’t let AI dilute your brand personality to be strictly informative.
Freebie: the conscious brand consistency guide and workbook
4. Increased magnetism just by being authentically you
As a personal brand, YOU are the number one qualifier of your brand’s uniqueness. When you show up as you are, repping your business will come naturally and feel easy. Being you and sharing that with the world is what we (other humans) are drawn to. Your authenticity meter will blow up and you’ll become a magnet for dream clients without overthinking it.
5. Increased brand loyalty
Who doesn’t love the feeling of supporting a small business? When we buy from personal brands, we know our purchase goes towards a real human. That alone makes us feel good because we have a connection to the person behind the brand—either directly or indirectly through social media. Your clients or customers will become your brand advocates. This brand loyalty is something you will really benefit from as a personal brand.
WHAT THE RESEARCH SAYS ABOUT CONNECTION BETWEEN CONSUMERS AND BRANDS
You can’t deny the facts. There’s been lots of research from a various outlets that support the need for more human connection and interaction as our world becomes more automated. Here are some notable stats from studies of late.
88% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding which brands to support. (Post-Pandemic Shifts in Consumer Habits by Stackla)
75% of people say as technology improves, they’re desire to interact with a real person increases. (Experience is Everything by PWC)
46% of consumers in the United States say they’ll pay more for brands they trust; up from 30% in 2021. (The Value of Building Brand Trust by Salsify)
A growing number of people, now 70%, say it’s important for brands to provide personalized experiences. (Post-Pandemic Shifts in Consumer Habits by Stackla)
76% say they’ll buy from a brand they feel connected to over a competitor. (Creating Connection by Sprout Social)
57% of consumers say they will increase their spending with a brand they feel a connected to. (Creating Connection by Sprout Social)
YOUR PERSONAL BRANDING ACTION PLAN
In order to truly benefit from your coveted position as a personal brand in the age of AI, you need a strategy. I’m not a personal brand coach, but I am a brand strategist and a personal brand. So here’s my two cents.
To help rise above the artificial nature of AI, there are a few key areas to zero in on for your personal brand strategy.
Voice & Tone
Your brand personality is everything right now because AI has none of it. For your personal branding action plan, defining your brand voice and tone is crucial.
Brand voice is what you’re saying, the kind of language you use, and the personality that is heard through your brand messaging.
Brand tone is the way you say it and the attitude that’s conveyed through your words.
Consider how your own voice and your desired brand personality will overlap. Don’t forget to factor in the type of personality your ideal client is seeking from a brand like yours. Here’s a great exercise for defining your brand voice.
Choose three personality traits you want your personal brand to have. Example: friendly, passionate, smart
Elaborate on each one to help define how these characteristics will show up in your brand messaging. Example: Friendly — inclusive, welcoming, positive, approachable Passionate — dedicated, enthusiastic, excitable, driven Smart — knowledgeable, eloquent, astute, inspiring
The Content Marketing Institute recommends creating a voice chart for reference. This includes dos and don’ts for each voice characteristic to improve overall consistency.
Every brand needs a brand promise, which is your value proposition. Your brand promise will be your overarching brand message and the thing you want your personal brand to be known for.
Beyond this, your personal brand strategy needs to include content pillars. Choose three to five topics your brand will focus its messaging around. As a personal brand, don’t forget to factor in your story and brand purpose—this is the heart of any brand and helps establish you as the expert.
The goal is to ensure your content marketing and overall brand experience are consistent.
Get familiar with your industry and who your future customers or clients are comparing you to. Obviously, you are the face of your brand, but that shouldn’t be the only thing that distinguishes you.
Look for opportunities to differentiate or fill a gap in the market. Brand positioning is how your audience thinks of you alongside the competition. Work to declare your unique brand position and use that in your marketing.
A personal touch in any brand experience is always going to surprise and delight your audience. Decide how you can personalize your customer or client experience for a further emotional connection. Send a welcome package, include handwritten notes, and maybe even reevaluate some of your existing automations. How can you pivot your brand experience to be more personal and connected?
Stick to your content pillars. Consistency is the key for shaping your reputation around that for which you want to be known. But remember, YOU are the face of your brand—so use this to your advantage.
Look for opportunities to be more connected with your audience just by being YOU. Get in front of the camera and show up consistently. As an introvert, I can tell you it gets easier over time and the return on investment is totally worth it.
People want to get to know you—we’re weird like that. Don’t overthink how you show up, just be yourself, share what you know and talk about what’s on your mind. If you’re an introvert like me, write out a script or outline ahead of time to get your words out clearly before going on camera.
Prioritize meaningful engagement. When you’re social on social, you’re creating a genuine conversation with your audience and you get to know them. In the age of AI bots spamming our accounts, receiving a genuine message or comment from a real human goes a long way.
I have created some beautiful new friendships online by prioritizing meaningful engagement. And you never know when one of these connections will refer your business to a friend or make a purchase themselves.
Personal brands, this is your time. AI is going to be responsible for a lot of dry content with no personality, which means you need to go all in on your personal brand strategy and take action! Let your personality shine, connect with your audience in authentic ways, and remember: even as businesses in this age of AI, we are just humans supporting other humans.
Looking for a creative partner to amplify your personal brand strategy? Apply to become a Studio client.
Jenny Henderson Studio is a branding studio that increases memorability, connection and performance for service-based solopreneurs using strategic simplification and design.