How to Monetize Your Personal Brand

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We’ve gone over the benefits of personal branding for job seeking professionals and entrepreneurs. In this post we will focus on the latter, and specifically discuss the ways you can leverage your personal brand as a platform for monetization. 

Monetizing your personal brand is a common goal, as people want to make supplemental income, and potentially build a significant revenue stream based on your hobbies and network. Check out the monetization ideas below, and tips for implementing them so you can leverage your personal brand channels without negatively impacting your audience.

Table of Contents:

  • Services and Consulting 
  • E-commerce 
  • Courses and books 
  • Affiliate marketing 
  • Advertising and Sponsorships 
  • Content subscriptions 

1. Services and Consulting 

Offering services that align with your area of expertise and thought leadership platform (aka what you have built your personal brand reputation around) is one of the most straightforward ways to monetize your personal brand

Offering to help people with the areas of expertise you are already creating content around is a natural extension of your brand, and will likely be well received by your niche audience because they are already used to you providing value in these areas through the content and tips you share in your marketing. 

Examples of services and consulting that you can offer through your personal brand platform include coaching sessions and training, audits, and actual content creation and deliverable production. 

For example, if your personal brand is focused on marketing advice, you could offer social media marketing consulting services to audit people’s social strategies, or offer social media content creation as a paid service.

The fitness industry is another example of an industry where entrepreneurs are monetizing their personal brands. Many fitness influencers offer their audiences personal training sessions as a service. 

Other examples of entrepreneurs monitoring their personal brands through services include business coaching services for business thought leaders, and stylist and personal shopping services for fashion influencers. 

In order to establish your own services offering, think about the topics you are an expert on, and then think of the tasks and challenges people commonly need help with related to that topic. 

Check out these personal brand goals examples for inspiration.

2. E-commerce 

Selling physical and digital products is another monetization strategy for personal brands. Similar to the services concept, think of common needs people in your industry have, and consider products that you could create to meet those needs.

Digital Products

Sticking with our fitness influencer example, the fitness influencer could create workout plans and nutrition guides and sell them as digital products on their website and social channels via an e-commerce store. 

This same concept applies to the other examples like the marketing professional, as the marketer could create a social media marketing guide or playbook and sell it in their channels.

Ecommerce and Dropshipping 

This strategy is by no means limited to digital products, although they do hold the advantage of not having to hold an inventory, or dealing with production costs and logistics. You could set up an online store to sell your own physical products that you create, or take advantage of drop shipping services. 

Dropshipping allows you to sell products online without having to invest in product inventory, or dealing with the logistics of shipping. When an order is placed on your online store, your dropshipping partner receives the order and fulfills it. Companies like Shopify offer plenty of resources for getting started with drop shipping and finding a partner to handle the manufacturing and shipping of your products.

Learn more about setting up an ecommerce store of your own in our personal branding toolkit.

3. Affiliate marketing 

Affiliate marketing is another viable side hustle you can use to generate income with your personal brand. Affiliate marketing involves signing up for an affiliate program with a company that gives you tools like tracking links and advertisements you can use to promote their products. For every sale you generate for the company’s products, you receive a commission on the sale. 

When executed well, affiliate marketing enables you to connect your audience with products aligned to their interests while making a profit margin on the sales. The key is to not be overly promotional or spammy, and to only promote products you think your audience would actually find helpful. A good rule of thumb is to only promote products you would use yourself. 

An example of a popular affiliate program is Amazon’s affiliate program, which allows you to create affiliate links to products Amazon sells. This program is popular because the wide variety of products on Amazon means there is likely something available for everyone related to their industry. 

In terms of the channels you can use to promote your affiliate links, you can promote them literally anywhere that you can share a URL. This includes sharing them in social posts, linking them in your social media profile bios, putting them in image and video captions on platforms like YouTube, embedding the links on website landing pages and in blog posts, and including them in email newsletters. 

Check out HubSpot’s list of the best affiliate programs that you can sign up for. 

4. Advertising and Sponsorships 

Another avenue for monetizing your personal brand channels is advertising and sponsorship. Turning your social channels, website, newsletters, videos, and other channels into ad inventory that you can offer to brands allows you trade exposure and promotion to your audience for a fee. 

Content Sponsorships

One of the most common examples of this is a sponsored social media post. With sponsored social media posts, influencers post about products on their channels in exchange for compensation, often in the form of free products or a sponsorship fee. 

This can be arranged through an agency, which is typically how more popular influencers find and manage their sponsorship deals, or it can be handled by working directly with the brand, which is the most common method. 

As your social channels grow, don’t be surprised if you start receiving DMs from brands interested in promoting their products on your channels. You can also take the initiative and approach brands offering to promote their products. A good strategy for this is to offer a product review, demonstrating the value you’d be offering to the brand in terms of positive exposure. 

Ad Platforms

Another way to monetize your marketing channels with sponsored content is through advertising platforms. Platforms like Google Ads and YouTube pay you to allow them to display advertisements on your digital real estate. 

For Google Ads, this comes in the form of adding display ads to your website pages, for which you will receive a commission when someone clicks an ad on your site and makes a purchase for one of the advertiser’s products. 

For YouTube, you have the option to monetize video content that you publish on the platform. This happens in the form of preroll (short video) ads being added to the beginning of your video, and sometimes in the middle of longer videos. Check out this article from Google on monetizing YouTube videos to learn more about how it works. 

Advertising and sponsorships are a monetization method with which you should proceed with caution, as you do not want to risk annoying your audience or seeming disingenuous. 

5. Premium Content Subscriptions

Considering that modern personal branding is built on a content marketing foundation, creating premium content as a revenue stream for a personal brand is a natural progression. Giving people more of the content they already value and consume in paid format is a minimally disruptive strategy for making money with your personal brand.

To do this, you can leverage subscription platforms that help you to setup subscription services, create content, and accept payments from your subscribers.

Subscription Platforms to Check Out:

  • Substack - Create monetized newsletters where people pay to subscribe 
  • Memberful - Create and manage gated web pages, blog posts, podcasts, and online courses where users pay a fee to access 
  • SubHub - SubHub is a website building platform that enables you to setup online stores, and to turn digital content into premium / subscription only content 
  • MemberSpace - Turn your website content like landing pages and blog posts into gated content that people have to pay a subscription fee to access 

If you are successful in your personal branding journey, at some point you will build a following, and that following represents potential customers through monetization opportunities. Consider the strategies for monetizing your personal brand in this blog, and remember to always strive to provide people value, especially with your products and paid content.  

Bonus Personal Branding Tips

About the Author

Hi, I'm Justin and I write Brand Credential.

I started Brand Credential as a resource to help share expertise from my 10-year brand building journey.

I currently serve as the VP of Marketing for a tech company where I oversee all go-to-market functions. Throughout my career I've helped companies scale revenue to millions of dollars, helped executives build personal brands, and created hundreds of pieces of content since starting to write online in 2012.

As always, thank you so much for reading. If you’d like more personal branding and marketing tips, here are more ways I can help in the meantime:

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