Bronwynne tells us about how to build a personal brand on Social Media
If you’re looking for someone to help you build your personal or corporate brand on social media, look no further than Bronwynne Wiehl. Her strategic approach to brand building is grounded in sound principles that empower her clients to build their brands over time. Centralising audience understanding & insight to build meaningful conversations. Brownie’s approach is refreshing and not gimmicky, here’s what she had to say.
DOM: You coach people to build community on the social media platforms, tell us what that means
Bronwynne:It’s a myth that the more followers you have on social media, the more successful you are. We really need to stop chasing those metrics. A community is more engaged and connected than a following.
When you build a community, you’re creating a space where people can interact with you and with each other. This fosters a sense of belonging and loyalty among your followers, and it can also help build trust and credibility for your business.
Engagement is essential because it leads to more conversations, conversions, and customer loyalty. I don’t want to work with strangers every day. I built my business to make a difference so I get joy in being part of that within my community.
DOM: What do your clients need to consider when they grow their following?
Bronwynne: To be completely obsessed with understanding your audience and what problems you help them solve.
If you don’t get this right, everything else on social media becomes that much harder. You will eventually burn out and become incredibly frustrated with a ‘spray ‘n pray’ approach to content creation.
The more you understand why people will stop to engage with your content, the faster you will grow.
DOM: Every New Year, you generously share a calendar of special days of commemoration with your LinkedIn community what informed that?
Bronwynne: I actually share this calendar of special days every month. It’s jam-packed with over 100 days or events and is meant to spark content ideas. If you scroll through the list and pick just three days or themes, you are able to come up with some awesome content to create.
My aim is to share the calendar to help with content creation which can sometimes be hard, even for me, with all the noise on the platforms.
DOM: You had a long corporate career and moved into entrepreneurship, what triggered the move?
Bronwynne: After 20 years in corporate, I found I had outgrown the politics, the bureaucracy and the culture.
It didn’t feel like I was fulfilled in my job and I kept on applying for different roles. When I look back now, I realise that the problem was me. I needed to move on and find my purpose again.
Entrepreneurship is all about helping others solve problems and I finally found myself again by starting my own business and doing just that.
DOM: What don’t we know about entrepreneurship especially linked to hustle culture?
Bronwynne: I drowned myself in the teachings of Gary Vaynerchuk (aka GaryVee) when I first left corporate.
I thought in order to be a successful entrepreneur that I needed to work harder than ever & even work weekends; that hustling would be part of my life forever. I slowly learned that I didn’t leave my 9-5 job in corporate to work 24/7.
Being a successful entrepreneur starts with understanding your value & your worth. You cannot compare the two worlds. There are pros and cons to corporate but a completely different lifestyle as an entrepreneur. You must decide which makes you happiest. There is a time and a place for both.
I now follow the example of Greg McKeown and his Essentialism teaching. If something doesn’t make me money or grow me as a person, brand or businesswoman, I must move on. This has helped me to prioritise a lot.
DOM: What’s your proudest achievement?
Bronwynne: Overcoming my fear of public speaking.
Most people don’t realise that I used to go to a psychologist to help with my fear of public speaking. It was crippling. But showing my face on social media, making videos and confidently speaking like a CEO once I knew what people needed from me was a game changer.
Once I mastered this skill, my business took off.
It is an essential part of growing your personal brand on social media. It helped me to build trust and connect with people.
DOM: What would you like people to know about growing a personal brand?
Bronwynne: It takes time.
It doesn’t happen overnight. In my case, it took 4 years to rebuild my brand from corporate marketer to solopreneur.
Start today! And do it with intent. Ask yourself:
- “What do I want to be known for?
- What must people say about me?
- What must they come to me for?”
And then start demonstrating those things publicly. If you don’t know the answers to these questions, then how do others know? They will make up their minds on their own, so rather build the brand you desire.
DOM: When did you first fall in love with marketing?
Bronwynne:I studied Librarianship.
So when I first started in the Marketing department of Standard Bank I was overwhelmed with all the research and insights that went into customers, brands, products.
The data around targeting and understanding people was insane. It has stuck with me since then and even now, I know that people take centre stage and that you must focus on their needs first.
DOM: What do you love about marketing?
Bronwynne: There is so much to love! ❤️ And marketing is a huge area.
You’ve got brand, sponsorships, digital, research, advertising. It’s how all these areas work together to convey a message and make you feel emotion.
The ability to change perception. The people you work with are some of the most creative people you will ever meet. Surrounding yourself with how they think can be so inspirational. Just think of the annual Cannes awards and the brilliant work that is produced. Incredible!
DOM: What do you hate about marketing?
Bronwynne: That it still interrupts people’s lives.😒
The online banners popping up on websites, the spam emails, the billboard pollution and all the sponsored ads scattered in between Instagram posts.
I can’t wait to click that Skip button on a YouTube video. Will this ever change?
DOM: If you had to give someone marketing career advice, what would you say?
Bronwynne: Don’t stop learning.
Push yourself out of your comfort zone constantly.
Don’t stay in one organisation for too long. The world changes so quickly.
Make sure you’re also changing to meet the needs of employers and people. And please build your personal brand stronger than your title. You are more than your title at work or the organisation you work for. Practice introducing yourself to people without mentioning your job title.
DOM: What’s your marketing outlook for the rest of 2023?
Bronwynne: To stay ahead of AI tools for social media, if that’s even possible.
I remind myself that the machines still cannot do what I do (yet). They cannot tell my story. They cannot make people feel emotions the way I can.
I need to continue doing what I do but also teach others how to become storytellers too.
DOM: How can people connect with you?
Bronwynne: If you Google my name, you’ll find me. This is always one of my top tips to clients, “What must people find about you when they Google your name?”
Otherwise it’s Bronwynne@conversationstation.co.za.
By weaving compelling stories narrative into your brand messaging, you can capture your audiences attention and build build an emotional connection that goes beyond just product features and benefits.
Marketing is an art and a science. The art is the creative aspect of the profession and how it constantly stretches me to think differently and do differently. The science is applying customer data, insights, and market trends to marketing campaigns to remain relevant and top of mind with our target audience.