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Growth Hack Your Personal Brand: 20 Tactics That Will Change Everything

Video Summary

Some of you reading this run companies worth millions, and you have 200 followers on Twitter, googling you brings up nothing, and if your LinkedIn page is the best place to find out what you stand for, something has gone wrong. At the same time, you want to focus on building and selling product (The right thing to do). This session from renowned growth hacker Vincent Dignan will see him turn his legendary tactics to enable anyone to grow their personal brand in an efficient, agile manner. You will leave this session with everything you need to boost your personal brand overnight.


If you're a founder or entrepreneur who wants to use growth hacking (innovative marketing) techniques to get huge results, connect with me on here and let's talk.

I teach people how to use the internet to improve their lives.

I'm generally known as a growth hacker. I have helped drive millions of users, visitors, and dollars in revenue. My focus is on mentoring/coaching others right now.

My first book is out now on Indiegogo, and has raised over $100,000 in pre-orders. It is a play-by-play book on how to growth hack- Get it here: Http://bit.ly/INDIEGO

I’m a creative entrepreneur with one foot in both the creative and business worlds.

On the creative side, I’m a prolific blogger, and am building my brand both offline and online, having appeared in publications like Fortune (which featured him recently), The New Statesman, Wired, Vice, TechCrunch, Inc., and many more. I am the cover star of, and guest-edited, the February 2016 issue of “Disrupts” in London UK, and the October 2016 cover of Millennial Magazine.

I recently completed a 100-date speaking tour around the world, speaking in 30 different cities in eight different countries.

I founded the online magazines Planet Ivy & screenrobot.com, which received nearly 20 million pageviews with zero marketing spend, while content I have overseen for other clients has received over 150 million page views. My current online magazine is a Facebook group, Traffic and Copy, which has daily engagement and contributions from thousands of businesspeople. I write regularly for prestigious publications like The Huffington Post.

On the business side, my company, Magnific, beat 1500+ other startups to be accepted into prestigious accelerator Techstars London, and I currently help founders, coaches, consultants, and marketers increase their traffic through innovative methods. If you want some secret sauce, message me!

I also famously hijacked the #SXSW hashtag and got 1,700 people to attend an event at SXSW 2015

What you will learn?

  • Understand what the 10 rules of personal branding are
  • Know what tools you need to grow your personal brand
  • Learn tactics that would help you widen your personal brand’s reach

Vincent Dignan:
Alright, I’m back here. How are you doing? Bernie gave me 15 minutes and I normally do this in one hour. So I’m going to talk very fast so you’re probably going to need to write my email down to get all the slides because you’re going to want them. This is my email, vin@vinclancy.com. Let’s begin.

Four years ago, I was on welfare living off the government. I was living off a hundred dollars per week. And I did not know what I would do next. So I decided to start a technology company. So I thought online magazines where the cool thing in 2012. So I started Planet Ivy. It was an online magazine written by and for young people. Within six months, we had 300,000 visitors a month. Within one year, we had a million visitors a month. So I realized that in order to grow a personal brand, you had to have a lot of traffic. Once you have the traffic you can do anything with that. After Planet Ivy, launched a second site, Screen Robot, that got to a million visitors a month within a hundred days. I got into the techstars accelerator. I started my own conference company, Secret Sauce Conference. I’ve mentioned this talk won best talk at South by Southwest B2B. I’ve been a digital marketing teacher for General Assembly. I’ve been featured in Vice, New Statesman, Wired, Inc. and TechCrunch.

So a lot can happen if you understand how to get traffic, if you understand how to build a personal brand. I run a marketing growth hacking agency. So we train companies, we train founders, we get traffic to companies. We convert their traffic. This is me with Tony Hawk the skateboarder. I interviewed him at web summit in Dublin. And I crowdsourced my questions and someone asked, “When you were skateboarding and you had your five-year-old kid under your arm, would you ever have dropped them?” So I asked him that question. He said no and then he walked off and I never crowdsourced my questions again. This is me with Prince Andrew, sixth in line to the royal family. I worked with him in London with his team’s at a picture palace competition. He invited me to Saint James’s Palace where I met his daughter, Princess Beatrice. She is the seventh in line to the throne. I told her what I was working on. She asked me a few questions. I gave her my business card, but she has not emailed me ever. This is me on the cover of Disrupts magazine. This is a recent feature in Fortune that I was the millennial who went from welfare to a six-figure income.

So there’s a lot that can happen very quickly if you understand the power of building a personal brand. I did the world’s biggest tribute for our fallen hero, Harambe the gorilla last year as well, launching a Kickstarter. And so I teach people how to stand out. And I use that through growth hacking techniques in order to accelerate that. I’m on a 100-date world tour right now. So I’ve spoken to likes of New York, Utah, Utah where the Mormons and Mitt Romney are, I have been all over Europe and North America. I have spoken in Germany, but they would not laugh at any of my jokes. No matter what I did. I’m from London, England. My book Secret Sauce, A Step-by-Step Guide to Growth Hacking made $100,000 in pre-orders. So in the next twelve and a half minutes, I’m going to teach you everything you need to know about growing a personal brand.

But before I do, I want to find out what you do. So can everyone stand for 10 seconds? And I need to understand what you guys do. So please stand and then on the count of three, I want to hear what you guys do for a living. So just like all shout it out. So after three one, two, three. No, I don’t understand. Sorry, sit down, that didn’t work.

So you guys, I totally fucked. It’s really hard to build a personal brand especially in the noisy environment we’re in, but don’t get angry, tool up and go to war.

So personal branding equation: vanity plus value minus time spent equals good personal branding. If you have 5000 followers, you look impressive. If someone Googles you and you’re on Inc. and Huffington Post and so on, that looks good. But you have to give value and you don’t spend too much time on it. You should always just be building your product and selling.

10 Rules of Personal Branding
So first, you remember that no one cares about you. Believe me. No one is looking at your Twitter feed going, “I can’t believe they sent the same tweet twice in one day. Who the hell do they think they are?” No one cares about you by that. I mean you can be very aggressive and no one will push back.

People only care about what you can give to or can do for them. So when you’re talking about yourself too much, that doesn’t work.

Be everywhere, but choose text, video, or photo and get amazing at one of them. When you get to an expert level, you can turn your text posts into video posts, into audio posts, into other posts. Content is key. So for our Secret Sauce, rather than pulling their first name and just saying hello, we would write people emails like, “Hello Tim, you hot little sugar muffin.” And that increases the response rate by adding humor. So there’s lots of different touch points. You can add humor. So in App Store updates, my friends, but here’s what’s in the latest version of our app. More ads. We’ve crammed hundreds of ads in here as we know how much you love them. They also wrote their emails backwards so every single word in this emails backwards. So it’s really hard to get through because of that. It works. There’s loads of different places you can put great copy. Terms of service, text message reminders, abandoned cart emails. This all gives your company character.

Use influencers, but don’t rely on them. If you’re hoping for a big press launch and it doesn’t happen, your company is dead on arrival. So hope to get the influencers or big PR companies that are going to shout you out. But if it doesn’t happen, you need to have an organic community behind that and then whatever you do will not fail. Ninja Outreach will help you find influences. You just write in your niche and what platform and you can contact them through Ninja Outreach by finding their email. On a little care, if you do write your content, copy and paste it in, and then you can find the influencers who have used those keywords recently. This is the equation for finding great influencers. So it’s to do with the number of likes and comments and followers. If you email me for slides, I will send you this.

So building a brand is 10% content 90% distribution. So it doesn’t matter how good your content is if you don’t have that distribution. People focus so much on what it looks like. It rarely works. This is a tweet from Harry Styles of One Direction. His first tweet of 2015, just one word, “Burger.” 215,000 retweets. That is not great content, but his distribution engine is amazing. So it’s better to have great distribution and okay content, than great content with okay distribution.

One in five good post is all you need for people to think of you as good content creators. People like, I’m scared of pushing this, Tim Ferriss had a breakthrough when his mentor said, I want you to write to shitty pages every day and publish them. It was the only way Tim Ferriss could publish regularly and it made him a better writer. So if you think it’s not good enough, just push it out. You’ll get better over time.

Copy until you develop your own style.

Never say no to public appearances.

If you’re building a personal brand and scale worldwide as soon as possible using Twitter and EventBrite.
Be vulnerable. Say what people are really feeling and this works better the more serious your niche is. So if it’s a serious business niche and you talk about how corrupt it is, you’re going to go really far in your prospects’ eyes.
Your personal Facebook needs to be your public Facebook. This is where people get to know, like and trust you. So when you are selling something, they already will pick you over others. Twitter is normally the first they will click on when they Google you. So you have to have a good Google Twitter presence. LinkedIn for older people. A place for content. WordPress, Medium for text. Instagram, Tumblr for pictures. YouTube or Periscope for video.

Social Media and Other Tools for Personal Branding

Social media. The conspiracy is we tell you that you need couldn’t contain good content. The reason we tell you that, you try it, it doesn’t work. And then you hire us and give us lots of money. It’s all a big scam. Social media is about being aggressive and growing as fast as possible on top of having great content.

Another problem people talking about themselves too much. People don’t care about your alcohol Fridays or office selfies. I’m going to say something a little controversial here. Sometimes it goes down well, sometimes it don’t. If you’re not good-looking, no pictures of the founding team. It’s just not good content, other people won’t enjoy it. Sorry.

So scraping content from one platform to another is a great way of getting traction. I found this on Facebook and brought it across to Twitter and I was one of the first to do so. And so many people retweeted it in the first hour that my name started trending in London and Australia. So if you can’t come up with content, it’s a good idea to just take it.

Another way of getting ahead is to screen grab because not a lot of people understand. Most people on Twitter are unemployed. So they wait for a famous person to tweet then they want to get that first snarky response. So this, there was a telecoms company with famously bad customer service in the UK called Talk Talk and they got hacked, and the newsreader tweeted breaking news, Talk Talk has received a ransom demand. And someone replied they could be hanging on for hours for a response if it’s Talk Talk. So I screen grab, that 50 retweets in the first five minutes, really easy to do.

So another part of your personal brand strategy should be ruzzit.com. This is a viral content aggregator. This is where you can find everything that’s trending and whether you want links, pictures or videos, you just put in your keyword and you’ll find it. So go here once a day, find what’s trending and then talk about that with your niche.
This is snip.ly. When you are sharing a link to someone else’s content, you can have a pop up to your site or it can grab your email. So it’s another way of getting value.

Instagram is loosely speaking the best place to build your personal brand on. Follow all the people who follow your competitors is one of the most basic strategies and then unfollow until they follow back. You probably know that strategy. It works till about 10 K. Then you need to stop and start using shout out groups.

Memes if you don’t know what to put on Instagram works. This is one of my favorites. This lady has her dog in the front seat and husband in the backseat. The things that this will work because lots of other people understand them. My dream, a hot girl, my reality, a fat cat. Everyone can relate to having that dream. If you post memes, you’re going to get engagement. It’s really a simple as that. So if your niche is food, when you’re trying to make take your roommate’s food without them noticing, slice something off. Another one of my favorite memes of the past year. Me before dinner, me after dinner. Single, taken or hungry. And when you find that perfect avocado in the supermarket. The memes work really well because everyone could get through them. You know, you need to slow down all the carbs, me. Why, look at the size of him. Yeah, me before I leave, after, you get the idea.

You can put up to 30 hashtags on Instagram posts and they’ll all rank and hashtags still work. I’ve hired someone to grow my hashtags on my account. And just through hashtags alone we’re up to 300 new followers a day, no follow unfollow. They do still work, but it takes time to find out how to use them. Girls have all the power on Instagram. Use audience to scrape their bios to find what they’re talking about and then reach out to them to become your super influencers. Anything about your product that looks cool. I know building a personal brand needs Instagram.
If you’re building a community, Facebook groups are the best place to do it. So Traffic and Copy is my group. It’s a marketing and growth hacking group where we talk about copyrighting and growth hacking techniques that work. But this has almost become my full-time job. So it’s an amazing place to capture attention.

So this is the Facebook newsfeed. So this is the basic parts of what works and what doesn’t work. The first part is interest. Are you interesting?

Vincent Dignan:
Okay, that’s good. So if you get a lot of engagement, do those posts more. If you don’t, you need to switch it up. The more you get likes, shares and comments, the more Facebook shows your posts to other people. Live video gets shown to the most people. So use that. External links are shown to the least, so never use those.

Content for Personal Branding

The next part of your personal branding strategy should be content. There are only three things people will ever spend money on. Get laid, get paid, lose weight. So whatever you’re selling or talking about needs to fit into one of these categories.

Outreach is everything for the first five years. You’ve got to follow and reach out to people daily. Ask to guest blog, book your own talks and build your network. Finding your Blue Ocean strategy that sets you apart. I wish I could tell you the secret sauce, really all it is is having your ass in the chair. There’s just no other way to find it.

So when you’re trying to get public speaking gigs, message people, I’d love to come and give a talk at your event. I have a massive network I can invite. Just say that, they never check. Say the same thing to everyone and you’ll start booking public talks. This is charlieapp, type in anyone’s email address and you’ll find all the public information about them. So if I wanted to speak to a famous internet marketer, I might say, hey we should go in and buy the New York Jets together, but I don’t really like the New York Jets. I just found out he did by looking his email in here. So when you can find this stuff you can reverse-engineer anything. Also this works for your Tinder dates. You get the date then you say can I send you an event invite, and then you have this and then, you know more about them and then they like you more, or so I’ve heard. This is Email Hunter, type in anyone’s web address and you find all the public email addresses of people who work at that company. So it could be a newspaper or a magazine you want to write for.

Discover.ly, go to anyone’s LinkedIn profile and it shows you all the Facebook friends you have in common so that you can get warm intros to grow your brand. This is hellobar, put this on your website and it will help capture emails really easily. SumoMe has a pop-up if someone’s looking at something and they’re going to leave your site. You can say 10% off anything in store or let me send you my free ebook if it’s decent. This is Rebump, generally you’re lower in the power balance when you start your own company, so with Rebump, if you email someone and they don’t reply, Rebump or email them every four days forever. So you will get a reply.

Reaction gifs is how I find gifts for my emails and I am close to finishing.

So yeah, I am launching a course for how to grow your personal brand, how to create lead magnets, how to become a copywriter, how to grow your Facebook group. So if anyone wants more information on that, growthclub.us/hellyes is my next personal branding and lead generation course. Also, if you email me for slides, I’m going to send all of this across. So I’m here in New York until this weekend. So if anyone wants to party tonight or tomorrow night, I’m here for a good time, not a long time.

So as we draw to a close, I want everyone to stand one more time, please. Earlier, I asked you what you did and I could not have any idea of what you actually did because I couldn’t hear you. But now I want to tell you that you are all personal brands. So I want you to repeat, I am a personal brand after 3. 1, 2, 3.

Guys, that was not good enough. In Canada last week, they kicked your ass. One more time. One, two, three.
Come on, one more time for Growth Marketing Conference. 1, 2, 3.

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