5 Levels of Brand Visibility and How to Go to the Next Level in 2024

I bet “better brand recognition” is already on your list of New Year resolutions. That’s if you are a crazy-driven entrepreneur with workaholism tendencies and a mission bigger than yourself, like me.

And if you are of that kind, you already know any growth journey starts with honestly admitting where you are: get on the scale to note down your current weight, check your savings account, and see how much you’ve managed to put away already. 

How do you assess the status of your personal brand? 

I’ve been using the 5 levels of visibility with my clients and today I would like to share it with you. As you read on, try to apply it to your brand. Which level are you at right now? Consider it your roadmap on the journey of building a personal brand.

 Because the world of online visibility is busy and might feel overwhelming at times. My clients say that just admitting their current state at one of the levels provides them with much-needed clarity in choosing the strategy.

Level 1: The Inner Circle

At this foundational level, your brand is known only by your close circle – friends and family. For instance, consider my therapist, who, despite his skills, remains a non-public figure. 

His services are valued but not widely known beyond personal connections. He only offers one on one work. 100% of his clients come from referrals by friends or previous clients. 

Important note if you find yourself at level 1: this is a great place to be. For someone, it would be just the beginning of your journey. For others, my therapist included, it is already the destination. 

You don’t have to be building a personal brand to earn money in the expert economy. But if you have ambitions to grow bigger, doing so would certainly help you to increase your revenue. 

Elevating from Level 1 to 2: The key here is to start establishing an online presence. This can be achieved through consistent content creation on social media or building an email list (yes, even if you are just starting with a newsletter to 15-20 people who’ve you interacted with personally). 

Focus on sharing your expertise and insights that resonate with a broader audience beyond your immediate circle.

Level 2: Online Recognition

At this stage, you begin to attract online followers in the area of your expertise. A good benchmark is if people you don’t personally know follow you. That means they are here for your expertise and the energy you share. 

Your following does not have to be huge to transition to the second stage. For example, a therapist or life coach who begins regularly posting online starts to build a professional audience.

Important note: don’t skip the stages. If you’ve never acquired a client through referrals, it would be twice as hard to get one through online content.

Elevating from Level 2 to 3: The focus should be on expanding your online presence through borrowing audiences. Once you have an engaged audience (even if it’s a small engaged audience) you can start sharing your content outside of your own channels: become a guest on podcasts, give talks in masterminds, and collaborate with other people in your niche. Quality outreach is your friend.

“A brand is not a product or a promise or a feeling. It’s the sum of all the experiences you have with a company.” – Amir Kassaei

Level 3: Niche Authority

At this stage, you’re known within your niche. This is where strategic collaborations and guest appearances on podcasts become vital. These platforms allow you to showcase your expertise to a broader audience.

Important note: keep nursing your own audience. One podcast episode doesn’t only provide exposure to 1k-10k new people, it gives you up to 20 short videos to share with your existing followers!

Elevating from Level 3 to 4: Start positioning yourself as a thought leader. This involves not just participating in podcasts and collaborations but also initiating them. 

Hosting webinars, writing articles in industry publications, and speaking at conferences can significantly boost your visibility. Many experts publish a book to take them to the next stage.

Level 4: Industry Recognition

Individuals at this level are well-known within the industry. They often have published books, founded their own certification programs, and appeared in major media outlets. For instance, my former client Marisa Peer fits this description perfectly.

Important note: media features alone won’t make you an overnight success. It’s how you use them in your marketing that’s crucial.

Elevating from Level 4 to 5: To reach household name status, you need to amplify your presence. This involves writing more books, participating in high-profile collaborations, and possibly even venturing into new forms of media like television or mainstream online platforms.

Level 5: Household Name

The pinnacle of personal brand visibility is becoming a household name. This level brings widespread recognition and influence. Often, the list of brand topics goes very wide: we want to know everything about celebrities! 

Not many people care about my morning routine if I run a small business, but if I’ve achieved a great level of recognition, people want to know everything: from what you read, to where you dress and which coffee brand you choose in the morning. 

Brené Brown, for example, transformed from a professor to a globally recognized star.

In the journey of personal branding, every step forward reflects your passion, persistence, and authenticity. Whether you’re stepping out of the comfort zone of Level 1 or aiming for the pinnacle of Level 5, your path is a testament to your desire to make a meaningful impact.

Building a personal brand transcends mere recognition; it’s about inspiring others with your story, expertise, and vision. Celebrate your progress, face upcoming challenges with courage, and let your brand be a beacon of inspiration.

Aim not just for recognition but to be a voice that matters, a heart that inspires, and a force for positive change. Your brand isn’t just a name; it’s a legacy you’re building. How will you shape yours?

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