A personal brand is the unique combination of skills that affects how people view and respond to you and helps establish trust in your audience.
Branding is a crucial aspect of success and is a common subject in entrepreneurship. It is a common concept for a business to build a brand for itself. We’re pretty sure you have already thought about your business’ brand. But what are your thoughts about creating a personal brand? In this article, you will learn about what personal branding is and how you can make the most out of it for your business.
What is Personal Branding?
Personal branding is the careful process of establishing a persona that is uniquely “YOU”. It is every detail that is attributed to you that would separate you from the rest.
Just like how businesses communicate their values through their brands, a personal brand is an image that you specifically cultivate for a target audience. It is the collection of values, ideals, and principles that sums up your character and what you want other people to perceive about you.
A personal brand naturally exists whether or not you are aware of it. Every time that you create a social media post, for example, you unknowingly reveal some aspects of your personality that are distinct in all of your content. It is somewhat a personal style that shows up in most of your posts.
This goes without saying that you have the choice to actively build your brand in order to have full control over it. Instead of having people form their own beliefs about what you stand for, you can actually mold your own personal brand so you get to control the flow of the narrative. In return, you are able to use your personal brand to build a solid identity for your business brand.
What Qualifies Someone to Have a Personal Brand?
With all the buzz of building a personal brand, when do you know if it is time for you to have one? What makes you qualified to create a personal brand?
In today’s world, your reputation whether as a businessman, a marketer, or a private individual is important both online and offline. It is essential to start thinking about personal branding if you want to be more impactful to other people. A personal brand is one of the ways to gain advancement as a professional.
You see, building a personal brand is like owning up to your strengths and harnessing them to enable you to achieve success. Not having one will hold your progress back because you yourself are not conscious of what you can do.
Many large companies are great even without their owners having a strong personal brand. But if you want people to engage with you, empathize with you, and understand what makes you tick, then personal branding becomes a necessity.
5 Key Elements of an Effective Personal Brand
People like to be with people by nature, which is why when dealing with businesses, it is best to put your best foot forward by looking credible and authentic. In order to make people choose your brand, you must know how to be effective at building your personal brand.
Here are 5 key elements in building an effective personal brand:
Personal branding is almost the same as business branding, especially with the importance of being consistent. One of your goals is to leave a lasting impression that people can identify. This can be achieved by being consistent with the image that you want to portray. Aside from that, everything that is related to your branding must also align with your image. Your logo, for example, has to be used across all brand marketing materials. The tone of your social media branding content must support your ideals and the principles that you stand for.
When your words and actions align, that is when authenticity comes in. It is not something that you can force the audience to see as they can easily through you if you are forcing something that even you do not believe or approve of. Being genuinely authentic also makes it easier to come up with content because you only focus on issues that matter with your personal branding.
You can gain attention by providing exciting visuals or any content that interests your target audience. What makes them follow and get really interested in your brand is the quality of your content. You will have an engaged audience if they are able to trust your say in what you promote or propose to them. You need to be able to position yourself as the expert in the niche that you are in.
Remember the bit about consistency? One of the ways to do this is by actively promoting yourself to the audience. Being visible all the time builds familiarity with your brand. You do not even need to pay for promotions or advertisements if you are already doing it organically. There are endless ways to be visible, such as through consistent content marketing, community involvement, social engagement, and doing interviews.
When it comes to building a personal brand, it is essential to make the audience aware of your connections. Business-minded individuals believe that you are only as good as the people you surround yourself with. Reputation matters in any field and it would make a huge difference if the right people can vouch for you. Strengthen your trust signals by posting testimonials and peer reviews about doing business with you.
10 Tips on How to Establish Your Personal Brand
First off, let us be clear that it really does not take a very complicated formula to come up with a personal brand. Rather, the process is all about knowing who you are, what you stand for, and how you can make that radiate from you. It is about finding what your skills and strengths are then amplifying them for the world to see.
Make your efforts count and develop your personal brand with these ten tips:
1. Know who you are.
In order to be accurate with your branding, build a personal brand that reflects the true you. You need to make a list of your strengths and weaknesses. Figure out what motivates you and what other people see in you. You must become aware of all the different facets of your personality so that you can choose strategic branding methods to promote your personal brand.
2. Determine your competencies and flaws.
More than a reflection of who you are, your personal brand must instantly remind the audience about the skills and competencies that you have. You need to identify your distinct traits and skills so that you know what you can offer to others. This would also allow you to see which areas you need to focus on improving or gain more knowledge about so you can be better.
Along with your strengths, you must also know what your flaws are and do not be shy about them. Instead, gain the upper hand by working on your weaknesses. Find out any training or exercises that would help you fix your flaws. Be determined to get through these flaws not only for the audience but more for yourself. It is a great way to learn new things that would eventually make you more skillful and well-rounded in the industry.
3. Identify your audience.
Determine who you are trying to sell your personal brand to in order to craft the best narrative. You can better express your talents, skills, and expertise if you are aware of what your audience wants, where they are, and how they prefer to get hold of your services. It is like doing marketing research where you have to identify what the customer needs so you know what products and services to offer.
4. Do the research and follow the experts.
Replicate the success of thought leaders in your field by researching just about everything. Examine what they did to get to the top. Read their blogs or social media pages and take inventory of the qualities that you already have.
5. Request for informational interviews.
Consider reaching out to people that you admire in the industry and ask for informational interviews. You would be surprised just how generous they can be at giving aspiring individuals a little of their time. If you will be granted, take it as an opportunity to gain new insights that could also help you succeed in the same industry. Take note that while doing the interview, it is also a chance for you to build your brand and get noticed by influential people.
6. Craft an elevator pitch.
An elevator pitch is like a quick summary of your personal brand and what you are most skillful at. It is great to be prepared in case you get a chance to tell your story in less than a minute. Use it during casual conversations or where quick chats are allowed. Emphasize a few key points about your personal branding but be concise about it.
7. Master networking.
You need to effectively and regularly try to network with other people in order to grow your professional circle. Attend both formal and informal networking gatherings to meet with peers and connect with new ones. Do not be shy to ask for casual meetings after the events. This would add more value to your personal brand as it gets recognized by those who are within the industry.
8. Ask for recommendations.
One of the easiest and most effective branding strategies is having a current and former colleagues endorse you. Just like businesses thrive for reviews and testimonials, cultivating recommendations will definitely catch the eye of those who are interested in hiring you. Former managers are ideal but professors and the leaders of clubs and organizations you belong to are also perfect to ask for recommendations.
9. Develop a strong online presence.
With the popularity of social media, you have to ensure that you get to grow your online presence so that everybody can reach you across all platforms. Your targeted audience must know where to find you. Effectively craft your personal branding story and make sure to get it online. In doing so, remember to be creative with it.
Always try to offer the best visuals by having all the right tools. Take advantage of modern image processing apps, like a powerful background remover, to prepare the best images for content. Finding the best tools that will help you develop a strong online presence fast should be included in your brand strategy. With millions of people in the digital world, you need to be able to put your brand and your updates out there first and outshine your competition.
10. Wear your personal brand both online and offline.
Most people would think that personal branding is all about creating a squeaky clean online persona. This is true but you have to remember that in order to be effective and authentic, you need to walk the talk, not only online but also in real life or offline.
Reputation is everything so you need to uphold your principles at all times. Take every opportunity to emphasize your skills by volunteering for industry-related projects, leading projects, or even attending events where you can showcase your personal brand. The important thing is to interact with others for you to have the chance to define your brand.
Start Building Your Personal Brand Now!
Personal branding lets your target audience identify you as a unique personality in a sea of similar professionals. Your branding lets you stand out and will help you achieve both personal and career goals.
Building your personal brand might not be an easy task but is totally doable. Personal branding is all about becoming conscious of who you are and being able to naturally promote it to other people. The industry constantly changes and you need to adapt in order to grow. Consistency tremendously helps but intensive hard work and an open mind to learn every single day is actually the key to successfully creating a strong personal brand.
|Miguel Davao is a graduate of literature and linguistics and has been writing content for about 5 years now. He particularly writes content on social media, design, photo-editing tools, and content writing tips.|