Creating a Personal Brand: The How, The Why
Increasing competition for talent and a more brand-centric culture have driven the emergence of personal branding. As well as helping people tell their unique stories and differentiate themselves, personal branding is a critical part of business development today.
What is personal branding?
Personal branding is all about how an individual presents themself to to the world. The unique qualities, skills, experiences, behaviours, and identities they possess are branded in ways that encourage people to connect with them, work with them, or stay in touch with them.
Everyone who engages in online activity has developed some form of personal brand. Social media, websites, blogs, and videos, along with our digital portfolios, blog posts, and videos, all shape our image, identity, and perception. People can, in effect, shape the way the world perceives them through their brands.
Whether you’re an established entrepreneur looking to further your career, a self-starter looking to learn new skills, or a self-employed creative looking to showcase your work – the space is yours for the taking when it comes to personal branding.
How to build a personal brand
Branding yourself is a real investment, but how do you get started?
- Identify your target audience
First things first, you need to identify who you are speaking to. Trying to appeal to everyone is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when building a personal brand. The truth is that not everyone is a good fit for your business.
Take a deep dive into your target demographic’s world to create a customer profile; who are they, what do they like, dislike, and what motivates them? Once you’ve discovered the answers to these questions, you can work on building a brand image that is attractive to them, and forge long-lasting connections.
- Describe who you are and what you stand for
The key to personal branding is highlighting and communicating your unique strengths, not building an entirely new identity for yourself. You don’t want to position yourself as someone you are not. Instead, you want to strategically showcase who you are, and the first step towards achieving this is defining your goals, values and personality.
Start by asking yourself a few questions. What kind of personality do you have? What is your core offering? What distinguishes you from your competitors and what do you offer that they don’t?
- Your story is unique, so tell it
Ultimately, people want to work with like-minded people. The purpose of personal branding is to show others what motivates you, including your personality, opinion, work, skill set, and quirks. Consider writing a blog post or creating a video to explain what makes you tick, why you’re doing what you’re doing, what you’ve learned, what inspires you, and what you have to offer. Identify your niche and pursue it. A professional who specialises in solving a specific problem is more likely to be contacted by companies, clients and recruiters than a generalist.
- Take control of your space, digitally
An online presence is essential for every personal brand. It’s important to define your personal platforms and make sure they’re compatible with the audience you’re trying to reach, whether you use social media, blog regularly, or have a well-built website.
You should optimise your website with an about you section, social media links, your value proposition, previous experience, and everything else relevant to your brand. The first impression you make on your website is crucial, and it’s imperative that your target audience understands who you are and how you can help them.
Be active on social media, whatever you do. Make use of LinkedIn for networking, Twitter for sharing content, or Instagram for showing off your work – your personal brand will grow organically this way.
- Establish your brand assets
A brand’s visual assets can boost its reputation, generate emotions, and shape perceptions among target audiences. Logos, colours, images, messaging, tone of voice, social media banners, and typography should all reinforce your brand consistently. In truth, your personal brand depends on them.
As with company branding, building a strong personal brand is all about consistency – so make sure that your brand assets are consistent across all brand touchpoints.
What are the benefits of personal branding?
Investing time in cultivating your personal brand will benefit you and your customers in several ways. It can help to:
- Differentiate you from your competitors.
- Boost recognition, respect and authenticity.
- Increase your reach and audience.
- Forge long-lasting relationships and build brand loyalty.
- Establish trust and credibility.
- Increase your digital presence.
- Attract exciting opportunities.
- Develop partnerships with like-minded individuals.
- Hone your personal niche.
- Start your business or consolidate your success.
- Develop a strategy for moving forward.
Regardless of where you are on your personal branding journey, we can help
The process of building your personal brand can be time-consuming as a professional. However, the importance of personal branding can’t be overstated in today’s competitive business environment.
With a wealth of experience in helping professionals and businesses develop, polish, and redefine their brand identities, we’d love to help you too.
Please email email@example.com today if you would like to discuss personal branding strategies.