A brand is a signifier, name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies a product or service. Brands exist to differentiate companies, organisations and even countries! This is why building a personal brand is so important.
Contrary to popular belief it’s not just companies that need a brand to identify themselves, people are walking, talking brands too.
The best way to explain what a personal brand is is to describe it as an expectation of an experience. Your personal brand tells people what they can expect of you, it’s your reputation and your legacy.
If you want to keep yourself competitive in the marketplace you need to create an authentic and credible brand and keep working on it all the time. Yes, all the time! Knowing who you are and what you can offer allows you to position yourself against others and this gives you a competitive advantage.
Define your brand
Begin with defining your current brand and then define where you would like to be. How are you known today and how would you like to be remembered? How do you want to live now to meet the future reputation you desire for yourself?
What’s your expertise?
How do you offer value? What are you passionate about? You need a clear and strong value proposition. People need to understand very clearly what value/service you will provide. Be transparent around your qualifications, skills and experience, this will allow you to be seen as trustworthy.
Know your audience
If you know your target audience then you are able to build influence. Promote yourself to an audience who will find you relevant and compelling. Who are the people looking for your skills and personality? Then meet them where they’re at.
What are your values, what do you believe in? How do you show up? Are you behaving consistently with your values? Personal branding is about the way your audience perceives you, it’s doesn’t matter what you think. Be more mindful of the way you are perceived.
Here are some great examples of personal branding according to Forbes.
Tell your story
Storytelling is incredibly powerful. There’s no better way to connect and relate to an audience while establishing credibility. Use the 3 Cs when telling your story:
- Character – who you are
- Conflict – this builds interest and intrigue, be vulnerable and share your breakthrough moment
- Conclusion – what you learned from your unique struggle
Amplify your brand
Building influence requires a strong and compelling brand. So where do you start?
Content marketing is how you provide valuable content to your audience. They say content is king and it really is. Make sure you provide buzz-worthy content. Know your message and stick to it. Consistency is key.
Here are a few channels you can use for self-promotion:
- Networking – meet your contacts where they are and stay in regular contact. Engage this network to get their support to get you where you want to go. Let other people help you with your branding. Part of strengthening your own brand is knowing other people in your field who already have strong brands. Interact with them on social media. Also, try to help and support other people with appropriate referrals and recommendations.
- Social media platforms – these are the best types of channels to express your values. Have a consistent brand presence on all platforms. The more likely you are to post the more likely to scale your engagement. Read our blog on everything you need to know on social media management here.
- Blogs – another excellent way to express your opinion on various topics. Try to impart your unique viewpoints, don’t simply copy other people’s advice, you are more likely to develop a significant readership, get quoted by others, and to be asked to do a talk on a particular. This brings me to talks.
- Talks – another platform to show your expertise but also to bolster your confidence because the more public speaking you do the better you will get at it.
So start slowly, be patient with yourself and learn as much as you can. Know that building and continually developing your personal brand doesn’t happen overnight. Soon you will find that building a personal brand is an integral part of attaining success in your career and your life.
Speak to us about your personal branding and how to hire your own virtual marketing team here.