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Create a Personal Brand

By April 29, 2020No Comments

Creating a Personal Brand

Branding is the process of creating identity for a company, item, or person that is unique and identifiable.  The brand can be identified by a symbol such as the Nike swoosh or the apple of Apple Corporation.  The brand can also be identified by an attribute such as quality or exclusiveness.  Cartier Jewelry Company which is synonymous with high end products and an exclusive shopping experience.

In the past creating a brand has been an expensive proposition if the brand is to be national or international in scope.  Extensive advertising and promotional dollars are committed to this exercise. At the local level a brand can be developed by word of mouth advertising or local promotions.  Small businesses thrive on this type of branding and spend a great deal of time and energy creating the look and feel which brings people back to their store.

With the advent of social media, the cost of creating brand awareness has been reduced but so have the impediments to who or what can be branded.

This is what personal branding is all about. Simply put, personal branding is how you promote yourself and your skills. It is about shaping the way you are perceived by other people, based on certain qualities, skill sets, personalities, and experiences, and successfully maintaining that perception. When people think about your brand, these qualities and experiences are what they will associate you with.

 

Why do you need a personal brand?

Initially, only corporations and huge brands were thought to be able to benefit from the power of branding, but this has proven to be nothing but a common misconception. Today, any individual can benefit from branding. Whether you are an employee in a corporate, a business owner, a creative, or an influencer, you can harness the power of personal branding and use it to your advantage.

The essential truth about personal brand is that everybody has one.  The question is how you ensure the brand is what you want it to be and do you maintain the brand in all your actions and interactions with people. Much like how Nike is a brand that is associated with fitness and strength, your personal branding will decide what others associate with you. The best part is that you get to decide what these associations are, because you are the only one that is in charge of your brand.

Let us assume that you are a performance coach whose style of coaching is distinctive because of your holistic and hands-on approach. You want the people you are coaching to grow and learn from real-life experiences, and you guide them as such. This could be your personal branding as a professional – you are someone who is determined to help others be the best version of themselves through practical thinking. When other people think about you or talk about you, this is what their talking points will mainly consist of. This is how they perceive you, and hence, this is your personal brand.

Or let’s consider the scenario where you are one of ten middle managers looking for advancement.  How do you distinguish yourself from the others?  What is your brand?  Do you take action every day to reinforce the brand? Are you consistent in how you project yourself each day?

Personal branding has become a critical tool for anyone who wants to build their network and advance their career. Branding controls perception, which means that it helps shape our reality to some degree. This is why it is so important. At its core, personal branding is all about using our strengths and playing them to our advantage.

 

Tips for creating a personal brand

Now that you have an understanding of what personal branding is, how it works, and why it is so important in today’s world, the next topic for discussion is how you can build a personal brand. So what are the factors to consider when creating a personal brand?

 

  • Clearly define your focus

One of the most common mistakes that individuals make is failing to have a clear focus while building your brand. Instead of trying to be everything for everyone, work on becoming ‘that thing’ for a certain group of people. These people are usually those who are interested in your field or those who are working in your area of expertise.

It is important to define your focus in terms of who you want to reach (your audience) and what you want to communicate (your message).

  • Make sure your brand tells a story

The best way to reach people and capture their minds is through effective storytelling, and that is exactly what building your personal brand should be about. Your brand should not simply be a list of your strengths and skill sets. This is not what successful personal branding looks like.

Instead, you should be building a narrative with your brand. By creating a story around your personal brand, people will be interested in engaging with it. For example, Oprah Winfrey’s brand is all about how she battled the biggest hurdles life could throw at her, overcome them all, and become a billionaire, all the while never missing out on helping other people.

  • Be as authentic as possible

It is important to be authentic and genuine in your branding. Instead of making up a false narrative and associating yourself with qualities that you do not possess, make sure that your real-life qualities and experiences are translated into your brand.

People can quickly and easily tell when you are not sincere and faking it. Disingenuity is your biggest enemy while building your personal brand because then, it is merely a façade and not something that is true and real.

  • Consistency in everything you do

An important tip to keep in mind is to be consistent. You need to make sure that the message and promise of your personal brand remain consistent throughout, whether on online or offline channels.

This means that you will have to ensure that the content that you put out, your communication, your appearance, your gravitas, and your themes remain consistent every single time. Do not make the mistake of underestimating the effect of tiny inconsistencies in brand communication.

  • No separation between your brand and actual lifestyle

If your personal brand is genuine and authentic, as well as a true reflection of who you are as an individual, then actually living your brand should not be an issue. By making sure that there is no separation between your personal brand and your actual lifestyle and ideologies, it becomes much easier for you to maintain other people’s perception of you.

This means that it is important to make your personal brand not only about your career but also about your personal beliefs and ideals, such as giving back to your community.

 

One of the most effective PR tools for your personal brand is word-of-mouth. Once you have built your brand, you need to maintain it, and this is all about ensuring that people tell your story the right way. After all, personal branding is what people say about you when you are not in the room.

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Sources:

https://marketinginsidergroup.com/social-media/personal-branding-why-now-is-the-time-to-build-your-personal-brand/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/goldiechan/2018/11/08/10-golden-rules-personal-branding/#77d07fbb58a7