Most industries and fields in the world are usually brimming with numerous individuals, but only a select few enjoy prominence and media attention. Does it mean that they are smarter than all their counterparts? Do they have more charisma than their peers? Well, most of these visible professionals who we applaud and who attract the top clients have mastered the art of personal branding.
What is a personal brand?
A personal brand refers to the impression or perception that people have of you. It could be based on the values that you embrace, your achievements, and your expertise. A personal brand is a colossal asset for anyone in any profession. It is what sets you apart from other people with similar qualifications.
What is personal branding?
Personal branding refers to the strategies that you put in place to establish a personal brand. Simply put, it is the intentional effort to communicate and showcase your values to the world. It involves utilizing tools and techniques to tell your story and present your values. As a professional in whichever field, personal branding is a requisite for a successful career. It is what gives you an edge over the competition.
So, what strategies can you employ to build a sturdy and recognizable personal brand?
1. Assess your skills and qualities – this will be the core of your brand
One of the most crucial steps in personal branding is assessing your skills honestly. It is necessary to be objective when analyzing your strengths and weaknesses. Make a list of the skills you possess and your proficiency in those skills. What skills are essential in your profession, and how good are you at those? Figuring out the answer here comes in handy as it will help you know which skills to prioritize your efforts. You can also do a personal brand audit to help assess and optimize branding, content, and communications. It will help give you reliable and relevant audience perception insights. You will know areas where you need some refreshers and what you need to reinforce to stay ahead of your competition.
2. Narrow down your area of expertise to find your differentiation
You are a professional at something. But the chances are that your field of expertise is broad. It is easier for you to rise above the rest of your peers if you have niche expertise. Specializing in a specific area in your profession is a sure way to stand out and grow a personal brand. If you are in an industry where it may be a challenge trying to specialize your services, you could consider giving a different angle of delivery. Ask yourself, what can I offer that is different? Or, how can I proffer similar products or services differently? Create a unique identity!
3. Establish an online presence on all online platforms
In this era of the internet, people quickly go on google and other social media platforms when looking for anything. You, therefore, cannot afford to lack an online presence. Your industry and area of the profession will determine which social media platform will benefit from more. For instance, if you lean more on the creative side and your area of interest is fashion, beauty, or photography, a visual platform like Instagram will be the place for you to establish a presence. For professional services and B2b stuff, LinkedIn is your ideal platform. For general consumerism, entry-level consulting and advisory services, as well as for B2C sales, Facebook is an excellent choice.
With whichever platform you select, you need to ensure that your content captures your essence and unique aspects. You could also consider publishing relevant content that is related to your industry. Not only will it help your ranking with search engines, but it will also establish you as a force in your field. Having a personal website is essential when creating an online presence since it gives you a platform to showcase your services and achievements and contact information.
4. Start networking with relevant people
Networking is an excellent way to generate brand awareness. Try to connect with other similar-minded professionals in your industry. It could be through seminars and networking events or even as simple as commenting on their social networks. Networking makes people know you and associate you with the service you are offering. Seek opportunities to share your knowledge or content since this will make you a more familiar name in the industry. The more you network and form relationships, the more successful you will be in creating a long-term and memorable brand.
5. Define your audience for your personal brand
The only way to stand out and offer the best products and services is by having a deep understanding of your target audience. See, a personal brand is all about what people think of you, your values, and your services. Creating a proper personal brand, therefore, requires that you know your audience well enough to know the things that will give them a good impression of you. You will craft your content better when you understand what your audience appreciates. You will also be in a better position to attract the right prospects in your profession.
6. Tell a story that people can relate to
Personal branding involves working out what kind of story you want people to associate you with. It is, therefore, necessary to have a brand personality and identity that goes hand in hand with your overall objective. Communicate your purpose. Have some foundational core values. What are the things you value most in your professional life? Figure out the values that are most meaningful to you. Ensure that everything you do and any content you put out embodies those values. Consistency with your brand story across all your platforms will help you build a memorable personal brand.
7. Do some assessment
As it stands, what do people say about you? What does Google say about you and your services? What reputation do you have with the people who know you best? Again, try to get feedback the target audience and the people around you. Remember, your personal brand depends on what people have in mind about you, not what you want them to think. Sometimes, these two things are totally different. People may be picking up something different from what you are trying to project. The only way you can know is if you ask or observe how people associate with your brand. That is the only way to know if your personal branding efforts are bearing fruit.
A powerful personal brand is built on clarity, constancy, and consistency. Always be clear in showing who you are. Consistently communicate messages that are in line with your core values across all your platforms. Remember, the true measure of a brand is the perception that the target audience has in mind. So never shy off from asking for feedback to get pointers on where to make improvements.