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Personal Branding: What, Why, and How
by Emma • Tue, 07 Jun 2022 11:16AM
Do you have something in particular that your peers recognize you for? This is a simple question to identify what your personal branding is. Personal branding is a method of highlighting your skills and personality while also sharing your story. You do not need to have a venture or any business to build a personal brand; it is when you advertise yourself and your work as a brand. In the era of the internet, many people sell their personal brands using social media, blog platforms, and websites.
Your personal branding is real when you live it every day and others notice. This is further amplified if you are currently in or aiming for a leadership position; people often Google your name to see ‘what kind of person you are’. It is reasonable that it is easier for them to trust someone who has a good track record online, even if it is not for work-related matters, such as hobbies, passion, and so on.
Why Personal Branding Matters
Does personal branding matter even if you are not trying to ‘sell’ yourself on the job market? Yes, it does. If you have established a solid personal branding, you have effortlessly put yourself out for people to see and it is a bonus if any great opportunity approaches from then on. Instead of simply hoping for the best, you can be actively involved in building a personal branding.
Consider the following reasons why personal branding is important:
- People will remember you and your name as you build your own brand. They will be able to identify something as your post without even seeing your name whenever they view it on social media. It seriously makes no difference what kind of industry you have or what sector you work in.
- You get to connect with your followers and other individuals in your sector as your personal brand grows. In order for this to happen, you need to solidify your personal branding first. For example, as more people connect with you on LinkedIn, you will appear more frequently in others’ recommendations and it is almost certain that eventually, people will request a connection with you. So, make sure that you are interesting enough to connect with and networking will come to you with less effort!
How to Build a Personal Branding
Famous people, influencers, professionals, and public speakers are not the only ones that benefit from strong personal branding. They all started from scratch and followed certain fundamental guidelines - guidelines that anybody, including you, can follow. Here are some:
Define Who You Are and Who You Aim
First, you must understand who you are, which means diving deep into your basic values, beliefs, interests, and mission, as well as examining what distinguishes you and outlining your experiences. After that, you may develop your brand statement, which is a brief, concise description of who you are, what you do, and what sets you exceptional. Your identity acts as the foundation for your brand image.
The next step is to identify your target audience. Answer the following questions: Who you want to reach out to? Where can you find them online? What is the demographic make-up? What are their inconveniences? This will help you in defining your target audience(s) and shaping your approach. It will also have an impact on your overall brand personality.
Be Authentic and One-of-a-kind
Try not to be someone or something you are not; not only is it stressful, but people will eventually see right through it. Shine the spotlight on who you are and what makes you special, and stick to it. Find the story and make your content engaging. Engage in discussions that are relevant to your target audience and are on their minds. Remember that consistency is important in branding. Thus, you need to post on a constant basis, with a consistent tone and fonts, colors, and photos. Consistency promotes trustworthiness, which builds trust.
Enhance Your Online Persona
There are two ways to ensure people get your personal branding right: keep your social media clean and keep your ‘following’ relevant. Make absolutely sure your existing social media profiles and other content marketing channels are professional and consistent with your brand identity. Unprofessional pictures, posts, or comments might create a red flag with your audience and harm your branding. Don't think that your personal social media profiles have no impact on your brand; they do. If you really need to share somewhat less professional content, you can try to make a second account and keep it locked or private. Follow relevant influencers that have a strong social media presence, share good content, and have a brand image. Share, comment on, and like their post to interact with them. This is an excellent method to get your name out there, network with like-minded others, and develop trust.
As Jeff Bezos famously stated: "Your brand is what other people say about you when you are not in the room”. In today’s highly competitive business environment, you cannot afford to be left behind by having no personal branding, especially if you aim for steadfast career progression. If you have not taken care of personal branding yet, the time is now, and remember: it is better to start now than to never start!
Read Also: How to be Happy in Times of Adversity
image source: istockphoto
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