Personal branding is a daunting task.
It truly is.
I understand your pain. Most people run away from it, just because they have no idea how to start, or from where to start.
But that’s not how it works in today’s world. If you don’t have access to a personal brand, chances are you’ll get lost in a sea of people who do.
What's personal branding
So what is this personal brand that we keep referring to?
Well, when we talk about personal branding, we are basically referring to establishing and promoting yourself in a way that you stand out in a crowd.
I like the way it is defined here:
Personal branding is the practice of marketing people and their careers as brands. It is an ongoing process of developing and maintaining a reputation and impression of an individual, group, or organization.[clarification needed . Whereas some self-help practices focus on self-improvement, personal branding defines success as a form of self-packaging. wikipedia
Your personal branding is essentially the skills and the experience that make you YOU! How can you make yourself into a personal brand? You may wonder. Read on, and you’ll know!
Personal branding tips
We cannot emphasize this enough. You must pick your niche and target that. Too many people try to target everything, instead of focusing on just one market.
This will obviously set you up for failure. If you have only one message, you will attract the right kind of people for your brand.
According to Adam Smiley Poswolsky, a millennial expert and the author of The Breakthrough Speaker, you should have the right kind of message to target a particular niche.
It makes it far easier to remember the message in the long run, of course, a plus point for your personal brand.
If you have too many things to focus on, the chances are that you will go unnoticed and not even be able to land the niche market you want. Remember, the focus is the key.
2. Create an Image Online
We’ve all heard that potential employers do look you up on social media before they make a decision to hire you. But the stats are overwhelming in this case.
According to a survey, 93% of the employers look at your social media during the interview process.
Additionally, another 44% stated that they hired a candidate through social media. So folks, now you know the dangers and benefits of marketing yourself properly.
The thing is, social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn (you name it!) pretty much represent the kind of people we are.
Of course, you can argue otherwise, but the vast majority of the employers believe the same. So be very alert of the type of person you want to be perceived.
Your personal brand will follow suit.
3. Be Genuine
“Be genuinely interested in everyone you meet and everyone you meet will be genuinely interested in you”
― Rasheed Ogunlaru
Don’t be fake. Just don’t. Don’t overdo it either.
People are more likely to accept a brand that is genuine, as opposed to something that lacks originality.
Remember, in this world that is constantly trying to change you, being original is something that will score you a lot of points.
It will allow you to develop trust with the people you deal with. This has its own benefits.
People look up to someone who is consistent and who stands unswayed by the winds. The trust can help you with the referrals.
This is the power of being genuine. It can land you a lot of customers. People tend to trust the individual because they can relate to them, (The 7 Habits of Truly Genuine People )
The same cannot be said of big faceless corporations. Know your strengths, and you can play them very easily.
Take Oprah Winfrey for instance. There is no person in the world who is not aware of who she is. Over the years, she has amassed a wealth of $2.5 billion.
All thanks to the power of being original and genuine she is.
4. Tell a Story ( My Favorate personal branding strategy )
“I’m scared,” said Piglet.
“A story will help,” said Pooh.
“Oh. Don’t you know? Stories make your heart grow.” (Milne, 1979)
The ultimate tool. Do you know, when things appear in the form of a story, people are more likely to be inclined toward remembering it?
In this overcrowded market space where every individual is busy with branding themselves, it is easy to be forgotten in that sea of faces.
To counter that, come up with a story that everyone will be able to remember you.
For instance, take the world-renowned Steve Jobs.
When Apple was working on its first iPod, a team of engineers brought him a prototype which he was not very impressed with.
He thought it was too big. Ignoring the engineers’ protests against how it was impossible to get a compact device, he threw it in the nearby fish tank.
When the device was sinking, the air bubbles appeared and he famously said, “Those are air bubbles. That means there’s space in there. Make it smaller.”
The story created a huge impact. It shows what kind of a leader Steve Jobs was, what he believed in, and how he marketed Apple products.
This is something still spoken about today, despite the fact that it’s been decades. This also offers valuable advice in the context of personal branding.
You can use the following tips to tell your story.
- What is your background?
- What inspires you?
- What are your goals?
- What makes you tick?
- Why are you doing what you are doing?
By narrating a story, we get more views and are more likely to be remembered. Storytelling only improves matters for you.
There is also the element of personalization. We as human beings trust people more.
Perhaps that’s why brand messages shared by employees get 561 percent more reach as compared to the messages posted by companies.
Imagine the people you can reach if you have the right kind of story and following.
More to Read: Freelance Writer : 15 Secrets To Becoming Successful.
5. Market Yourself
The way you market yourself is a key component of personal branding.
We have already covered the importance of having a clean image on social media, but it is so much more than that.
Are you aware of the fact that social media is also viewed by potential employers to view your skills?
Dont do this : ) :
Let’s assume you have put down ‘excellent communication skills’ on your CV. In all likelihood, your employer will verify that using, you guessed it, social media.
They will see whether or not the posts you put up are in line with that skill.
If you have good communication skills but are virtually silent on social media, that means the element of personal branding is lacking.
Definitely, not a good thing for you.
Your creativity should also be part of the way you market yourself. Approximately 44% of the hiring managers check your social media to see how creative you are.
You should know that you are constantly in surveillance.
Gone are the days when you were only required to act in a certain way when you were at work or during an interview.
Now, who you are reflects everywhere, which is all the more reason for you to make yourself a personal brand.
Related Topic : 25 Insightful Branding Statistics to Help Your Business Flourish
6. Be Consistent
This is something a lot of people falter. It is very easy, in this day and age to be inconsistent, change our values, change our beliefs, forsake our brand because the world keeps changing rapidly.
To an outsider, very little is gained from being consistent.
You may even question it by saying that change is good. It helps you grow, and you’re right!
However, in the context of personal branding, there is much to be gained from having a personal brand.
It is the consistency that allowed Richard Branson, the famous British author and philanthropist, to become so popular.
He did exactly what big corporate leaders advise against, pulling crazy stunts like dressing up as a flight attendant for a competing airline.
This made him into what he is today. He was consistent in his image and remember, consistency pays off.
Fun fact: It takes 5-7 impressions for someone to remember the brand.
If you are consistent with your idea, yourself, and what your brand represents, know that you are on the way of building your personal brand.
Failure is a great teacher, and I think when you make mistakes and you recover from them and you treat them as valuable learning experiences, then you've got something to share - Steve Harvey
For a lot of us, things don’t really come easy.
Sure, there are always people who have it easier, but let’s face it, for the vast majority of us, we learn from setbacks.
A similar note should be taken when working with personal branding.
The best brand comes from repeated failure. For instance, Walt Disney emphasized the importance of failing to be able to set up a brand effectively.
Also, Timothy Hoang, the CEO of Stories By Tim, Inc., said, “You’ll never achieve the best branding until you fail a couple of times while pushing past your comfort zone.”
By allowing yourself to fail, you will know the kind of things to stay away from, and the kind you can dabble with. So feel free to experiment!
In Short, Failure is very important
8. Positive Impact
This may seem to be an obvious tip, but it doesn’t always work the way we want.
You have to make sure that your personal brand creates a positive impact on people.
It should ignite them to do better and to be the best they can be. It will help you gain a lot of followers. It will also help you grow your brand in the long run.
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9. Successful Example
You’re going to be pretty lost if you do not have a mentor or someone you can look up to when you are trying to build a personal brand.
In this day and age, that is very easy to do.
You can look at the profiles of influential people such as Timothy Hoang or Jason Wong, the CEO of Wonghaus Ventures.
You will definitely garner a lot of information about how to navigate your personal brand. Who knows, there may come a time when you become a successful example for others to build on.
10. Live Your Brand
You should ideally become part of your brand, or more likely, your brand should be you. It should be reflected in everything you do.
Your ideas, your speech, your thoughts should also be reflective of the brand you want to become. It should follow you wherever you go.
This will help people see your authenticity and engage with your brand.
Since people are more likely to trust the person instead of a faceless company, which they are unable to relate to, your brand will not only survive, but it will also thrive.
Such is the importance of reputation for people who have faced a reputation risk. There was a 40% decline in revenue for their brand.
Your personal brand is the way others see you: how they describe you, exactly as famous people or businesses are described. It is a set of values and peculiarities that show who you are and guide your decisions at work and in life. Your personal brand is what makes you what you are.
11. Allow Other People to Tell Your Tale
Word of mouth can be your best friend when you are telling your story. It can help you take your personal branding a bit further.
According to Aaron Orendorff, your personal brand is the story people tell about you when you are not in the room.
He tells his story using lively videos and so people remember him.
Once you can get people to start telling your story, know for certain that it will take off, and you will soon have access to uncountable jobs, fame, and influence.
12. Leave a Legacy
This is a continuation of the point above. Your brand should not be such that it sticks in the mind of the people for only a few seconds.
It should be such that it allows you to build your legacy.
What exactly is it that you want to be known for even when you are long dead. Is it for being a phenomenal philanthropist, or is it because you shook the world with your invention?
The greatest legacy one can pass on to one's children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one's life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.
Like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Know that whatever the case is, building a personal brand is a lot more difficult than building a business. So act accordingly.
13. Focus on Your Strengths
Know what your strengths are and separate them from your weaknesses. Once you do that, you can use your strengths to your advantage.
Do not try to come across as an employee or a student who is capable of doing everything because they possess a huge number of skills.
This will backfire, leaving you wondering where you went wrong. It is not possible to do everything in a limited span of 24 hours, even if you are good at it. Narrow down your skills.
The best thing to do is to focus on the skills that you are good at and master it. This will put you far ahead than other people. You can easily take it from there.
14. Start Immediately
On that note, start immediately. There is not a moment to waste. People are building unique personal brands effectively all over the world.
They are building it every second. Yes, I am aware of the irony, but it is a tough situation in the real world.
Get the website you want, design the best logo, and you are on the way to create your personal brand.
As mentioned above, you may fail even repeatedly. But the earlier you start, the more time you will have to build your brand.
Personal branding is the way to go in this day and age.
It is crucial for landing you a successful job during a time when there is constant surveillance. If you want to advance in your professional life, this is the way to do it.
Recent grads with 500+ connections on LinkedIn are able to develop their personal brand more effectively than a recent grad who does not have the same number of followers on social media.
Ever wondered why? They are able to highlight their blog and what they want to be known for.
On a professional level, personal branding will help you retain sales, attract clients, and hire the right kind of people for your business.
It will also enhance your business in the market leading to an influx of people and money.
Personal branding books
Far from being pejorative, self marketing is more about affirming your legitimacy than of selling yourself. You want us to know who you are? So say it!
Whether or not you are in the process of finding a new job, establishing a coherent communication strategy now seems essential. The actions to be implemented will flow directly from your objectives.
The main idea is to build your presence, outside and online, around your skills and professional skills in order to be immediately recognized and identified as an expert in your field.
If you have decided to start creating your own personal brand but don't know where to start from , you may want to get started with these books :
All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World
This great book gives reader case studies from real branding, as well as insightful advice on how you can make convincing tales about your own marking system.He does the assertion that marketers should be more focused on putting genuine stories as they are on creating quality products. By Seth Godin
KNOWN: The handbook for building and unleashing your personal brand in the digital age
This book is designed toward building and cultivate personal brands for fresh entrepreneurs andgreat site of Mark's advice is he provides many examples of how to create content, in productive time management, in finding your miche , or when to abandon an idea. By Mark W. Schaefer
Getting Noticed: A No-Nonsense Guide to Standing Out and Selling More for Momtrepreneurs Who ‘Ain’t Got Time for That’
Momtrepreneurs, listen up! You don't have time for another "change everything you're doing on social media and be just like me" book. You need information and you need it fast. Do you want to grow your following, sell more product, and experience the freedom that comes with being your own boss? Lindsay Teague Moreno - By Lindsay Teague Moreno
Career Distinction: Stand Out by Building Your Brand
This book may be is a fantastic reference not only on your career search but also if you are seeking a definition for your professional details the concept of personal branding in a great and easy-to-understand presentation that is a must-buy for every serious entrepreneur - by William Arruda
Personal Branding For Dummies
the author gives a detailed explanation of what branding is and ways to build your brand online and offline.
She included a wide variety of resources, tools and important case studies to assist you to understand easily important concepts and then implement them - By Susan Chritton
Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future
In this book, the author, Dorie Clark, provides a step-by-step model to help you evaluate your individual powers, produce a compelling personal brand, and secure that others recognize the powerful contribution you can perform. Great rock to think over if you dream or have to improve your professional career. Part of the change is establishing your new professional brand as all the people who know you, know your past experience.by Dorie Clark
It's not a choice anymore. If we want to survive in this world of billions of people, to develop and prosper, we must take care of his personal brand. Share your skills and join the networks and communities that allow you express who you are.