Brands give a lot of meaning and value to the businesses in the world.
Creating a name for yourself in this fast, competition driven world is what can be your point of difference from the other similar businesses.
Brands help people to distinguish a product, service, or a person from the other similar products, services, or people.
It’s not only about making an impression on your customers, but it’s also a way for people to have the right expectations when they hear your brand.
Branding is not only applicable to businesses and products. It’s also applicable for people, experts in their respective industries.
Before the time of social media, the influence and reach of different professionals were limited to their networking and people they met in person.
Nowadays, professionals can become influencers in their industry and have the respect and following from thousands of people they have never, nor will ever, meet in person.
But building a brand for yourself and growing it is not an easy process. Having credibility, experience, and consistent effort can’t be done in a day.
There are things that you can do to build and grow your personal brand if you are dedicated, and in this post, I will give you my best tips on how you can do exactly that.
What is a Personal Brand?
Let’s start with the basics. What does “personal brand” actually mean?
The personal brand that you create is basically the way you are promoting yourself. Just like a brand of an established business, you promote your combination of experience, knowledge, skills, personality traits, etc.
Your personal brand promotes the things about you that you want other people to see.
Everything that you do reflects on your brand. Your actions, words, and beliefs.
In the past, the most you could do for your personal brand was give out your business card, or put an ad in the paper.
Today, people will dig deep into you if they want to be associated with you. You know you google the name of your interviewer, and they do too.
Most people are not aware of their personal brand and just let it take its course organically which in some cases can be chaotic and create an unflattering image of who they are.
However, you can also control the development of your personal brand and you can put efforts towards creating a brand that will depict you the best as a person and a professional.
Create and Grow your Personal Brand
If you are interested in how you can create, grow, and nurture your personal brand, I have the following tips that can make a real change for you:
You can’t start creating your personal brand if you are not completely clear on who you are, what qualities you possess, and what you’d like other people to think of when they hear your name.
Self-reflecting can be a difficult task for many people. Sometimes we have an unreal image of who we are and what we radiate to others.
Some people are too overly critical of themselves and some people think too highly of themselves.
The most important thing here is, to be honest!
You can start by creating a list of your personal positive and negative traits.
Answer some questions that will help you to define yourself like:
- What am I the best in?
- What am I motivated by?
- What do other people first notice in me?
- Which types of tasks have I been struggling with?
- Which tasks are things that drain my energy?
- Which types of projects can I work on for long periods of time and be excited about?
- What are my biggest disadvantages?
A good tip is to speak with the people that are closest to you and ask them for their insights. Ask your family, friends, and co-workers what they think about you in terms of these questions.
Sometimes the people around us are more insightful and have a different perspective on who we are which can be a big help in self-reflecting.
Of course, all these answers might change as time passes. It’s okay to shift your brand in the future as your qualities develop or you learn more about yourself.
But for the time being, choosing a general area in which you are the best should be your point of focus when it comes to creating a personal brand.
Did you make a LinkedIn profile back in 2010, wrote some random things there, and forgot it existed?
Well, other people will inevitably see that when they research about you.
If you want to start growing your new-defined brand, you have to go over what you did in the past and make sure that there isn’t something out there that might compromise your new personal brand.
Additionally, you can’t build a professional personal brand if the first images that pop up on Google when people google you are the ones where you’re wasted from back in college.
Those types of personal images should be personal and hidden from the eye of the public or removed from the internet altogether.
We have seen how one tweet from 10 years ago can ruin a persons’ reputation. Be aware of that because that’s the reality of today’s world.
Define a target audience
Defining the target audience is extremely important for businesses and organizational brands.
Why shouldn’t the same be important for a personal brand? There are surely people that you want to appeal to more than others.
It’s much more rewarding for you if you are appealing to people that are important to you or can play some kind of role in your further development.
Think about who you want to influence and share your message with, and who can benefit the most from using your influence.
If your aim is to get a new job or get promoted, your supporters can be people that can help you get there or people that have been in the same position as you that can help you out with recommendations.
Connect with other influencers
If you have a goal in mind that you want to achieve in your specific industry, you should connect with experts and influencers that already succeeded in their goals.
Connect with the leaders in the field and see how they are doing it, so you can do it better!
You can’t build a good personal brand without studying the people that already did that successfully before you.
Also, you should make friends with other people like you that are trying to find themselves in the field.
Creating meaningful relationships in your industry can really benefit you in your future projects, ideas, or even make people share your content more.
Relevant: Read the guide on contacting influencers and bloggers here
Build an online presence
Have an online platform where you can “market” your brand. The best choice in my opinion is to build a website and in addition have social media platforms where you can share your website voice.
Your thoughts, inputs, knowledge can be shared on these platforms and you can find a way to offer something to the people that follow you.
Maybe start a blog or a video tutorial collection. Share daily tips, experiences, struggles, or whatever else you would like to hear if you were in the place of your followers.
Make sure that you promote the side of you that you want people to see, that you formulated in the Self-reflecting stages.
You can be really creative in the way you share value to your followers, sky is the limit.
The more value you provide, the more you will stand out in the eyes of your audience.
A personal brand is not only an online thing
The personal brand is more than just an invented online persona, it’s something that you are no matter where you are.
It’s how you behave in the office, how you speak to your co-workers, those who work for you, those who you work for.
It’s even who you are at home. Your reputation from “real life” will follow you online too.
You can’t present yourself as a calm and understanding individual online and then go around yelling at people around you.
Sooner or later your offline behaviors will be caught up with the online presence.
That’s why it’s imperative that you’re honest, and admit your shortcomings too.
Your personal brand is more than just the story you tell, it’s literally who you are as a person.
Promote your brand
Like any other type of brand, the personal brand also needs to be promoted. If you want to become influential in your field, promoting yourself might be necessary.
As I mentioned before, to do this you can have your own website, write amazingly helpful blogs, create video content, share tips, etc.
You can try promoting your brand with the help of other websites and tools like Future Sharks where you can contribute with your content for a certain fee.
This way, your content and with that, your personal brand will reach a much wider audience of people that are likely within your target audience parameters.
You can also ask some co-workers to share your content on their profiles/pages, etc. and you can do the same for them.
Don’t be afraid of change
The only thing that’s constant is change.
That is true for everything including people and brands. It’s normal that through time, new experiences, exploring different topics, new knowledge, etc. you will change as a person.
And with that, your personal brand needs to change.
Don’t try too hard to keep your personal brand the way it is, and end up being constrained by it.
Instead, embrace change and improve your brand as you go. Be honest with your audience, share your shifts towards something new that interests you.
Building a good, reputable personal brand involves identifying your honest and best professional life and career.
It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a new job position, want to get to that promotion of your dreams, have amazing ideas for which you need partners, or simply want to interact with a community of similar people.
Personal branding can help you achieve all of those things and more.
Even if you are just a regular employee that’s just starting out, having a personal brand is crucial.
More and more recruiters screen candidates on social media, and most of the employers check their current employers.
Why? Because having a good, reputable personal brand is beneficial to the organizations.
A company will always prefer to have a team of respectable, professional employees, than some with a bad reputation.
This way, the good reputation of the employees will reflect on the company they work in.
No matter which side you are on, it would be smart to pay attention to what your personal brand says about you and your abilities.
Did you find this post helpful? If you want to read more insightful posts, check these next:
- A guide to get PR for your brand
- Top 15 productivity tips to become the most effective person
- Meet Fotios Tsiouklas And Alan Gokoglu-Australia’s youngest self made millionaires
Leave a comment below and let me know what else you’d be interested to learn about brands.