How to build a personal brand? The significance of a personal brand has never been so important. Without a strong one, you will struggle to get top jobs, your business will be disfavoured and your expertise will be harder to present. The good news is that you can strengthen your personal brand while continue doing what you love and it won’t cost you a fortune. Anyone with access to the internet and social media can build a huge base of followers, position themselves as a professional, and start attracting clients for your business. And that’s exactly what a lot of people are doing, so you also shouldn’t lose such a great opportunity.
What is a Personal Brand?
Personal branding is all about building your reputation and image for the outside world and selling yourself as an individual. There is a famous explanation- your personal brand is the story that people tell about you when you’re not in the room.
It may feel a bit uncomfortable to consider yourself as a brand. But the fact is that every person already has a personal brand. What do people say about your personality and your work? Do they positive or critical things?
In addition, your story is being told online. Did you check what is being said about you in the digital space? Of course, you can choose to control your image yourself or leave it to chance.
Managing your personal brand will allow you to tell your story as you want it to be told, establish yourself as an expert in the industry, and connect with your followers and clients beyond your products and services alone.
Why is Building Your Personal Brand Important?
Your personal brand is crucial because it is your performance, the initial impression of people when they look for you online, as well as the image that you choose to project in face-to-face contacts.
Taking control of your personal brand moves you to the driver’s seat of your life. You get to manage the story and show your target audience what you want them to see. It’s not about being artificial or fake. You’re not creating a player for a movie. Instead, you are highlighting the characteristics of your own personality and presenting yourself in the best possible way to achieve your business or personal goals.
So actively participating in building your reputation for yourself allows you to have a say in how you market yourself and gives you control in creating an accurate picture of your personality, rather than it’s happening randomly.
Tips for Developing Your Personal Brand
1. Figure out who you are
To build a personal image that accurately mirrors your personal and professional individuality, you first need to know who you are. Be attentive, and create a list of your personal talents and weaknesses. Ask yourself:
- In which areas of work do I excel?
- What will I do even not being paid?
- What characteristics do others appreciate in me?
- Which activities seem to drive my energy?
- Which projects can I spend hours on without feeling swamped or tired?
If you can’t answer these questions, ask your family, colleagues and check what impression you give to others. Once you discover the different aspects of your personality, you can decide how best to brand them.
Keep in mind that it’s hard for many people to choose one specific niche because they don’t want to limit themselves. Realize that your personal brand, like many corporate brands, will change as your expertise grows. The best way is to choose a particular area you’d like to concentrate and start on and let it develop over time.
2. Think about what you want to be known for
Think about your USP.
It is about highlighting your personality traits and characteristics to your job role or your business. When you begin with personal brand building, think over your unique selling proposition.
What kind of skills do you have? What type of core values do you have? Highlighting this element is important in creating a strong personal brand in the business world.
Fill out this sentence for you:
I help [whom?] to achieve [what?] so that [what outcome?].
3. Define your audience
Before you start creating your personal brand, you also need to clearly understand who you’re trying to reach. Is it other industry thought leaders? Recruiters? Or what group of people? The sooner you choose the audience, the easier it will be to craft your story, because you’ll better understand what kind of stories you need to tell (and where you need to tell it.)
It’s impossible to please everyone, but trying to focus on those who are interested in your expertise will bring you closer to your goal.
Here are some questions to help you discover and describe your perfect client (follower) profile:
Demographics: Think about the age, gender, education, relationship status, income, profession, etc.?
Desires and aspirations: what is their desired future? What are their dreams, goals, and aspirations?
Pain points and challenges: what are they struggling with? What stops them from achieving their goals?
4. Tell a story
One of the most effective ways to create a strong personal brand is to do it with help of through. It’s easy to share who you are and what you do professionally. Remember, that a boring description of yourself is not going to attract the audience and allow you to showcase your best traits.
Think about what makes your life and career unique: have you taken an unusual path to reach where you are today? What steps did you take, and what difficulties did you cope with to find success? What are your ambitions and future goals?
When people discover who you are and what you succeed in, they’re more likely to trust you and support your achievements for the future. Your audience wants to know you better, and the best way to do it is to tell a compelling story. Describe your story in a way that others will want to read, and share it with others.
Concentrate on those things that make you unique and show your expertise and capitalize on them. Perhaps your credentials and experience helped you to meet your current position, but your personal traits and story are what will compel them to follow you and collaborate.
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5. Embrace networking
As you are creating your perfect personal image, it’s important to network consistently (and productively) to grow your professional list of contacts. Connect with peers and industry influencers by participating in formal and informal networking events.
The more contacts you have—and the more value you can provide in your interactions—the more likely it is your personal brand will be popular and respected. At these events, be active and ask fellow attendees to meet again for an informal and casual coffee chat. If you don’t get an opportunity to connect at the event, reach out later via email or LinkedIn to rouse a conversation.
6. Ask for recommendations
Having current and former colleagues and clients endorse your skills is one of the easiest and most productive ways to promote your personal brand, allowing others to present your value and experience for you. Just as a business might initiate clients reviews and testimonials, you also should cultivate your own reviews in the format of recommendations.
LinkedIn is the best place to ask for them because these recommendations will likely be noticed by future hiring managers, followers, or clients. But don’t be shy to ask the people endorsing you to act as an actual reference, being sure they’re willing to communicate with a potential employer or describe the experience using your services.
7. Grow your online presence
One of the most important elements of personal branding is making sure your online presence is noticed by hiring managers, colleagues, and others—even if you’re not searching for the job. Sharing content online allows you to create an online persona that reflects your personal traits and professional skills. Even if you only use social media from time to time, what you write, share, or react to feeds into this public narrative is still working for or against you. How you conduct yourself online is now just as important as your achievements offline especially when it comes to your digital career or business.
With so many different social media services available today, your online presence will likely look different depending on the media you choose. While your story should stay consistent across all platforms, once you know where your targeted audience is most likely to be, you can increase your efforts in telling your best story there.
Additionally, if you want one of your profiles or particular posts to be exclusively for friends and family, adjust your privacy settings to ensure that potential employers or clients don’t stumble upon any content that could potentially harm your brand. Here are some platform-specific tips to help you successfully create your personal brand online.
Focus on key industry skills: HRs and other people will often search for keywords that relate to the role they’re trying to fill or influencers they want to learn from, so it’s important to feature industry terms in your profile—use your headline, summary, and job description—to show your skills.
Quantify your accomplishments: Quantify your accomplishments when possible, whether it’s the number of articles you’ve written, achievements you’ve reached, or deals you’ve closed.
Complete your profile: It’s always interesting to see what work experience you have, your educational background, and a detailed list of accomplishments, so make sure you’re fulfilling all lines in your profile. Persuade people you’re the professional they should hire or follow.
Use this platform to highlight and build upon your industry expertise. Try to incorporate your personal brand into your Twitter bio by using the relevant to your field hashtags, following leaders in your industry, and retweeting top stories and news. Don’t forget: every your post is still a part of your personal brand.
8. Prove Your Worth
Every professional has a portfolio (aka professional cases) ready to be shown at the right moment. It’s no different in the business world. There’s a strong dependence between the knowledge that you’ve launched and achieved and trusting that you’ll make a good job for clients.
Nowadays it’s especially important to have a personal website or portfolio that provides essential information about your skills and experience and helps visually estimate your work. You can easily create your own website using many online platforms.
9. Guest post on other blogs
By using the audiences other bloggers already have, you are immediately seen my significantly wide audience. The easiest way to find the right media and to be published there is to use the PRNEWS.IO service. There you can see a big list of media outlets and its description, so you can choose what audience is more relevant for you and maximize your conversion rate. PRNEWS.IO has years of copywriting and journalism expertise in creating featured articles, advertising posts, and press releases. Creating and distributing the articles is their business and they do it efficiently. They assure to have your content written, checked, approved by you, and sent out within two days.
Also, be sure to include your social media accounts. It’s much easier to receive a blue tick of the official account if the media is talking about you. And it’s easy to realize with PRNEWS.IO.
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10. Reinvent your Personal Brand as you grow
As life goes on and your career improves, so will your personal brand. Customize your persona accordingly as you meet different people, find new business opportunities, develop your career and change your services. As long as it reflects your professional life, don’t be shy to boost a personal brand that lets you shine.
11. Ultimately, be yourself
Remember, there’s no other person in the world the same as you. Others may have similar services, interests, and experiences, but they will realize it with a different spin. That’s the advantage of personal branding; everyone is unique.
As you can see, building a strong personal brand is not so complicated, but attainable and rewarding. If you are thinking to start next month, start today. It is never a perfect time to begin, so stop waiting and start working. It should be interesting. It should be challenging. You will inevitably commit some mistakes. But finally, you will achieve a lot, meet many new friends and hopefully improve hugely along the way.
What are some of the ways you have created your personal brand? Let me know and I can add them to this post.