The term branding is well-known for every marketing manager nowadays. Most of the time we associate branding with companies, symbols, designs, slogans, emotions, employees, sounds, reputations. But we forget that it should be also focusing on the most important product there is: YOU.
Every individual has a personal brand, but most of us do not work with it. So the question is if we choose to create our brand or let it be defined by the outside world.
Why is it important?
It is important for a number of reasons to establish a personal brand. On the one hand it provides a clearer focus who you really are. The first step is to spend time to self-analyse. Mostly this is the hardest part, because you have to figure out what you really want from your life. This includes strengths, weaknesses and goals. To round up the whole self-analysis ask people who know you best and hardly know you if they can provide key information about your character.
On the other hand, it can boost your career. If you are looking for a better job, you want your potential boss to associate your personal brand with something that completes the team. If you want to increase your sales figures, you want new and existing clients to connect your personal brand with a feeling of trust, success and satisfaction. This is applicable to any freelancer, employee or boss.
How to develop a personal brand!
After you did your soul-searching determine your area of expertise. Start thinking what do you wish for people to associate with you when they think of your name? Is there a certain skill in which you want to be perceived as an expert or are there any characteristics which stand out in your personality?
The world of personal branding is flooded with great self-marketers, so it is not enough to choose a general field like “finance”, “marketing” or “team-player”. Instead try to create your own little niche. You will be way more successful even though you might have a slightly smaller, but better fitting target audience to talk to.
Once you figured out your area of focus, start to build your reputation. There are numerous ways you can show off your expertise.
Develop an elevator pitch about yourself. Create one or two statements which everybody can understand and get interested about you as a brand.
Start writing and publishing about it. If your entries are in good quality and you write regularly about this topic, people recognize you as an expert in this specific field. Therefore, having your own blog or being a guest-blogger are great ways.
Use social media to get noticed. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are useful tools to make your personal brand public. Make sure that all the mediums are in line with your brand and post updates regularly.
Be the first on the search engine list. Having a personal website is one of the best ways to be ranked high on any search engine. It can be just a two to three-page site, which includes a brief bio, your CV and your social platforms.
Try to be present. Speaking at public events or joining networking events will boost your personal brand enormously. The more opportunities you have to be in touch with people, the better it is.
What do you need to make it believable?
Personal branding is not about copying someone else’s brand. It is about finding yourself and show the world who you are – your qualities and attributes.
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wild
By being true to yourself, it is no problem to be consistent with what you are doing. Ensure your message is the same on every channel you choose. From the way you talk on the phone to the way you behave at meetings and events. Your signature style should be noticed everywhere you step foot into.
And there is no shame in reinventing yourself. It is in human nature to seek for new challenges and learn new skills. Keep checking what motivates you in your daily life.
To sum it up: Get clarity about who you are and what you have to offer to the world. After discovering you true potential you will see that you work as a freelancer, team member and boss will increase drastically. Because in the end, establishing a personal brand is just possible if you
Do what you love.