They say one’s perception is their reality. So, what are others’ perceptions of you? What do you stand for? What do you want to be most known or remembered for? Thanks to the world wide web and social media, we now live in a time where personal brands aren’t just necessary for our favorite celebrities and popular CEOs. We all should have a personal brand. Do you have one? If not, no worries friend! Keep reading to learn how to successfully build a personal brand.
What is a Personal Brand?
So, what is a personal brand anyway? Well to keep things simple, it’s all about how you package yourself, whether in your business, at work, academic career, etc., and what others connect with. By definition, a personal brand is a “largely-uniform perception or impression of an individual based on their experience, expertise, competencies, actions and/or achievements within a community, industry, or the marketplace at large.”
Why Having a Personal Brand is Important
A lot of people make the mistake of thinking a personal brand is merely having a logo, brand colors, and a sick Instagram aesthetic. I’m not going to say that these things don’t contribute to building a brand for yourself, but are they the most important? No. There’s much more that goes into building a solid personal brand.
Your brand is more than just what others see visually and on the surface. It’s what they experience and feel when they encounter and interact with you. It’s the qualities that make you stand out amongst the crowd, it is what you’re most known and remembered for by others.
I know from first-hand experience how important it is to get clear on your brand as early as possible, especially if you want to start a business. Over the last few years, I’ve had my branding ups and downs. I tried to keep up with what I thought others wanted to see from me, focused too much on the fluff … yes I had brand colors and a logo, but everything else was non-existent when I started.
How to Successfully Build a Personal Brand:
The idea of building a personal brand can be a bit broad and overwhelming. This is especially true depending on your situation and goals. For the sake of this post, I am going to keep these steps simple so that they can be applied in all situations.
1.Identify Your Core Values
Your core values are the things that make you, you. They are the things that are important to you . I try to think of my core values as my foundation, the building blocks building a personal brand. Some of my favorite influencers are really amazing at this. Start with your values!
2.Know Your Story
People love a good story. Something to connect with, learn from and be inspired by. Every memorable brand has a story behind it. What’s yours?
Here are a few things to get clear on:
What are your strengths?
Identify the things that motivate and inspire you.
What are you an expert in?
Are there any unique experiences contributed to shaping who you are as an individual?
Is there anything that you’re aspiring towards?
3.Get Clear on Your Audience
This is soooo important!. Who are you trying to reach? Potential readers? Job recruiters? A mentor? Potential customers? When you get clear on who your audience is, understanding how to communicate your brand story and knowing how to strategize will be much easier… trust me!
4.Create a Branding Strategy
Now that you know your story and your audience, there are two things you take into consideration. First how will you communicate your story in a way that will not only reach your audience but also CONNECT with them? Second, what impression are you leaving online?
Here are some things to consider:
Content and Communication
What kind of content are you going to post?
How will your design reflect your brand?
How can you show up consistently?
What makes you unique?
What is your digital footprint? Google yourself to see what comes up… is it in line with your brand? It’s safe to assume that social media is here to stay. And with that fact comes a necessary realization, we’ve all got to be considerate of our digital footprints and online reputation.
5. Don’t just talk about it… BE about it
Have you ever met a person, or for the sake of this post, a brand that you just love online but when you meet them face to face you’re left scratching your head because the real-life interaction just didn’t live up to their online presence?
First things first, no one is perfect and we all have our off days. That being said, when building your personal brand it is very important to be authentic and ensure that the real-life you matches the online you. Look the part, dress the part. There are a lot of frauds out there! Like women that are all about women’s empowerment online but in real life…. It’s a whole other story. That’s no bueno!
You have the key to build your brand and grow as a result of it. Also, keep in mind that you can and should reinvent yourself from time to time, your personal brand is you, remember? And we’re all about evolution and personal growth over here! I truly hope that these tips were helpful!