This very second, your future client or potential employer might be looking you up on the Internet. What (first) impression would they build of you in their mind?
The phrase “personal branding” has been tossed around for decades without much significant agreement upon its definition. However, one thing’s for sure—its importance has never been more critical than it is today. The most simple definition of personal branding would be the act of identifying, positioning and promoting yourself. Radix is here on Hover’s blog to offer you the best advice for creating a personal brand that’s authentic to you.
When it comes to personal branding, the more intentional you are, the better. We are often working towards marketing services and products but forget that we also need to market ourselves, not just for our own recognition but also for the recognition of the organizations we work for.
Do you already have a personal brand?
Whether you are aware of it or not, you already have a personal brand. Yes, you do!
Everyone has a certain reputation (or “brand”) that they’re known for, but for most people, that reputation has been created by default through others’ observations, rather than by intentional design. The people around you who don’t know you on a personal level have built up their own perceptions, opinions, and judgments about who you are, what you’re good at—and possibly even what you’re not good at. They perceive you a certain way. In short, they have “branded” you in their own minds.
If you have allowed others to define your reputation then it is important that you understand how you’re currently perceived and rebrand yourself in a way that is most beneficial for you.
How should you build your personal brand?
When it comes to creating an effective personal brand online, there are certain aspects you should keep in mind. To attract and engage the right audience and ensure they follow you, follow these five Ps to build a successful personal brand.
This is the first step and it requires some serious deep diving into self — really reflect and understand what do people get when they get YOU? More than anything, an authentic personal brand is based on truth. It resonates with clients, draws in customers, and adds value to your enterprise. So take time to explore your skills, gifts, and purpose. Answer questions like:
What is your unique gift?
What do you look like to others?
What do you love doing?
What needs can you serve with your gifts?
McDonald’s says, “I’m lovin it”. They’ve owned these words and this is what sets them apart from their competitors. What do you do right? What is your strength? Explore!
Spend time educating yourself about your industry. Prepare in a way that you become a guru in your part of the (professional) world. Become that go-to person. You don’t have to know everything, but you should know people and ways to solve someone’s problem. Build your network and connect with as many people as you can.
Find new skills and learn them
Keep updated with the latest happenings
Have a project to work on at all times
There is a wealth of resources available online and the future belongs to those who teach themselves. All you need is the zeal to be better.
Presentation is everything. Let people know what you do and why you do it. Present yourself effectively — in a way you want to be perceived.
Impress first, inform second. We live in a busy and visual world. How you interact with a generation that doesn’t have a lot of time will define how they perceive you.
Offer clarity. Be crystal clear about who you are and what you do. Put your expert knowledge to work crafting articles, recording podcasts, videos that offer genuine help.
Offer consistency. To be successful in anything consistency is key. Highlight your track record, ensure all your branded material is at par and most importantly, keep creating and sharing on a regular basis.
Building a personal brand is a long-term process. You’ll have to constantly be in touch with your audience for them to remember and trust you.
People are attracted to authenticity and vulnerability. Be authentic and true in everything that you do. That is why the first step is so important. Know what you are, what your values are and what you stand for.
Appeal to feelings and emotions
Tell (true) stories
Admit when you’re wrong
People can easily detect a fake which is why it is so important to show that you’re human. It makes you and your personal brand believable.
Start with your warm market—your sphere of influence. Ask them for referrals.
Create a plan for how you are going to get the word out about your brand.
Decide the platforms you want to use. Do you want to leverage social media, traditional marketing, word of mouth, speaking engagements?
Decide the frequency. How often will you post/share/advertise?
It’s your personal brand so it makes sense to take it seriously. Be intentional and clear about your objectives and what you are trying to accomplish. Use these five Ps to create a powerful persona that people can relate to. Remember, your clients don’t buy what you do; they buy YOU. Also, checkout Hover’s Startup Guide for more information on how you can get your business and your personal brand out there.