A Crash Course in Personal Branding
A strong personal brand is a must-have for any individual, company or organisation. The good news is that you already have one! Consciously or not, you leave general impressions, build a reputation at work or leave a perception of yourself on social media. The difference between you and the individuals and companies who have a recognisable brand is that they know how to develop and perfect their brand. Here is a quick ‘How-to Guide’ to start your journey into personal branding.
What is Personal Branding?
Personal branding is the continuing establishment of an impression in people’s minds about an individual or company. This impression stems from any image, conversation or social media post that associates with your name. This impression is your personal brand. In the era of widespread internet, personal branding is the main way that business’ attract opportunities, clients and customers.
At the foundation of your personal brand are familiar elements that you will recognise. Personality, as well as your values and passions, have a big influence on whether people see you as suitable for a job. Other important elements include your look or style, your association with other individuals or companies, your strengths and your work experience. Thinking about these things, and writing down a few keywords you associate with each element, can help you understand your current personal brand.
Why is Personal Branding Important?
The way that people see us has always been important, whether in a personal or business context. Conveying your value to others is vital for standing out from the crowd of other potential employees, investors and contenders.
A focus on personal branding is very beneficial to your career or business expansion. University studies have shown that a solid personal brand allows employers and potential clients to trust your qualities, attributes and strengths. Opportunities tend to leap at those individuals and companies that have a well-established brand.
In the process of creating a unique personal brand, it will encourage you to think strategically and authentically. By building a personal brand, you commit to continually learning, improving and acquiring skills, which in turn makes you more thoughtful in your approach to your business. This increased self-awareness also means you are less likely to brand yourself with clichés and use authentic statements about your specialisation that is truly attention-grabbing.
How to Develop a Personal Brand?
Consider what makes you different and unique. Remember that your personal brand is an unconscious impression people have of you, based on a combination of your personality, presentation and associations. Here are some practical things to understand and develop in order to improve your personal brand.
- Decide on an Overarching Theme
What is a dream? Think about exactly how you want to be known. For example, do you want to be a leader in corporate interior design or a provider of high-quality clothing? What is your aim? After you have decided, think of a word or phrase that can be the basis for your brand. Keep in mind that this concept will determine the rest of your brand.
- Make a Statement
After you have your theme you can focus on what makes you special. What do you offer that differs from others in your field? If you are looking to be a leader in the design industry, perhaps you can focus on your innovation and originality. These unique attributes, paired with your theme, will become the basis for your brand statement. This is a couple of sentences that match your aspirations with your talents and communicates to clients and employers; pick me. Be authentic and be yourself.
- Look the Part
Make a good first impression. People notice appearances before anything else, so it is crucial to get your style right. Think about what colours and looks reflect your brand statement and be consistent. Whether it is your website or your corporate uniform, it is key to have a consistent style. If your uniform is minimalistic but your website is busy and cluttered, how will clients and employers recognise your brand?
- Sound the Part
Every word you say, write or sing contributes to your personal brand. Think about the tone of voice you want to use. Are you a financial organisation that needs to use formal language in order to instil confidence, or is your clothing business marketing to young people and requires a casual voice? Ensure you are using the correct industry vernacular by taking note of how others write and speak. Let your social media presence reflect your brand statement and recognise your target audience so that people stop to read your posts and tweets.
Over to You
Now that you understand a bit more about personal branding, it’s time to start using this essential tool to your advantage. Remember that your personal brand is meant to be a reflection of you. Authenticity is vital for a successful personal brand, so be original, be yourself and enjoy the rewards!