In the current digital age, personal branding has evolved from being a buzzword to a necessity. As remote work and online visibility become the new normal, a robust personal brand can provide the leverage one needs to stand out in the crowd.
From insurance agents who work remotely to budding entrepreneurs, everyone can benefit from a dynamic personal brand.
But what exactly is a personal brand, and why is it so important?
In this article, we will look at personal brands, what they are, why they are important and also give you nine essential tips to help you build your own personal brand.
- Identify What Makes You Unique
- Fully Understand Your Target Audience
- Define Your Brand Descriptors
- Nail Down Your Messaging
- Choose Relevant Platforms That Suit Your Target Audience
- Create Compelling Content
- Sustain a Regular Frequency of Posting
- Measure the Results of Your Content
- Sustain Your Unique Style and Tone of Voice
What is a Personal Brand?
A personal brand is a multi-faceted concept that encompasses your skills, experience, personality traits, and core values. It’s how people perceive you based on your actions, words, and overall image.
A well-crafted personal brand separates you from others in your field, helping garner trust and credibility with your audience.
It can also be instrumental in developing a dedicated following and amplifying your influence.
Developing a strong personal brand isn’t a new concept. It dates back centuries, with successful people like politicians, businessmen, and athletes leveraging their personal brands to reach new heights.
Some examples of strong personal branding (whether you like them or not) are Oprah Winfrey, Warren Buffet and Elon Musk. These are all people whose names bring up similar feelings in just about everyone who hears them.
The concept of personal branding hasn’t changed. What has changed in the past few decades is that the Internet and social media have accelerated the process of building a successful personal brand.
Why is Personal Branding Important?
Personal branding is pivotal for a plethora of reasons. One of the first and most important reasons is that personal branding instills trust and credibility in your audience. When people understand who you are, what you represent, and the values you uphold, they are more inclined to be receptive to your message.
A good example of this is entrepreneurs who use personal branding to showcase their skill sets and demonstrate why people should choose them for their products or services.
Additionally, a strong personal brand can elevate your presence in the digital space. Employers are now increasingly looking into someone’s online presence before hiring them, so having a strong personal brand is an excellent way of showcasing yourself as a viable candidate.
Personal branding also helps you become more visible, which increases your chances of getting noticed by potential customers or partners.
With personal branding, you can put yourself in front of people who are looking for what you offer. The right personal brand will make it easier to establish connections.
The Steps to Building a Strong Personal Brand
Building a strong personal brand requires a certain amount of knowledge and understanding of the desires and needs of potential customers, clients or audience members. It’s not the easiest task to start building a strong personal brand, but with the right tips, you can get on the right track pretty quickly.
Below are nine tips to take into account when creating and maintaining your personal brand.
Identify What Makes You Unique
Building a strong personal brand begins with identifying the unique traits you or your product have. Ask yourself, what skills, experiences, and personality traits set you apart from your peers? What are your passions and core values?
A profound understanding of your unique strengths and characteristics can pave the way for an authentic brand that resonates with your audience.
To go a step further, it’s crucial to note that everyone has a unique story. Your personal brand is essentially the narrative that you share with the world. It’s your journey, experiences, and unique perspective that you bring to the table. What have you accomplished that others in your field haven’t?
Reflect on your experiences, your skills, and your journey. Delve into your past and the lessons you’ve learned, the challenges you’ve overcome and how they have contributed to your personal growth.
Fully Understand Your Target Audience
To create a brand that strikes a chord with your audience, you need to understand them intuitively. What are their needs, aspirations, and challenges? What drives them? A clear understanding of your target audience can guide you in tailoring your messaging and content to connect with them on a deeper level.
Understanding your target audience goes beyond just their basic demographics. Delve deeper into their psychographics - their interests, behavior patterns, motivations, and pain points.
Try to map out their journey and identify the touchpoints where you can make an impact. This will help give your brand a clear direction and purpose. It will also help you to identify areas where your or your product or service might not meet their expectations, which, in turn, will help you to improve what you are offering.
Define Your Brand Descriptors
Brand descriptors are adjectives that encapsulate your personal brand. They serve as cornerstones of your brand identity and guide your messaging and content creation. Innovative, trustworthy, and authentic are examples of brand descriptors. Some companies that have great brand descriptors are; Apple (innovative), Nike (inspirational) and Amazon (convenient).
The challenge in coming up with brand descriptors is to find words that are powerful enough to grab attention yet authentic enough for people to identify with.
Remember: the goal of having strong brand descriptors isn’t just about standing out; it’s also about resonating with your target audience. Take some time to think about why you’re doing it.
The most effective brand descriptors are words that you can own. They should be authentic, relevant and incorporate the unique traits of your personal brand. Before defining your brand descriptors, take a look at what other people or companies within your field have used.
This will give you an insight into the language of your industry as well as help you to come up with unique descriptors.
Nail Down Your Messaging
With a firm grasp of your unique strengths and your audience’s needs, it’s time to craft your messaging. What is your mission and vision?
What values do you uphold? What are the key messages you want to convey to your audience? Articulating your messaging clearly can create a compelling brand narrative that resonates with your audience.
In crafting your messaging, ensure that it aligns with your mission and vision. Your messaging should be consistent across all platforms and communication channels. It should be clear, concise, and impactful, effectively communicating what you stand for and why your audience should care.
Choose Relevant Platforms That Suit Your Target Audience
Several platforms are available for building your personal brand, including social media, blogs, podcasts, and webcasts. It’s crucial to select platforms that align with your target audience and your personal style. For instance, if your audience is active on Instagram, it could be the ideal platform for your brand.
There are particular groups that tend to associate with specific platforms. For example, currently, Facebook is more popular with older generations, while younger audiences prefer Instagram and Snapchat.
When selecting platforms, keep in mind that it can be hard to maintain multiple social media accounts, so make sure you choose the ones that are most relevant for your audience. It’s also important to research potential competitors in order to understand what strategies they are using and what content is resonating with their audience.
When choosing relevant platforms, also consider the type of content you plan to create. If you’re more inclined towards video content, platforms like YouTube or Instagram might be a good fit. If you prefer writing, consider starting a blog or LinkedIn articles.
Keep in mind that the platform you choose should also be where your target audience spends their time.
Create Compelling Content
Creating captivating content is paramount to building a robust personal brand. Your content, be it videos, articles, podcasts, or webcasts, should be informative, entertaining, and engaging. It should also cater to your target audience and align with your brand narrative.
In creating compelling content, consider the problems your audience faces and how your content can provide solutions. Each piece of content should add value and help your audience in some way. Remember, the more value you provide, the more your audience will trust you and your brand.
A good starting point when it comes to content ideas is to take things like FAQs and turn them into helpful resources, whether it be in a blog post or even a video series.
This not only gives you loads of potential points to explore, but it also helps to establish you as a trusted source of honest and reliable information that your audience will return to and even potentially recommend to others through sharing or reposting.
Sustain a Regular Frequency of Posting
Consistency can make or break your personal brand. Aim to post content regularly, regardless of whether it is daily or weekly. Regular content keeps your audience engaged and helps build momentum over time.
It’s also valuable to know that the frequency and time you post can differ depending on the platform you are using. For example, Instagram generally sees more engagement during off-work hours, like nights and weekends, while LinkedIn has a higher rate of interaction on weekdays.
Take the time to understand when your target audience is most active in order to get maximum reach and engagement.
Measure the Results of Your Content
To assess the effectiveness of your personal branding efforts, measure your content’s performance. Metrics to consider include engagement rates, click-throughs, and conversions. Tracking your performance can help you discern what’s working and what needs improvement, allowing you to adjust your strategy accordingly.
If a video is viewed thousands of times, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the most optimal content you could be posting. It can be useful to also check things like; how long the average user watched the video, at what point the attention drops off or even things like if the video is shared or saved.
Sustain Your Unique Style and Tone of Voice
Finally, staying true to your unique style and tone of voice is crucial.
Your personal brand should be a reflection of your authentic self, not a persona you adopt for brand-building purposes. Authenticity enables you to build a brand that’s reliable, engaging, and successful.
The tone of voice means how you communicate to your audience. It refers to the identity that you portray in all communication. Establishing a tone of voice is an integral step in establishing any brand, and it should be initiated as early as possible. When thinking about your tone of voice, take the time to look at the kind of language that is used. It should be appropriate for the context and convey your brand personality.
Pay attention to details like punctuation, grammar, and word choice as these all contribute to how you are perceived by your audience. Do you use big industry terms? Do you prefer easy-to-understand language? Do you use the first and second person (I, you, we, or do you prefer the third person (he, she, it, one)?
If you are communicating in English, do you use UK spelling or US spelling? All of these things should be taken into consideration, and they should remain consistent at all times.
Embrace your authentic self, as this is what truly sets you apart from the competition. Authenticity goes a long way in building trust with your audience - so don’t be afraid to show them who you are!
To sum up, a robust personal brand is a cornerstone of success in today’s digital age.
By following the above nine steps, you can build a powerful brand narrative that resonates with your audience, instills trust and credibility, and sets you apart from the competition.
It doesn’t matter what your industry or business is, investing in your personal brand is an investment in your long-term success.