Most of us have heard the term “branding yourself” when it applies to business, but not enough people know the importance of it. Understanding how to brand yourself begins with discovering your personal brand.
Personal Branding is about identifying and then communicating what makes you unique and relevant and differentiated for your target audience, so that you can reach your goals. If you understand your strengths, skills, passions, and values, you can use this information to separate yourself from your competitors and really stand out.If you were to ask family members to describe you, they would use a few key words. Diligent, trustworthy, thoughtful, strong, passionate, you get my point.
Its these descriptors that are sewn into the tapestry of who we are, and what your personality is.
Uncovering or discovering your personal brand is step one. Its not a show or an act that you put on for others, nor is it a tagline or a ad campaign. Your personal brand is the core of “YOU”. Its a combination of your skills, beliefs, talents, interests, ethics and other characteristics that make you who you are.
Not everyone knows who you are, and since that means they probably have no idea what you do and how good you do it, it’s important for you to give your skills a bit of recognition.
Ask yourself these questions:
Where are my passion areas?
What are my biggest strengths?
What makes me unique?
Once you dig in and find those things that make you unique, your on your way. Understanding who you are is the starting point for the rest of the process
Having an asset that’s unique and commands respect is a good investment. By branding yourself, you become the asset and the product. YOU are own unique product and no one can take that away from you.
Structuring yourself to become the asset will add value to not only your business, but also your skills and experience. When you’re the asset, your business revolves around you and therefore you’re irreplaceable.
You will be recognized for who you are and most importantly, what you do.
I personally dont recommend branding yourself along side a business, or in conjunction with a business. If you brand yourself as “Bob, “The C.E.O.
of Widget INC.” and 2 years from now “Widget Inc” goes belly up, all the work you did as “Bob the CEO” has been wasted. It’s always a wise idea to brand yourself, even if the company you are currently working for or with has a huge following or a massive amount of customers or clients.
Building Trust Through Social Sites
Branding yourself allows you to easily engage with your clients and build trust. Once your clients begin to trust you, they’ll never forget what you have to offer. Out of building trust comes recognition. Odds are if a client trusts you, then they won’t hesitate to refer their contacts to you. Over time, this evolves into a strong relationship, which in return turns your clients into loyal customers.
Create a communication plan with your online presence. Fortunately, there are dozens and dozens of platforms where your able to promote your personal brand. Social media has allowed even the average Joe to be able to reach their target audience, using many social tools (some of which can be overwhelming). Deciding which platforms are right for you can become difficult and time consuming, considering the endless methods and platforms at your disposal. I suggest picking a few of the more well known outlets, and begin construction of your brand.
A few of the top sites are:
Facebook (of course)
(the up and coming) Periscope
just to name a few
If you go over to the right sidebar on this page and click on the + at the bottom of the social media icons, there you will find many social media sites not only to build your brand, but to search out your competition to see the areas you might need to focus on.
Having your own website with a domain name specifically tailored to your brand, is another way to get people to know, like and trust you. If you have only social media presence. your missing out on search engine results that could potentialy help you in building your target audience. Remember ,when people type in the search bar on Google, Bing, Yahoo or any other search engine, they are looking for something specific, and if its you they find on that search, you have a good chance that they will remain a loyal follower.
You should consistently engage or provide content for your audience through social media that highlight your expertise. Driving your social media audience to your website or blog is an effective way to say “I am the expert”. Your blog is the perfect way to add rocket fuel to your personal brand.
There is substantial work involved in building your personal brand and actively managing your strategy. If you aren’t building your own brand, your business will suffer. If you want to succeed, become an expert in your field, claim a website under your own domain name, connect with the media, and build relationships with your audience.