What would three different people who know you say about what they think you’re excellent at or what they believe makes you distinct and authentic?
Will they offer you the exact answers you may provide about yourself, or will they say anything that contradicts who you believe you are? This question introduces the idea of personal branding.
What exactly is a personal brand?
Personal branding is the purposeful attempt to build and influence the public impression of oneself by enhancing one’s reputation and positioning oneself as an expert among rivals. As a result, personal branding allows others to view you how you want to be seen. It informs others about what they may anticipate from you.
On the same note, your brand is a transparent and honest tool for conveying your experiences, abilities, beliefs, and attitudes that set you apart from others in your sector or community. It is far more deliberate since it is how you want others to perceive you. It implies all about exposure and the beliefs you publicly represent.
To put it simply, your personal brand is YOU!
Your brand comprises five fundamental parts that define you and what you stand for. These aspects capture your spirit and keep you focused on being the finest version of yourself. These components are as follows:
Your brand must be genuine. Authenticity refers to being authentic, honest, open, and consistent in your brand messaging. You must be authentic while expressing your message and narrative to your audience. Don’t post tales that are inconsistent with your brand.
Brand principles are the fundamental ideas that form your brand and the ideals you uphold. These principles span from how you treat others to your job attitudes. Your personal brand should convey your values and value proposition.
One of the foundations of your personal brand is your reputation. It is how others see and recognize you. People will regard you as someone who delivers values if you have a good reputation.
Every powerful personal brand is founded on genuine good conduct. Your behavior relates to how you behave, particularly in relation to others. It refers to how you connect and respond to your audiences.
One of the components of your personal brand is your skill set. It incorporates both your technical and soft skills. It reflects your knowledge and what you are good at. As you work on developing your personal brand, make sure to express your skill set and area of expertise.
6. The Brand Story
A brand narrative is the foundation of any effective personal brand. Your brand story tells a captivating story about your professional self. It explains to your audience why you do what you do and how you do it. This establishes an emotional bond between your brand and your target audience. We’ll get into more detail about this later.
A strong personal brand will assist you in raising the expectations of your target audience. Some of these assumptions include how they will feel about hiring, employing, or even promoting you. Are you seen as credible or trustworthy? You may not have a solid personal brand if you aren’t perceived as such. An established personal brand can help you gain more clients by increasing your recognition and reputation.
How to Create a Brand
You may wonder how you can establish your personal brand and make it work for you now that you’ve seen what it is. Here are three key strategies for successfully creating your brand.
1. Know your audience
When developing your brand, you must first define your target audience. It enables you to think from the position of providing value to them. Many spend too much time determining what their brand can accomplish rather than what it can do for others. Your target audiences are the crucial people who may raise your profile if they regard you as credible.
It would help you construct a persona for your target audience to grow your brand correctly. It is the same way the companies build buyer personas for their marketing campaigns.
You make one by giving it a name, behavioral characteristics, and demographic characteristics such as age, gender, and job. This information will assist you in developing an image of your target audience, allowing you to build your brand voice and goals. Furthermore, remember that your core audiences are the people and tasks with which you are now in sync.
2. Know your channels
Another essential strategy for growing your brand is discovering your brand’s channels. Your brand channels include several distribution platforms that you may employ to connect with your target audience. It includes advertising, marketing, and promoting your brand so that your target audience notices you.
When I talk about brand channels, I’m referring to the media that best delivers your message to your target audience. After identifying your target audiences, you’ll need to know where they are and how to engage with them effectively. Choosing the appropriate channel will make your branding journey less stressful.
Brand channels are classified into two major categories:
a) Verbal communication route This channel is described as a brand channel that incorporates information interaction via spoken words and might include phone conversations, virtual meetups, chit-chat, or voice messages.
b) Written communication channels: Textual messages or posts, such as email messages, the written material on social media, internet websites, newsletters, quality reports, and proposals, are examples of written channels.
These two channels are the foundation for deciding on a brand channel and selecting the ideal social media platform to express your message to your target audience. Instagram may be an excellent social networking site for certain people, while Linkedin may be a better one for others.
3. Determine your brand message
Your message communicates your distinct personality and values to your target consumers. If well-crafted, it will help you stand out and influence how your audience perceives you. Experience, abilities, personality, value proposition, and habits are such characteristics.
Here are some questions to consider while developing your brand message.
a) Do I usually talk about ‘what I do when I connect with my target audience?
Speaking just about ‘What you do’ is not the best method to express your brand’s narrative. It is better to balance it with ‘Who you are.’ When you tell your narrative from the perspective of ‘Who you are,’ you build an emotional connection with your primary audience. Distinguish between ‘Who you are’ and ‘What you do.’
b) Is my brand messaging concentrated on my distinctive values and reputation?
If it isn’t, you should reconsider and create one based on a solid value proposition and trustworthiness. If you only focus on communicating your message based on your talents and image, you may end up with an audience that does not see you as a reputable person. As a result, you should dive further into explaining your beliefs and drives to your audiences, as this will aid in developing authentic human engagement.
c) Does my brand messaging have a tale to tell?
Your brand messaging should be narrative. These three goals should serve as the foundation for the story:
- The why provides the reasoning behind why you do what you do. It should also define your existence and why the prospect should collaborate with you.
- The “What” should explain what you provide, the challenges you can solve, and how you are the answer to the “Why.”
- Another intriguing goal for your tale is “How you do it.” You’ll need to inform your audience how well you perform your work, how you address an issue, how you vary from your competition, and how you deliver now that you’ve discussed what you provide and why you do it.
Guidelines to Build Your Online Brand
Many people struggle to establish their internet presence and are unsure of what is expected of them while developing their brand. This occurs because they are unaware of the phases of their brand. Building your brand online consists of three primary stages, which are as follows:
The positioning step is critical for your own brand. It is where you define what you want to be remembered for, described as, and recognized for. Most people find it difficult to respond when asked what they provide by potential clients or prospects. It happens due to a lack of an effective elevator pitch.
An elevator pitch is a brief introduction of oneself. One method for developing an elevator pitch is to pinpoint the value you provide and immediately put it into a brief response.
Let’s put this formula to the test to determine Mrs. Fina’s pitch.
Q1- Your work title? – Marketing Specialist.
Q2- Who do you assist? – I assist businesses.
Q3- What do you support them to do? – Reach their target consumers and increase sales.
Q4- How do you assist them in doing so? – By developing captivating brand stories and winning tactics.
So, using the solution above, let’s craft a pitch.
“I assist companies in reaching their target audience and increasing revenue by developing captivating brand stories and winning tactics.”
Prospects will be less likely to be drawn to your offer when your personal brand is not correctly positioned.
2. Appropriate Packaging
Have you ever questioned why some individuals are paid more than you for doing the same thing you perform for a minimal fee? This is because you have not adequately packaged your expertise and services.
Packaging your personal brand will offer your audience a good image of you, and they will perceive you as desirable. It starts with suitable attire and selecting the ideal profile photographs for your social media accounts. For example, you should not put a blurry photo on your LinkedIn page.
Keep in mind that this step aims to guarantee that you appeal to the correct demographic so that it will draw those premium clients toward you.
3. Brand Promotion
“Content is King!” as the saying goes.
You must tell the world what you do by publishing about it so that others may see it. If you’ve done everything for your brand but don’t advertise it, you’ll find those important audiences aren’t interested in you. This stage aims to expose yourself by providing graphics, words, and videos.
It is also vital that you select what sort of material you will create so that you are not recognized by those who will not come to patronize you. Many people confront this problem; they complain that they have strong interaction on social media platforms, but no one comes to use their services. This happens because their audience is unaware of what they do or does not trust their work.
To properly advertise your own brand, you must grasp conversion strategies. This might be accomplished by carefully employing a call to action.
A call to action, often known as a CTA, is an invitation that stimulates or requires quick sales from an audience.
This call to action will serve as a prompt for them to become potential clients or subscribers.
As you embark on your personal branding journey, remember that your personal brand is ‘YOU,’ and it is not a one-day endeavor. It’s a journey that requires you to keep improving your brand and making gains along the way.