Personal branding has become more important than ever in today’s digital age of social media and e-commerce. Building your personal brand does not have to feel contrived or artificial; it’s simply a clear impression of who you are and what you do. But, if the term “personal brand” feels slightly nebulous, or you’re wondering whether you need to invest in developing your own, this is the blog for you!
What does it mean to have a personal brand? Think of it as an online extension of a first impression.
“Personal Branding” refers to the art of presenting yourself, intentionally and consistently, to an audience. Your personal brand encompasses how you present yourself online and what pops up when you enter your name into the search bar.
You can leverage various channels to build your personal brand, including social media, a blog or website, guest authorship on third-party outlets, and your portfolio. Which combination you choose will depend on your industry and how best to reach your audience.
A personal brand will allow you to build a distinct identity, gain credibility and maintain control. Here’s why this is important.
Personal branding can help you stand out from the crowd or your competitors. When crafted well, it helps showcase your accomplishments and abilities. If you’re selling a service or product, your personal brand will emphasize what you bring to the table or how you ease your customers’ pain points.
The best way to ensure your personal brand is distinct is to be creative with it! Develop a unique style and then be consistent with it. This will help your audience recognize your unique voice and style over time. It will also help you draw in like-minded people and keep them coming back. If people like your vibe, they will subscribe!
A distinct personal brand is vital for reaching your target audience and letting them know what you offer.
Building a personal brand allows your customers or audience to see the face behind a business, helping to humanize your business and strengthen your audience’s connection to you. Generally, we all like to feel like we know the person we’re going to be working with. Showing up consistently, intentionally, and authentically helps build a sense of trust and legitimacy around you and your brand.
We can’t control what people think, but clearly and consistently communicating what we value, what we’re about, and what we can offer will definitely influence how we’re perceived. So why not be intentional about how you’re showing up online? Doing so increases the chances that you and your brand will be perceived in the way you hope and lessen your chances of being misunderstood or overlooked by those you are trying to reach.
By now, you’re hopefully convinced that personal branding is a useful tool and a worthy investment. So how do you go about building a personal brand?
We know research can be daunting, but just a little effort here can go a long way! Being mindful of industry trends and how you can creatively incorporate them into your personal brand is a good place to start. Think of these points when researching –
Who in my industry is doing a great job with their branding? Why and how? What values do others in the industry associate with them, and what’s creating this perception? This can shape which values you choose to highlight in the way you show up online and what your personal brand will stand for.
After you’ve done your research, and are in the process of building your website, portfolio, or social media for your brand, make sure to be clear about who you are, what you do, and what you can bring to the table. Take the time to write this out, and get feedback from people whose opinions you trust. Clear messaging is the foundation of building your personal brand.
This is an extremely important tip. No one, neither you nor your audience, wants things to feel contrived and artificial. When you’re authentic, your ideal customers will naturally relate to you and be drawn to your brand. There’s no better way to stand out from the crowd.
This can be done in many ways. Platforms such as TikTok, LinkedIn, and Instagram help amplify your voice online to reach specific communities and potential partners or clients. They’re also a great way to find collaborators or clients you might like to do business with. Some will no doubt stumble upon your content but don’t be shy about reaching out directly.
Reaching out to people offline is also just as important. Once you have your personal brand or portfolio ready to present, you can share it at conferences and other networking events, but also more informally with those in your social network. Don’t be shy about letting your friends, family, and acquaintances know what you’re up to. You never know where it will lead.
There you have it! We hope you’re feeling inspired to build your personal brand and well-equipped to get started!
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