Before the rise of the internet, “brands” used to be just big companies, celebrities, movie stars, and all those big names with big money. But my, how things have changed! Now, almost anything and anyone can be a brand, and we could thank the internet for that. The internet provides a wide array of platforms where people can project their own personal branding. There are cat and dog celebrities on Instagram earning millions of dollars a year. What a time to be alive!
Nowadays, anyone who has an online presence is a brand. Even you can build yourself as a brand online! Building a personal brand in today’s world revolves around one simple equation; provide value to other people, help influence people to find the right products or services that can best service their needs and you can make a big pile of money out of it. Sounds like a business, right? When done right, personal branding (also know as being an influencer, though we kinda hate that word) can also be very beneficial for a business owner because it can positively affect your business. That’s why in this article, we’ll be discussing personal branding for those who want to take their own brand seriously.
What is Personal Branding?
Personal Branding is how you want others to see you and how you differentiate yourself from others. Simply put, it is your ideal and authentic self. It is all the amazing things that make you, YOU; your combination of skills, experiences, and your personality that fit together in your own unique way.
Personal branding is the ongoing process of trying to influence people’s perception of you. You continuously develop your personal brand everytime you make yourself public through your content. It results in storytelling about you. Jeff Bezos describes personal branding as “what people say about you when you’re not in the room”. Personal branding ensures that they’re saying the things you want them to say!
Why Should Business Owners Care About Personal Branding?
As a business owner, personal branding is important because it inevitably influences people’s decisions related to your business. When someone searches for your on the internet and sees your personal brand, it’s a make or break moment for your business. Your business’ brand is already tied to your own personal brand, influencing people to either patronize or ditch your brand. This is how powerful personal branding is. Think of any big company you admire – do you know who the CEO is? Of course you do! That’s the power of personal branding – whether it’s Oprah, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson or Mark Zuckerberg, we know their carefully curated brand and it makes us feel more emotionally connected to their brands.
How Do You Build a Personal Brand
Anyone can be a brand. Heck, you already have been unknowingly working on your brand. Do you have an instagram account? When you have a social media account, that already is part of your personal brand. Your content defines your brand. So now that you know the impact of your own personal brand to your business, it’s time to take steps to build yourself up into a thought leader and an influencer. Follow these steps to know how to build your personal brand.
1. Define Who You Are
It makes sense that defining who you are starts with choosing a brand name. Will you use your full name? WIll you simplify it? Will you coin a new term? Remember that this name should be consistent across all platforms where you will be building your brand, so make sure you are a hundred percent sure of your brand name because changing it in the middle of the process will just confuse people.
Next, consider what are your interests and passions: are you into digital marketing, architecture, culinary, fashion design, etc? This will define your niche, the type of audience you will attract. What are your values? Also, know your personality traits. Do you want to sound serious and professional, or do you want to be as casual as Gary Vaynerchuk? What are our visual elements: is your personal brand dreamy? Minimalist? The most important part is that you’re true to yourself and stay authentic! People can smell inauthenticity a mile away. Don’t be fake, be yourself! There’s no one else better qualified.
Defining who you are can develop over time, but laying these things as your foundation will guide you in achieving a consistent and sustainable personal brand. And having a consistent brand increases the chances of your brand getting remembered. Your identity should be consistent across all platforms, digital or printed, visual or verbal.
2. Define your Purpose
After defining your persona, you then proceed with the most important consideration of all: your purpose. Why do you want to build a brand? What is your purpose? Neil Patel outlines these questions to define your purpose:
- What is your mission statement?
- What would you like to achieve?
- What legacy would you like to leave behind?
- What words do you want to evoke when your name is mentioned?
Purpose is very important because it provides direction to your personal brand. It is the core of your brand’s existence. Without it, having a personal brand makes no sense at all. It also defines your brand’s call-to-action (what action you want your audience to take).
3. Know Your Audience
For any marketing initiative, knowing your target audience is a must. Who needs to know what you’re offering? Clearly identify who you want to target so you know how you will project your personal brand through your content. And it’s more than just knowing their demographics, their behaviour, their communication style, their lifestyle, etcetera. More than anything, you need to know their needs and problems. The way you project your personal branding should address their needs, providing value for them.
4. Choose Your Platform/s
You need a space to promote your personal brand. An ideal landing page would be a website because you have control over what it contains, how much information it contains, and how these information is organised. You can even customise this space to show your visual branding.
Need a website for your brand? You can ask Social Geeks for help! They create FREE Websites for Australian Businesses as their way to help small businesses during the pandemic.
If by any means you can’t seem to have a website, social media accounts can also be your option. You don’t need to have an account for all social media platforms, though! Choose the ones that fit your brand, or where your audience basically is. For example if you’re an interior designer, Pinterest and Instagram is your best bet because they are very visual, so your audience is most likely on these platforms.
5. Develop a Content Strategy
Now, it’s time to get the word out. Content is king. Content is your way of communicating your brand to your audience. It’s your way of expressing your brand’s identity so that your audience will understand who you are and your purpose. Examples of content include tweets, images, videos and vlogs, blog posts, podcasts… the list is endless! Strategise the way you publish your content. Identify when to post, where, how often, and what types.. And it should always start with your purpose. For example, if your purpose is to educate, then thought leadership content like podcasts and how-to vlogs is your way to go.
Building a personal brand is a continuous effort. At first, it may be challenging but as you go along, it already comes naturally. Once the effects of your personal brand to your business gets materialised, then maintaining your brand will be a no-brainer for you.
Still don’t know how to start your personal brand? Reach out to us and we’ll guide you to setting up your brand.