“Personal branding is vital if you wish to succeed in your career.”
Well, if you’re a citizen of the planet Earth, then you’ve probably heard this statement hurling around at you one time or another.
You may ask, isn’t Personal Branding just a way of self-promotion? It is kind of self-promotion, but a bit more.
And isn’t it tough? It’s challenging, no doubt, but easier than it used to be, thanks to the internet.
Now before we talk about the 7 step roadmap for Personal Branding, let’s give you a better idea about what Personal Branding really is.
Personal Branding involves a conscious and intentional effort to create and influence public perception by positioning oneself as an authority in the industry.
Since you can influence your opinion of yourselves to others, you have control over the product, which is you.
So what now? If everyone’s talking about building their personal brand, you have to do it as well?
Well, yes! If you wish to have the bigger dough, then you’ve got to work for it.
In this age of Information, building a personal brand becomes something of great significance to distinguish yourselves from the competition.
As the old adage goes, “The best known always beats the best.” If people don’t know about how good of a product you are, then it’s as good as nothing.
Personal Branding Example
When you think of the success stories of Personal Branding, the like of Elon Musk would be the first name to come to your mind. And there’s no denying that he’s right up there as one of the best in his profession.
What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Elon Musk? Billionaire, Philanthropist, Play… Wait, I’m thinking of Tony Stark.
Elon Musk is a Tech visionary/genius (just like Tony Stark). From PayPal to SpaceX to Tesla to Solar City to The Boring Company, and whatnot, he’s done it all.
Tomorrow, he may start yet another company, in an industry which is totally different from the ones mentioned above, and the company might still do well.
And if you’re wondering why’s that, it’s because his companies brands are a subset of his personal brand, Elon Musk. He is their source of energy.
The Elon Musk brand is way more significant than the Tesla or the Space X brand, or any of his brands for that matter.
These brands thrive on the Elon Musk linkage. People trust these brands because of him.
Personal Touch, but with Brands
We trust humans more than we trust brands. And it has all to do with the personal touch.
Imagine you’re calling to complain about a problem with your telecom service provider. Now, do you wish to connect to a person or a bot? Suppose your answer to that question is machine instead of a human being. In that case, you’re probably a fan of the Terminator.
Because unlike the machines, it’s easier to communicate with and trust a real person.
So, it should come as no surprise why brands wish to become just like us, human beings.
And it’s also the reason why companies have brand ambassadors. These are the people who share the same energy as the brand.
Here are some fun fact(s) for you: Brand messages are re-shared 24 times more frequently when posted by an employee versus the brand’s social media channels. Also, content shared by employees receives 8 times more engagement than content shared by brand channels.
Yet still, the brands play their cards wrong.
Brands become top brands because of the human touch. And so, it becomes essential to have a human front runner rather than a brand. And this is where personal Branding makes the leap.
Is Personal Branding for you?
You bet it is.
No matter what line of work you’re in, if you wish to communicate with people around you, be it your employer or your client, Personal Branding is essential.
It helps them recognise and learn about you and your expertise.
If you’re wondering what you need to do, for starters, a little bit of passion and zeal will do a world of good.
You need to have a fire in your belly when you talk about building your Personal Brand. And when you’re there, you start your journey.
Roadmap to building a Personal Brand?
1. Identify where you are today
Before you begin any journey, it is essential to assess your whereabouts. Only when you know where you are, you can make plans for where you want to be.
You have to know your specialised area of expertise in your niche, what level you’re at.
Generally, the narrower the niche (micro or nano), the higher (and better) is your expertise. Similarly, a broader niche signifies general expertise.
So, analyse how your personal brand looks at this moment. Depending on the level you’re at, you make your strategy accordingly.
2. Identify where you want to be
Now that you know where you are, you must have a vision of where you wish to be.
If you have a role model, learn about their journey, their struggles, their success. That’s because if you’re following their footsteps, you will face similar challenges.
Moreover, you need to have a fair idea about your target audience. Your target audience can be the people buying your product/service, or they can be the people in your industry.
This includes knowing about their likes and dislikes, which platform they are available at.
3. The X factor
You need to have a unique angle about you. That’d be your Unique Selling Proposition.
For starters, be authentic. You got to have a burning desire inside of you, a passion for building your personal brand. And the best thing about it is that it will show. The energy is infectious.
Next thing is that you need to ensure to update yourselves regularly. You got to have an itch for.
Credibility is something which results from the pursuit of knowledge. So, immerse yourselves and swim deep in the sea of knowledge.
And finally, personal touch in the form of anecdotes is something you don’t want to miss.
There’s no personal brand without the person. Including your personal accounts in your videos, articles, posts make an instant connection with your audience.
4. Finding the right tools for the job
Building your personal brand is no less than climbing the Everest. And to help you in your cause, you need the right tools to ascend this mighty task.
And here are a few tools which can do the job:
This one is an absolute must. Having a personal website is like having your very own platform.
Ok, you have a social media presence, but remember, your followers on those platforms are not really your followers. They are the followers of the platform. Tomorrow, if your account gets banned or there is an algorithm change, your account’s engagement will suffer.
The best solution to tackle this scenario is to have your own platform in the shape of your personal website.
Moreover, you can integrate your website with an email marketing software which will allow you to engage with your followers without restriction. This helps build trust.
Check these blogging steps and Blog away!
– Public Speaking
Sharing your opinions in your field of expertise, on a stage or podium makes one sound credible as the audience is inclined to trust the speaker.
The bigger the platform where you address the audience, the better will be your brand. But to reach that stage, you have to start small. This can be as simple as making a YouTube video on any industry topic or doing a podcast interview or discussion.
If you feel more comfortable, you can also conduct webinar sessions for people in the same industry.
Public speaking and writing go hand in hand. If you’re a good speaker, you’ll find it easy to write and vice versa.
One of the best ways to build your personal brand is by writing a book or publishing your research work, or a case study. As you read this, you probably wondering, ‘only if writing a book was that easy’. But to be honest, it is quite easy. Check this link on how to write a book.
Refer to the first point where we talked about building your own platform in the form of a personal website. Over here, you can start blogging and writing relevant articles on your niche. The more you write, the better you get.
A book is just a collection of all your blog articles. You write 10 articles of 1000 words each, club them together, and you have yourself a 10k word mini-ebook. And when you know about the topic, the writing will come naturally.
All good writers are avid readers.
Reading has the potential to change your life. You get to live and learn from people’s experience, and no price in the world can get you that.
Reading 10 pages daily is much more valuable than reading 100 in one go and not seeing the book again for weeks. Consistency is the key, always.
Find yourself a mentor from your area of expertise. As the old saying goes, “A teacher is better than two books” Similarly, a mentor has been there and knows the world. He teaches you how to think and not what to think.
– Social Media
A formal social media platform like LinkedIn is one of the best places to network with people in your niche. Learn how you can optimize your LinkedIn profile.
Share your achievements, certifications, awards, etc., on your social media profiles. Let the world know about you.
The world will only buy the idea of you if you’re selling something. So, give them a nice story. And most importantly, network. The more you network, the bigger is the potential of your Personal Brand.
Now that you know about the available tools, you have to assess them and choose your pick wisely. After that comes the launch phase!
5. Communication and Consistency
The very first thing you need to do when you start is to have a personal mission statement about you.
This statement defines who you are as a person and identifies your purpose (personal or professional). It should explain how you wish to pursue that purpose and why it matters to you.
This statement should be resonated consistently across all your platforms.
Ensure that you have a consistent Bio, along with a professional-looking display picture across all your social media platforms. This distinguishes you from the rest of the crowd and makes your followers easier to recall your brand.
6. Patience and Persistence
The most challenging thing to do is to keep going on. You need to be focused on your task.
Moreover, you must assess your progress throughout the journey.
Building a personal brand is a slow process, and you need lots of patience and persistence. But remember that there is compound interest involved in case of the personal brand as well. So, you have to be patient and keep going on.
In addition, you have to be up to date on your digital presence. So, take time out every day to network and share your thoughts/stories/opinions.
Keep updating your knowledge, be it through reading books or taking online courses. Thanks to the internet age, there are lots of courses available online, and some of them are even free like these free Digital Marketing courses.
7. Have a Big Heart
Last but not least, don’t be afraid to fail or experiment.
Embrace the awkwardness which comes along this journey. Risk and Growth go hand in hand. The tales of heroism are shared by only the few who dare to lose the sight of the shore. So, dream, discover and explore.
Even though people don’t rate building a Personal Brand, but its significance cannot be underestimated in this digital age.
If you have ambitions for not only your career but also life, building a Personal Brand is the first step of that journey.
The beauty of Personal Branding is that it is the only time where people chase you instead of you chasing them.
So, no matter what stage of the journey you’re at, be it an employee in an organisation or if you’re looking to start your own business, or even looking to start a career in digital marketing, building a Personal Brand is the lifeline to that.
Check this out to learn more about the best Digital Marketing Internship Program, available online.
What’s your opinion on Personal Branding? Is it important? Would you make efforts? Please comment. I would love to read your views.
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