Usually, when you hear the term branding, you think of businesses and corporations. However, branding is critical for the survival of individuals in today’s competitive professional landscape. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, or simply a professional looking to better establish yourself in your field, personal branding is essential to your success. So how does one go about building a personal brand? It’s similar to corporate and product branding, except the product is you. Personal branding is all about finding what your strengths are and how you stand apart from your peers.
Define Your Goals. What are you looking to accomplish in the next month? In the next year? Give yourself some time to reflect on your personal and career goals. These objectives will ultimately shape and mold your personal brand. Everything you do moving forward will be for the expressed purpose of achieving these goals. Once you have your goals established, then you’re ready to move forward.
Do Some Research. Spend some time researching other successful individuals in your industry and what they are doing to create their own personal brand. Take note of what works and what doesn’t, what you like, and how you can use these ideas as inspiration for your own unique personal brand.
Build Your Empire. All of your personal branding efforts should stem from one particular contact point that will make it easy for people to connect with and contact you, ie., your website. Make sure that you have a clean, beautifully designed, easy to use, mobile friendly website. From here, you can host a blog, videos, webinars, and link to all your social media sites. Spend a lot of time developing your website to reflect your personal brand. Use consistent colors and themes for a streamlined user experience. Be sure to extend the look and feel of your website, or whatever point of contact you use as a launching point for your brand, into other areas of your professional life. There’s a reason why companies use the same consistent logo, colors, fonts, etc. on all of their packaging and advertising. They want you to know who they are as a company, just as you should want people to know who you are as a person and as a professional. This is the heart of branding.
Share Your Knowledge. Everyone has something of value to share, whether they’ve just started out in their career, or have decades of experience under their belt. Define yourself as a thought leader in your market and share your tips and secrets with other established and aspiring professionals. This helps define who you are as a person and as a professional. In providing something of value to your network, you will open up yourself to new and exciting opportunities for growth in your career. How can you go about sharing your knowledge? There are many avenues in which you could do this. You could start a blog attached to your website, or an educational video series. You can find other opportunities to expand your reach by becoming a contributor to other industry professional’s social channels. Get involved in a webinar or podcast, or write a few guest blog posts to really expand your professional network.
Be Yourself. Recognize the value in who you are and everything you have to offer as an individual and as a professional. You don’t have to pretend to be anyone else. Let your personality shine through. Be your most authentic self and people will identify with your authenticity. Your personal brand may not be for everyone, and that’s perfectly okay! You will find your audience and you will flourish there and that’s what it’s all about.