How to Build a Personal Brand in 5 Easy Steps
When you hear the names of celebrities such as Michael Vick, Charlie Sheen, or Tiger Woods, what are some of the things that come to mind? Although years after the fact, I’m sure you can’t help but remember some of their indiscretions.
Thankfully, many celebrities have a way of bouncing back even after seemingly irreversible damage to their reputations. In the same situation, would you or your business be as lucky?
A negative reputation can cost you your livelihood and can even result in you becoming a pariah in your community. It is estimated to have cost US businesses over $537 billion.
It’s a scary thought! However, you can guard against this is by building a strong personal brand. This allows you to control the narrative and respond genuinely and quickly if there is a threat against your good name.
Not sure how to begin building a personal brand? Read on to find out how.
What Is a Personal Brand?
A brand can refer to an individual or a company. Your personal brand is all that you encompass and includes your:
These, along with your family and those you associate with influence who you are and how you behave. The perception people have of you, based on this, becomes your personal brand.
As with companies, your brand reflects your emotions, values, and all that you stand for. Just as you may associate a particular brand with a specific feeling, so too, people will have a similar association with your personal brand.
For many, Nike represents athleticism, perseverance, and strength. What do you want to represent to others?
Strong reputations are usually built on trust, authenticity, and uniqueness. Think of these as you build your brand.
Why Is Brand Building Important?
Regardless of whether you’re a business or an individual, failing to build a brand or having negativity associated with an established brand can be detrimental to your personal as well as your company’s reputation.
This is even more significant if you’re one of the many people or companies who were forced to become creative due to the recent pandemic. If your innovation during this time has led to a new product or service, you’ll want to find a way to stand out. A personal brand can open up new opportunities.
Here’s what else it can do:
- Helps you to build your network or community
- It can increase your revenue
- Helps establish you as credible and trustworthy
- Help you to land a job
Yes, you read correctly. Even if you’re not selling any products or services, building your brand can help you get a job. With the advent of social media, most prospective employers look at a candidate’s social media presence.
This helps tell them a little more about the person. They also realize that someone with a substantial following and who is credible can help their business. Brand messages shared by employees get 561% more traction than when it’s sent via the company’s social media channels.
Your personal brand can be a great asset for a potential employer.
5 Steps for Building Your Personal Brand
The importance of a personal brand is clear. So where do you start? Here are some of the key steps of brand building:
1. Figure Out Who You Are
This may be the hardest part of creating a personal image. It requires you to examine yourself and figure out who you are and what you want to achieve.
Remember, your brand should be authentically you. You should have a clear idea of:
- Your motivation
- Your skills and abilities
- Things that bring out the best in you
- Your areas of interest
- Your goals
- The impression or impact you want to make on others
It may also help to think of the things you DON’T want or like, to ensure you stay far away from these when creating your brand. Asking family, friends, and those closest to you about these things may also help.
Create an image that reflects this. It will inevitably, change over time and your personal image will evolve as this occurs. Just remember to stay true to yourself.
2. Identify What Makes You Unique
Your examination above should help you to identify what makes you unique. What can you offer others in your special way that others can’t? It should be specific.
Define what it is and how it can add value to others. This is important as it will be the message you will repeatedly tell your audience. Always let them know how they can benefit from your product or service.
3. Build Your Audience
Once you’ve figured out what you’re going to offer, you’ll need to determine who you’ll be offering it to. Your audience will determine what avenues you use to build your following.
Trying to reach everyone is counterproductive, so you need to narrow down your audience to potential customers. This is easier when you’re offering a specific product or service.
Figure out where your audience is and the social media platforms they use. Build profiles on these and start reaching out by conveying your value proposition. Always remind potential customers how they will benefit from your product or service.
4. Formulate a Plan
Formulating a plan to reach out to potential customers involves an effective content strategy. It’s not just about posting feel-good quotes and bombarding them with your product offerings.
Your plan should be strategic. Every post should have a purpose and should speak directly to prospects.
They should be informative and highlight product benefits. These can include infographics, links to ebooks, or videos. There are many resources available that can guide you while you create your content strategy.
5. Tell Your Story
Online branding can be tricky at times. But if you keep in mind that your personal brand is about you, this should make it easier. Infuse your posts with your personality.
Everyone loves a great story. However, it should be real and appeal to a reader’s emotions. Don’t be afraid to share your own experiences and offer advice.
Your customers will appreciate it and reward you by recommending your services to others.
Branding Your Way to Success
You may not give personal branding a second thought if you don’t sell a product or service. But a personal brand encompasses so much more. It can help you sell yourself to potential employers.
It can also help you build trust and a good online reputation. If you’re not sure how to brand yourself, use a partner who can guide you through the process.
InternetReputation.com can help you create and maintain your personal brand. We can monitor your online reputation and we also have DIY tools and resources. Contact us for a FREE consultation today!