What is Personal Branding?
Personal Branding is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands.
Personal Branding is the managing of the way a person wants to be perceived, this includes talents, professional skills, personality, values and leadership. Some people think that branding is only for organisations and products but this is not the case. Personal Branding makes you the architect of the brand called “YOU”. It’s a powerful form of marketing that can help you manage your career and build your reputation.
Once people know who you are and begin to identify you with a specific area of understanding or expertise, you’ll be well on your way to becoming the go-to person in your industry.
In this article, we are going to examine ways that you can establish a personal brand as well as ways to grow a personal brand to support your career and marketing objectives.
1. Start Thinking of Yourself As a Brand
What do you wish people to associate with you when they think or hear your name? Is there a certain subject matter in which you want to be perceived as an expert or are there general qualities you want to be linked to yourself? Once you understand how you wish to be perceived, you can start to be much more strategic about your personal brand.
2. Be Yourself
Your brand should be a reflection of who you are. Know what you believe and what you stand for.
If you don’t appear to be a real person, or if it just looks like you’re faking it, how likely do you think others would trust you? Even if you fake them for a while it won’t last.
Building a personal brand is first and foremost developing an understanding of your true self, and then sharing that with the world. Take your masks off and don’t be afraid of being exposed.
3. Build Your Online Presence
In this era of technology; building an online presence is crucial in your Personal Branding process. Have you ever googled your name to see whether it appears on search engines? Do you have social media profiles? If so, are they fully fleshed out with relevant information about you? Do they present you in the best way possible, and make you look professional? Are you using high-quality professional photographs? Are you interacting with others and sharing contents?
Making good use of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. are good ways to expand your online visibility so that people can know more about you and what you do. Having a professional, rich and good looking LinkedIn profile should also be considered.
If possible record a video resume and upload it on online, this could increase credibility and let people hear you speak about yourself and what you can do.
Do you know how you’re appearing and coming across online? This is something you’re going to want to monitor on an ongoing basis, and improve upon whenever and wherever possible. Try googling your name to see how your name appears and what you can do to improve your visibility.
Do you have a website for your Personal Brand? One of the best ways to rank in search engines for your name is to build a website. This gives you considerably more control over your online presence than social media. It doesn’t need to be robust. It can be a simple one or two-page site with your resume, links to your social platforms, and a brief bio. You can always expand on the website with time and add features like SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). You can buy your own domain as low as $4.99. If you still think it’s expensive you can create a single page site with about.me and set up your profile.
You can check out my personal website ousfaal.com as an example. Where I try to put everything about me in one place.
4. Author Contents
It’s very important to author contents related to your area of expertise by writing articles and posting them on social media or blogs. This could make your audience believe that you are competent in what you do. You could also share useful contents and control what others tag you on social media. You can create a free blog with wordpress.com or blogger.com.
5. Connecting And Building Relationships
Building key relationships with professionals in your industry or people interested in what you do could pave a way for you. Like it’s said, “Your network is your net worth”
6. Consider Critics
No one is perfect! Some may criticise or disagree with you. The important thing is to make sure you consider or take note of those critics. Thank others for sharing their views, and if the points they raised were legitimate, determine how you can improve and do better next time.
Friends and close ones might not be the people you likely hear critics from, because they don’t want to hurt you. In most cases, all you hear from them is something positive about you.
7. Keep Upgrading Yourself
No matter how well you know your industry or area of expertise, it would be wise to remember that things are changing at a faster rate than ever before, and you have to stay up-to-date with the latest changes and trends.
It takes time to build your Personal Brand, if you fail to stay relevant, all of your efforts will be wasted. If you don’t want to be discredited, then you’ll want to keep it steady.
It also pays to learn new things, develop new skills, and to expand your knowledge. If you’re not growing, then you’re stagnating, and that’s the last thing you want for yourself.
As you begin to sharpen your personal brand, the right opportunities will start coming your way. “Success is where preparation meets opportunity”
However, don’t forget how important it is for you to have accomplished something yourself. You can’t talk about what you haven’t done, because that will take away your integrity.
8. Stand Out
Even though there are lots of people doing the same thing that you do, there is always a way to stand out and be the best at what you do. Being innovative could be the best thing. To be able to stand out, you should know your industry and think of ways you could be different. Everyone is unique in there own ways. BE UNIQUE!
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Ousman Faal [Digital Vigilante] is a Tech Entrepreneur & Digital Skills Trainer who teaches both in the classroom and online. He has experience in various technologies and likes sharing it with others. Ousman has published 144 articles on this blog. He is the CEO of Faalen Technologies and Skills.gm.