It’s not often that people decide to build their own personal brand. That’s because of the ill-conceived notion that branding is only for businesses; but, this is far from the truth.
A solid personal brand is just what you need to attract the right clients to your practice. Building a personal brand is akin to building your reputation and expanding your reach. It’s the final piece of the puzzle to get you into the big leagues.
Creating a personal brand may seem like a waste of time and money to most people. This could be because they’ve used considerable effort crafting their CVs and Linkedin profiles. A fair argument, but an invalid one still.
Almost everyone has a CV and profile on Linkedin, but not many people have their own brands. Building a personal brand is what will give you that edge over your rivals.
Not convinced? Well, keep reading and learn all the advantages of building your personal brand.
What Is a Personal Branding?
Personal branding involves intentionally influencing public perception of yourself by advancing yourself as an authority in a particular niche. It entails promoting your skills, experience, competencies, and personality. Personal branding not only aims to raise awareness but also set yourself apart from the pack.
Your personal brand is people’s perception of you and what they know about you. It can be your real-life image, your media portrayal, or peoples’ impression of your online presence. In most cases, it’s a combination of all three.
You can build your brand in two ways. The first is professional, where you set out to create a powerful brand that draws prospective clients. The second is organic, which is a more chaotic and somewhat hit-or-miss approach to personal branding.
Why Is Building a Personal Brand So Beneficial?
Individuals with solid personal brands always have the edge over their counterparts. That’s because they sell themselves as authorities in their trade.
Here are a few benefits of having your own personal brand:
It makes Your Target Audience Trust You More
The banality of traditional advertising is a turnoff for most people, especially millennials. Most people are shying away from big names and embracing startups and small practices. This presents the ideal opportunity to let your brand speak for you.
A powerful brand instills trust in your target audience because of the increased familiarity with you and your services. It also increases the likelihood of referrals because your brand will be commonplace for your prospects. If you combine a solid brand with top-notch service, you’re all set for success.
A proper personal brand opens up a gateway of opportunities for advancement in your craft. These opportunities may include:
- Propitious partnerships
- Networking and growth opportunities
- Job interviews
These are only a few of the multitude of opportunities personal branding can offer. A solid personal brand enhances recognition, which translates to more opportunities in your specific field. Use your personal brand to elevate you to greater heights.
Solidifies Your Online Presence
What comes up when you search your name online?
If it’s a whole bunch of nonsense, then you probably haven’t done much to build your personal brand. This means you’re still a nobody on the world wide web.
If your run a practice or are a freelancer, you’ll need a robust online presence for clients to find you. Prospects will search your name online to learn more about you and what you offer. A heap of hogwash and vague information won’t be of much help to them.
Make it easier for prospects to find you by building a strong personal brand. Part of personal branding involves creating your own website and optimizing it for SEO ranking. Doing so brings you closer to your clients and success.
Personal branding is also crucial for employees and even students. Employers may search prospective employees online to learn more about them. You can let this be or create your own image that depicts you how you want.
It Enhances Your Authenticity
Your personal brand premises on your competencies, experience, portfolio, and personality. It’s your conscious effort to promote yourself and increase your allure to prospects. It’s about showing the world who you are and your value proposition.
There’s nothing inauthentic, vague, or exaggerated about a personal brand. Proper personal branding is about being 100% authentic. You can’t use a contrived image or put on a fake persona with your personal branding. It helps clients know who you are and what to expect from you.
Authenticity makes life a whole lot easier because you don’t have to act like somebody else. It allows you to lead a meaningful life by doing what you love as yourself. This significantly improves your quality of life.
You Establish Yourself as an Expert in Your Niche
Personal branding allows people to know you without any face-to-face interaction. In most personal branding cases, your profession and expertise will precede your identity. That’s because your personal brand helps you prop yourself as an authority in your field.
You’ll be the go-to option for anyone in need of the services you offer. You’ll also have many referrals because you’ve made yourself a name in your industry.
It Increases Your Perceived Value
As you enhance your personal brand, so does your popularity grow. You’ll start connecting with people on deeper levels and forming concrete relationships with them. This not only grows your client base but also strengthens your reputation.
All this translates to an increased in perceived value and allows you to charge higher for your services. It’ll also create opportunities for you to grow in your niche and drive demand. Personal branding increases your perceived value and accelerates your growth.
Separates You From the Others
As mentioned above, building a personal brand is an excellent way to put yourself a cut above the rest. The more your personal brand grows, the further ahead you get on the curve. A proper personal brand will put you miles ahead of the competition.
Invest in building your personal brand and differentiate yourself from your counterparts. Doing so is especially useful if you work in a highly competitive field like marketing.
Top Tips for Creating a Personal Brand
With so many advantages, creating your own personal brand should top your to-do list. However, doing so is easier said than done. Thankfully, we’re here to help.
Here are a couple of tips for creating your personal brand.
The first step in building your personal brand is finding yourself, but not in the meditative sense. You need to figure out who you are, which means being introspective about your strengths, weaknesses, and values.
Here are a couple of questions to get you going:
- What areas of my trade do I excel in?
- What keeps me going and motivated?
- What roles do I enjoy the most?
- Are there any work activities that drain my energy?
- What do people like about my personality?
If you’re not sure about the answers to these questions, you can ask your co-workers or friends once you’re aware of what makes you. You can decide what traits to brand and which ones to leave out. It’s not being disingenuous; it’s emphasizing your strengths.
Decide What You Want People to Know Your For
The next step is to decide what you want people to know you for. Most people want to be known for their competencies, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, also be sure to highlight useful personality traits and values.
Think of your brand as a story you want to tell the people or an informal introduction. What do you want them to know, what do you want to leave out? Create a list of what you want people to know about you, and let your brand revolve around this list.
Lock Down Your Target Audience
The next step is to clearly define your target audience. They could be prospective clients, subscribers, or members. Regardless of your target audience, make sure you have a clear idea of who they are.
That way, you can craft your story to appeal to your target audience. You can highlight strengths that are most useful to your client base. Later on, decide on a platform that resonates with your audience and present your brand.
Create an Online Presence
After defining your target audience, what you need to do next is establish an online presence. As mentioned earlier, interested parties will probably look for you online. You want them to find all the right things about you.
You can start by buying a domain with your full name as the domain name. For instance, www.yournamehere.com is an excellent domain for starters. You can then use this domain for your static website or blog.
That way, you can own the first search result in SERPs when someone looks for you online. This is much better than social media, where you have tens of people with the same name as yours. Remember, this website should be separate from your company website because you’re building a personal and not a business brand.
Don’t forget to add your picture, bio, and contact information to your blog or website. It’s also important to provide links to your social media pages and other websites, if applicable. You should do so even if you don’t have a considerable social media following.
Although your website is the face of your brand, it’s no reason to overlook your social media. Around seven in ten Americans are on social media. This makes it the ideal platform to sell your brand to prospects.
It’s a platform where you can interact with your target audience without all the formality. However, growing your social media following requires lots of commitments.
Develop an Elevator Pitch
An elevator pitch, in this case, is a short speech, statement, or short video about yourself. Create an elevator pitch video of about 30-60 seconds where you give the public a brief description of yourself. This elevator pitch sets the stage for your personal brand by giving the public a sneak peek of what you offer.
The pitch must be brief but concise and rich in information. You need concerned parties to know who you are and what you offer in no more than 60 seconds. Don’t forget to throw in a few power words to trigger the desired responses from your target audience.
Use Networking to Create Brand Awareness
Try your best to build concrete networks with colleagues in your niche to build a strong professional circle. You can go to networking events to interact and connect with peers with the same interests as yours.
While no one might necessarily recognize you at networking events at first, it’ll set the tone for your growth. The more events you attend, the more value you can offer and the more popular you become. This will aid you in your quest to become an authority in your specific field.
In fact, did you know about 85% of job vacancies are filled via networking? That’s more than three-quarters of all job vacancies. Networking can help your raise brand awareness and land a couple of high-paying clients.
Ask for Referrals and Recommendations
A few referrals and recommendations can go a long way in building your client base and reputation. Ask your friends and colleagues to recommend you to their friends and family. You can also ask former workmates or managers to do the same.
Build Your Personal Brand Today
With so many advantages of building a personal brand, you should make plans to build yours ASAP. You’ll probably need a bit of professional help to create the best personal brand for yourself. You can talk to any marketing professionals to help you do your bidding.
Don’t forget to check out the other posts on the site for more informative reads.