How you present your value to the world determines the kind of connections you establish and the sort of opportunities that you get. How do you want the world to perceive you?
Personal branding is all about intentional actions to influence how the world perceives you. It is an ongoing process.
Personalbrand.com defines personal branding as “The conscious and intentional effort to create and influence public perception of an individual by positioning them as an authority in their industry, elevating their credibility, and differentiating themselves from the competition, to ultimately advance their career, increase their circle of influence, and have a larger impact.”
How to do personal branding?
- Know your value: What are you bringing to the table? Value can be your unique addition to an industry and what makes you stand out of the crowd. To understand your value, start by making a list of your skills and talents, or things that you are good at. Here are some questions to help you in your reflection:
- What are you knowledgeable about?
- What is your position in the industry?
- What gives me credibility?
- What am I good at?
2. The brand statement: Once you are clear on your value, you need to define your brand statement. This is one or two sentences that summarize the unique features of your value in comparison what others in the same field are offering. Remember to keep it precise and concise. Here is an example:
“I support businesses to develop winning marketing strategies.”
3. Define your target audience: Decide on who it is you want to impress. Make a list of your target audience, including individuals, groups of people, companies, and organizations. Defining your audience will help you to tailor your messaging and will determine the channels that you choose to use.
- Plan: Like all projects in life, building a personal brand requires careful planning. You need to know what actions you need to take to build your brand. Your plan could indicate daily, weekly or monthly actions, depending on your targets.
Personal branding actions can be in relation to:
- Defining and researching your audience. Which message appeals to them?
- Researching your industry
- Online engagement
- Personal improvement
2. Build your online presence: Use the internet to establish your personal brand. The internet will help you to express your thoughts on key topics. As a rule of thumb, choose a maximum of three platforms to avoid spreading yourself too thin. You could for instance use you must get your voice to Twitter, Podcasts, Blogs and Facebook. Make sure that the way you present yourself online is consistent with your brand. Keep it professional. For instance, you could invest in good headshots for your profile pictures. And of course, before you post your opinions, do some research on the topic. You want to sound knowledgeable and not confused.
3. Measure your progress: What is working and what is not? How can you make your engagements better? This is information that you will only get if you measure how well your personal branding options are doing. On social media platforms, measuring your reach is very easy. Facebook, for instance, will show you how many people are reacting or commenting on your posts and the kind of comments they are making. You can also easily know if the people you are trying to impress are in fact impressed.
Do not be afraid to fail, remember that it is all a learning process and it may take a while to gain mastery. The beauty is that if you start today, you will have made an important step forward.
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