Last updated on July 10, 2018
Personal Branding Part 1-The Introduction
Most people understand the importance of branding a business, this brand recognition is what sells products. It’s what makes you instantly know what those Golden Arches (www.mcdonalds.com) have to offer or the products available by the company with the instantly recognizable apple with a bite out of it however, personal branding is also important. In fact, it might be even more important because personal branding can be a vital component in building your career. Personal branding is being able to put yourself out there as someone that others will recognize as a leader in their industry. Of course, this means that you always need to be focused on branding yourself in a positive light. It takes the unique position of branding YOU as the product, if you will.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur or you’re looking for a career with a large corporation, building your own personal brand is a valuable asset because it allows you to be instantly recognizable and respected. Many people don’t realize that in today’s world your personal brand is always out there, available to just about anyone willing to do a little online searching. How you are viewed in these online searches is at the core of your own personal branding.
If you’re interacting with anyone on a level that requires trust, you can be sure that they are looking into the brand you’ve created online. This might be your social media profile or posts, but it could also be awards or accolades that you’ve earned, press releases about your company, or community service projects you’ve been involved in. The information available online can be used by others to find out more about you as an individual. Does this information line up with the person you want to present in a business or professional setting? If not, it’s time to take your personal branding very seriously.
Create Trust in Personal Branding
When your personal branding leads to others seeing you as someone they can trust, you’ve created a reputation that can help you in all aspects of your life. It’s important to understand that promoting yourself as the essence of your brand is not about vanity, it’s about creating a respected personal brand that others will see as a respected and credible person.
Using a Process and Platform with Branding
Of course, people who work on self-branding can use a number of techniques to build this brand awareness, but the process can often be just as important as the end result. In the process of promoting yourself, you’re likely to begin seeing yourself in an entirely different light. You might gain a bit more confidence, but it’s likely you’ll also begin to establish your priorities in a way that aligns with your personal brand.
Personal branding is an important part of defining who you are as well as what you do, and the type of person you want to be. You’ll certainly be able to stand out from your competition, but it can be so much more for example, it can be an excellent way to identify your strengths and weaknesses. A well-defined personal brand can be a wonderful asset, regardless of your career choices.
When you understand the importance of personal branding, chances are, you’re wondering where to start. It’s important to establish a solid understanding of the basic platforms that can be used to help promote yourself as a brand. There are certainly many ways to create brand awareness, including on your various social media accounts, YouTube, your own website, and even when engaging in other online venues, including posting on other sites however, it takes more than just having a presence online, you need a way to brand yourself in a way that will create recognition and trust.
Personal branding involves knowing how to get your name out there in front of as many people as possible. Just like business branding requires coming up with a business name, logo and a header for their website, the same is true when you’re trying to establish your personal branding. When you think of personal branding, it’s important to take some time and identify exactly how you want to showcase yourself. This might be a little more challenging than you realize. It’s a time of self-reflection as well as goal setting. Before you can begin the process of personal branding, you need a very clear vision on exactly what it is you want to present to the world.
How to Brand Yourself
If you’re not yet sure how to go about personal branding, it’s important to realize that, like all corporate or product branding, it’s going to come down to a few key concepts. Branding is the process of creating your image through building a solid reputation and influence among those in your field as well as with people in your personal life. When other people think of you, what is it that comes to mind? It can be your talents, character, values, and actions. This is your personal brand, and you can have a direct influence on the way others perceive you.
One of the things you’ll want to do to help build your personal brand is to have a quality website. Your website can contain your resume, a portfolio of your work, or a combination of images and text that best identifies you as a brand. Your website doesn’t have to have numerous pages and everything there is to know about you but it should include your resume in addition to some biographical information, and links to your social networking sites. Of course, having a website about yourself means that the domain should include your name. If you’re interested in personal branding, you certainly want to be able to rank for your own name, if possible.
Other factors to consider include the header for your website in addition to a well-designed logo that you can use on your website and social media sites. After all, if you’re going to be a brand, you need a logo that others will eventually be able to instantly identify as “You”. You can often find very creative and talented individuals on fiverr.com who will create a logo or header for a reasonable price. However, if you’re the creative type, there are sites where you can create your own logo and header. For example, canva.com or logogenie.net are both excellent options. Of course, there are many companies that offer services for a professional header or logo for your personal branding. Once you have your logo, make sure that you use it across all of your online platforms. It should be on your social media sites, email, and website. Just like a business or product has brand recognition, you want your logo to brand you as an individual.
Your Relationship with Your Brand
Your personal brand is the entire relationship someone has with you, so making sure that you are able to be a good mentor is definitely important. As you build your personal brand, people are going to be looking to you to help guide them in various areas, depending on the type of influence and expertise you have incorporated into your image.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that your personal branding is just about you. In fact, a bigger part of your branding might actually be the people who follow you. They are the ones who will make you successful, and they are the ones who will establish you as a trustworthy and credible source of products and services. Never underestimate the importance your followers bring to your personal branding. Instead of focusing solely on you and how your audience can bring benefit to your goals, turn your attention to those who are helping you to create a solid personal brand. When creating content, make sure you leave them wanting more. Always give value, while ensuring that they will want to come back to continue gaining more insight and value from what you have to say.