The art of personal branding: How to build a brand that stands out
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash
Do you recall when celebrities and large corporations were the only ones allowed to have personal brands? Today, self-branding is no longer a fashionable phrase. It's an absolute must! Anyone willing to put in the time and effort can become a well-known figure in their chosen field.
People buy from brands and place their faith in the company/individual. As a result, 86% of customers say that authenticity is important in deciding which businesses they prefer and support. Therefore, differentiating yourself from everyone who provides similar services is a need more than a want.
Business owners who understand the art of branding will certainly increase customer loyalty, brand recognition, and, most crucially, an emotional connection with their consumers. For example, Elon Musk's name is nearly as well-known as Coca-Cola's. His brand is well-respected, and even if you have no interest in technology, Mr. Musk's brand is impossible to overlook.
American entrepreneur and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos believes that "your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room."
However, an effective brand takes time to build. So, what is the best way to get started?
We at Workee are thrilled to assist professionals like you in discovering, growing, and monetizing their brands.
This article discusses personal branding and why it is important. Keep reading if you're serious about developing your brand but need a light shove in the right direction.
Personal branding defined
Personal branding refers to any measure taken to improve someone's public image by presenting them as an expert in their field, raising their trustworthiness, and distinguishing them from peers. Your unique blend of talents, expertise, and character is what you want others to see when they meet you.
Essentially, personal branding is also a way for others to get an understanding of who you are and what you stand for: your personal aspirations and professional objectives. If done correctly, this can help you obtain better jobs, expand your network, and impact society in ways no corporate branding strategy could ever hope to achieve.
According to a Gartner research director, your brand is mostly defined by your beliefs, your actions, and the opinions of others about you.
Papegaaij went on to explain that when these dimensions are out of sync, "your personal brand becomes chaotic and unpredictable, and others may think that even your "positive" behaviors are deceptive and manipulative." If they are in sync with one another and people have a clear picture of your objectives, even terrible faults are sometimes forgivable." How can you gain people's confidence and help them change their preconceived opinions about you? You have two options:
You can disregard your self-branding and allow it to evolve spontaneously, potentially chaotically, and outside your power with the unpredicted results.
Or, you can work on molding your self-image to portray yourself as the person you would like to be.
Why is personal branding important?
Why is it important to brand yourself, you may ask. One reason is that a personal brand assists individuals in communicating their distinct identities and beliefs to potential customers. The same holds for organizations looking to gain a competitive edge. In fact, reports show that companies with good branding receive twice as many application requests as those with bad brands.
Another way to look at it is that personal branding is important from the employer's perspective. About eighty-five percent of hiring managers say a candidate's personal brand influences their hiring decisions. Recruiters are increasingly using social media during the interview process. Building a brand for yourself can help attract the right employer or career opportunities.
Other reasons why personal branding is important to include:
Enhanced customer recognition
How to build a personal brand from scratch
Here are six tips for creating a memorable brand.
1. The first step is to identify what you want to achieve and what you value
People who understand their goals better have more chances of accomplishing them. You must ensure that your personal brand corresponds to and reflects your interests and hobbies. What do you want to achieve, and what characteristics best convey your enthusiasm? If you want to become a professional speaker, market yourself as someone with strong public speaking skills and ambition in your field.
To ensure your brand truly expresses your identity, it's essential to think discreetly and honestly. To begin, consider asking yourself:
What am I motivated by?
What am I particularly good at?
Do I have to do any of this work, and it's making me tired? Why do I do the job I do?
In what conditions am I most productive?
Is there a particular industry that I'm interested in?
What professional heights do I hope to attain before I retire?
Do I want to have a positive or negative influence on others?
It's okay if the answers to these questions change over the years. You must be true to yourself and acknowledge that your goals may evolve as your brand matures. If you find yourself in a bind, don't give up hope. Seek advice from close friends, colleagues, and members of your family, or better yet, learn from others who have been through the same.
2. Build your social media following
Globally, more than 4.5 billion people use social media. This represents an increase of more than 400 million in 2020. Including social media marketing in personal branding promises numerous advantages, including increased visibility and positioning. So what are the best social platforms to hop on?
The most effective social tools for branding
Here are some of the most efficient social media platforms to establish a strong online presence.
Facebook has 2.85 billion monthly active users in one hundred and ninety countries. You're missing out on the world's most powerful marketing tool if you're not using Facebook to promote yourself or your business. And, best of all, it's free!
LinkedIn is a great place to network and grow your business. It can help you build connections, form partnerships, generate leads, and increase brand exposure, making it a great branding tool. Unlike Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, LinkedIn is a professional business-oriented platform.
It's harder to get noticed on Twitter than on LinkedIn, but you can use similar tactics. Retweet thought leaders in your field, and start tweeting your own insightful views. Whenever possible, use relevant hashtags. Consistency is key on Twitter, as on any other social media network. The more relevant discussions you engage in with others in your specialty, the better.
The number of YouTube users is steadily increasing. Statista estimates the site had 1.47 billion visitors in 2017 and 1.86 billion in 2021. This significant increase shows the platform's ability to reach more customers and thus help your brand.
The rise of Tiktok and Reels has made it a cinch to become a video star. Pudgy Woke, for example, gained tens of thousands (then millions) of followers within a month of starting its YouTube channel. For example, it allows for "rapid" brand creation, which has never been seen before in the industry.
Remember to stay on topic, use relevant hashtags, and most importantly, be consistent. Tiktok and Reels are typically trend-driven, so new sounds emerge quickly. The faster you can keep up with these trends while creating informative or entertaining content, the better.
3. Create a self-branding strategy
How do you expand a brand? A personal growth path should be carved out the same way a commercial or corporate company plan would. Similarly, this path should maximize the leverage and buoyancy of your brand. It would help to broaden your network as soon as possible, evaluate what works best, and plan a career journey that suits your brand.
4. Identify your target audience
According to Gartner, marketers must remember that the where, when, and how are often just as important as the "who" when reaching target audiences.
Before you can start building your own brand, you must first identify your target market. Is it a niche influencer? An employee? Recruiters? Because you'll have a better grasp of your story, you'll be able to plot it more quickly and clearly.
Create or refresh your LinkedIn pages, for instance, to attract potential recruiters. Why? Because 92% of them use social platforms to search for quality talents, and eighty-seven percent use LinkedIn.
Consider launching a personalized website if you're a graphic designer looking to entice existing and new customers. You can use platforms like Workee to create a professional website where you showcase your diverse range of abilities while also monetizing them.
5. Conduct extensive research on your target field and learn from its pros
It's always good practice to map your career path when you begin. Compile a list of experts in the field, find out who the big names are in whatever field you're interested in, and don't simply follow them. Research to see if they use blogs or other forums to share their thoughts. Look for reputed brands and study what they are doing to succeed. Emulate them, and then double the effort to stand out.
You want to distinguish yourself from others, but you can't get there without first knowing who's currently at the top of the food chain.
6. Request informational interviews from potential employers
As you begin to compile a list of the best people you like and wish to work with, consider reaching out to these individuals and asking for an informational interview in exchange for their time.
Informational interviews take about twenty minutes, but they are quite valuable. Don't be afraid to ask a question to anyone you'd like to learn more from. You'll be astounded by the number of genuinely nice people you'll run into. It's worth noting that video interviews have seen a significant increase in popularity due to lockdown restrictions – but how are they being used, and are they here to stay? An analysis of hiring practices shows that video interviews are the most frequently used method by employers.
Want to know how to stand out in video interviews? Check out this guide to learn how to look good on video calls.
How long does it take to build a strong brand?
There is no right way to answer this question because brand awareness differs depending on the stage. Getting your first 100 followers can be difficult in the early months. In fact, those who have successfully obtained these figures have had successful campaigns.
Remember that brand recognition will come faster if you target your consumers in the proper areas with the correct messaging.
Here are a few suggestions for getting the word out:
Run online and offline branding campaigns
Organize social media giveaways
Make use of referral programs
Create SEO-based content
Connect with other well-known brands and influencers
Even though it may take some time and effort, the importance of personal branding cant be underestimated, and the rewards could be enormous. People aware of your personal brand are more likely to consider you for new job opportunities because they understand how much your audience values you. Personal branding helps you increase your earning potential or explore a career change. You get an understanding of your goals and how you'll reach them; from there, you can sell those traits to your target audience.
Ready to start a one-of-a-kind brand? Let Workee help! We'll provide the most cost-effective and time-saving approaches to get your brand up and running.
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