Table of Contents
What is personal branding?
- Personal branding is an intentional and conscious way of influencing the public perception of yourself, to stand out as an authority in any industry. You start with a growing internet influence, get a significant amount of followers, and then, leverage that as capital.
- Choosing your specific niche for your personal brand depends on what your vision is and what industry you want to work in. Too specific of a niche doesn’t leave a lot of room for flexibility. You have to showcase what you are selling, to the customer on the internet, which is at the moment, is the fastest way to get your brand recognised, e.g, via various social media sites, and reach out to your audience regularly, with purpose. The more feedback and reviews you get, the faster you can build your foundation, and pave the way for popularity.
- Once you get the name and the recognition, now the game changes to sustaining the former. A well thought out personal branding strategy does so, by keeping the foundation of your brand intact, while staying updated with the latest trends that get popular quickly. The following are 12 essential tips on how to build your personal brand.
Personal Branding Strategy
- The first and foremost strategy to building your personal brand, is to pick a niche that suits your goals. When you pick something too common, you might not get noticed because so many others are doing the same thing better, or longer than you. But again, don’t pick something so oddly specific that your target audience is miniscule and again, the same thing happens; people lose interest and you fall off the radar. Balance is the ultimate goal, you pick something specific, which caters to a wider audience, and voila, you have your brand identity!
- If you have never heard of the term, unique value proposition, let me elaborate. UVP is the way you convey to your audience why they need what you are offering, reasons and benefits included. This is one of the most crucial parts of your personal branding strategy, which has a direct effect on its sales. The job is to stand out amongst competitors, by showcasing benefits and results. The more impactful a UVP is, the faster it can hook your audience and nudge them to take the next step, which should be your brand’s intended mission.
Develop a professional website:
- Personal branding strategy is incomplete without a personalized web page/site for your brand. Your website and its content will be fully owned by you, unlike SM, that has a right to the content that you post. Your webpage is the cornerstone of your internet identity. That way you get to mold a unique perception for your brand. You can also run ads on social media that directs your target audience to your site, and as time passes, you grow as a brand.
- What would you write on your site that would target your audience to read and know more? The key things are, a well written introduction aka about me page, who you are, what you stand for, what you do, and real life results of how your brand has benefitted your audience. Creating curiosity and intrigue about your product acts as bait that gets attention. Also, don’t forget to add your contact, be it an email ID, social media handle or a contact number.
Leverage social media wisely:
- Social media platforms are like an extension of our real lives at present. When it comes to personal branding strategy, it is no different. Harnessing the power of sites like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, will result in your brand being exposed to a larger audience, and your target audience will surely be amongst them. It’s to be noted that since social media has diversified in the last few years, you have to understand that some SM sites might have more of your audience, some less, so targeting where to expose is crucial. Imagine you are trying to sell plants, where would it get more attention, LinkedIn or Instagram? Exactly.
- When you are just starting out, you can’t have enough feedback. How your audience is responding to your brand, paves the road towards what direction you want your brand to go. It’s important to get all kinds of feedback first, even negative ones, because if you are fully authentic, the algorithm might target the wrong audience first. It is a game of trial and error, with regular practice, you start to get a hang of it. But don’t expect just positive responses as you start, you’ll be in for disappointment.
Content creation and Blogging:
- There can never be enough content to hook your target audience into getting what they’re looking for. Regular blogs, articles, and topics on your brand is a great way to keep your audience engaged. In modern times, an audience’s attention is the most expensive currency. Sites like WordPress, Medium, your own domain, is a good place to showcase that.
- Plan your goals accordingly. Upload regularly on sites that get you the most feedback; stick to the main goal, but change your manner of communicating according to what stands out most in each of those sites.
Networking and collaboration:
- Noticing you on the internet can make people curious about your brand and spread word via acquaintances, colleagues or friends, which means that the personal branding strategies are working in your favor. One of the goals of networking is that when they think of your brand or your product, the first person that comes to mind is you.
- You can interact with people on calls, video, and you can also talk about your brand face to face, at a networking event. If you are a good speaker and have the ability to make your audience think that your brand might result in them having a better life, there’s nothing more ideal. The goal is to be seen and heard.
Continuous learning and skill development:
- With the emergence of AI, writing captions, bullet points and articles are generated faster than ever before. However, no one can cater to a human being like another human being, as emotion is a human character that AI doesn’t have. By honing your writing and speaking skills, you can stay ahead of most of your competitors. What you are selling is important, but useless if you don’t know how to sell it.
- Everyone starts from square one, and you are no different. Display your brand’s growth to your audience, how your ideas and tips increased your brand’s value with time. Slow and steady wins the race.
- Personal branding being a highly competitive zone, requires exception and uniqueness to stand out. How can you be in a top search result in an ocean of pages? That’s where SEO optimized personal branding strategies come into play. Key words and how much they are searched on sites like Google, moves your brand page up or down accordingly, and makes you stand out. Notice how you yourself rarely search more than one or two pages in your Google search results.
- Some of the tools that come to mind when building consistent online visibility would be:
- Emphasizing on quality over quantity. People prefer one high quality stuff over multiple low quality ones.
- Focussing on long term keywords, using words that are not too common, but common or usable enough to attract a wider audience in which your target audience is present.
- Sticking to one or two link building strategies, not more.
Public speaking and workshops:
- Convert reel to real. Open workshops and meet your audience.That way you will be able to make more authentic connections.
- Starting a workshop might sound overwhelming, but it’s not as scary as it seems. Start with a limited time, be interactive, keep Q & A sessions at the end, and offer freebies. That way, you keep your brand relevant and the audience wanting for more.
- Humans are visual creatures, which is why movies are more popular than books. You have to have a unique visual identity of your brand that speaks for itself.
- Photos/slides that cater to your brand ideas, professionally edited and designed, templates that evoke a sense of motivation to the audience so they surely take the next step to reach out to you, are great ways to start.
Feedback and reputation management:
- Manage feedback like a pro by not mixing logic and emotions, as much as you can. Negative feedback, excluding constructive criticism, should be looked at as a projection of the audience’s experiences, not your brand’s shortcomings.
- Try to be diplomatic when interacting online, and less reactive. Managing online footprint is important as it leaves crumbs, and saying something discriminatory might bite you back in the future.
Social proof and testimonials:
- Nothing proves authenticity more than customer testimonials. People like to see real feedback of how your branding has managed to influence your audience for their benefit.
- Comments on social media sites, DMs, and customer reviews are good options to showcase proof that your brand means something to your audience. Sponsorships show that a person or a company trusts you enough to pay for your brand.
Authenticity and personal story:
- You have decided to start your own brand as you relate to it on a very deep level. A crucial personal branding strategy is that it’s important to let the audience know why and how you started. An honest life changing event that led you to the present day, is the best way to emotionally connect with your audience.
- Don’t overshare, or bring about too much darkness, your goal is to show the result, not lead them down a gruesome path. Add a touch of professionalism, focus on the lightbulb moments, with snippets of your hard days, not the opposite.
- At the end of the day, personal branding strategy relies on a balanced point of view. Focus on what is important, don’t dwell on the negative, be authentic to your goal without sugarcoating it. Be wary of illicit people and scammers, while open to feedback.
- Stay updated with the current trends without deviating what you stand for. Do not change and modify your branding too much as it might confuse your audience. Getting your target audience hooked and sustaining it is the ultimate win.
If you are reading this, you yourself can start a personal brand today. All you need is a unique idea, and an internet connection; the rest will follow through with discipline and consistency.