Why Everyone Should Cultivate Their Personal Brand
Author: LAURA LAKE (The Balance Small Business)
Personal branding is the process of developing a "mark" that is created around your name or your career. You use this "mark" to express and communicate your skills, personality, and values.
We all can be a brand and cultivate our power to stand out and be unique. This uniqueness draws people to our product, our services, or even just our message. Your personal brand should be about who you are and what you have to offer.
Why Personal Brands Are for Everyone
Personal brands should be important to everyone. Personal brands are not only for the entrepreneur that owns their own business. It is the secret sauce that can make you stand out of a stack of resumes.
If you don’t develop your own personal brand, others will do it for you. Developing your personal brand is the proactive way of controlling your career development and how you are perceived in the marketplace.
A strong personal brand will impact your ability to get the right jobs, promotions, and increase your ability to attract talent and capital. So, let’s look at these tips that can help you in creating your own personal brand:
Build Your Platform
If you are going to have a personal brand, you will need a website to create your virtual platform. Your website should be your name. You will also need social media accounts that represent your brand. You will use these platforms to share your voice.
Identify Your Uniqueness and Your Strengths
Think about the characteristics and strengths you’ve built in your career. If you are stuck, think about that “one thing” that everyone says you rock at. If you're still stuck, ask others.
Own Your Space
Once you’ve identified your uniqueness and strengths, perfect them. Learn all that you can and become the expert in that area. You can never stop learning. Read, absorb, and teach.
Share Your Knowledge
It’s not enough to learn it; you have to teach it and share your knowledge by helping others. Do this through videos, social media, and writing both online and offline. This is where you prove you know your stuff and gain exposure from doing so.
Find your own style. You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing and just follow the crowd. Use your style and uniqueness to attract the jobs and clientele that you desire. Think of Gary Vaynerchuk and how he built his brand by making videos that share wine reviews and tips. No one else was doing it and now look around hundreds of people are following in his footsteps. Find your own style and create a new set of footprints for others to follow in.
Identify Your Values and Set Your Priorities
It’s important to have a clear picture of your personal and professional goals, both short and long-term. This will help you to not only identify the most important things to spend your time on but will also have something to align new projects with. Use your values and priorities as a compass that guides you both in action and your decision-making process. This will ensure you stay on track.
Craft Your Personal Brand Persona
It will help in creating your brand. Your persona can be created by:
Identifying your emotional appeal. What are your personality features? This can be as easy as saying you have a crazy sense of humor or that you are obsessively organized. Take a few moments, why do you think people are attracted to the brand of you?
Describing yourself. When it comes to your brand who are you and why do people enjoy working with you?Identifying your specialty. What do you do and what do people want you to do for them?
Use these exercises to create a strong personal brand persona that you can always refer to when it comes to creating materials that support your brand.
The Bottom Line
Building a personal brand takes time and effort, but it’s worth it. The need for a personal brand will continue to increase. It’s the one thing that no one can take away from you, and it can follow you throughout your career. It’s a leadership requirement that lets people know who you are and what you stand for.