Have you ever thought about what it is the first thing that you want someone to think about when hearing your name? What is the story you want to share? What is your key message to the world?
his is what personal branding is about and you don’t have to be an influencer in order to start working already on your public image.
Personal branding: What it is
Personal branding is the intentional and systematic effort of an individual to promote themselves in a way that establishes credibility and builds authority. Simply put, personal branding is the effort to communicate and present your value to the world. The main focus of personal branding as an ongoing process is what you communicate to others about yourself.
Why is personal branding important?
When talking about an actual brand, people are more likely to buy things or services from this brand when they know its values and have built some level of trust in it.
People don’t buy what you do; people buy why you do it
…argued author and motivational speaker, Simon Sinek, in a TEDx talk. So, either talking about commercial goods or individuals, the best way to make an impression is by creating a solid and memorable brand identity. Personal branding helps individuals to:
- stand out from their peers.
- communicates who they are and what they stand for,
- establish themselves as leaders in their field
- have a competitive advantage when it comes to new opportunities.
5+1 reasons why you should invest time in your personal branding
1. Increase your visibility: Developing your personal brand can increase your visibility and help you stand out from the crowd. For instance, establishing your professional persona on LinkedIn can be beneficial for your career as it can give you an edge over your peers and help you gain recognition in your industry.
2. Improve your network: Developing your personal brand will help you to build and strengthen relationships, increasing your network and making it easier to find people who can help you achieve your goals. You can understand how useful this is if you put yourself in the unpleasant scenario of losing your job unexpectedly.
3. Attract career opportunities: Continuing the previous thought, an established career persona can make employers and recruiters more likely to reach out to you if they have seen you before and have been in contact with what you stand for and know that you are the right fit for their organization.
4. Boost your confidence: Having a strong personal brand that engages people to give you feedback can make you feel you stand better on your feet and give you the confidence to take more risks, which is the pathway to reaching your goals faster.
5. Build your credibility: Developing a personal brand can help you to gain credibility and trust. People are more likely to listen to and trust in your opinions if they know who you are and what you are about.
6. Help you grow: A strong personal brand means that people will be more likely to engage with you, which can help you network more, enjoy valuable feedback from other experts in your field, and make connections with people that share common interests. This is always the bright side of building a two-way dialogue with your audience.
5 golden rules to remember when building your personal branding
1. Decide your focus early: Before starting to communicate anything about yourself, you have to decide what is your target audience and what you want this audience to identify you with. Keep your message narrow and consistent. This will make it easier for people to remember this message and what you stand for.
2. Be genuine: The fundamental rule of any branding is authenticity. People can sense hypocrisy, so don’t focus only on what you want others to think about you, but mostly on how you can best communicate the real you to others.
3. Build your story: In the new era of marketing, people don’t buy your ads; they buy your stories. The most effective personal branding strategy is the one building a true narrative that can engage others and eventually create a two-way dialogue.
4. Be consistent: Maintaining a specific line and tone in your message is very important for building a specific identity that will survive in the long term. This is why you have to decide early on what your message is exactly and make sure you stick to it. Even small inconsistencies can derail personal brand effectiveness.
5.Remember your brand is you: Separating your personal brand from your personal life is not the best idea. Remember you are not what you do, so even if personal branding can help you in your career development, it extends far beyond your career; it is about you as an entity, either at work or at home. This is why you need to make sure you do not identify yourself with a specific company label.