Creating a personal brand can be quite a hard task. Most of the time, you won’t even know where to start, let alone take it to the finish line. Even famous people like Oprah Winfrey had to go through a series of steps and changes before she found her voice and became one of the most famous people on TV.
Worry not, we’re here with a small guide that should help you get started. Because branding isn’t just for companies anymore. Professionals from all around the world have a skillset and a story to share. So let’s figure out how to share yours!
Define Who You Are
If you want to build a personal brand that’s actually personal, you’ll first have to figure out who you are. We know that’s easier said than done but start by creating a list of your own strengths and weaknesses. Figure out which areas you excel in, what are your strongest points and, most importantly, what are the things you’re most proud of, both personally and professionally.
But since talking about ourselves seems to be a herculean task, don’t be afraid to ask your family and friends for opinions and advice. They should be able to describe you objectively and once you’ve got a few of these down, you can see what some common points are.
Build a Personal Website
A personal website is like a better business card. You will have to register a domain (probably of your own name), design it and launch it for all the world to see. A website will allow you to better showcase your work, in a manner of your choosing. Do you want to play it cheeky and fun? You can do that! Would you rather take a more serious approach? Just go for it!
Your own website is your own playground. It will allow both clients and employers to get a better understanding of your personality as a whole and it will act as the gateway for a better job. On top of that, it’s way easier to just link to your website every time you apply for a job than attach countless files with your resume and portfolio.
Tell a Story
The best way to build an unforgettable personal brand is to tell a good story. Such a story will allow people to connect with you and it can help build a professional relationship that’s based on genuine trust.
One of the best ways to tell your story is through content. Be it written or video, these updates are a great way to connect with your audience and generate engagement. So, if you’re a writer, write on your blog and post on social media. If you’re a video maker, do vlogs and Insta-stories… You get the gist.
Never Stop Networking
As you work on your brand and grow it, it’s important that you keep growing your professional circle. This is done by networking with people from your industry (and even related industries) by going to dedicated events, attending webinars or just chatting them up on LinkedIn. The more connections you make and the more value you bring to those connections, the more your personal brand will grow.
When connecting with fellow-minded working peers, don’t be afraid to follow-up. You can always ask to meet with them for a coffee or an informal interview. And if they don’t seem interested, no problem - just move on and find new connections!
Always Be Consistent
Make sure that your brand’s promise stays the same, both offline and online. It’s very important you keep this in mind because it’s easier to be recognized for that one thing that you’re great at and you create content around.
This can also be done through visuals or quirky habits. For example, you can create your very own logo that you can add to all your materials. Or you can come up with a unique catchphrase that you can say at the beginning of every video. This will give the people something easy to associate with your brand and they’ll know it’s you from the very first second.
We know how this might sound but hear us out - failure is a necessary learning experience. Sure, we’d all like to not have to go through it but a personal brand that’s different from the rest usually goes through some failures. Every famous person has gone through it and they all confessed how they took it as a lesson that helped them grow.
The best personal brands are developed through trial and error. Mistakes and failures are normal parts of becoming a strong presence, both online and offline and we can assure you, they’re never as scary as you might imagine them to be.
Times change, people change… Careers evolve, and the digital ecosystem is in a continuous shift… This means that your personal brand will also go through these changes. It’s important that once you’ve built it, you keep developing it into something that’s truly you.
Don’t be afraid to adjust it as you meet different people or aim for new jobs. As long as you stay genuine and real, you shouldn’t be afraid to work on a personal brand that will shine. Take every challenge head on and consider every failure a lesson that will help you get better in the future.
And, as always - when in doubt, just ask a friend. An outsider’s opinion can work wonders when you’re stuck. It can offer you some much needed objectivity that will only help you get better and build your brand even further.