Branding is the term usually related only to companies and products, but personal branding is becoming more and more important.
Personal branding is a process of building your own public image by harmonizing what you actually are and how others see you. In this process, you should emphasize your values and skills when you present yourself to the public. It’s a way of saying to others “Hey, this is what I am good at!” but in a sophisticated, subtle way.
The approach to creating the personal brand should not be different from a company or product branding. It demands much effort and a good plan. There are few steps you should go through to build a good personal brand that will help you to be successful.
1. Create an image in your head
Before you start building your own personal brand, you have to visualize the image you would like to create and how you want to be perceived. Be true to yourself about the skills you own and choose the ones that you want the put in the center of your brand. It is not recommended to lie because sooner or later the truth will come out. That can seriously damage your brand.
The point of branding is emphasizing the skills you are good at. However, you have to be authentic and recognizable. Analyze your competition to find something that you are authentic and unique and revolve the personal brand around that skill.
2. Target your audience
Many people make a mistake of trying to get everybody to like them which is an impossible thing to do. You could lose money and time. So, choose a group you can connect to through your interests, skills, habits, etc.
Associate with others and get connected with anyone you’ve encountered, past co-workers, college colleagues or anyone else related to your crucial skills.
3. Be active online
Being active online gives an opportunity to get closer to your audience, especially through the social media, like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. Make your own website, blog, social media profiles that would contain quality content. The content should be interesting but based on the authenticity of your personal brand. This means that you should connect with your target audience by mutual interests. You can hold a presentation, make blogs or vlogs, podcasts or something similar.
When it comes to online presence, the focus should be on the quality of the content, regardless of how many followers you have. If you maintain consistency of good online posts, the internet will recognize it.
4. Search yourself on Google
Maintaining your online reputation is not a one-time job. You have to constantly check your personal brand online. You should search yourself online to evaluate the results and be on the top of things. If there is a negative reputation, you can react on time. Also, you can change the keywords if the results do not reflect your intended image.
5. Constantly improve yourself
When you create your own personal brand, don’t leave it on the standby. Knowledge is power, so you should constantly improve your skills, learn new tricks and strive to be the best at it. Nowadays, there are many different seminars and lectures you can be a part of. You can become inspired during one of those events, especially if you communicate with the people who share your interests. You can also improve your knowledge by taking online courses which can be a great help.
6. Be patient
If you want to build a personal brand, you have to be prepared for a long-term hard work on your reputation. No brand was created in a day. It will take time before you gain the reputation and trust. There will be moments it will seem that you are standing in one place or even going backward. But don’t be discouraged. The most important thing is that you don’t waste time on thinking about failure. Focus on the work, be motivated and believe in what you do and who you are.