The usual essence of branding makes us connect with companies and organizations such as McDonald’s, Nike, or Apple, but rarely do we associate it with an individual’s personal brand. Although brands may be consciously created, a personal brand of an individual exists no matter if you have willfully cultivated it or not. Each one of us these days has their digital footprint in terms of Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin, and not just the adults but even children have their digital presence by the age of two as a study by AVG.
Personal branding is how you present yourself to the world and thus someone who is uninteresting and unpolished might just not stand a chance in the crowd. As the marketing speaker, Seth Price says, “Personal branding is one of the most important skills that every professional must master at some point in their career” and build one will require “culmination of many different skills” which will help you get noticed.
So, when your personal brand is just as important as the Nike’s “Swoosh” what can an individual do in building it? Here are some of the things that you can do which will not only make you stand out in the crowd but also get recognized for who you are.
Also Read: 5 Tips to Build your Startup Brand
While fake it till you make it might sound all right but would not turn out to be great when we are talking about your brand. That’s the reason why we are always reminded by great people to be ourselves. There will be branding experts who will tell you how you can craft your personality and shape your image, but unless it is something with which you can resonate well would not really be a sustainable strategy.
It is not only hard but also something that would probably not work for longer runs when you try to build your brand around your “fake” self. Saying certain things, acting and appearing in ways that are not exactly you would be exhausting. Let your brand be the reflection of who you are because that is the way which will help you connect with other people. If people don’t believe in what you say or do, then they would likely not trust you as well. So, understand your strengths and weaknesses and develop an understanding of your true self before you are ready to let the world know. And always make sure that your personal brand always smells of the real you.
When someone mentions Sachin Tendulkar, you know they are talking about one of the greatest batsmen in the world of cricket. Same goes with Amitabh Bachchan, Barack Obama or any other personality that has the strength of their brand. Is there something that you would wish for people to associate with you when they hear your name? You may be an expert or might just be another common person, but when you focus on linking your brand with certain qualities and people start remembering you for them, that’s when you have made your mark and must become strategic about building your brand further. It is important that you understand not only who you are but also what you want so that you can build on these skills and knowledge. This is when people knowing what you know get more important than you knowing what you know.
The best place to start with this is to run a Google search with your name and see what all comes up. Before you can start building your online turf, it is necessary for you to first understand how you are being perceived currently. If you think you have a common name, try using your middle initial or middle name just so that people can identify you. There are many who even go about changing their name so as to keep themselves unique.
Secure the domain name that is ideal to your brand name; along with it make sure you have your Facebook page, Twitter handle, Linkedin account and all other social media presence under the same brand name. Not only that, but you must stay active and post relevant stuff on social media such as relevant news, information on products that you sell, or your thoughts on changes that are taking place in your industry. Let your personal brand be your intellectual property that will reap benefits for you.
It is useful to know how your brand is being perceived by the other people and thus you must gain feedback from the people that you trust. The feedback would not only help you assess your brand but would also be a good source of encouragement and assurance for the success of your brand. Let your ongoing efforts be assessed so that you can then make changes to your brand accordingly.
You may be the best in what you do, but if you don’t care about how you do it then your personal brand may never take off. The way you behave is one of the things that play an important role in building your personal brand. While your knowledge is surely important, it is not as critical as your behavior is which is how you do, what you do and know about. So unless you are being kind, respectful, a good listener and exhibiting other good habits and behaviors, building up your personal brand will take a back seat very easily.
Whether you like it or not, each one of us has their own personal brand and it is always up to us how we want others to perceive it and how we want it to grow. So understand yourself and take action to build a brand that works for you.
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