Personal branding can be loosely defined as your USP, or unique selling point, exemplified – not that of your product, but that of you as an individual. Personal branding applies to both personal and professional realms, and in consideration of current marketing trends, they are largely one-in-the-same.
You are your brand’s most integral marketer. You eat, breathe, and sleep your brand. Your brand is an extension of you. Your values colour your brand identity and reach out to those who cherish those same values. You are your brand, and that’s why personal branding is so important to corporate branding.
Get Started in Personal Branding
Jamie Oliver is one example of effective personal branding. His name is his brand. We all know his face, what he does, and what he stands for. Another example is Steve Jobs. Even though his name has come to be associated with Apple, his ambition, his innovation, and his terminal illness have also become forever joined with the technological giant.
Each of these personal branding examples is highly unique – when compared to others in and out of their respective industries. They have worked to make their personal values very public, and as a result, have managed to infuse those values into the brands they have created (or have helped to create).
So, how can you build your personal brand? Here are some pieces of advice that How to Build a Brand share with our brand-building clients:
- Be introspective. Ask yourself, “What do I stand for?” “Who am I…really?” “What do I most want to communicate to the world?” “What do I want to change in the world?” “What kind of life do I want to live?” Be 100% honest with yourself. Answering these questions with complete candour will help you to build a personal brand that will usher you into the future and be flexible enough to ride the tide of trends. Insincerity will eventually result in a brand that fails to build trust.
- Identify your values. List the values that are important in both your personal life and in your business endeavours. Don’t list those that just sound good, but rather those that you respect in others, look for in friends, and have used to forge your most valuable business relationships.
- List Strengths. What talents and fruits of your labour have resulted in success so far? What abilities can you rely on to fulfil your needs and satisfy your sense of worth? These are your unique gifts – the ones that should be communicated through personal branding.
- What makes you weird? I’m using the word weird in the best possible sense. In order to differentiate yourself, you must identify that thing (or things) that sets you apart from the crowd. It could be a unique world view, a wild fashion sense, or an industry opinion that has not yet been expressed or used to solve problems.
- Express your passion. What is the thing you were born to do? What motivates you? What makes getting out of bed effortless? Express that passion in all your communications. If this is done with honesty and transparency, your passion will automatically become infectious. Others will feel it. They will be helpless to its power and will happily buy into it.
Personal branding is a fairly new concept. Decades ago, businesses were faceless corporations. Today, thanks in large part to social media, companies have made the names, faces, and personalities of their owners, operators, and employees a matter of public concern.
Don’t miss out on all the benefits of personal branding. Learn how it can attract the types of people who will build your corporate brand. Email us on [email protected] or follow How to Build a Brand on Twitter.