You’re smart and talented. You always deliver and get the job done right. Now you’re bringing those qualities to your corporate brand. Is that enough? Can you compete in the marketplace just by being the best and consistently providing what your clients want and need?
Having an established corporate brand is rarely enough. You see, people buy from people, not faceless corporations. To be successful in the corporate or small business world, you must clearly demonstrate how you are different from the rest; how you stand out from all the other smart and talented business owners. You must show your human side; endear yourself to those who will mean the most to your company’s success.
Enter your personal brand—something you’ll need to thrive in any market today.
What is personal branding? I’m so glad you’ve asked.
An Introduction to Personal Branding
You already are your own personal brand. Your family, friends and colleagues know how you’re different from the rest. They know what you bring to the workplace, the marketplace or the world—those things that no one else can offer in quite the same way. Personal branding is all about making those pieces of information known (and proven) to your target audience, in order to establish a reputation, an image…a personal brand.
Personal branding isn’t always about putting your name on packages and billboards (like Oprah or Steve). Instead, it’s about showcasing your core attributes in a manner that supports your mission, your vision and your corporate brand.
If you were to begin building a personal brand, here are some of the tasks that would be prescribed by your personal branding strategy:
- Define Yourself: Think about your unique attributes, talents, strengths and the value you can bring to any person or organisation that chooses to work with you and your brand. Think about your passion—that thing you love to do more than anything else. Now decide what you’d like to be known for. Write out a dictionary-type definition of YOU. Is this something you’d be proud to represent? Is this something you can remain true to for years to come? This is your personal brand.
- Communicate It: Make it simple for anyone looking for you (or someone who does what you do) to understand who you are and what you have to offer. This involves writing a short, clear bio and publishing it in the places where your target audience members are hanging out.
- Get Visible: Determine what keywords people are using to find brands like yours. Use them. Purchase domain names that relate to your name and your brand—even if you’ll only use one of them. Occupy social media channels where your target audience is present. Make it difficult to ignore your personal brand and claim as much mind share as possible in the places most active for your market. And through it all, ensure that when your name is found, it represents your personal brand in a consistent manner—no ambiguity and no material that would cause people to question your authenticity.
- Interact: There is no replacement for human interaction when it comes to personal branding. It is, after all, personal. Become active in online and offline conversations—particularly those in which people are talking about the kinds of problems you can solve. Avoid sales speak; instead, offer valuable advice and your assistance. Be relevant, informative and helpful.
- Build Trust and Establish Expertise: The reason most people shy away from faceless corporations is that big business has become difficult to trust. Today’s consumer is looking to associate with another human, to make an emotional connection that fosters trust. When that trust is established, you have yourself a loyal client. Commit to proving that you are everything you say you are. Be honest. Keep your word. In short, prove it.
This is only an introduction to personal branding; a sort of definition to help you wrap your head around the concept. There are lots more things to consider as you begin to build your own personal brand, and we’re here to help you along the way. If you’re interested in learning more, I would highly suggest registering for our B.R.A.N.D. Building Bootcamp, an interactive, informational and brand-changing experience. Enrol today, while your seat is still available.