In the age of social media and online interactions, building a personal powerful brand has become much more important than it used to be, many years ago.
If you’re a Freelancer, Coach, Blogger, Entrepreneur etc., you will agree with me that being able to build a personal brand that is distinct and well known is not just a priority, it is part of the reality that will help you create the mark in your niche.
In fact, even if you do not fall within the categories I just mentioned above, a large percentage of all your interactions with other people either online or offline is based on their own perception of you. And this falls back to branding.
To a large extent, other people’s perception of you plays a large part in your ability to achieve your goals that’s why you have to intentionally create the right perception for yourself, if you really want to get the right results.
And talking about creating the right perception, there is no better way to do this than to invest your time in creating a personal brand that corresponds with the goals you want to achieve.
Now, before we proceed, i want us to understand personal Branding and what it’s all about.
What is personal Branding?
Personal branding is the practice of intentionally creating a brand image that projects the personality you want to create for everyone that comes in contact with you.
A lot of the times, people confuse personal branding with projecting your natural self or being who you naturally are but, personal branding is beyond your natural self. It is more about the personality you want the world to recon with.
It is the experience you want to leave with people, when they come in contact with you. And this has everything to do with the personality you want to create, rather than the one you are at the moment.
In as much as you need to be very authentic if you want to build a personal brand that’s clearly down to earth and noteworthy, your brand should be more about the image you’re projecting as an entity.
Why is Personal Branding Important?
Personal branding is important because there’s need to be more, create more impact and achieve more success with your life. A whole lot of this aspiration most times will depend on your relationship with people and the kind of perception they have of you.
For instance, if you want to get better paying jobs as a graphics designer, you do not only have to charge higher, you have to create the right perception that you deserve a better pay because you’re creating exceptional results. And you can only project this with the right kind of personal branding.
You see, everyday, we rate and un-rate people, based on what we think of them. And most of the time, our opinion about these people is formed based on their personality.
Because of this, there is need to intentionally create the kind of personality or perception that is in line with the goals of the person you want to be. This is where personal branding comes in.
How to Create a Personal Brand that Works
Whether you’re a freelancer, Writer, Entrepreneur or a random thought leader, if you’re not satisfied with your current brand, you can create a personal brand that will work for you and your goals.
The following are some important steps you can take to achieve this:
Outline your Goals
One of the first ways to create a personal brand starts with getting your goals right.
By your brand goals here, I am referring to the things you want to achieve with the personal brand you want to create.
At this point you need to sit down and ask yourself, what’s the need for this brand and what do I want to achieve with it. Get as detailed as possible.
When you figure out your goals, you can now move onto the next stage, where you’ll have to define your brand, in line with your set goals.
Define who you are
You can’t take any step forward with creating your personal brand without finding out who you are, what you’re here to do and how you want to go about it.
Considering that you’ve already defined your goals in the first step, the next thing to do right now is to figure out who you are.
The reason behind this self analysis is because you need to find out your true self and then find ways to use this personality traits to build a really authentic brand that people can relate with.
To get started with this, you will need to do a SWOT analysis for your personal brand. And by this I mean you will have to evaluate your personal strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. And find ways you can use this to influence your brand positively.
So, go ahead ask yourself, who am I and what do I want to do with this brand? Find out your personal strength and weaknesses and how best you can infuse them into your brand.
If you do not have a clear idea about this from the beginning you can also ask from people close to you. Ask them about their own impression about you or how they would describe you, what they think are your weaknesses and strengths etc.
Decide what you want to be Known for
After defining who you are, the next thing is to define exactly what you want to be known for, with your personal brand.
Find out, as a person or an entity, what impression do you want to give to people, the first time they come in contact with your brand? How do you want them to be able to describe you? This is going to be what you’ll project with your brand.
Be specific and clear about who you are, so you can customize your message to fit in with it.
Considering that your personal brand does not just reflect who you are as a person, it embodies your life’s whole journey therefore, you have to build your brand from the perspective of your areas of strength, areas of competence or areas you have skills that you really want to be known for.
You have to understand that the brand image you’re creating might be associated with you for a very long while hence you have to be very sure that this is the personal brand you want to project.
So, at this point you can start asking yourself questions like; Do I really see myself doing this thing I want to project with my personal brand for the next 2 to 5 or even 10 years?
Do I want to be known for blogging, Writing, Singing, Graphics Design etc. for as long as this brand exists?
Define your Niche clearly
Your niche is an area or industry you want to target with your personal brand.
For instance if you’re an author, your niche is the genre or sub genre you’re writing about. Of course, you might still want to break it further to choose a sub niche that really represents the kind of stuff you write about as an author.
If that’s what you want, you can choose to settle for sub niches like fiction and non-fiction, author. Going further, under fiction we have Poetry, Prose, Drama. You can choose any of this.
Or you can further niche down to find what resonates exactly with what you want to represent and then choose it as appropriate.
On the other hand, if you’re a freelancer blogger, coach etc. you can understudy your target audience and other popular thought leaders within your industry.
Find out the things that distinguishes them, how the audience relate to it. And then work on creating a brand your target audience can really connect with.
Identify your Audience
Before creating your personal brand, you also want to identify clearly, who you want to reach with your brand.
So, go ahead and figure it out, who are you trying to reach? And where can you find these people?
If you’re having difficulties identifying your audience, you can check up other brands that are closely similar to the one you want to create…
If you want to create a writer’s brand for instance, you can check up other successful writers in the niche. Find out, who are their audiences and where do they gather.
Doing this will give you a clue about the audience you want to target with your brand, their demographics and other important data that will help you create a brand they will be able to relate with.
The earlier you define your brand audience, the easier it is for you to craft a personal brand that will resonate with them.
Create your Brand Objectives
After identifying your niche and your audience, the next thing you want to do is to set your brand objectives.
While your brand goals are the outcome you want to create with your personal brand, your brand objectives are the specific steps that will lead you towards achieving these goals.
So, pick up the goals you’ve written already in step one. Ask yourself, what steps can I take today that will lead me towards achieving these goals?
As soon as you figure out these steps, begin to write them down, starting with the most relevant and easiest to achieve, up to the most demanding ones.
Evolve your Brand Message
To create an effective brand message for your personal brand, you’ll need to identify the four core elements that will help you to create a more authentic message viz; Vision, Mission, Culture and the Core values of your brand.
Vision: A vision is the desired future you see about your personal brand. It’s the ultimate destination you wish to attend in the long run. Your vision should be written in a clear statement that will inspire you just as you work towards achieving it.
Mission: Your mission statement defines the purpose of what you do. With your mission statement, you should be able to answer the questions about What you do, How you do it. And Why you’re doing it.
Core values: Your core values should be able to define what you stand for as a brand. What matters most to you either as a person or in relationship with your audience and the people you’re trying to reach.
Also, your core values should serve as a compass that guides your actions, inactions, decisions and the way you relate with your audience as a brand.
Take for instance, as a Content Expert, one of my core values is to create simplicity and engagement with my content.
I love simplicity. I want my audience to understand and be able to relate with what I write without much effort. That’s why I write almost all my content in simple, direct and engaging styles.
Culture: Your brand culture is the culture you cultivate in order to consistently deliver your brand to your target audience.
As a matter of fact, your Mission, Vision together with your Core Values are core parts of the things that will define your brand culture. After setting out this three, you should be able to create a distinct brand culture that is clearly identifiable with your personal brand.
Create a Consistent Brand Image
Now, that you have a clear knowledge about your Mission, Vision, Core values and Personal Brand Culture, the net step is to create a brand image that is consistent with all your platform.
To get started, take a look at everything you’ve created so far, including your brand message, what kind of picture do you have in mind as you begin to imagine the person behind this brand?
Ask yourself, does this picture clearly identify the image I’m creating? If it does, then go ahead and create real pictures that embodies that image you created.
If you’re projecting yourself as a coach or someone with a solid formal experience, create a picture that is consistent with this image and then upload it on your platforms. Ensure that there’s consistency throughout the whole platforms.
If you’re projecting a less formal, sassy or techy image, ensure you also create an image that projects such imagery. And then upload it to all your platforms.
Tell your Brand Story
One of the most powerful tools that will help you in advancing your personal brand is your brand story telling. You can read more about brand Storytelling here
From time to time, you’ll need to create a brand story that’s consistent with your personal brand.
Doing this gives you a very good chance to use words that will demonstrate your brand values and core culture, through every piece of content you create.
Creating a personal brand that stands out is not only very important for your overall success online, it is going to be one of the biggest determinants of the things you can achieve with your social interactions.
As you’ve been able to read through in this post, there are so many ways to create a personal brand that stands out. But one thing you need to always remember is that a lot depends on your ability to show up, consistently.
You must be able to understand that even when your brand can always evolve over the years, being able to create a certain level of consistency through out your evolution is one key factor that will continue to distinguish your personal brand as you continue to grow.
Right here, you’ve learned about ways to create a powerful personal brand that works for you. Remember that you can always use these strategies to create your own personal brand right now or you can work with us to get this done for you without stress.
So, what are your thoughts on personal branding? And what strategies have you used to create your own brand?