Whether you have thought about it or not, you have a personal brand. To put it succinctly, a personal brand manifests itself in our appearance, the content we put out online and how we communicate with people.
It’s really important to make sure that you take care of your personal brand. You’re the face of your organisation – whether owner, MD or regular employee. With the rise of social media in recent years and the ability to find out information on just about everyone using search platforms, now’s the time to start curating your online presence and your real-life persona.
If done correctly, you’ll increase your visibility and credibility, and ultimately that of your business. You’ll also be able to leverage your network if you need information, assistance or feedback. As the human face of your business, you’ll earn the trust of your community and this trust in your personal brand will reflect on your business.
It can be difficult to know where to begin, so we’ve put together these six steps to get you on the road to personal brand success!
What do you stand for? What are your strengths? Think about what others have said to you in the past about your personality and brainstorm some ideas about who you are.
- How do you want to appear?
Think about how you want others to think of you. If this aligns with your core values, then determine what you can do to achieve this. What obstacles are in your way? How can you overcome them?
- How are you different to others?
What can you offer your audience that others can’t? Do you have expert knowledge on a topic, or a passion for something, that you can express? Can you convey this effectively to your audience?
- Humanise yourself.
Personal branding is all about authenticity. There is no point in pretending to be somebody you’re not! The best personal brands are those based on genuine people and genuine interests, values and beliefs. Avoid faking it until you make it – believe in your own personal brand, and don’t try to emulate others.
- Curate your content and followers.
Think carefully about the content you are sharing. Does it have a purpose? Does it add value? Whilst consistent posting is important, don’t put out content just for the sake of it. It is also worth taking a look at your followers on different channels – do you really want your great Aunt Marge commenting on something that you’ve put out for peers in your industry?
- Build your community network
Online and offline, this is a key stage in building your personal brand. Build relationships with other big personal brands and influencers in your industry or interest community. Engage with clients, suppliers and even competitors online, at networking events and other opportunities. Keep up with relevant news and commentary and make sure you don’t fall behind.
Once you have taken these steps, we’re sure you will start to see the benefits of taking the time to build your personal brand!
Please bear in mind that building your personal brand will not happen overnight. Take the long-term view that consistency will achieve results.