We all have our own personal brand. We might try and avoid it, but at the end of the day, we all end up having one. In short, a personal brand means the image and experiences people have of you. This, in turn, influences how, and how many people interact with us. What sort of opportunities is going to be open to us and our career development? That, in short, should already tell you how important building it consistently and consciously is. We could argue that branding is about a conscious effort to guide those assumptions that people make of us. So how does one start building a brand?
What are the reasons?
The reasons people have behind personal branding are wide. One might want to use personal branding as a way of enhancing sales, to be able to negotiate higher salaries, to land their dream job or to be able to achieve a leadership role in a specific field. When you have a strong personal brand, negotiations are easier and people are more likely to already recommend your services to their contacts. If your personal brand is a strong and positive one, people are more likely to engage with you in general.
So how do I start building a strong personal brand?
The first thing we need to start with is to find out who you are. Take an honest look in the mirror. What are your own strengths and weaknesses, what are the things you enjoy talking about and what are the things that you have knowledge of? What are those things you will want to be known for in the future when you have a strong personal brand? Everything starts with setting a goal. Goals guide our actions, and because building a brand is a long-term goal, it’s good to have a clear goal already in advance. One tool to utilize when trying to find your core subject to focus on is to use the SWOT analysis. In SWOT, you go through your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats and build a clear image through that.
The best goals are those that play in with your natural strengths, so choose something to focus on. A good personal brand is something that is easily explained to other people.
When you focus on something that you already have knowledge of, you’ll with time start achieving a leadership role. That’s why it’s important to remember to put in with your personal brand a little bit — or a lot — of personality. This will help people remember you. A good example is, for example, Lady Gaga. Gaga dressed in a very unique way when she released her first few songs, thus helping people remember her. We notice that her personal brand has switched from the Fashionista pop-artist into something else. Showing that it’s not all about sending a consistent message. It’s about evolving and growing as well.
I have chosen what to focus on and I know my core values, what then?
Visibility. According to Marketing Donut, 80 % of sales require up to 5 follow-up calls after a meeting. It is the same here, achieving a leadership role needs you to be consistently visible. You need to be persistent with your message. That’s why building a personal brand needs networking, networking, and networking.
Besides being consistent, visible and showing your personality, it’s important to be the same person publicly and privately. Nothing ruins a good personal brand faster than finding out that the personal brand clashes with the “real deal”. A perfect example of a strong, positive, consistent personal brand that matched with the real deal, is that of Steve Irwin’s who sadly passed away in 2006. Still, his personal brand is so strong, that most of us remember him to this day as a leader in his field.
Is achieving a strong and positive personal brand hard? Absolutely! That being said – it is more than worth it in your future salary negotiations, launching new products, looking for new clients or using that personal brand to find work, and as stated before, we all have one, even if we do not try and build it, why don’t you make it a great one?
Would you want to utilize a strong personal brand in your life as well? Either in salary negotiations or just advancing your career? If so, let us know by contacting us and let’s see how we can help You!