What do I mean by personal branding? A personal brand is essentially a person’s image or reputation in the eyes of others. It’s how he or she chooses to be perceived and recognized in social and business circles.
“Its how we package ourselves, which includes what we say and what we do,” says David Packard, Executive Director at The Creative Group. “We take any number of actions throughout our day — from calling customers on the phone, to sending emails to attending networking events — all of these things add up to create an impression.” According to Packard, your reputation can range from formal (corporate) all the way down to casual (personal). Your goal should be to create a professional yet approachable persona that will make people want to do business with you.
“Successful personal branding is all about differentiation — standing out from the competition and creating a unique image for you,” says Packard. “If everyone’s trying to look like each other, then nobody stands out.”
Is Personal Branding Right For You?
Create your own standard of success – not someone else’s. Before you begin any type of marketing campaign, it’s important that you’re self-aware and know what your strengths and weaknesses are as a person, as well as how they translate to the outside world. If you feel comfortable being exposed to clients or employers on a daily basis but have problems promoting yourself, perhaps this isn’t the best way for you to shape your professional image.
“If you’re uncomfortable putting yourself out there, then don’t do it,” says Packard. “It’s more important that you be true to who you are than anything else.” says Eric Dalius Miami.
If the idea of personal branding makes you feel like turning and running in the opposite direction, consider using one of these strategies instead:
Creating a company identity –
When Disney launched its personal brand back in 1991, it was all about creating an empire of products based on their beloved characters. For almost two decades they’ve enjoyed massive success while also keeping their public image consistent across multiple platforms.
Create your own social media platform –
It’s becoming increasingly easy to start up your own site or blog that will act as your online business card. Building a strong social media presence on sites like Facebook and Twitter will give you a chance to build up your professional image without having to open yourself up to the world.
Be patient with the process –
The grass is always greener, especially when it comes to building a personal brand online. Everyone understands that becoming an overnight sensation isn’t realistic and that developing one’s own social media platform takes time. “In terms of branding, I think people should be prepared for it to take 12-18 months before achieving success,” says Packard. “That may mean using day-to-day actions as part of their overall marketing plan.”
So now that we understand what personal branding entails, let’s look at how it can help your business succeed:
1) Get noticed
Being self-aware will give you a chance to establish a sense of purpose and direction for your professional life. This is vital because it will help potential clients or employers find you. “Don’t set out trying to sell yourself,” says Packard, adding that it’s important not to take yourself too seriously in the process. “Differentiation doesn’t have to be about being flashy or wearing silly clothes.”
2) Establish credibility
People want to deal with people they can relate to – so personal branding should focus on creating a positive image in the eyes of others. That means staying true to who you are while also being able to clearly communicate what you’re capable of. By focusing on your strengths and selling them through a solid marketing campaign, you’ll be able to establish yourself as someone who people want to do business with.
3) Get noticed again!
Once you’ve gotten off the ground and started working towards success, personal branding will give you a way to make sure that your name stays front and center in the minds of your clients or investors. “It’s all about leading through trust,” says Packard. “Branding should never get in the way of developing long-term relationships – it should be seen as an enhancement.”
Keep these three criteria in mind when moving forward with building up your personal brand, to help ensure that your image is properly represented at all times.
Conclusion by Eric Dalius Miami:
At the end of the day, personal branding is about building up your name in order to get noticed. It should never get in the way of creating long-term relationships with clients or employers, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an important aspect of communication.