Personal branding is all about how people will remember you or what people associate you with. To make it simple, this is your own mark in this world and this mark is the quantification of all your knowledge, skills and attitude.
What you know, what you are capable of doing and how you do things are all equally imperative in establishing a successful personal brand. Personal branding is a very useful tool in achieving competitive advantage may it be in your personal or professional endeavors.
Apart from change, competition is also another thing that is inevitable. Remember your anatomy lessons? Particularly on how you became the successful cell to become a human being? We are born out of competition and in this constant competition with one another, the question is, how will you emerge triumphantly? Personal branding is one of the keys.
How to Build Your Own Personal Brand?
1. Get a Professional Headshot
Personal branding requires constant effort and commitment, and for most of us, it is a disconcerting task: having to expose oneself out in the open is not easy.
Sometimes, we don’t even truly understand how our persona affects our brand. Plastering one’s photo on a website is even more disconcerting, and that is why we often omit our headshot from a business website. Professional photographers can help you get a head start on your personal branding efforts by guiding you and by creating images you will actually be proud of images that represent who you truly are.
Whether you use it for a social profile or your company’s website, the quality and style of your headshot show a lot of you as a person.It also conveys how you conduct business. An outdoor shot in casual attire conveys a very different sense than a portrait in a business suit against a solid color backdrop.
2. Be Discoverable Online
You need to get your online presence in order so that as people are becoming familiar with you and inevitably seeking out more information about you, they get a positive and consistent impression.
Personal branding focuses on building three key attributes; you want your personal brand to become: discoverable, shareable and memorable.
3. Know your Professional Purpose
Your purpose is your higher calling — from the sages to the mountains to the higher power that controls you in a way that is freeing and liberating.
Ask yourself why are you doing this? What’s the reason you’re doing this that will keep you showing up consistently over time? We all have different motives, so it’s important to understand yours. Know your mission and live & breathe it daily. People tend to assess your professional values, integrity, and ethics.
Your personal brand can act as a “promise” of how you will conduct business and reflect the mission and core values of a company. Have a sense of purpose. Know what qualities you bring to the table, and be sure you know exactly how to articulate these characteristics in a clear and concise manner.
4. Learn to listen and Practice Empathy
Who you are is more than just what you say. Take the time to listen. Strike the balance between what you know and what you have yet to learn or understand.
5. Practice Writing
It is quite challenging to have connections with the media, online publishers and publications. However, it is a powerful way to show that you know what you’re talking about.
Every outlet you build a connection with increases your brand authority. Whether you’re writing online or in print, the way you write affects your personal brand. The way you express yourself is key to whether you impress your colleagues, bosses, and clients. So build your brand with writing that shows your value and helps you advance.
6. Re-engineer Your Digital Presence
Reengineering your digital presence means creating many of the conditions of a startup—the sense of freedom, flexibility, and creativity—but at the scale and with the discipline of a large enterprise.
These are the things you can do to re-engineer your digital presence:
- Bring together cross-functional teams who can ideate, bring to life, and execute a truly digital user experience.
- Take a customer-centered approach to everything your company does. Convey a distinctive and catchy brand identity that’s present in storefronts, websites, smartphones, connected devices and forms of interaction still being conceived.
- Use big data and analytics in all their forms to deploy insights from customers in real time.
Reimaging your business also means you continually measure and test the impact of these products and services, and learning from the results.
7. Embrace and Expound Your Experience
Storytelling is all the rage. Nowadays, more brands are comprehending the power of stories to transform their presence and identity. There is a good reason for the popularity of stories among brands, businesses, and individuals. Stories are a powerful tool in human communication. Research shows that the human brain responds to the descriptive power of stories in deeply affecting ways, influencing both the sensory and motor cortex. They say that to read a story is to feel an experience and synchronize our minds with the subject of the story.
8. Be Social by Design
The first thing that one should remember in being social by design is to get your social infrastructure right. Your profiles (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter) need to be discoverable, they need to have the right security settings activated and it needs to be easy for someone to interact with you, understand immediately what you are about, and share whatever you are trying to get out there.
Second is to create a great content. This goes without saying, but if you’re active on social and digital channels you need to have something of value to say and learn to say it well.
The third is optimize your speaking engagements. One of the best ways to get your ideas out into your industry is by pitching to speak at conferences within your niche.
Fourth is to be social even when out of the office. If you’re traveling or on holiday, you’ll probably set an “out of office” alert right? That’s a perfect vehicle for leaving someone with a good impression and picking up some connections on social media.
Finally, have something physical people can remember you by. Something physical is not limited to business cards either. Look sharp. Make an effort with your appearance in professional settings. Look to differentiate and have some motif.