It’s important that you build a personal brand strategically and make it like this so that it helps you in advancing your career and your life. When done effectively, a strand brand leads to new opportunities and connections that can change your life.
Everybody including you has a personal brand.
It’s what people think when people hear your name, what pops up on Google when someone searches for you, and your presence across social media.
Building a personal brand is not an easy task. While you can still look around and guess at the most effective strategy for you, the best brand builders are strategic, niched-down, and most importantly are consistent.
In this article, we’ll provide you with some practical steps on how to build a personal brand and provide you with some steps to create one, even if you’d considered it before.
Proven steps to build a personal brand
Step 1: Figure out who you are and what you want to achieve.
Since you want to be an honest reflection of who you are, what skills you possess, what are your aspirations, it’s critical to get this information, but think deeply and be authentic.
Start this by asking yourself:
- 1. What drives me?
- 2. In what areas do I excel?
- 3. Which work drains my energy? Which work fuels me?
- 4. Which settings do I work best in?
- 5. Which industry do I find interesting?
- 6. Where do I want to be at the end of my career?
- 7. What impact do I want to have?
Even if the answer to these questions changes over time, it’s okay. Your personal brand will evolve as you do, so it’s critical that you should be honest and accept that your image changes over time.
If you are not able to answer these questions, ask your friends, co-workers, or your family members for their views. Even if you’re confident in your answers, it still may be a good idea to consult others. They see you in a way you can’t see yourself, and it will help you in building a holistic image.
Once you’re aware of these different parts of yourself, you can start building an image that aligns with it and this will help you get where you want to go.
Doing so also attracts like-minded people who are driven by the same things as you or who see value in what you are offering. This way it will help you create a stronger network.
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Step 2- Determine your unique value proposition
Leveraging your differences is critical to build a personal brand. If you’re similar to everyone else out there, your personal brand won’t truly be personal. People always remember those who stand out of the queue.
That’s where your unique value proposition comes to play. It’s just a short statement that encapsulates what you uniquely offer that no one else does.
When it comes to defining your unique value proposition, there are two steps that you should take:
1. Understand your strengths. Ask yourself where you have excelled in the past. Consider what compliments others give you about your talent. Determining what you do better than most anyone else does, lays down the foundation for your unique value proposition.
2. Talk about your strengths – By taking stock of your strengths, you can build a personal brand around them. Share your area of expertise and highlight your achievements. All of this helps you build credibility and establishes trust, so if an employer is considering you or if you’re looking to land a client, they can tell through your brand that you’re the best person to bring on board.
If you’ve pointed out your strengths, but you don’t know how to turn those into a value proposition, it may help to think in the same way as you prepare for an interview. Here are some of the ways by which you can better uncover what truly sets you apart from the others.
1. Make your answer specific – Many people work really hard, are detail-oriented, and get along with others very well. Instead, think about specific instances where you work hard or people’s skill pays off.
– What aspect of yourself came together to make those scenarios a success? What made it so you could accomplish what you did instead of others with similar skills?
2. Find your uniqueness which will help you thrive – While it’s great to know what your strengths are, they aren’t useful if they aren’t applied.
– For example, if you want to one day transition from sales to being a venture capitalist, consider what strength of you translates from sales to venture capitalist.
– Further consider specific instances where these skills served you well or not as a salesperson, and how these skills will help you to thrive in the venture capitalist industry.
3. Talk about your personality – While you can consider hard work as a strength, not all hard-working people are equally outgoing, fun-loving, and agreeable.
– If these personality traits are combined with your skills it will further help you differentiate yourself from the pack. It’s like a unique combination that serves you well.
Step 3- Define your audience
Many people make the mistake of trying to appeal to a mass audience, but it’s very important to define your niche and then work to appeal to your target audience.
If you’re launching a business, your personal niche should be well aligned with your business. If you want to advance in your career, you should target a specific area of niche according to your interest and expertise.
To define your niche, always start with a broad category that interests you such as sales, marketing, finance, or accounting. From there narrow it down to at least three times
For example- Marketing -> content marketing -> SEO content marketing -> SEO content marketing for start-ups and small businesses -> SEO content marketing for start-ups and small businesses using blogs and articles.
The first one is incredibly broad and includes so many different subjects that it will be really difficult to set yourself apart from others. The second provides you with a well-defined service that offers you a well-defined audience. It is much easier to be an expert in a small niche than a competitive one.
Step 4- Optimize your personal website and social media profiles
First things first: optimize your personal website. If you don’t have one, it’s time to make one, as it will really help you build a personal brand. There are free website builders out there, but you may want to consider purchasing a domain and web hosting plan.
For cheap domains, I usually recommend Namecheap. For web hosting, I would suggest Bluehost.
On your personal website, include the following:
- · About us page (including your interest, education, aspirations)
- · Past experiences and relevant accomplishments
- · Social media links
- · Value proposition
- · Professional logo and professional headshot and photo of you
- · Testimonials
- · Call to action
Now, regarding social media, there are four main platforms that people build a personal brand: LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. While it’s vital that these platforms align to tell a cohesive message, you may want to consider focusing on one to start.
At some point in late 2019 or early 2020, LinkedIn transformed into a legitimate “social” media platform, rather than just a copy of your resume. This is so much so that in 2021, LinkedIn announced a host of new updates, including “creator” mode for influencers (and hopeful influencers) on the platform.
Regarding building a personal brand on LinkedIn, there are some basics you need to cover:
1. Fill out all sections of your profile. This includes an engaging and storytelling “about” section, headline, bullets about past experiences that clearly describe the impact you had, skills (get endorsements for these!), and recommendations (you can request these from colleagues, clients, or mentors).
2. Use a professional headshot. These should be bright, easy to see, and entirely professional. No dimly lit selfies.
3. Add skills strategically. If you want to be known as a marketing director, consider what the top skills for someone in that role are and add them to your profile. Then, ask connections for endorsements. If you apply for a job or if someone is searching for a marketing director, those with more aligned and endorsed skills will rank higher in search.
4. Keywords. Use keywords that fit your brand or your career throughout your profile, including the about section, past experiences, headlines, and more.
It’s harder to break into the Twitter-sphere and become a true influencer, but you can use similar techniques as on LinkedIn.
Follow leaders in your desired niche, comment thoughtfully on their posts, retweet them, and begin tweeting insightful thoughts of your own. Jump onto relevant hashtags where you can.
As with any platform, the key to success with Twitter is consistency. The more meaningful conversations you have with those in your niche, the more visibility you’ll get.
Do follow us on Instagram @digitaldhairya to learn more about personal branding, content creation, social media marketing and many more.
With the unveiling of Reels (Instagram’s Tiktok dupe), it’s far easier for you and me to become video influencers relatively fast.
There are some stories of near-overnight successes such as Pudgy Woke, who’ve amassed tens or hundreds of thousands of followers (eventually climbing to millions) in a month. While that’s an extreme example, it
Focusing on your niche, using relevant hashtags, and most of all, staying consistent is the most critical. Instagram Reels are notoriously trend-based, meaning new sounds arise quickly. If you can follow these trends and create insightful or entertaining content, you’ll see results a lot faster.
Step 5: Develop your content strategy
Many people think “giving it all away” with free content is a mistake. If you give it all away, why would people hire you or pay you?
It’s quite the opposite. Providing valuable, genuinely helpful free content proves that you know what you’re talking about. It showcases your expertise. If the free advice worked, imagine what paying you would do?
Thus, step one is to make all content you post genuinely helpful and insightful. You want to be known as a trusted authority in your space.
Step two is to do a bit of research on what subjects within your niche are generating buzz. Google Keyword Planner, Google Trends, and Exploding Topics are great tools helping you uncover what’s trending. You can then jump on trends relevant to your niche to make sure you’re in the conversation.
Step three is remembering to cover all types of content. Posting only video or only text gets stale quickly. Share different types of content across all platforms. These content types include:
- · Podcasts
- · Online courses
- · Infographics
- · Text
- · Video
- · Slideshows
- · Webinars
Step 6: Constantly add value to your audience
Although mentioned briefly in the last section, now’s the time to emphasize the importance of adding value to your audience. It’s easy to create stale content, but making content that’s insightful, engaging, and that truly helps your audience is a different story.
Creating valuable content requires planning and intention. Schedule out your content and ask yourself: “would this help me? Is this actionable?”
Don’t settle for fluff or trite advice. Provide your audience with content that will make a real difference in their lives.
Step 7: Build a community
Lastly, while amassing a following may seem impressive, it doesn’t do anything if nobody engages with you. Building a community means creating a place where people talk with you and each other, getting to know one another, and helping each other out.
If you’re looking to generate business, this is an excellent way to differentiate yourself. Likewise, if you simply want your name out there to advance your career, this helps.
To start building a community, consider these strategies:
· Facebook and LinkedIn groups. These allow people to start threads on relevant topics and talk among themselves. You can chime in as often as you want to spark conversations.
· Meetups. It’s hard to overestimate the value of meeting with people face-to-face. These meetings can be one-on-one, or you can host large gatherings of people to come together, share, and learn.
· Webinars. Webinars allow you to gather people together for a shared learning experience. This is an opportunity for you to meet your audience, share your expertise, and continue developing yourself personally.
While building a personal brand is a lot of work, the payoff is enormous when done correctly. Personal brands allow you to build a network of professionals who see your worth and think of you first when new opportunities arise.
Whether you’re looking to generate business, accelerate your career, find a mentor, or never job hunt again, a personal brand can get you there.