Building a personal brand and creating a more valuable 'you' can have a positive effect on both your personal and professional life. Think about the ways that companies do this. Highly caffeinated marketing teams sit in rooms, poring over logo design, advertising collaterals and their next tweet, so that they can present their company in an attractive, effective and appealing way.
In every message and every visual, customers need to see the brand's identity shining through. So, why should it be any different for you?
Consumers trust individuals more than brands; the level of trust and integrity that you can get from an individual can seem lost within a massive, global conglomerate. If you want to freelance, consult or increase sales for your company then creating an investible personal brand will help you stand out.
Let's look at 5 ways you can do this.
No-body likes a fake. If you're fake then you'll get found out, similar to the bad guy at the end of every Scooby Doo episode.
Creating a brand identity based on something you're not or on someone wildly different from yourself will be tough to maintain and almost impossible to do on a consistent basis.
Do some soul searching or ask a friend which traits you have that are attractive (we can't be held responsible for any friend break-ups). Humor's a great trait and if you're known for making people chuckle, it's a very marketable attribute. People will connect with you because you're being authentic and building a presence around the 'real' person that you are.
Play to your strengths and try to bring through your personality; it'll be noticeable and people will invest in your integrity.
Look at your sector, niche or area of expertise and try to identify things that you think could be done better or communicated more effectively.
For example, maybe you're part of a complex field with lots of expertise, but the overall marketing strategy is stale and boring. It's important to understand the tone of your niche and what people are looking for, but identify something you think you can do better at. And then do it.
What do your target audience want to hear? Demonstrate ideas in a more personable, human way if you think people are turned off by traditional, boring methods - you'll instantly stand out because you're providing something different.
When you've decided on your key ideas and personal branding focus, you need to integrate it into everything you do. 71% of CEOs note that human capital is a key source of economic value, which basically means your personality can be one of your best business assets.
If you're going heavy on humor then be consistent with it. Weave it into your email marketing, social media presence, your networking and content. You can't always anticipate the entry-point people will use to access a brand, so you need to ensure that wherever they first encounter your personal brand, they can grasp who you are and what you're about quickly.
Your social media platforms play an essential part in personal brand building. Creating content is also an important element, but your social media profiles will help push and pull content towards your audience.
Make sure that on all of the platforms you use, that you're adopting your personal brand voice. You can also show that there's more to you than selling or talking about the product you represent.
Social media gives people a chance to see the person you are. If you've just watched a great show on Netflix, tell people about it. The more you tweet, the more followers you'll have. People can be attracted by shared interests and you can build relationships from there.
Connect with other influencers and network; it's important to engage with people and see what's going on, listen to others and start a conversation.
So you're moulding your personal brand and making changes, brilliant. But, in order to do that, you need to monitor the effectiveness of your personal brand.
Is your approach connecting with your audience? Are you getting lots of new traffic, making more sales? Whatever markers you're measuring your success by, you need to monitor whether you're making progress.
If you're not, make some tweaks, do some more research and try and work out why your personal brand isn't resonating the way you need.
Key Takeaway to Create Value
You're a brand, I'm a brand, we're all brands, so make yours a good one. Be honest and authentic about the 'you' that you present and people will notice.
It takes a lot of effort to build your personal brand and give yourself more value, but it can be really worthwhile in a crowded marketplace. So, stay committed, never stop learning and be prepared to adapt.