What is personal branding?
Personal branding is about shifting your mindset to think of yourself as a brand. It is an ongoing process of building and maintaining an image and reputation.
Official definition: “The conscious and intentional effort to create and influence public perception of an individual by positioning them as an authority in their industry, elevating their credibility, and differentiating themselves from the competition, to ultimately advance their career, increase their circle of influence, and have a larger impact.”
Why is personal branding important?
Personal branding is becoming more and more important in today’s society, especially with the rise of social media. The main reason why personal branding matters is because it builds and affects your reputation. And that reputation follows you everywhere. For instance, your Instagram is your personal brand, and the content you post shapes how others will perceive you.
Personal branding also helps with building credibility. For instance, as you enter the workforce, your personal branding will help you be noticed and remembered by employers, whom you can be sure have already searched for you on Google. And if you are an entrepreneur, your credibility is extremely important to be known, remembered and respected.
How to create your personal branding?
The key to personal branding is finding what is unique about you. The goal of a brand is to convey a powerful message and monetize it.
According to Forbes, there are 10 golden rules of personal branding:
Have a focus
You cannot be everything to everyone. Define a key message and stick with it. The message of your personal branding also needs to be tailored to a specific target market. The more focused your personal brand is, the more people will remember you.
Your personal branding has to be authentic. Not only will being genuine will make it easier to manage your personal brand on a daily basis, but it will also organically attract people. BE YOU!
Tell your story
Tell a story that engages your audience. Personal branding is about connecting with people. If you don’t have a story behind your personal branding, creating a connection with your audience will be way more difficult. Videos are a popular way to tell a story, as they can make a story more personal and relatable.
This is why being YOU is important. It helps to maintain the consistency of your personal branding. Your audience will remember you if your brand is consistent. The unique aspect of your brand needs to be constantly out there, so that people know it’s you and can recognize you easily.
Be ready to fail
Failing will push you out of your comfort zone and make you learn even more about yourself and your goals. This is an important step to consider in creating your personal brand. The more you know about yourself, the more you can focus your brand on who you truly are and what you have learned. “The very best brands always come from repeated trial and error, mistakes and failures and not from instant perfection,” said Timothy Hoang, CEO of Stories By Tim, Inc.
Create a positive impact
Your reputation is your personal branding. Keeping a positive attitude and being respectful are fundamental in building your reputation. Anything you do affects your reputation. Anything you do affects your personal brand!
Follow a successful example
Following and analyzing successful examples can be a good strategy to help you grow your personal brand. For instance, if you look at another brand’s social media analytics across several channels, you can learn to establish current and future trends.
Live your brand
Your personal brand should reflect your lifestyle. It should follow you everywhere! The more uniquely you it is, the more interesting and authentic it is to your audience.
Let other people tell your story
Personal branding is a lot about Public Relations. PR is incredibly important to shape any brand’s image and reputation. Word-of-mouth is specifically powerful. People tell your story when you’re not in the room. So that story better be good!
Leave a legacy
This rule can be defined by one simple question: What do you want to be known and remembered for?
A famous example of personal branding:
Oprah Winfrey: Oprah has built an incredible personal brand through her hard work, consistency, and long-term focus. According to Forbes, her brand equity is worth more than $2.5 billion. Oprah successfully conveys a powerful message by making millions of viewers understand their potential. Most importantly, the key reason for her success is her ability to be genuine and authentic. People love her because of that. We can definitely say that Oprah is a queen of personal branding.