It’s not uncommon for business coaches to throw around the term “personal brand.” While most people have an online presence, fewer know what their personal brand is, or how to define it. Simply put, your personal brand is the image you want to put out into the world. It combines your professional qualifications, core competencies, and skills with your unique attributes. Read on to know what is a personal brand and how you can build yours.
What Is a Personal Brand?
A personal brand is how you present yourself, your skills, experience, and expertise. It’s what makes your business or your job application stand out. Branding creates a name, term, design, symbol, or other feature distinguishing a company’s goods or services from competitors. Your personal brand is just the same, as it’s your unique distinguishing factor. It’s your reputation and your image.
Wondering how personal branding works? Think of celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Kim Kardashian, Donald Trump, or Elon Musk. Regardless of what you think of them, each one has built a unique brand around their image, skills, and message.
Why Is Strong Personal Branding Important?
Strong personal branding is important in all aspects of business, from building your networking to establishing trust. Branding plays a role whether you’re starting a business, considering whether to vlog or blog, or need LLC name ideas. If you’re looking for side hustles for introverts or business ideas for college students, it’s important to consider personal branding. Here’s why you should consider defining your personal brand:
1. Establish Your Unique Identity
A personal brand allows you to showcase your skills, expertise, and values. You’re not just a business coach or an entrepreneur, you’re a person with a 360-degree view of the world and a unique combination of skills. Perhaps you love volunteering for youth, traveling to South America, or empowering women. Those are part of your personal brand.
You could be a business coach dedicated to empowering Latin American women or a business coach helping build the next generation of leaders. These additional aspects of yourself and what you do help you stand out.
2. Instill Trust and Credibility in Others
When you specify your skillset, you stop trying to be good at everything. This, in turn, can build greater credibility and trust. When you consistently demonstrate expertise and provide value, you build a reputation as a reliable and trustworthy source on the topics you cover.
3. Increased Opportunities and Career Advancement
By niche-ing down and honing in on your unique skills and personal branding, you can position yourself as an industry leader, attracting job offers, promotions, and new business opportunities. It’s better to be well-known for a small area of expertise than mediocre in many areas. Leverage what you’re truly great at to create new opportunities.
4. Enhance Networking Efforts
Knowing and sharing your personal brand makes you more memorable and allows you to connect with like-minded professionals, potential clients, mentors, and collaborators. If you’ve got a simple one-line pitch of who you are and what you do, it’s easier for people to remember and connect with you.
5. Contribute to Personal and Professional Growth
Through the process of defining and communicating one’s brand, you can gain a deeper understanding of your strengths, weaknesses, and goals. This process of self-inquiry and reflection can lead to insights, opportunities, and personal growth. These qualities can translate to greater business growth.
How to Develop Your Personal Brand in 7 Steps?
Here are seven steps to develop your personal brand:
1. Define Your Personal Brand
Identify your values, passions, skills, and unique qualities that set you apart from others. At this stage, don’t leave anything out. List every skill, qualification, degree, award, hobby, or interest. What congruences do you see? How do certain areas build on others?
Once you have everything listed, distill it into one or two sentences. This is your elevator pitch or brand statement. Practice it in front of the mirror until you can say it easily and have it ready for any new meeting.
2. Identify Your Target Audience
Branding ultimately comes down to fulfilling the target audience’s needs. For that, you need to identify your target audience. Most people want to answer “everyone.” While it’s tempting, defining your specific target audience and understanding their needs, preferences, and interests will serve you better. You can tailor your brand messaging and content to resonate with them, fulfilling a need and building trust.
3. Create a Consistent Online Presence
Build a strong online presence across various platforms such as social media, professional networking sites, and your website or blog. Craft a compelling story of who you are and produce valuable content such as blog posts, videos, podcasts, or social media posts that support the personal brand you want to convey.
4. Engage and Network
Engage with your audience and industry professionals across social media platforms, industry events, and professional networking groups. Connecting and networking serve everyone. Offer advice, help, and support. Give back to your community and professional network to build trust and gain more in the long term.
5. Showcase Your Expertise
Establish yourself as an expert in your field by sharing your knowledge, experience, and expertise through speaking engagements, guest blogging, or hosting workshops or webinars. You can also offer online courses or guest lectures for a lesson in other professional courses.
6. Be Authentic and Transparent
Avoid trying to be someone you’re not, as it will eventually be discovered and undermine your brand. The key to personal branding is authenticity. People will relate better to you as you are, complete with imperfections, rather than an inauthentic version you think is more likable.
7. Continuously Evolve and Adapt
As you grow personally and professionally, adapt your brand to reflect your new goals, achievements, and areas of expertise. Share accomplishments and share praise for others’ accomplishments.
Building a Personal Content Strategy
A personal brand can help grow your business and open new professional opportunities. Creatives can enjoy expressing their skills through branding, but everyone can find ways to share their unique value, interests, and skills. While building your brand, establishing an LLC can protect you legally. Consider doola’s business formation and compliance services to establish your business and protect your personal brand.
Find LLC examples here, or understand the difference between DBA and fictitious names. Need more business ideas? Find side hustles for accountants, side hustles for real estate agents, or name ideas for hair businesses to start building your personal brand today!
Can anyone create a personal brand?
Yes, anyone can create a personal brand!
How long does it take to build a personal brand?
While you can build a personal brand in a couple of hours with the steps above, the process of building an online presence and continuously networking is the work of a lifetime. A personal brand isn’t a one-time activity. You’ll want to keep updating your personal brand as you and your skills evolve.
How can you integrate your personal brand with your professional life?
You can integrate your personal brand with your professional life through an online presence. Even if you have a career in one area and want to build your personal brand around your interests or hobbies, you can integrate the two. For example, you could be a computer programmer committed to empowering women or a cat-loving pediatrician.
Can personal branding be detrimental to privacy?
Done well, personal branding shouldn’t be detrimental to privacy. You’ll need to carefully build a personal brand to share your professional life and interests authentically, but you may still protect your personal life.
How can you measure the success of your personal brand?
Each professional will have their own criteria to measure the success of their personal brand. Some professionals suggest celebrating any micro win, including an email from a potential client or employer, a comment on a blog post, or a retweet, like, or share of something they wrote.