Have you ever been asked the question: “What is your personal brand?” No one would expect you to give a highly complicated answer that is full of business school-type jargon. In this article, we’ll break down what a personal brand is, why it’s important and how you go about creating a brand for yourself.
The anatomy of a personal brand
Just as is the case with a product or service brand that you create for a company, your personal brand is about the thoughts, feelings and emotions that people have about you and what image you want to project.
To illustrate with a very simple example, if you are a warm and understanding person, who is always ready to listen to a friend and offer good advice, your personal brand will become one of counsellor and comforter. People will flock to you for advice or to be listened to as you will become known as a person who can be trusted.
Why personal branding is important
In Branding and Marketing YOU, author Donna Rachelson takes a very interesting look at the topic of personal branding. Rather than writing a textbook on the subject, she decided to interview 10 South African business leaders about their journey and what – about their personal brand – they believe makes them successful.
One of the chapters is an interview with Monica Singer, ex-CEO of Strate. She speaks about her personal brand values of persistence and sticking to the task at hand, at all odds. It is because of her personal brand values that she pulled Strate up and made it the success it is today.
“Obstacles and difficulties are inevitable but successful personal brands are prepared to meet these challenges head-on and continue pushing forward rather that resigning themselves to defeat when things get tough. Passion and dedication are critical if your brand is to survive the difficulties that come your way,” says Donna.
Developing a strong personal brand is essential for you, especially in business. This is because through this you will develop a reputation in the industry. People will speak about you, based on the personal brand that you have, and make decisions about you before they even meet you. This means that it’s vital to only have positive associations created about you and your personal brand so that your reputation in the industry is only good.
How do you create a personal brand
Creating a personal brand involves the same steps that creating a brand for a company, brand or service does. First of all, you need to dig deep and really figure out what you stand for. What are your values? What makes you tick? What are non-negotiables for you? It may be trust and honesty or exceptional service delivery and customer support.
Once you’ve decided on these fundamentals, you need to figure out how to make those around you, who matter, feel the same way about you. For example, if you’re a freelance writer and you decide that creative, original content which is tailormade for your clients is one of your core values, as is exceptional customer service, develop a strategy of how to make your potential clients feel the same way about you.
A great way to do this is to get testimonials from your past clients and post them on your website or on your Facebook page. This will make sure that people who are looking for services similar to yours can see that your personal brand, or reputation, is such that people will trust and that will deliver exceptional service.
To really develop a great brand – be it for your company or yourself – you need to do a brand management course. The Digital School of Marketing’s Brand Management Course will teach you everything that you need to know about developing and crafting a brand that is right for you. Follow this link for more information.
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