Branding is an important aspect of the reputation of any business; used to showcase how they are unique and stand out from the competition. The same can be said for individuals. Personal branding is just as important as your business brand and is the key to being in the spotlight as an expert.
Personal branding is, in essence, your reputation and can define you as a leader in business or in your career. Given the immediacy and interconnectivity of information, individuals need to effectively manage their personal brand to ensure others don’t create your brand for you.
When creating your personal brand think about what makes you unique in your field and what characteristics, values or qualities you have that can set you apart from the competition. Be intentional when creating your brand as it needs to resonate with your audience in order to be effective.
What sets you apart?
Assess who you are and what your ‘one thing’ is that separates you from competitors; what is the heart and soul of your personal brand?
This is the most important step to creating your brand as it sets the foundation for your communications and strategy across every platform. For example, Richard Branson = entrepreneurship; Apple = innovation. What defines you?
You should start by researching your passions, how you want to be perceived, define your dreams and put them into action. You need to understand who you are, what makes you unique and most importantly be true to yourself.
Define your expertise and own it
When creating a personal brand think about your area of expertise and define your niche. Once you have decided upon your niche, you need to stick to it. Be clear about what it is you represent as this will help to avoid audience confusion.
To truly create a successful personal brand, you need to accept that you are an expert, own the word expert and wear it like a badge of honour. This will help to create consistency, add value and credibility with your audience. By defining your expertise it may not only increase your credibility but that of your business and lead to increased opportunities.
It is important to define who you are and what your expertise is but you need to be seen in order to truly be effective. Start pitching to media outlets and connect with your audience. This can be done through opinion pieces, contributed articles, media interviews as well as telling your stories on social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. This can lead to increased exposure of your opinions and expertise in your niche.
When you have a strong personal brand, your opportunities expand. Others are attracted to those they admire or are inspired by. Building your personal brand helps carve out your niche as a thought leader and expert and could lead to increased opportunities for yourself and your business.