What’s the first thing you do when you meet someone new or want to know more about him? You simply go Google their name and check out the links of their digital profiles – if they have a website, even better!
Now imagining this person was you, what’s the first thing you’d want a curious person to see? What would you want them to perceive you as? Or are your social media channels and the rants you have been posting till date something that you want to be instantly judged for?
I am not saying the very first impression needs to be boring. All I am saying is that you don’t want to be mistaken for someone or something else other than what you want to be known as in the digital landscape. A chef being called a marketer is going to get the chef and the marketer nowhere. Right?
This is why focusing on personal branding is important.
Before I jump into how you can create the right brand for yourself online, let’s address all those people who are still thinking why they even need a personal brand.
Why personal branding?
It unlocks the door to 2X more professional opportunities.
- you land better job opportunities
- you build better contacts and a strong network in the industry
- you are able to get good clients for your company
- you get recognised in the industry
- and so much more!
Pretty much answers it all for you, right?
Building your personal brand – the right way
1. Firstly, understand who you want to be
This step is really important. You need to know who you want to be perceived as. For instance, if you’re a chatty person in general, then you certainly don’t want to be known as snooty for no reason. Your personal brand needs to be a reflection of your personality in real life and that’s how it remains authentic.
While taking a look at others is advisable to understand what you need to do to be known in an industry, a copy-paste model never really works. All you can get is some inspiration to work on your own brand and make it stand out in comparison to what you’ve seen.
People connect with people. Not robotic clones of someone!
Here are a few things you need to answer before creating a personal brand:
- Who do you want to be known as in the digital world?
- What is it that you do and what is it that you want people to think you do?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- What is your brand’s mission and vision?
- What value can you offer to people and how?
Pretty simple, right? Get down to answering them and you’ll know how answering so precisely can be tough. But it’s important, so get to it!
2. Take your personal brand to the world
You haven’t worked so hard for nothing. So once your personal brand is ready, it is time to take it to the world and get it discovered in the industry.
What do I mean by this?
Network. Network. Network. And look for speaking events!
Summits, group discussions and speaking events give you the opportunity and the stage to talk about yourself. You get to meet and connect with like minded people, and even find synergies on who you could possibly work with to promote your brand further.
Naturally, this means you need to work on your communication skills no matter how big an introvert you have been so far. Be confident about what you’re good at and share the knowledge with people.
Don’t be afraid of those who disagree with you. Bring the feedback home and only make your brand better than before.
Plus point: Networking aggressively and speaking at events will not just bag you some professional opportunities, but help you build a social following as well!
3. Create your own website and start blogging
Let’s get one thing straight – if you want to be known in the digital space, you need to make sure you’re writing often. With content marketing riding the high wave, it is important that you focus on creating your own website and an active blog.
Write frequently about your niche and what you’re good at in an authoritative manner. It is important to focus on creating content pieces that are not just engaging, but also highly informative. The more informative or simple you make things sound, the better the results will be.
Also look at bagging interviewing opportunities. Identify channels where professionals like you or those you want to target are active. Look at ways you can contribute to it – if not an interview that lets you share more about your personal brand, focus on guest blogging for starts.
Need help with creating content or marketing your brand? How about me and my team at Contensify getting in touch with you?
4. Work on your social profiles
Everything is digital these days. You want to know someone, you look them up online. You want to buy something, you look for deals online. You want to verify something, you go through their social pages and profiles – yes, the last one is what matters the most to your personal brand.
Once you know what your personal brand needs to be, work on creating social media profiles that reflect the same. Make sure the information that is public to people portrays you as exactly what your brand is all about.
Go the extra mile and create custom cover photos, or click professional profile pictures for consistency across all the social channels. You need people to start recognising you when you walk into an event the next time. Right?
5. Never stop learning
While the above will get you all set to rock and roll in the industry, it is important to know that you can ‘never know enough’. There has to be a willingness to constantly learn from those who are better than you or have been in the picture longer.
Be it attending webinars, taking up courses or simply interviewing authority figures in your niche, don’t approach learning with an ego. The more open you remain about learning, the better it is!
I know it all seems a little too overwhelming. But starting now will give you enough time to work on your brand and make it better for the industry.