Whether you are a service based or product based business, in the online and real world, it is becoming increasingly important to have a “face” to your brand. No matter what industry you’re in or how big your company is, connecting with your audience on a human level will help increase interaction with your business and hopefully, sales or more work.
Personal branding has been around forever. Think back to years before social media, which store were you most likely to go to? George, the friendly and helpful store owner or Peter, the gruff store owner who sits behind the counter and can’t be bothered with his customers? You’d go back to George, right? George probably helps out in his community and is well regarded in his area. Peter, well, no one likes Peter and his business suffers because of it. George is the “face” of his store and has a well established personal brand for his business.
Having an online presence now is a given and more and more people are wanting to interact with people and not have traditional “salesy” marketing pushed in their face everyday.
So what is personal branding per se?
A personal brand is the summary of you as a professional that everyone who interacts with you in real life and online will experience. It needs to be consistent, admirable and a true representation of your skills, accomplishments and passions. To accelerate in your business, building a personal brand is a key.
Building a strong personal brand can be difficult, and as a result we often see vague or confused personal brands that can hold you back in your business. To perfect your personal brand, read on for our top 5 tips.
Building a personal brand is a commitment. You need to be able to put time and effort into your personal brand to get it right. In fact, perfecting your personal brand can sometimes feel like a full-time job in itself! Think about how much time you can commit to building a personal brand and work out how best to utilise that time. If you can only commit an hour or two a day, restrict yourself to one social media account for the time being. It is better to do one thing really well than to start multiple accounts and then simply forgetting them. By doing the latter, you’ll show your personal brand to be undisciplined or unable to commit, which can be damaging to your brand and business.
- Think bigger than self-promotion
While self-promotion is an element in your personal brand, don’t make it the main feature. Letting others know about your success or any upcoming events you’re excited about is encouraged, but your personal brand should be so much more. You are looking to engage, excite and encourage rather than solely focus on yourself. You don’t want your personal brand to be ‘bragger’.
- Be accountable
Remember that every action has consequences, and in the online world, the smallest of actions can be magnified and cause huge ripple effects. Before you post anything online, think about whether it truly reflects you as a person and as a brand, and ask yourself whether your actions or words could be hurtful or insulting to others.
- Define yourself
Think about your strengths, key qualities and who you aim to be and summarise yourself in 5 or so bullet points. Every interaction you have online or in real life should demonstrate at least one of these bullet points. If you’re struggling to define yourself, ask your team for help. If they struggle, then you know that you haven’t got a strong personal brand and really need to put some work in!
- Offer something of value
If you want your personal brand to help you get ahead in your business, you need to offer something of value. It’s all well and good defining yourself and sticking to it to create an authentic depiction of yourself and your business, but if the qualities you’re exemplifying aren’t desired in your clients or customers, it won’t help your business get there. Look at the role you want to portray, what is required of the person in that position and aim to make your personal brand show those qualities – if you’re not currently holding those qualities, you can use your personal brand to attain them and make yourself more confident in your abilities.