4 Steps to Develop Your Personal Brand
Before we get started, let’s get on the same page about one important thing… everyone, yes everyone, and their mom, has a personal brand.
You have one. I have one. My dog Zoey even has one (HELLO - @lifeofgehl). Now when some people hear me say this, I often get sideway glances. Personal brand, you say? Sounds a bit narcissistic, they tell me. But hold on a second, let’s break this down. What does having a personal brand actually mean?
“A personal brand is a widely-recognized and largely-uniform perception or impression of an individual based on their experience, expertise, competencies, actions and/or achievements within a community, industry, or the marketplace at large.”
As according to PersonalBrand.com (lol)
So, a personal brand is connected in large by the impression you give to your audience. However, it’s also based your own experiences, attributes, and capabilities which provide context and background to this perception. We make impressions every day; when we order a coffee, in the conference room, even at the grocery store. What’s more, is that we have the ability to make a BIG impression online. Social media has changed the game; it allows us to share our lives in a way that was never possible before. This means, we’ve never had more opportunities to make a great first, second, third, or an infinite number of impressions. Whether you’re speaking to an audience of 100 or 10,000, you have an opportunity, rather a responsibility, to mold the way people perceive you in an authentic, genuine, and purposeful fashion.
Developing your personal brand means a promise to be self-aware.
What are you good at? Can you think of a time that someone complimented your skills in a professional setting? Think long and hard about what drives you, what motivates you to get up in the morning. (This may not be your actual job). Chances are, this will be what you’re naturally inclined to do and speak about. It means that, whether you know it or not, this is already a part of your personal brand. Play. It. Up. Are you into photography? Are you great with teaching others? Whatever it is, make more room.
Keep it clean, keep it polished, and never overshare.
There’s a buzzword circling around, and it’s called transparency. I’m all for it. Really, I think it’s important to be transparent. However, there’s a difference between sharing your life honestly, and leaving your dirty laundry out to dry. Be authentic. Though remember, there are some things that just don’t translate well on the web. Examples: profanity, substance abuse, bad-mouthing, and anything that tarnished the reputation you’re working so hard to build. The internet can be a great place to advance yourself, but when content sharing is done incorrectly, it can also work against you while trying to establish your personal brand identity.
Engage sincerely with your audience.
You’ve heard this 10x over, it’s true. Go above and beyond while establishing connections and building relationships. Hold the door open for others, and you will have the favor returned. Going the extra mile for someone is a sure fire way to build your brand identity and ultimately shows good character. People like nice people.
This is branding, remember. Start by choosing a color palette you’re naturally inclined to, browse through some of your favorite fonts, and select some of your very own buzz words that you feel comfortable using consistently in your writing and conversations. Incorporate these elements into everything you do, and get serious about delivering quality content on the web. This could be in the form of blog posts, IG stories, Facebook or LinkedIn updates (just remember to keep your content consistent). I recommend having a personal website that showcases your talents and expertise. By creating a space that uniquely supports your brand identity, you actually possess the ability to control your own narrative; you have the ability to control how others perceive you. It’s a chance to make a thoughtful first impression on a future employer, colleague, dare I say, love interest? It’s also a chance to practice being self-aware. All of our relationships benefit when we understand ourselves better.
If you’re ready to take your online presence seriously, you’re in luck, because I am the business of helping others to establish their own personal brand. Schedule a free consultation below.