As entrepreneurs, we spend a lot of time on branding – in fact, we spend most of our time on the process, developing a specific look and personality for our business that will resonate with our customers. You probably spend many hours a week on improving the brand of your company, but what about your personal brand? When your customers see your name, do they immediately picture a friendly, successful, helpful individual, or do they see you as just another business owner?
Whether or not you own a business, your personal brand is very important to your success. Resumes are an excellent example of how your personal brand can work for you, but you should think of your entire personal brand as your resume. Each of your social media accounts, your blogs, and even your responses to emails make up your personal brand, making it important that you put effort into improving it.
As the name suggests, a major part of your personal brand comes from who you are as a person. If you own a blog for example, writing about something you’re passionate about is a great way to begin defining your personal brand. Furthermore, your blog posts should be written with passion, and should come straight from the heart. Your readers should get a glimpse into your personality from every article they read, whether it be on your website or your social media. A simple Facebook post can be used to help establish your personal brand, so use this as part of your branding strategy.
Another excellent way to build your personal brand is through photos and videos, which allow you to connect with you audience on a personal level that cannot be done solely with words. Photos of you partaking in one of your favorite activities will show your human side, and posting daily vlogs about news in your life will give your audience a look into who you really are. In fact, posting photos of you with family can show your human side unlike any other tip on this list, and should be used as part of your personal branding strategy. Podcasts are another great way to connect with your audience, and they give you yet another fantastic platform for your voice to be heard. Your podcast can be about any topic of your choice, and if done well, it may attract a new audience to your personal brand. Building a personal brand is about building a personal relationship with your audience, so take the time to showcase some of the activities that make you, YOU!
Ultimately, you want to be memorable to your audience. When they see your face or name, they should immediately have something interesting come to mind. Make an effort to do things out of the ordinary as often as possible, and share your experiences with your audience. Posting pictures of you and your dog sleeping on the couch may be okay every once in awhile, but you’ll need pictures or videos of you doing memorable activities as well in order to better build your personal brand.
Although being out of the ordinary is excellent for building your personal brand, you always want to maintain a sense of professionalism with everything you post. If your audience pictures you as a professional in your field, but you consistently post pictures or videos of your crazy weekends at the bars, you’ll begin to lose your professional persona. Remember, you’re trying to come across as a leader in your field, and that cannot be done if your audience sees you as a nobody – which they will, if you aren’t careful about what you post.
One of the best ways to get personal with your audience is to make yourself vulnerable. Talk about issues that mean a lot to you, issues you’d like to bring awareness to. If you feel strongly about certain problems in our society, make your voice heard – but be humble. Speak from the heart, and others will be attracted to your honest. Not only will you be building your personal brand in this way, you’ll also bring attention to issues that are important to you, making this a powerful tool for a number of reasons.
Realistically, the only way to build your personal brand is to be yourself. Showcase the best parts of your personality in every way you know how. Thanks to the internet, you no longer have to land a spot in a magazine or newspaper to have your voice heard, so be sure to post blogs and Facebook posts regularly, showcasing who you are and what you care about. These platforms are designed to give you a voice, so talk about who you are, what you do, and what’s important to you. Share lessons that you’ve learned, and talk about how grateful you are to have the opportunities you’ve been given. Always remain humble and honest, and you’ll see your personal brand grow in no time.
How has your personal brand worked for you? What advice do you have for building your personal brand? Which hurdles are the hardest to overcome when building a personal brand? Let us know in the comments below!