Personal branding is a bit of a buzz term at the moment. Everybody wants to be seen to be talking about it and a lot of people find it cringeworthy. And I don’t blame them!
I am someone who is passionate about personal branding and I do believe it holds great potential for a lot of people. What I don’t like is the pressure to be some form of demi-god influencer who has to be the very best at what they do and take their industry by storm.
That’s not what it’s about.
A personal brand is slowly replacing the CV. It’s a fantastic tool that helps you stand out from the crowd and achieve whatever it is you want to achieve. That could be a graduate job, a C-Suite roll or conquering the world. You decide!
So, now we’ve got that out the way – how do you actually build a personal brand (in a non-cringey way)?
In this post, I‘ll run through SIX things for you to think about when you’re becoming a world-dominating demi-god influencer.
You need to live your personal brand.
That isn’t meant to sound scary, but your personal brand is just who you are so you’ll be living it 24/7, 365 days a year.
As I say, don’t be scared by this. Flip it on its head instead. If you try to be something you’re not, you’ll be acting the whole time. So just be you!
When you connect with someone at a networking event, they’ll want to see that person online too.
When you’re asked your opinion on a topic during an interview, it can’t contradict what you’ve previously said on Twitter.
When someone stops you in the street, they’ll want to meet the person they see on Instagram.
To make it easy for yourself, just be you.
If you are yourself, people with similar interests will connect with you. Companies that fit your values will want to work with you. And most importantly, you won’t have to think about it.
Know Where You’re Going
What’s the aim?
Not short-term, long-term!
Do you want to be a leading palaeontologist? A pundit on the BBC? Own a fashion label?
Whatever it is, make every decision with that in mind.
Thinking long-term gives you direction and a centre line to work from.
If it’s genuinely what you want, don’t compromise on that. Keep working towards it.
Tell A Story
As human beings, we love a story. We love the narrative.
This includes the good times and the bad.
Think about whether you can take your audience on that journey with you?
If you can, they will feel more connected and invested in what you’re doing.
Opting for a story over a corporate façade allows people to connect with you as an individual and therefore they’re more likely to share opportunities with you.
So, keep them up-to-date and let them know what they can expect to see at the end of this rollercoaster journey.
Build A Presence
It’s not all about quantity, but the more people you can get your face in front of, the better chance you have of meeting the people who can help you get to the next level.
Even if you opt for a pure quality over quantity approach, you need to get your name out there in some capacity.
My advice is don’t be afraid to snap up opportunities.
If confidence is an issue, say yes to one and you’ll be surprised by how much you gain from that. From both a developmental and branding point of view.
So, if you get the chance, jump at featuring on an industry podcast, speaking at an event or attending a round-table evening.
Take the opportunities because you never know what might come of them.
Know Your Audience
As much as your personal brand is primarily about being yourself, you do need to understand who your audience are and what they want.
Without knowing this, you’re not going to get the most out of them.
Depending on what you’re looking to get from your personal brand, you want your audience to be your fans, advocates, referees, clients, employers. And for this to happen, you need to give them what they want.
The people following you on Instagram might want something different from what your Twitter audience want.
Your YouTube subscribers consume information in a different way to your newsletter subscribers.
People might be in a different frame of mind when they’re on Facebook compared to LinkedIn.
Appreciate Your Audience
We love to be acknowledged by those that we follow. And it plays massively into your hands!
If you give a cheeky retweet to someone who spoke to you at a networking event, it’s likely that they’ll reciprocate that.
If you reply to people commenting on your posts with a thank you, not only does it make them feel good, it can help your post perform better.
If you drop a direct message to someone who has been supporting you for a while, they’re likely to keep it up.
All of these little actions mean something much more to your followers and can pay dividends in the future.
So, if you’re looking to build your personal brand, take these guidance points, implement them and see what effect they have on your performance.
If you’re looking to take your personal brand to the next level but not sure where to turn, I offer Personal Branding Coaching and Strategy services.
Want to find out more? Drop me a message today!