“A name is the blueprint of the thing we call character. You ask, What’s in a name? I answer, ‘Just about everything you do’.” – Morris Mandel
As long as you are a business owner, and you stake your name on that business, your personal brand exists, whether you create it or not. In fact, even if you don’t have a business, as long as you are on the internet and on social media accounts, you also have a personal brand. If that is the case, wouldn’t it be better to take charge of your branding then?
By definition, 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. (Source: Personalbrand.com)
Personal branding is a conscious and intentional effort to take charge of how the general masses perceive you. As an icon, and an authority in the slice of the industry your business populates, everything from your social media posts to your speaking engagements are scrutinized by the public.
And you want them to see you. You want them to listen to what you have to say. Because that is the way you can promote your business and make it grow.
So how can you go about building your personal brand?
The first step is always self-awareness. Who are you? What are the things that you value? And what is it that you want to achieve? What is the impact that you want to have?
Most people mistake personal branding as a way to make up an imagined version of you. While that might work, you wouldn’t be able to sustain that brand in the long term. Staying true to who you are and the message you want to say through your content, your products and services, and your business is the best way to go about it. But you need a strong awareness of who you are and what niche in society you want to make an impact on.
The next step is to know what value you can bring to the table. Is it your expertise or experience? Is it your network? Is it your unique outlook on the industry you are in? What problems do you want to solve, and what solutions have you come up with? Knowing your strengths and weaknesses and playing to those to maximize your message is crucial.
Also, you need to know who your audience will be. While appealing to the general public is good, getting your message across to the people you want to reach the most is what should be a priority. This way, you can be specific with your solutions and content too.
William Aruda (a personal branding guru) once said, “Personal branding is not about you. It is about putting your stamp on the value you deliver to others.” Giving value to your audience or your clients is important. It isn’t about flattering them so they will like you. It is about caring about them that you will go out of your way to create content, products, and services that will add value to their lives.
If you know who your audience is, the next step is to find out where they are and meet them there. Leverage technology that is available to you and use social media as a platform to deliver your message.
And this isn’t a one-time thing. As in building relationships, making friends, and going on dates with romantic partners, you need to take time to connect with your audience, and you need to do it frequently. Keep yourself, your brand, and your message top-of-mind.
I don’t mean spam them with messages. That’s the quickest way to burn bridges. Don’t try to sell them something. Just keep in touch with them, and make them feel like you care about them. Talk about the things that are important to them or are trending among your audience. What current events, social issues, and other problems are their greatest concerns?
Your business belongs to and moves in the same society your market is living in and moving in. Their problems are also your problems, and probably your team’s or employees’ problems too. What can your business do to help contribute to solving those problems? And how can you, as the owner, deliver that message and solution to them?
There are a lot of ways to go about building your personal brand and even more strategies for how you can get your personal brand out there. At the end of the day, focus on who you are and what you want to be known for, and take it from there.
Thank you for reading A Brilliant Tribe.