Personal branding is trending.
The coronavirus pandemic has given many of us an abundance of free time. Those who are wise have been using this newfound freedom to figure out what they really want to do with their lives and how they can better leverage their skills to make money.
This strategic shift forms a part of effective personal branding.
As John Hall rightly says, “Personal branding is now your résumé.”
Developing your brand requires strategy. Finding a strategy that works was usually an experimental process but, with the help of the digital age, it has become much easier.
I’ve narrowed down some top tips to help you strategically develop your personal brand. But, let’s start by first understanding the definition of personal branding.
What is Personal Branding?
Gary Henderson provides a comprehensive definition of personal branding.
“Personal branding is the practice of marketing people and their careers as brands. It is an ongoing process of developing and maintaining a reputation and impression of an individual, group, or organization. Whereas some self-help practices focus on self-improvement, personal branding defines success as a form of self-packaging.“
Let’s dissect this definition. Personal branding involves:
- An ongoing process of developing and maintaining a reputation and impression
These three elements guide the process of developing a sustainable personal brand.
Check out this insightful video from Caryn Foster Durham who adds some valuable insights to defining personal branding.
How Do I Define Who I Am?
Several thoughts may be flooding through your brain. You’ve probably always found it difficult to sell yourself. Maybe you don’t even know what you’re really good at and how you’d want to portray yourself to the world.
Take a deep breath. I hear you. I feel you. I can guide you. Answer these questions.
- What am I passionate about?
- What do I enjoy doing?
- What skills do I have?
- What can I do really well with minimal effort?
- What value do you bring to the table?
- What are the values and principles that guide my life?
This article sheds some light how to write a concise personal branding statement that truly makes an impact.
Need helping defining your personal brand statement? Send us a message and one of our team members will contact you to schedule a free 15 minute consultation.
Why Is Personal Branding Important?
One phrase in Gary Henderson’s definition summarizes the importance of personal branding, “It is an ongoing process of developing and maintaining a reputation and impression of an individual, group, or organization.”
Therefore, I believe that personal branding is important for two general reasons.
Personal branding improves your attractiveness to potential employers and clients. When you develop a strong brand, people will start noticing. I’ll clue you in on some marketing secrets later in this article. Just bear in mind that personal branding makes you more attractive to money making opportunities.
Potential clients and employers won’t have to look very far to verify whether you’re able to successfully complete a task or manage a project. If done right, you marketing will demonstrate your worth through strong portfolio samples and recommendations or reviews from former clients or employers.
5 Mistakes to Avoid When Developing Your Personal Brand
- Portraying Something You’re Not
Your branding strategy should align with your personality so that you avoid coming off as fake or untrustworthy to your viewers and followers. People are keen to identify imposters. It’s important to be true to yourself so that people will see your authenticity.
- Limited Originality
People are inundated with content daily. The best way for your brand to stand out in the noise is for you to create custom content. Share fresh perspectives. Show why you’re good at what you do. Approaching content creation this way will help you become a thought leader in your industry in the long-term. Although it’s also important to share posts from others that you think your audience will find helpful, your audience wants to appreciate your individuality.
- Avoiding Videos
Videos are more engaging and memorable. That’s the reality. In fact, HubSpot states that “78% of people watch online videos every week, and 55% view online videos every day”. Furthermore, Insivia states that “Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text.” Videos can almost be viewed as mandatory for your personal brand.
- Not Checking Stats
Feedback is critical for success. Both online and offline statistics are crucial for helping you understand how your personal brand is perceived and how you can improve. Google Analytics can help you track crucial website statistics. Additionally, each social media platform has its analytics tools that help you track the performance of each post.
Offline statistics are also important. Use Typeform to create simple surveys for your offline clients or managers. Their feedback can help you represent your brand in the best way possible.
- Doing Too Much
Burnout will happen if you try to do everything at once. Start small and then work your way up. For instance, instead of creating three professional social media profiles, focus on mastering one social media channel where you’re bound to get the most traffic.
Technology is also a blessing in disguise because there are so many apps that you can use to simplify the content creation process. Canva and Buffer are two examples of software that really helps take the pressure off.
Canva helps those with no graphic design skills create stunning social media posts, presentations, flyers, worksheets…any type of print or digital content you can think of. Buffer helps you schedule social media posts so that you aren’t consumed with social media posting throughout the week.
The 6 Best Platforms for Promoting Your Personal Brand
This may seem contradictory since I’ve already established that videos are more engaging and memorable. However, blogging is equally important. Search engines don’t pick up keywords from the words you say in videos. Instead, they crawl through your social media pages and blog/website to find keywords and keyword phrases that match search queries. They look for typed text. This mere fact makes blogging an essential part of your content marketing strategy.
An active blog is a good way to start building your brand. Blog posts reveal aspects of your personality. They also help readers get to know you better. Some tips to help you effectively blog are given below.
- Post consistently (at least twice per week).
- Do keyword research.
- Hire an experienced content writer.
- Create value-added content.
- Share your blog posts on your social media pages.
LinkedIn is the social media platform to have if you’re serious about building your personal brand. It’s the professional social media network that functions somewhat like your online CV.
There are several factors to consider when developing a strong LinkedIn profile:
- The Tagline
- The About Section
- The Featured Content Section
- Job Experience
You’ll probably need help to develop your LinkedIn profile the right way. Check out this Fiverr gig and invest in the help you need to stand out in this crowded professional network.
YouTube is the best social media platform to use for building a repertoire of video content. It may initially seem a bit intimidating to be in front of a camera sharing perspectives that you hope people will find useful. Trust me, I understand.
However, videos are essential for helping you establish a strong online presence. The trick is to consistently produce good quality videos and promote them to your audience. You don’t really need fancy equipment – a good smartphone, nice background, a lavalier microphone and good natural lighting should be sufficient.
Special Note: While the aforementioned platforms are essentially necessities for your personal brand, the three social media platforms I’m about to describe are optional. I wouldn’t recommend using all three. Instead, focus on the platform frequently used by your target audience.
Chances are that you don’t want all insundry to view your private Facebook profile. Therefore, you can create a business Facebook page specifically for your personal brand. This comprehensive step-by-step guide from Buffer explains how to create a perfect Facebook business page. I encourage you to read it because it provides some valuable insights.
Twitter is best known for its short posting format and discoverable hashtags. Here are some short tips for effectively using Twitter to promote your personal brand:
- Share valuable content.
- Follow thought leaders in your industry.
- Join Twitter groups.
- Engage in Twitter chats.
- Create a stand-out profile.
- Post consistently.
- Post fresh, unique content.
- Retweet content that aligns with your brand’s message.
- Use the right hashtags for your posts.
Instagram depends heavily on visual appeal. The best performing posts on Instagram tend to be stunning images that tell a story. They also have the right caption and hashtags. Hootsuite dives into the details about the anatomy of a top-performing Instagram post in this article.
Like Twitter, hashtags increase the likelihood of your Instagram profile being discovered.If you learn how to use Instagram hashtags well, half of the battle is won.
Check Out Jamaica’s Very Own Personal Branding Expert
Jamaica may be a tiny island, but our people make a huge impact around the world. Don’t be intimidated by the fact that you come from a third-world country. You can create a strong personal brand that attracts opportunities from around the world.
We featured CEO and Founder of Garrick Communications, Naomi Garrick, in Issue 8 of our magazine. Check out the magazine by clicking here. She also provides one-on-one personal branding consultation services that really help people find focus on how they want to portray themselves to the world. Don’t forget to check out her article in our magazine to learn more about her story.
Developing Your Personal Brand is Important for 2020 and Beyond
Developing your personal brand helps you take control of how you want to be portrayed and also helped you portray the value you offer. Take charge of your personal brand so that you can leap into online money making success in 2020 and beyond.
Also, don’t forget to check out this awesome Fiverr gig that’ll help you develop a powerful LinkedIn profile.
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