Personal Branding Tips

Personal branding is a concept promoted by marketers, PR specialists and career professionals to increase your presence and build trust between you and potential customers.

An effective personal brand must be realistic. This doesn’t mean covering up imperfections, but rather aligning yourself with the expectations of your audience.

Focus on Your Core Values

As part of your personal brand development process, it’s crucial that you adhere to your core values. Doing so ensures that the actions you take align with those values and can deliver value to others.

Core values form the cornerstones of an individual’s identity and beliefs, serving as guides to guide their choices in life. Core values help determine which people, goals and opportunities fit well within one’s life goals and ambitions while serving as an internal compass to guide decision making processes.

To identify your core values, it’s important to identify what’s most essential to you and the motivations behind your decisions. This can be accomplished through self-reflection as well as looking at actions of those who inspire you.

Share Your Knowledge

Business experts often build their visibility by spreading their knowledge widely. This may involve speaking at industry conferences, hosting webinars or offering online courses.  The goal is to help your peers and the business community learn from your experience.

Share your experience on social media, your website, or sites like Quora.  Answer questions with thoughtful answers.  No rush, you can spend time contemplating a meaningful answer.

Video is your most powerful tool, because you will be seen as a real person giving valuable advice.  Your content should be so valuable, that people want to subscribe, and actually anticipate your next video release.

Be Consistent

Consistency is one of the key factors of personal branding. A consistent message builds recognition and trust among your target audience, while your actions need to reflect this brand image you wish to create.  For instance, if you share content weekly, maintaining this schedule is vital, or else you risk losing followers who won’t remain as engaged with you over time.

Be true to yourself when creating a personal brand.  People can sense inauthenticity from miles away. Keep a balance between various aspects of your personality and professional life.

Assuming you are an innovative and forward-thinking leader, your personal brand should reflect this. However, avoid posting content that is too political or controversial as this could alienate your target audience. Instead, focus on sharing industry related articles such as industry trends or networking event tips to engage your target group effectively.

Be Unique

If you want to create a powerful personal brand, you need to stand out. When searching for work or trying to earn the trust of clients, making yourself memorable is vitally important. Your words, presentations and actions all tell a tale about your values, passions and achievements.

Black Girls Code is an organization that reaches out to young African-American females to encourage them to consider a career in technology.  The name is direct, to the point, and lets you know their purpose.

Finding your own unique value proposition can be difficult. A good place to start is by discovering what people are searching online about you and then using this knowledge and expertise to provide solutions for their problems. Also helpful would be soliciting feedback from people familiar with both yourself and your work.  You can incorporate nicknames, hobbies, interests, and sterotypes (if appropriate and not offensive).

Personal branding requires creating a cohesive theme and is easily recognizable, think Coca-Cola or Disney, who both feature iconic logos, colors, imagery and messaging that is instantly recognizable. Your personal brand can take multiple forms such as short videos, blogs, podcasts or Twitter threads that reflect who you are as an individual.

Be Authentic

Establishing yourself as an authority in your field and building your personal brand are great ways to separate yourself from competitors and attract opportunities. But authenticity should remain at the core of all personal branding efforts.  This allows people to connect with you, trust your abilities, and be inspired by your work.

For your brand to be truly authentic, it’s essential that you identify and understand your core values, passions, strengths and weaknesses. Once identified, these characteristics can serve as guides when it comes to making professional decisions or portraying yourself in public settings.

Being authentic may mean being vulnerable.  Be willing to discuss failed experiments, and content that did not get the engagement you expected.  For example, if an advertising campaign has a low response rate, be willing to share this with your audience, and what steps you can take for a better response rate.  

Share Your Story

If you don’t maintain control of the narrative of who you are online, your personal brand can quickly take on an entirely different tone and form. That is why it is crucial that you take time and care in making sure that it remains consistent and accurate. Use storytelling techniques and personal examples to communicate your brand effectively.

Personal branding goes beyond simple self-promotion.  It is about developing and maintaining a positive image and positioning yourself as an authority in your field. Done correctly, personal branding marketing can open doors to more opportunities and success.

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