With the evolution of social media, and the number of professionals that now promote themselves on social platforms, building a personal brand has not only become a popular topic, but also an important factor to distinguish you from your colleagues and other candidates. Your “personal brand” could be described as your reputation, which of course has been of utmost importance to business professionals for centuries.
Personal branding is the process of building a unique, distinctive image of yourself in the minds of others. It’s how you present yourself to the world, both online and offline, and how you separate yourself from other professionals in your field. A strong personal brand helps people understand who you are, what you stand for, and what you can offer. A strong personal brand can help you:
- Establish yourself as an authority or expert in your field
- Attract more opportunities, like job offers, partnerships, and collaborations
- Build a network with like-minded professionals
- Enhance your reputation and credibility
- Increase your earning potential
As you can see, building your brand can bring a lot of benefits. Now, let’s take a look at how you can go about it.
7 Simple Steps to Build Your Personal Brand
Building your brand is an ongoing process, and it requires a lot of self-awareness, strategy, and consistency. Here are 7 simple steps to help you build a strong personal brand:
1. Integrity – Determine your core values
The basis of any brand, especially a personal brand, is knowing what you stand for. So, ask yourself:
- What are your values?
- What are your non-negotiables?
Knowing and consistently practicing your core values will engender trust from those you serve.
2. Consistently Deliver Value
Building your personal brand is not just about promoting yourself, but it’s also about consistently delivering value to those you serve.
Be consistent with your brand image, messaging, and your content. If posting on social media is part of your branding strategy (which it should be), make sure you have a plan for when you will post, and follow it. Creating consistency is a key element of personal branding, and also helps you stay top-of-mind with your audience and makes it easier for them to remember you.
3. Be Authentic
Authenticity is crucial when it comes to building your personal brand. Your personal brand should be a reflection of who you are and what you stand for. Being authentic will help you build trust with your audience and establish a genuine connection with them. People can sense when someone is being inauthentic, and it can damage your reputation and credibility.
4. Define your unique value proposition
Every person is uniquely gifted to show up in the world in only the way that they can. Understanding and clarifying what makes you your best authentic self is a way to focus on your unique value proposition to the world. Your unique value proposition (UVP) is what sets you apart from others. It is a combination of your skills, knowledge, experience, and personality that make you unique. To define your UVP, start by asking yourself:
- What am I good at?
- What can I do that the world needs?
- What are my strengths?
- What am I passionate about?
- What problems can I solve?
- What are my core values, or what is most important to me?
Once you have a better understanding of your UVP, you can use it as the foundation for your personal brand.
5. Create a consistent brand image
When it comes to personal branding, consistency is key. This refers to both your online and offline presence – everything from your social media profiles to your dress sense. To create a consistent brand image, focus on:
- Dressing in a way that is consistent with what you hope to achieve professionally
- Developing a communication style that matches your brand image and resonates with your audience
- Using the same profile picture and bio across all your social media profiles
- Choosing a color scheme and design elements that reflect your personality and UVP (and sticking with it).
6. Build a strong online presence
Today, so much of our lives (both personal and professional) takes place online. Having a strong presence online is another important factor in building your personal brand. Here’s how:
- Create a professional website that showcases your skills, experience, and portfolio
- Use social media to share your expertise, connect with others, and build your network
- Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date with your work experience and skills
- Engage with your audience by posting on relevant topics likely to engage those in your professional network, responding to comments, asking for feedback, and participating in discussions
7. Network and collaborate
Networking and collaboration are essential for building your personal brand. They help you build relationships with like-minded professionals, expand your reach, and learn from others. Here are some tips to help you network and collaborate:
- Attend industry events, conferences, and meetups
- Join online groups and communities in your field
- Collaborate with other professionals on projects, content, and events
- Offer to speak at conferences, attend events or contribute to publications in your industry
Building a personal brand is not only good to position yourself in the eyes of others, but it can also be an important exercise in self-discovery. A personal brand lets you explore what really matters to you and who you want to be. This can increase your self-confidence and your performance in job interviews.
By determining your core values, consistently delivering value, being authentic, defining your value proposition, creating a consistent brand image, building a strong online presence, and networking and collaborating you can establish yourself as an authority in your field, build a network of like-minded professionals, and enhance your reputation and credibility. As Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.” Building your personal brand is a habit that can lead to excellence in both your career and personal life.