It is neither a fashion tool nor software that helps you in maintaining a good shape but a practice by people to market themselves and their careers as brands. Often people mistake personal branding with self-management but if you just interpret the meaning of the two terms, it does not make sense to correlate these two. Personal or self-management teaches self-improvement and the ability to manage things where as personal branding involves advertising yourself. Personal branding brings the concept of success through self-packaging your ideas and displaying yourself as an idol to let people understand, relate and follow your practices ultimately becoming successful in their businesses, careers or personal lives through adopting whatever you are advertising.
To know exactly what is branding, you need to understand the word “Brand”. Brand is a:
It was the olden times when branding was unknown but with the growing businesses, it became more important to establish presence and now the need for branding has gone to a personal level. A business can hardly survive without relationships and communication and the key to bringing back business to your door once again, you need to build an effective brand that creates a loop for those who step in.
An effective personal brand can open a wide range of opportunities. It is all about your vision that will lead to a better career or successful business and a brighter future. It might be the name that brings about the memory of quality, reliability etc. It might be your work ethics, professional skills, knowledge, practices, or experience. Anything that can help make your presence known to your customers, business partners, colleagues, and/or competitors is your key selling point.
There are seven possible ways that can help you build your personal brand. The seven steps include:
- Start Picturing Yourself as a Brand: Any ability of yours that you believe can yield instant ROI is your selling point and indicates that personal branding can work out for you, no matter you lead or follow. However, authenticity is important. Some famous examples are Mike Michalowicz, Dave Kerpen, and Michael Porter etc.
- Auditing Your Online Presence: Search your name on engines like Google or other, or keeping alerts to find out what is your online perception and how can you mould it.
- Securing Your Own Website: It is the most effective way to receive a ranking for your personal brand.
- Finding Ways That Create Value: Come up with content or ideas that keep your audiences or customers engaged.
- Be Focused on What You Are Sharing: Every post, tweet, status update, or pictures you plan to share with the world must be in line, consistent and promoting your personal brand.
- Relate With Other Successful Brands: Always build and remain in contact with useful connections, probably start with the 3 C’s (College, Company, Colleagues). Adding people or brands to your group or sharing similarities with strong images strengthens your brand.
- Re-invent: Powerful narrative can make or break a brand. Try telling your story or think about the people who have branded themselves strongly and have created a demand for their products like Mark Cuban, Richard Branson and Martha Stewart.
Just remember that a powerful personal brand has to have the qualities of being ever evolving and ubiquitous.