Personal branding is similar to product branding. The overall goal with branding is to differentiate yourself or the product in the market so you can attain your objectives as an example of landing your dream job or being a famous singer. The process includes defining you as the brand and brand attributes, positing the brand and its attributes, differently from its competitors and then managing all aspects of your personal brand.
The biggest issues that arise with personal branding is the lack of adequate research and strategizing. There’s an old saying, “Ready aim, fire,” people tend to forget to do their homework before taking action.
Personal brand inception is perhaps the most crucial, jugular moment of the branding process, everything that is to come will flow from the decisions made at the onset, it is very difficult to undo the first impression and reweaving a tattered brand identity preferable to avoid miscalculations at the beginning rather than later. After all, the legendary producer Robert Evans always says, “Once branded always branded”
To avoid missteps take time to work through these six steps
Step 1: Define your overall aspirations.
- Be Specific and clearly define your goals and objectives. – is it to become known as the best project manager in a certain industry. Failure to have a specific goal and objective will lead to a tattered personal brand
Step 2: Conduct research.
There is need to research on the following things
- Identify what others are doing and what you can learn from them and develop a certain concept
- identify who your biggest competitors are and what they are doing to brand themselves
- Identify the needs of your niche and meet the needs
Step 3: Determine your brand attributes.
- Determine what you want your personal brand to communicate to the market
- Determine adjectives you want people to associate you with and why
- Determine what niche of the market do you want to be known
Step 4: Assess your current state.
- Determine how people currently perceive you as
- Determine how large is the gap between the current you and the person you want others to perceive you
- Determine all your shortfalls what needs to change and why
Step 5: Create your game plan.
- Your game plan should include more than just branding yourself in social media include all aspects of you, as a product.
- Defining your plan needs to include the tangible and intangible characteristics of personal branding including attire, hair, makeup, behaviour, verbal and non-verbal communication
- Your game plan also needs to include the specific social media aspects you will use to convey your new personal brand (such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc.) and how you will use each of those aspects to build your brand.
Step 6: Manage your brand.
Proactively manage all aspects of your brand, ensuring these aspects are in sync and that they continue to reinforce your brand attributes and market niche.
For example, your LinkedIn picture should look similar to the in-person you, your Tweets and any social media posts should stay within your market niche and you are in-person behaviour should be representative of how you want others to perceive you. And if you’ve branded yourself in social media as a creative for example, then make sure that extends to how you come across in person (attire, hair, makeup.)
Don’t create a mismatched brand by conveying different or competing attributes in various social media outlets, such as tweeting negative opinions about gowns worn at the Oscars and posting comments on LinkedIn about your vacation when you’re trying to brand yourself as a savvy cross-functional project team leader. Doing so will create audience confusion about who you are and what you do.
Importance of a Personal branding
Personal branding is an action in people’s lives where they take an active role. There are tons of benefits that people can get from creating their brand. Also, the personal brand allows a person to self-manage their life without having to depend on others. A person’s brand is an important part of a person’s career. Here are some benefits that personal branding can give to people.
A personal brand explains the why in what of a person. In short, these are the things that motivate and drive people to success. Building a personal brand makes people feel comfortable while working. It also establishes trust in colleagues. Having a personal brand also creates intentions that are clear and genuine, which are key to fostering trust.
People will feel more comfortable when they can guess what a person can do. When people are aware of a person’s energy source, they will feel at ease in letting him or her be in charge of their needs. Even handing out business cards wouldn’t be a problem if people already put their trust in the person.
Personal branding helps a person build connections in different fields and their area of specialty. There is no limit to personal branding. It can go beyond the digital world. Once a person builds his reputation, it will help them to get more exposure like speaking events. With the help of these events, he can start collecting low-cost business cards to work on possible leads and connections.
Personal branding aids a person in establishing his name as a thought leader and expert in his area of specialty. It helps in gaining recognition in their area of expertise. A person also builds a lasting impression and a self-reward for the individuality itself. Admiration, respect, and trust will come along with a person’s name.
There are messages embedded in the awareness of the targeted market. People will perceive a person as an expert if he or she is more visible to their target audience. A brand will drive a person to the top of the chosen marketplace, even a person’s cheap printed cards can pass after establishing credibility. It is the ability that people are looking instead for physical things.
Individuals can also gain confidence while they are developing their brand. The gain of confidence will come from their positive qualities and strengths that they could share publicly. If people know that they have something which they can offer, their self-esteem will soar. A `well-done personal branding will emphasize the strengths of an individual and can give direction as to where he or she can use those strengths.
A personal brand comes from passion, skills, goals, and values. It is a result of a person’s hunt for fulfillment and meaning. Personal branding helps a person grow from something that he or she believes. Personal branding is a person itself and no one else. Personal branding doesn’t allow individuals to create a contrived voice or a fake persona that is not genuinely them.
Personal branding helps a person be authentic, which can also help him or her in fulfilling things in life easier. A person’s life will revolve around work while prioritizing strengths and taking advantage of the talents that bring him or her joy.
Due to the authenticity, personal branding aids to minimize a person’s weaknesses. It helps in improving the weaknesses. Crafting the brand then assists in determining if there is a need to use the weakest skill.
Personal branding offers numerous benefits to a person’s life and career. Also, it helps in building confidence while gaining trust, authenticity, and credibility. It is important that people know that building their branding is important and helpful.
Tinotenda Sibanda is a Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt)- a Business Management and HR Consulting Firm
Phone: +263 242 481946-48/481950
Mobile: +263 77 380 2002
Main Website: www.ipcconsultants.com