The following is a guest post
Branding has been in existence since trade or business commenced in a competitive and fair environment. However, the concept of personal branding—a process through which a person markets himself or herself to others—is relatively new. Tom Peters, an American writer who writes on business management practices, coined the term in a 1997 article. Since then, this thought has created ripples in the business world. Several books and articles have been written. The subject gained more traction with the rise of the Internet, as new cost-effective business strategies mushroomed. Nonetheless, self-branding still remains an evading concept for many. Marketing gurus have professed that visible personal branding opens and expands a business or brings professional opportunities.
So the question is how to go about making a recognizable brand? This article will attempt to present a guide to build an effective personal brand, which will help you to grow professionally.
First step: Introspection
According to marketing professionals, there are two primary steps to self-branding: to know who you are, and what you want yourself to be known for.
Enduring and successful brands are based on reality. To make a stronger brand, focus on authenticity and what differentiates you from others. Demonstrating a brand before having the clarity about what it is supposed to stand for may squander the communication that is necessary to connect with the targeted audience, which ultimately will have implications. Therefore, introspection is important before moving ahead. You need to explore your personality traits, values, and passion, which ultimately should boil down to the ‘vision’ of your brand. External feedbacks are also essential at this point. Once this is done, you will be ready to face another important question: to build reputation, keeping in mind the audience you want to cater. After going through this step, you should be able to know the uniqueness about the idea, person or business, which should be infused into your personal brand statement, making it appealing to your target audience.
Good reputation propels careers or businesses. One skill inherently related to building reputation is to make a first good impression. You need to follow certain rules to become a master at making lasting impressions.
Second Step: Building relationship assets
The assets or resources to communicate with the target audience to make an effective brand includes websites, blogs, and active accounts on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. In the present times, securing social usernames, URLs associated with your brand has become quintessential. For people with common names, it becomes difficult or more of a challenge to find an appropriate username. However, there are websites to help you out in such situation, such as NameChk and knowem. Similarly, domain availability can be checked on CheckDomain, and Instant Domain Search. To maintain a blog, it is advised to use WordPress, which is a content management system, with blog functionality.
Offline assets are also important. Everyone needs a business card, cover letters, and reference documents. One should prioritize and customize documents with respect to the target position.
Third Step: Communicating brand
To communicate a brand, you must think in PR terms. You should try and find people who can promote you. Search engines have been proved to be a great resource for customers and clients; ranking high in a search result can boost your brand in many ways. Search Engine optimization (SEO) is the way to get higher ranking, however, it is a lengthy process, and needs planning and patience. This process, however, is a must to build the online visibility for your blog or website, or ultimately, your brand. Much of the success of the brand depends on constantly maintaining its online presence. People will talk about you on various online platforms, such as blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and you need to keep a track of what is being said and should respond accordingly. Tools that can be helpful are Twitter Search and Google Alerts.
Another way to promote your brand is to be open to attend events, speak at them and even organize events.
About the author:
Adam is a marketing professional who has, over the years, become a specialist in personal branding and public speaking. He has many years’ experience working with individuals, local businesses, enterprises and institutions to develop personal branding, marketing and presentation strategies and skills. If you want to take your personal brand to the next level, make sure you get yourself off to a good start with these 10 tips for making a great first impression.