You already have a personal brand. It is characterized by the perception people have of you before they even meet you.
In a world where pretty much everyone is connected by social media, it is easy for a person to feel like they know who you are and what you are about before they meet you in person. You need to make sure that how you portray yourself online in the media is how you want to be seen in real life and yes even on twitter.
A strong personal brand is the power of having positive personal reputation that precedes encounters. Before people meet you or when they hear your name, what pops in their mind? Is it a bunch of dirty memes or useful information or opinions that they take time to read? Are your photos thirst traps or tasteful fashionable depictions of your style and interesting social life? If you want to be care free or body positive expressive then keep posting what you want. If you are building a personal brand that needs to be know in the marketplace, then you must be strategic about your persona. People are watching even when they do not say anything about it.
When you know your personal brand, you gain focus about who you are, how you want to present yourself, and how you aim to succeed.
When you take your personal brand into the market a strong personal brand helps others to know:
Who you are
What you stand for
Your area of expertise
Internally your brand also sets some very clear guidelines that can help with areas of personal focus by emphasizing:
What you are best at
The image you are working to create
How you want to present yourself
To start a personal brand, you must first create a map so that you can know where you are going.
Choose a role model to study, who is in the field you are in or who possesses qualities you would like to project to your audience. Assess core skills of the role model and shape them to your skill and goal level. Then ask for input from those around you who know you well. See if their image of you and the image you want to promote lines up.
If the images are not lining up get ready to redirect yourself. This will happen by building a bridge to transport people’s opinions from what they thought you were to what you want them to believe.
Take some time to think about how people see you. Ask yourself these questions:
Do you stand out from the crowd?
What do and don’t you do?
What about you turns heads?
What makes you recognizable and memorable?
Are people clear about your set your goals?
The answers to these questions will let you know if your personal brand has a strong foundation or not. You should be able to answer most of these questions without hesitation. If you are having trouble do not be afraid to take some time out to really figure out how to get clear answers to these quesions. Your purpose and fuel for your passions live in self-discovery.
If you have clear answers to these questions it is now time to expand your brand by:
Establishing expertise in your field
Enhancing visibility and reputation within your community or industry
Differentiating yourself based on unique style and talents
Gaining influence in social or business arenas
This is done by putting yourself out there. Join community organizations and help in areas you work in. Attend leadership and niche specific conferences that will cultivate your talents. Be active in your community so that you network will continue to grow.
To the Freelancer/ Consultant
I consider the freelancer as the personally branded business. Think like and entrepreneur because you are one. Build a trustworthy brand rather than treating work as a side hustle, this helps develop trust and confidence that leads to referrals, positive word of mouth and networking success
There are a few steps to get your business mind going:
Define your business - Know your points of differences as they relate to your competition
Find your target audience - Know how old they are, how much they make, and where they are looking for services
Competitive position - Know how your skill level and quality of services measure up to the competition
Define your business brand - How you will present yourself online and offline?
Formally establish your business - Whether its sole proprietor, LLC, or Incorporation, Make it official. Nothing is worse than having a client write personal checks to you or pay to a Paypal account that is not your business. YOU NEED A BUSINESS BANK ACCOUNT!
Prepare to market yourself - Develop brand identity and make your brand findable by website and social media.
So with all this being said…… POWER UP…. Use your resources and build yourself up. No one else is going to do it for you. If you have any questions or need further assistance powering up your personal brand do not hesitate to reach out to me.
Until next time happy branding!