Building your Personal Brand

What would you like people to say about you? This is a question we all must ask ourselves at least once.

Many of us know the term “branding” which we associate with companies, but today almost every person has a personal brand.

You may not have consciously created your brand, but it does exist. Also known as a digital footprint, your personal brand is how people view you.

What is your personal brand?

Personal branding is the development of a “mark” that is created around your name or career. This “mark” is used to express and communicate your personality, skills and opinions.

The more unique your brand is, the more people will be drawn to you, your product, your message or your service. Your brand is a reflection of you, who you are and what you have to offer.

Think of your personal brand as the total sum of what you do, how you do it and why you do it. It can’t be faked.

Why everyone should care

Personal brands are just for the entrepreneur. It is the secret to making you stand out amongst the hundreds of CVs

By developing your personal brand you are taking control of your career development and how you are perceived within the marketplace.

A strong personal brand will impact on your ability to get the right job, promotions and increase your capital.

So what are you waiting for? Create, build and refine your personal brand by following these simple steps:

It’s not all about you

Contrary to belief, your personal brand is not all about you. Your personal brand should be about other people- what you can do for them.

To begin, ask yourself a few questions: Where can you offer most value? And, what makes you different to the rest?

If you answer these questions right, your personal brand will make you stand out from the crowd.

Build your personal brand

If you are going to have a personal brand, you will need to build a website to create a virtual platform to perform.

Ideally, your website will have your name in the title, something easy to read. Something that people will automatically associate with you.  Creating a website with your name will help improve your personal brand.

You will also need to focus on your social media accounts that represent you. These accounts are crucial for voicing your opinions and advertising you.

Once you have built your platform,

Identify your Uniqueness and Strengths

Identifying your uniqueness and strengths can really help promote you. Think about what you have already built in your career and play on these. If you really can’t think, use something everyone tells you, you are great at. If you still can’t think, ask someone, I am sure they will be able to tell you at least one thing you are great at.

Once you have identified your uniqueness and strengths, perfect them.

Know your audience

Once you have built your platform, you will need to find out who your audience is. Find out as much about them as you can: age, location and gender.

Instagram is great for this. If you have opted for a business account, you can easily see the demographics of your followers. Use this tool, it can really help you grow.

Study your audience, learn when they are most active, what they share, what they like and what they post. Use this information to help target them.

Finally, learn what your audience wants from you. How can you teach them? People follow people because they are interested in what they do. If you find your niche, great, develop it. If you are still searching, don’t be disheartened, keep going. If in doubt ask them, ask them what they want to hear more of.

Remember, you can’t appeal to everyone, so stop trying to please them all. Having a strong audience who interact with you and listen to you is better than having thousands of “fake” followers who aren’t interested in what you have to say.

Be persistent with what you share

Every status update, every tweet, every photo, every article you share contributes to your personal brand. Once you understand how you wish your brand to be perceived, you can start to be much more strategic about your personal brand.

You want to tell your audience about what you do and what makes you different and exciting. (But don’t share your whole life story)

Share Your Knowledge: It’s not enough to learn it; you have to teach it and share your knowledge by helping others. Do this through videos, social media, and writing both online and offline. This is where you prove you know your stuff and gain exposure from doing so.

Associate with other strong brands

Your personal brand is strengthened or weakened by your connection to other brands.

Brands don’t necessarily mean products or services. Brands can include your company, school, colleagues and friends. The stronger these brands are, the more it can impact on your own personal brand. To build your personal brand consider submitting a guest post to the company blog or look at other digital assets you can connect to your brand.

Be Yourself

Find your own style. Don’t follow the crowd. Don’t think you have to do what everyone else is doing. Use your style and uniqueness to attract the audience, jobs and clientele that you desire.

The need for a personal brand will continue to increase. It’s the one thing that no one can take away from you, and it can follow you throughout your career.

If you get it right, your personal brand will make you stand out from the crowd. shine a spotlight on your expertise and enhance your value. You will have an energy and a buzz about you that people can’t help being drawn to.

Ashleigh x

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