“A brand is the way a product, company, or individual is perceived by those who experience it. Much more than just a name or a logo, a brand is the recognizable feeling these assets evoke.”- Brian Lischer

We all know what a brand is and if you didn’t, I believe the definition given by Brian Lischer is perfect to get started.

We’re surrounded by brands all around us. The device you’re using to read this article, for example, what is created by a brand. The packing on the food you buy represents a brand. I mean heck, even the bed you sleep on.

Everyone has a favourite, or they at least prefer one over the other, and the reason you can pick and choose is that most brands differentiate themselves from one another by having unique value propositions.

But I want to bring this a little closer to home. Maybe even closer to where you are at this moment!

So, we all know that one of the things you need to do to survive in this world is to get a job. If not that, you need to be doing something entrepreneurial that puts some money into your pocket.

With the few jobs out there, versus the many more people looking for jobs or even the tough competitive business landscape, you need to embrace the philosophies of branding for yourself.

That is why, in this article, we are going to talk about the importance of building your own personal brand and how to do it.

Why is a Personal Brand Important?

In a world of around 7 billion people, the goal is not to blend in but to stand out.

We all want that job or those clients but as things stand, there is just not enough room for everyone. So how do we overcome this obstacle? Well, one way is to stand out.

Think about how many CVs a human resource manager has to go through. Think about how you all may be qualified to do the same thing. In the end, only the résumé that stands out will get selected and upon the completion of interviews, the personality and talent that stood out the most will get the opportunity.

Adam Ritchie of Brand Direction writes, “The first word in the phrase, “personal brand” is “personal.” Now add an “ity” to it, drop the “brand” and that’s what it really means. That’s the secret.”

The same applies to business. Want to get the juiciest clients? Stand out from the rest of the other businesses there.

Personal branding is powerful because it allows you to control the narrative. Instead of letting people guess who you are you get to tell and show them who you are.

Personal branding, well done, can open you up to more money, bigger opportunities and a bigger network and that isn’t even the half of it.

How to get started with your personal brand?

Getting started isn’t as difficult as you may think. Here are a few things you need to do to get the ball rolling:

1: Define yourself

To avoid being defined (which can be a disadvantage to you in so many ways if people undervalue you) you want to take the time to define yourself.

What are your strengths and weaknesses? What about you stands out the most? What gives you life and what takes it away from you? What are your successes and failures?

All these questions will require some level of self-introspection but the insight you get from this process will be priceless.

2: Establish what you want to be known for

What subjects do you want to be known as an authority for? What are you passionate about? What reputation have you built so far and what have you contributed?

You’re looking to be a thought leader in what you do so you want to position yourself in that way. Everything about your brand should support that.

3: Identify your target audience

Your target audience is made up of the people you want to influence or serve.

You will know who these people are by answering the questions earlier in this article. Whoever they are, you want to build your brand around them. Remember, a brand has no purpose if it has no community to serve.

If you are not sure about who your audience is try and create a buyer persona. This is a fictional representation of your ideal audience. You may not have the data to identify them yet but you can at least imagine them. This will then help you position yourself in such a way that you will eventually attract your desired audience.

Note this, don’t shy away from a niche audience. These are often the most lucrative.

4: Establish an online presence

Social media and the rest of the online world have presented us with countless opportunities.

You can be a part of those people who keep up with the latest gossip, stalk people’s lives online, getting anxiety or you can build your online presence around something solid.

Is your social media adding to you in any way? If not, why? Building a solid online presence that supports your brand will put you leagues above your competition.

You will of cause need a social media strategy. You shouldn’t just get onto every platform for the sake of it, but with all the platforms out there like InstagramTwitterFacebookTikTok and the likes, there is definitely one out there that can help you achieve your goals.

Social media and the online space have gotten so advanced to the point that you’re at a disadvantage if you’re not using them properly.

5: Write your elevator pitch

Take time to write down your personal brand statement. Just like every company should have a mission statement and values, so should you.

One day, you’ll be minding your own business doing what you are doing and someone will ask you, “hey, who are you and what do you do”? You want to have your evaluator pitch on the ready because you never know when and how an opportunity will present itself.

If you give yourself some time to ask these questions and perform these simple tasks you have begun your journey into building a solid personal brand.

In other posts I will explore this topic deeper but you know what they say; “every journey starts with a single step”. You should start here. I also have a video on YouTube that highlights and illustrates some of these things to you. Give it a watch will you?