Most people normally associate the word “brand” with a business. However, a personal brand is a representation of who you are in the marketplace. It is a profile of your skills and passions out there for all the world to see.
A personal brand isn’t exclusively for self-employed freelancers and entrepreneurs. Each and every one of us needs to develop our personal brand in order to pursue our chosen career path. So whether you’re a startup owner or full-time employee within a business, you should be looking to build your personal brand. It is, after all, the key to achieving success and progression in all walks of life.
So, where to begin?
Understand Your Market—Then Build Your Personal Brand
A solid foundation for your personal brand begins with understanding your surroundings. For a start-up business or freelancer, this means getting a grip on your chosen industry in order to find a gap in the market.
For example, what are the market leaders doing well that you should look to replicate? What could your competitors be doing better? What sort of capital do you require to get into the market space and maintain financial stability?
The same sort of questions apply to building your personal brand when you’re working in a business. Who’s doing what well that you should look to follow? What will be the biggest challenges for you to overcome within your role in order to take the next step?
Progression is based on finding a way to separate yourself from your peers, and that comes from knowing your trade.
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Construct Your Personal Brand on a Foundation of Trust and Authority
Now, about that separation factor. This is the unique selling point, or USP, upon which you will build your personal brand. Of course, you’ve done the market research and know where the gaps are, but how do you communicate with your audience about your key appeal?
A good USP should be built on trust and authority. This means you offer credible and reliable service based on an established set of skills and interests. Without trust and authority in your product, you’ll find long-term success impossible to come by.
Moreover, you should build your USP with a vision and message behind it. Therefore, write out for yourself a description of the mission you intend to accomplish. When you have done this, your personal brand will have your personality stamped on it.
Then, identify your target audience, whether that’s a market demographic or your boss, and create an irresistible offer for them.
Grow Your Network with a Quality Product
The often-used phrase, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” springs to mind here. However, creating a successful personal brand comes down to both.
Therefore, once you’re clear about your vision, bring it out into the open. It’s important to spread your message. Your media presence and outreach capabilities are critical to building your personal brand and therefore generating success.
However, what does this mean in real terms? For an entrepreneur, this can mean utilizing social media to spread the word about your business. Also, you will build your personal brand by seeking to develop key relationships with new clients through a full spectrum of networking methods. For those in a business, it means getting to know the team around you and getting your name out there to key decision-makers.
Never Let Yourself Get Too Comfortable
If you’ve managed to build your personal brand to a successful level and things are clicking along well, it’s important to remember not to get complacent. There are far too many stories of businesses getting too comfortable or individuals becoming arrogant after a period of success. Nothing could be worse for your personal brand.
In a world where technology, markets, and attitudes are constantly changing, your personal brand should be built to be just as adaptable as its cultural surroundings. Therefore, always remain eager to learn, adjust, and better yourself. Then your brand will stay relevant in a highly competitive environment.
Your Personal Brand Reveals Who You Are to the World
It’s a challenging world out there, and you need to make a name for yourself, regardless of the industry, market, or situation you find yourself in. All the same, when you start with a commitment to creating the best version of yourself and then present that in a carefully constructed personal brand, you’ll give yourself the best possible chance to succeed in life.