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Personal Branding: The Definitive Guide

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  • Personal Branding: The Definitive Guide

Have you tried searching your name on the internet? It’s no surprise that you’ll see people share your name. When you see your name mentioned in some article, does it convey your principles and business values?

The term “business branding” is familiar to most people. It is the process of making the organization well-known, earning its reputation to market itself to consumers and clients.

On the other hand, in today’s world, personal branding is essential to people, especially for independent contractors and influencers. Improving it is a key to becoming a successful influencer and marketing yourself to people.

In this article, we’ll help you understand what personal branding is and why it is essential in our career. We’ll also provide some tips and strategies to improve it.

What Is Personal Branding?

personal branding

Personal branding is the way to create a brand or name for an individual or organization.

It’s the method to show the people your brand and its values. You’ll ensure that your target audience identifies you, what you stand for, and why it’s best to choose you over your competitors.

It isn’t just another marketing technique, but being your marketer for yourself and your business. It’s about standing firm on yourself and your business, gaining respect and trust from other entities, friends, and clients.

Why Personal Branding Is Important

Unfortunately, many individuals don’t understand the importance of personal branding. They believe it requires a lot of work that doesn’t guarantee results.

However, a personal brand is essential if you want to become more successful and create a name for yourself.

An improved personal branding ensures the benefits of independent contractors, gaining more clients and achieving a more prominent name in the industry.

Here are the reasons how personal branding affects your career.

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Makes You Unique

Personal branding helps you become unique to your target audience. Since there is huge competition in the industry, you’re in, reaching your target audience can be very challenging.

Your target audience is most likely looking for someone who offers something different. As we all know, other people might have the same degree as yours, or perhaps they have the same name.

People will be able to see your name more often. This will open more opportunities for you as people will get to know you deeper.

Developing your branding will leave a mark on people, remembering your name as you offer something others don’t have. This can also be a key to having higher pay or better projects.

Improves Credibility

Credibility is one of the most critical elements in your career. It’ll represent whether clients or employers should trust you with projects.

They’d probably not trust you if they don’t know who you are and what you stand for. Since they don’t have a connection towards what you believe in, your target audience will look for someone who has established their brand and is trustworthy.

Improving your branding allows your name to become trustworthy. They’ll remember the successful projects and tasks you’ve accomplished.

Your name will be attached to these accomplishments. So when people see these finished projects, they’ll know that you made them possible.

Opens More Opportunities

Competition is tough, but it is the world we are in. People have the same jobs, clients, and opportunities. To open more opportunities for career advancement, building your branding is critical.

A personal brand is a combination of skills and experiences that makes you unique among the others. If you’ve developed a personal brand, it’ll give you a career advantage.

Not only will they trust you, but they will remember you for something that you offer: a unique set of skills and experiences.

If you don’t offer uniqueness, they’d see you as the same as the other people. Instead of giving you projects, they’d most likely find someone with more skills for the job.

On the contrary, once you’ve improved your branding, they’ll see your expertise in the field, allowing you to gain more opportunities, such as collaborating on their projects or giving you a bigger one.

Increases Visibility

In today’s world, people are using the internet for searching. The internet is an excellent tool for them, especially social media, for personal gain or project-related tasks.

Social media sites are no longer used strictly for connecting to your friends and families. It has become a tool to search for specific people for particular jobs. More and more businesses are utilizing social media to communicate and reach their target audience.

With just a few clicks, people can access your information. They can see whether you have good or bad reviews. At the same time, you’ll be able to reach your target clients.

Building a successful social media profile allows you to create a name for yourself. If people see your name and require your expertise and services, they’d most likely get in touch as they see your reviews online.

They’d judge you based on your social media account. So, in today’s digital world, building personal branding is essential. It’ll reach your potential customers, and they’d be able to screen you as well.

How to Build a Personal Brand

Now that you’ve understood the relevance and importance of having a great personal brand to your career and business, you’ll most likely think of ways to improve it.

Most people are unsure how to develop their brand and benefit from it. Following the tips below ensures an improvement in your branding.

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Research and Build Your Branding Statement

Identify the people you want to reach. This will give you a clear direction regarding your branding.

Auditing your possible competitors is also essential as you can offer your target audience something that they don’t have.

Being unique is an essential factor in personal branding. Sometimes, you don’t need to overthink to be unique, as we have qualities or skills that make us stand out. It might be something about your fashion statement or the way you talk.

If you are serious about improving your brand, it’s best to utilize the things that make you original.

The influencers you see online showcase their quirkiness. Some sing in the middle of a conversation, while others have a knack for creating original clothing.

Following what other people do is a tough market, especially if you are not interested in that idea or culture. Let’s say particular clothing is becoming popular with people, but you don’t find it enticing. If you follow that trend, that doesn’t bring the real you and does not create an opportunity to be unique.

Instead of trying to be in the trend, you can use your authenticity to create a new one.

Develop Your Brand

There are many ways to develop your brand, and one of the most effective ways is to share it through the internet. Creating content has been very effective for many professionals as it helps them reach their target audience.

Whether you are an independent contractor or an employee, one way to boost your branding improvement is through content creation.

The internet is a powerful tool to reach various people. Many professionals are utilizing it to publish blogs or videos on multiple platforms. Doing this helps you introduce yourself to your target audience.

If you don’t have a website yet, there are blogging platforms that you can use for free. On the other hand, you can purchase a domain for a more professional approach.

Creating video content also benefits your career. Billions of people watch videos online. They use TikTok, YouTube, and other online video platforms for entertainment and other purposes.

Using content relevant to your expertise and the services you offer is best.

For instance, if you are an independent financial advisor, you can give tips regarding money matters. Create content that talks about saving and investing money or even the mistakes people make regarding financing.

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Monitor Your Brand Engagement

Monitoring and protecting your brand is crucial as it could either promote or damage your career. Since we live in the digital age, people can easily post something about you. Whether it is negative or positive feedback, it’s best to always accept it positively.

The people’s insight is an excellent opportunity to improve your brand. However, it could drag your career path down if you don’t accept it positively.

Engaging with your audience boosts your presence. You’d be more visible to people as they can reach you whenever they need you.

Aside from creating content, utilize the hashtags and other content related to your expertise. Communicate with the people who are active on your posts on social media.

Don’t forget the offline world. Personal branding doesn’t only happen on social media but in the real world as well.

You can build trust in your target audience as you engage with them in real life. Attending conferences is an effective way to create interaction with various people.

When someone approaches you, whether it’s online or offline, don’t ignore them. Instead, take advantage of this opportunity to engage with them and exchange ideas and opinions.

Not only will you reach more people, but it’ll build a network that could open a possibility of collaboration on particular projects and probably new clients.

Build a Long-Term Plan

One crucial mistake professionals make planning for the long-term. They usually see the picture of their success within the next few months.

Although it is good to plan short-term, you should never ignore how you will reach your target audience in the next few years. It would be best if you also defined what success looks like.

For example, if you create video tutorials for beginners, the lessons you’ll provide should also evolve along the way. If you plan to stay on the basic tutorials, these people will lose interest as they feel they don’t get anything new.

Considering when to upload the content is also critical in creating a plan. You need to establish when to put your new content online.

Once you’ve created a timeline for your long-term goal, visualize how it should proceed and what it would look like after.

Of course, not achieving your long-term goal is possible. As the trends and needs change, there is a high possibility that you’ll encounter some mishaps. So it’s best to be flexible.

When you create goals, make sure that they are attainable. If a situation isn’t favorable for you, always have some contingency plans ready.

Measure Your Success Regularly

As mentioned above, mistakes or challenges can come along in your journey to improve your brand. Set key performance indicators (KPIs) to identify your plan’s direction.

If you’ve noticed that the KPIs you’ve set haven’t been met, you can look back to your plan and analyze the factor that hindered you from achieving the goal. Understanding what happened is a critical element in preventing it from happening again.

Setting your KPIs allows you to create necessary adjustments regarding your plan.

However, if you decide to adjust your plans, remember that the changes should be minimal and never affect your values and branding. If you fully modify it, your audience will notice the inconsistency, affecting your credibility.

Some of the essential KPIs you should include are the following:

  • You’re invited to speak at an event or podcast or become a guest in an interview
  • Someone referred you to a client
  • A publication firm invites you for a guest blog
  • People start mentioning you on social media or other media
  • Quoting your words
  • Your content creates sales

These are just a few KPIs that you need to set. Adding a few more is essential, but it will always depend on your goal.

Don’t forget to celebrate your accomplishments, even small ones, to keep your motivation high.

Final Thoughts on Personal Branding

Personal branding defines who you are and what you can contribute to people. If you have a strong brand, you’ll be able to reach your target audience efficiently. You can also increase your market and create opportunities.

If you want to improve your brand, utilize the resources around you. The internet is one of the best tools to reach the right people. Strengthen your presence in both the online and offline world.

Improving your brand can be scary and challenging, but you’ll be generously rewarded once you’ve started. Do your research, create content, engage with people, establish a plan, and set KPIs. All of these will lead to your success.

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