Personal Branding: How To Wield The Latent Power Of Self
The advent of digital media and businesses vying to operate in a virtual space has changed the idea of conventional working. The digital workspace caused an influx of new blood entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, and even homepreneurs, who have taken the business arena by storm. How has this changed things? The change is that the need for personal branding and self-promotion has come to the fore as an irrefutable need. It also means that celebrities (media, movies, and business) are not the only ones who need to subject themselves through a branding exercise.
If you own a business or aspiring to take your existing business to the next level, it is important to introspect, evaluate, and ink core values and skills that are central to you. The business that you set up must exude your core ideals leading you to chart paths of success by flaunting your distinctiveness. Let’s delve in and see how personal branding can impact your business venture.
What is Personal Branding?
Personal branding is typically self-positioning and thereafter, promoting. You might have seen numerous businesses that bear the name of their founder. Such businesses draw immensely on the founders’ reputation and core values. Thus, holding the business up by attracting audiences who are anticipating services/products delivery backed by matching values.
If you look at businesses that were set up on an original personal brand has often struck gold owing to the authenticity. However, many others have attempted and failed miserably by trying to emulate the established business founded on a personal brand. The two main keys to personal branding that you need to work out in the pre-launch stage are originality and relatable core values. The inability to get this groundwork right can cost you dearly in the initial stages of your business set up.
How can personal branding help businesses?
People like to do business with individuals who they find to be relatable and likable. This makes it important to discover what makes you unique yet authentic. Building a business persona based on these findings will help you connect better with your target audience. You must make great strides to map your core values to your business. So, when your prospects think of a particular product/service (associated with you), your brand must be the first thought that comes to their mind. Conveying your ideals while imbibing them in your offerings will result in brand recall which is vital to attracting viable leads. Your business (whose brand draws energy from your brand) will be able to scale up allowing you to monetize your brand message.
“Branding is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”
– Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.
Why is personal branding important?
- Helps you stand out: An authentic personal brand is a lead magnet that will attract the right audience to you/your business. As numerous individuals/businesses are offering similar services, a strong personal brand will help prospects to differentiate you from others who are doing similar work.
- Builds reputation: A personal brand can set you apart as a go-to person for tasks and values that are mapped to you. This will help you create a reputation of an expert in the niche that you are catering to. A good reputation attracts more business and wades off competitors who may be vying for your prospects.
- Spreads awareness: This is true for businesses who operate in a lesser-known space, a personal brand can help spread awareness and advertise the work you do.
- Leadership requirement: Developing a personal brand and creating a business persona that matches your brand will help you chart a hierarchical growth trajectory. This will serve as a stepping stone that will eventually position you as a leader in your area of work.
Who is personal branding for?
Without a doubt, you can say that personal branding is for any individual who has a digital presence. Irrespective of your background, qualification, occupation, or gender, you can embark on a journey to rediscover your core values. Thereafter, these values, likes, dislikes, intentions, and interests can serve as a base structure on which you can build your brand image.
Tips to develop your personal brand:
- Holistic self-evaluation: To create a strong personal brand, you will first have to work on creating a brand infrastructure. To do so, you will have to subject yourself to a few internal and external evaluations and personality inventory. The final result that you receive after taking the administered tests will furnish you with your personality profile, hard/soft skills, values, strengths, weaknesses, and performance review. However, if you do not attempt these tests with the utmost sincerity, the results will not be accurate.
- Mission statement: Based on the self-evaluation results, you can zero-in on three core values that can describe you clearly. Create a personal mission statement around these key values. You can also take the help of 3 to 5 board of directors of your personal brand to arrive at these key values.
- Digital presence: Create a digital presence in at least 3 social media platforms and share updates that are in alignment with your mission statement. You will have to set boundaries about the topics you share on these platforms. You must share updates that will benefit your audience while being authentic. Present your best self on these platforms and work towards increasing your subscribers/followers count. As this is a personal branding exercise, you can also include an HD photo of yourself to let your audiences see who they are interacting with.
- Reputation management: When you put yourself out on the web you will not always receive ferns and petals. You can also expect trolling and negative comments/reviews which can blot your brand image. In situations like these, you must formulate and keep ready a reputation management plan that can be set into motion as a damage control measure.
Personal branding is a process wherein you will rediscover yourself personally and professionally. However, in the process of rediscovery, you must strive to make your brand persona compatible with your underlying value system. Only then you will be able to derive all the benefits that personal branding entails. Unlocking and promoting of your brand persona can help you take your business to new heights.