Your personal brand is your story. Similar to how corporate brands communicate value to the customer, a personal brand does the same for the individual. Businesses, influencers, coaches, actors and many others benefit from personal branding. This paints a picture for others of what your values are, what you stand for, how you communicate, your brand personality and more. It is the unique story that makes you…you! How you promote this is how people will perceive your brand and how they will relate to you. Developing a personal brand is now crucial for cultivating customer relationships and is integral in your online presence. Below are just some ways that you can evolve your personal brand whether you are a business owner, social media influencer or any other public entity.
Who Are You?
The first step in personal branding is to identify who you are. This can be done systematically by asking questions like:
- What things are important to me?
- Which core values apply to me?
- What motivates me every day?
- Which interests do I have passion for?
- What do I want people to know about you?
- How do I want people to see you?
- What do people compliment me on?
- What drains my energy?
Use these and other questions to develop a framework for who you are. This is going to be the foundation of how you will interact with others and how you wish to be seen. Answering some of these can be tough. A good trick is to ask those closest to you how they would answer. The answers to these are not set in stone. They may expand as you grow in your career. However, totally changing ideologies should be avoided. Do your best to be true to yourself in these answers.
Who is Your Audience?
Personal branding is ABOUT you, but it is FOR your audience. In order to reach the people you wish to reach, you must first identify who those people are. Your messaging, tactics and approach will need to cater to the people who you are looking for. A person who is an influencer may be looking for followers, while an entrepreneur may be looking for recruiters. One may leverage fun social media hashtags while the other may wish to focus on building LinkedIn connections. Reaching a follower on Facebook would require a much more casual approach than reaching a recruiter on LinkedIn. Once you’ve identified an audience, use a similar approach of asking questions to build an audience profile. What does your audience like? Which forms of social media do they use most? What are their interests? What do they want to hear? Where can you find them? This is useful to identify which techniques you can leverage to reach this audience.
Creating and Managing Content
Consistency in your content strategy is a great thing. However if you are spending a ton of time creating content that only gets 10 views or 2 shares then you are wasting time in your organic efforts. Create quality content with a purpose and make sure people are seeing it by utilizing a true content strategy, complete with a budget. Adding dollars to boost your post, video or article will allow your existing content to be seen by more, new people than posting to the same audience every day. This will be key in building and growing your following, and reaching the right people at the right time. If you’ve created content that is useful, relevant to your audience and true to your personal branding, invest in your message by adding a budget behind it!
How can you be sure you’re creating meaningful content? Working with an advertising agency like Strategic Marketing will help you hone in on your focus and your messaging. We specialize in creating content that reaches the right people and take the load of consistent creation off your hands by handling the process every month. The best part is that we can tell you how your content is doing and make adjustments that meet your needs.
Another important part of personal branding is networking. Make sure to develop, cultivate and maintain your professional circle. LinkedIn is an excellent resource to meet new people and create professional relationships. Not only will this open the door to new opportunities for you but will also be your chance to ask industry professionals about how they do what they do. The more people you can add to your social circle the more you can garner influence and grow a recognizable personal brand. Another effective way to network is to attend events and conferences that are relevant to your industry, values or product. Don’t be shy about going up and introducing yourself!
Ensure that your LinkedIn, website, Twitter or any other platform is complete and presented with sophistication. In personal branding, your online presence is just as important as a business’s website. Tailor your information to be comprehensive of what you want people to know about you and make sure it is always up to date. Choose excellent photos and pay close attention to detail. Incomplete profiles and subpar personal websites will give an unprofessional appearance to those who may come across your personal brand. Partnering with a marketing agency to handle your professional website will help you make sure that you make the best first impression.
Overall, your personal brand requires a lot of self-awareness and asking yourself the correct questions. Working with an agency like Strategic Marketing can help you with the process of identifying your personal brand, focus and elements. From there, an agency will help you achieve the level of sophistication and professionalism that your brand deserves and ensure that your message reaches the right people with carefully curated marketing tactics. Visit us for a marketing evaluation at thinkstrategic.com.