Why Build a Personal Brand?
Your personal brand is critical to building an identity that helps advance your career and life… especially in Orange County, CA. What is the best way to build a strong personal brand? Be strategic, find a niche with your interests, and stay consistent.
What is a personal brand?
Most people think of businesses when they think of a brand, all individuals also have a brand. Think of it as what people say and think about you. It encapsulates your talents as well as who you are, and it’s how you can differentiate yourself from others.Your brand is both what you stand for, and what you do.
So how does one create the perfect personal brand? The best personal brands are unique, authentic, and trustworthy. They build a strong reputation about you that can help you personally and professionally.
Here are a few tips:
- Be confident - You must be able to believe in your own abilities.
- Find out who YOU want to be - It's always good to have goals for yourself
- Be consistent. People like consistency. You want your brand to be something people can rely on.
- Know your audience - Always know who you're talking to
- Set goals and stick with them - Before you start, figure out what you want.
- Be yourself - People will be able to determine if your are being real or are trying too hard, especially in social media platforms.
- Be happy! - If you're not happy with what you're doing nobody else will be either.
Why Should You Build A Personal Brand?
A personal brand is the best way to stand out in a crowded marketplace. With so many people vying for attention, your personal brand can help you get noticed and land opportunities that are right for you. It’s not just about what you say—it’s also about how you look online.
The best personal brands are unique, authentic, and trustworthy. They build a strong reputation about you that can help you personally and professionally.
Steps to Build Your Personal Brand
Step 1: Figure out who you are and what you want to accomplish
You want your personal brand to be an honest reflection of who you are, what skills you possess, and what your aspirations are. Think about which aspects of yourself you value most or enjoy the most. Then figure out where your talents lie. Write down everything that comes to mind without censoring yourself.
Start by asking yourself:
- What drives me?
- In what areas do I excel?
- What work fuels me?
- What settings do I work best in?
- What industries do I find interesting?
- Where do I want to be at the end of my career?
- What impact do I want to have
Even if the answers to these questions changeover time, that’s okay. Your personal brand evolves as you do, so it’s critical that you be honest now and accept that your image may change over time. If you aren’t sure how to answer these questions, ask friends, coworkers, and family. They see you in a way you can’t see yourself, and it can help you build a more holistic image of yourself. Once you’re aware of these different parts of yourself, you can begin crafting an image that aligns with it and helps get you where you want to go. What drives me?
Step 2: Determine your unique value proposition
Leveraging your differences is critical for brand-building. If you’re similar to everyone else out there, your personal brand won’t be very personal. Those who stand out are remembered. That’s where your unique value proposition comes into play. It is a short statement that encapsulates what you uniquely offer that no one else does. When it comes to defining your unique value proposition, there are two steps you should take:
- Understand your strengths. Ask yourself where you’ve excelled in the past. Consider what compliments others give you and what they deem to be your talents. Determining what you do better than most anyone else lays the foundation for your unique value proposition.
- Talk about these strengths. By taking stock of your strengths, you can build your brand around them. Share your expertise and highlight your achievements. All of this builds credibility and establishes trust, so if an employer is considering you or if you’re looking to land a client, they can tell through your brand that you’re the best person to bring on board.
Step 3: Define your audience
It’s critical not to make the mistake of trying to appeal to the masses, but important to define your niche and then work to appeal to your target audience.
If you’re launching a business, your personal niche should be well-aligned with your business. If you want to build a brand to further your career, your niche should be in a specific area of your work.
To determine your niche, start with a broad category that interests you, such as sales, marketing, or finance. From there, narrow down the list at least three times:
The first is incredibly broad and encompasses so many different subjects that it will be really difficult to set yourself apart. The second provides with you a well-defined service that you offer to a well-defined audience. It’s much easier to be an expert in a small niche than a massive one.
Here are some benefits of niche marketing:
- Less competition.
- Targeted expertise.
- Improved customer relations.
Step 4: Create a personal website and social profiles
Create your personal website
If you don’t have one, it’s time to make one. There are website builders out there, or you may want to consider hiring someone to build a custom site for you. We can help you build a unique personal website to start building your brand.
Your personal website should include the following:
- About you (interests, education, aspirations)
- Past experiences and relevant accomplishments
- Links to your socials
- Value proposition
- Professional logo and/or professional headshot.
- Clear calls-to-action
These are the main platforms that people use for personal branding: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. While it’s vital that these platforms align to tell a cohesive message, you may want to consider focusing on one to start.
LinkedIn - LinkedIn has transformed into a legitimate“social” media platform, rather than just a copy of your resume.
Twitter - Follow leaders in your desired niche, comment thoughtfully on their posts, retweet them, and begin tweeting insightful thoughts of your own. Jump onto relevant hashtags where you can.
Facebook - High-engagement is imperative when it comes to Facebook. It is important to focus on quality over quantity, otherwise your posts can easily get lost in the noise. Consider incorporating tactics like live-streaming into your strategy.
Instagram - Instagram branding should be a priority. Instagram is particularly relevant and powerful for scaling personal brands. It's the best place to show your best self to the world.
Focusing on your niche, using relevant hashtags, and most of all, staying consistent is the most critical key to success.The more meaningful conservations you have with those in you niche, the more visibility you’ll get.
Step 5: Develop your content strategy
Many people think giving away free content is a mistake. If you give it all away, why would people hire you or pay you?
It’s actually the opposite. Providing valuable, genuinely helpful free content proves that you know what you’re talking about.It showcases your expertise. If the free advice works, imagine what paying you would do?
Make sure all content you post genuinely helpful and insightful. You want to be known as a trusted authority.
Research on what subjects within your niche are generating buzz. You can then jump on trends relevant to your niche to make sure you’re in the conversation.
Cover all types of content. Posting only video or only text gets stale quickly. Share different types of content across all platforms. These content types include:
- Online courses
You can share this content on the many platforms available, including:
- Personal blog/website
- Other blogs and online publications
- Email list
- Podcast directories
- LinkedIn groups
- And more….
Sharing a variety of content across multiple platforms increases your visibility and helps you build your brand more quickly.
Step 6: Constantly add value to your audience
Now’s the time to emphasize the importance of adding value to your audience. Making content that’s insightful, engaging, and that truly helps your audience is a key.
Don’t settle for fluff or trite advice.Provide your audience with content that will make a real difference, and give them value.
Step 7: Build a community
While amassing a following may seem impressive, it doesn’t do anything if nobody engages with you. Building a community means creating a place where people talk with you and each other, getting to know one another and helping each other out.
If you’re looking to generate business, this is an excellent way to differentiate yourself. If you simply want your name out there to advance your career, this helps.
To start building a community, consider these strategies:
- Facebook and LinkedIn groups. These allow people to start threads on relevant topics and talk among themselves. You can chime in as often as you want to spark conversations.
- Meetups. It’s hard to overestimate the value of meeting with people face-to-face. These meetings can be one-on-one, or you can host large gatherings of people to come together, share, and learn.
- Webinars. Webinars allow you to gather people together for a shared learning experience. This is an opportunity for you to meet your audience, share your expertise, and continue developing yourself personally.
While building a personal brand is a lot of work, the payoff is enormous when done correctly. Personal brand sallow you to build a network of professionals who see your worth and think of you first when new opportunities arise.
Whether you’re looking to generate business, accelerate your career, or never job hunt again, a personal brand can get you there.
If you’re ready to start building your personal brand lets start with a unique personal website. The sooner you start developing your brand, the better! Personal branding will be a key skill that can help you get better jobs or promotions at work, and grow your business so it's important to start as soon as you can. MY Design Group specializes in creating personal brands.
MY Design Group is a web design and brand company located in Huntington Beach, CA, and serving all of Orange County, CA. We love working with local clients. If you need help with a website, personal brand, branding or marketing collateral, contact us for a free consultation.