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Personal Branding: How to Get Started?

Personal Branding: How to Get Started?

13 min read  

20 May 2019

What makes you unique?

Many people struggle to find an answer to this question. Those who know the answer, have found a way to use it to their advantage. Your uniqueness lies beneath your personal brand.

What comes to your mind when you say Kim Kardashian or Gary Vaynerchuk? Kim is a socialite and a reality show star, so we usually imagine her in fancy dresses and makeup taking part in different social activities.

Gary Vee is known as a social media guru who always has some good piece of advice. Besides, he catches attention with his specific manner of speaking and lexicon.

Do they have anything in common? Yes! They both have their personal brands and people know them for specific characteristics and associations.

Personal branding is much similar to branding a company. Your purpose here is to build your reputation and show what you stand for.

It’s ok to get lost in the process. And, if you don’t know where to start from, we’re here to help you figure it out. In this article, we’ll show you real actionable steps on how to get started with creating your personal brand. But first, we will speak about what personal branding is and why exactly you need it.

 

 

  1. What is Personal Branding?

Personal branding is known by different names such as self-promotion or individual branding, etc. But, all these phrases mean the same thing, that is establishing the desired image or impression in people’s minds.

Whether you want it or not, people create a certain image of you in their minds. They will judge you based on your actions and their experiences with you.

For example, if you always make funny jokes, people will think of you as someone with a very good sense of humor. Being attractive is another +20 to your character because people often judge others by their appearance.

personal branding

Source: slideplayer.com

The same way, if you always share useful content and help people, they will think of you as a very smart person and will always come back to you for advice.

It’s your choice to decide whether you want to take control of how others perceive you or not. Take into consideration that having a personal brand may positively affect both your business and personal life by creating new opportunities for you.

So, what is personal branding? Let’s sum up below.

personal branding strategy

Source: PersonalBrand.com

Personal branding is the process of creating a reputation. The process implies managing your interactions with people and creating meaningful impact. Now that you know what it is, let’s see why you need to have a personal brand and improve your online presence.

 

  1. Why do You Need a Personal Brand?

Personal branding is the process of creating your reputation based on your goals. When we say reputation, we mean both online and offline.

You can’t build your personal brand if you don’t know why you’re doing it. So, we’ve prepared the top reasons why you need it.

 

  1. Raise Self-Awareness

Do you know yourself? Your strengths, weaknesses, skills, values - these are the things that make you, you. To build the desired image, you need to know who you are and what you are capable of.

Learn more about yourself. Identify your emotions in different situations and learn how to control them. Because when you are at the center of attention, you need to be in control of what you say, when you say it and how. If you do something wrong in public (including social media), it can totally ruin your image.

online personal branding

Source: Daniel Goleman

When you truly know yourself, you become more confident. It’s reflected in your speech and gestures. Define what makes you special and unique. Those things will help you and your brand stand out from the crowd.

 

  1. Build Trust and Credibility

One of the main reasons why you need a personal brand is that it helps to present yourself as a credible and trustworthy person.

Of course, people won’t trust you right away. It takes time and consistency to build trust. But, if you try to create meaningful relationships with people and show them that you really care, people will value your authenticity.

 

  1. Grow Your Network

Now, we’ll smoothly pass to the 3rd reason for having a personal brand, that is building your network. When you build your brand based on your convictions and interests, you will attract like-minded people.

This works for both personal and business networks. When you define your fields of interest, you start to communicate with people within that field and make new connections.

 

  1. Get New Opportunities

When you start building your brand, you will become noticed by many people. So, whenever they have an opening position in your industry or a new project idea, they will surely remember you and will send you an offer. New connections will open up new opportunities.

 

  1. Beat the Competition

And, speaking of opportunities, it becomes clear that you’ll have a competitive advantage over those who don’t have a personal brand.

Whether it’s for promoting your business, landing the job of your dreams, or winning in an online competition, you’ll always have the support of your active community. And, you’ll be able to prove your credibility by showcasing your authority and expertise.

 

  1. Leave a Positive Impact

Another important reason for having a personal brand is the ability to influence people and leave a positive impact on your community in different ways and forms. It depends on your field of interest, the causes you support, the content you share with your audience, and many other factors.

One of the great examples is the famous YouTuber PewDiePie (Felix Kjellberg) who has over 95 million followers. With the help of his followers, he supports many charities including the World Wildlife Fund and Save the Children.

personal branding tips

Obviously, having an established personal brand is worth the effort. Depending on how successful you are in building it, you will create an image of an influential, confident person who knows his/her life goals and what (s)he can contribute to the world.

 

  1. How to Get Started?

Now, we’re moving to the practical part. How to get started? You’re probably lost in different tips and strategies suggested by the professionals. Don’t worry, we are going to share the first steps you need to take for creating your brand.

Let’s start!

 

  1. Check what Google knows about you

Have you ever googled yourself? You can do it now. The results might disappoint you though. The internet remembers everything. Especially the things you’ve done like a decade ago.

Now, you’re thinking about all the wrong things you did when you were younger. Especially the images and videos you’ve shared with your friends. It’s time to go back and clean them up. It will take some time to get rid of the information that will harm your image and brand, but it’s totally worth it.

brand yourself

Source: Erase

Once you do the cleanup, check it again. Is this what you want people to see when they search your name?

 

  1. Define your target audience and goals

Your personal brand is based on what you want to achieve. First, you need to set your short-term and long-term goals. Do you want to find your perfect job? Or, maybe you want to start your business and need a little boost.

It doesn’t matter what goals you set, as long as you divide them into small steps or milestones and measure your progress.

personal brand

Source: Captain.ciceros

Now, think about who your ideal audience is: their age, location, profession, interests, struggles, and any other attribute that defines them.

Try to learn more about your audience. The more you know, the easier it is to create content based on their interests. Find common interests with them. This will help you connect with people and build a strong community.

Besides, defining your target audience will help you know where to find them. The ideal place to find them is where they spend most of their time. It can be any social media channel, forum, or even offline event.

personal brand examples

Source: AutoGrow

 

  1. Build your website and optimize your social media profiles

The next step is creating your website or online portfolio, depending on your industry. Even if you don’t have technical skills, you can still create one by using online website builders.

So, you wonder why exactly you need a personal website. The major reason is that it’s literally your virtual business card. Moreover, by visiting your website, people will learn everything about you. Everything that you want them to know, of course.

Set up an informative blog to share your experience and other valuable content that your audience might be interested in.

Initially, most of your website traffic will be generated from your social profiles, paid ads, and other referrals. Once you start creating your content and optimize it for search engines, you’ll also start getting organic visits.

what is personal branding

Source: eCommerceFuel

Speaking of your social profiles, you need to optimize them to attract the right people.

How do you optimize your social profiles?

  1. Upload a high-quality profile picture and cover image (where applicable)
  2. Update your profile description and the information about you. Don’t forget to use keywords and phrases related to what you do
  3. Add your location and contacts
  4. Include your other social profiles where you’re active on
  5. Remove all the posts and information that can compromise your personal brand

Now, when you have your website and social profiles ready, you should start creating and sharing your content.

 

  1. Create your content and stay consistent

This is the most creative step of this whole process. When creating your content, always keep your target audience in mind.

personal brand strategy

Source: ContentMarketingUp

What are the steps for creating good content?

  1. Find out what topics may be of interest to your audience.
  2. Choose what kind of content you want to create for each social channel. Test different types of content such as videos, images, infographics, gated content, etc.
  3. Create a content calendar and a social posting calendar. They will help you keep your content organized.
  4. Develop a unique voice and style.
  5. Take your time to create high-quality content that will provide value to your audience. Whether it’s a tweet, blog post, or any other content, make it unique, to the point, and well-written.
  6. Use online tools to schedule your social messages. This will save you a lot of time. Besides, your profile will always stay active and consistent.
  7. Engage with your audience and pay attention to your comments. You can interact with other influencers from your niche and learn from established personal brands.
  8. Analyze and improve. If you want to improve the performance of your content, make this an ongoing task.

how to brand yourself

Source: Social Samosa

To check the performance of your content, you can use different online tools, including Google Analytics, the in-built analytics of each social platform, and other free tools, if you don’t want to spend much money.

Consistency is key to building a brand, no matter whether it’s for your business or for personal branding. Every piece of content you write, every Facebook post you share, every video you create must reflect your values.

 

  1. Always monitor your personal brand

It’s not possible to control everything that is said or written about you in public. But, it’s better to always be aware of what people are saying and respond to them if possible.

How you can do that? Simply google your name once every couple of months and always keep your eye on your social profiles. Check out the visibility of your profiles and content to further improve their performance.

Don’t expect every comment or remark to be solely supportive. You will get negative opinions too. And, there will be rumors and misinformation. The only thing you can do is to be yourself and think about how you can improve and keep your positive image.

 

Conclusion

Building your personal brand is a long process which requires hard work. If you’ve already decided to have it, follow the above-mentioned steps to get started. Within time, you’ll gain exposure and present yourself as a credible professional with huge potential. Build your community and make sure that you always have some valuable piece of advice for them. Take care of your audience and work your way up.


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