Is Personal Or Professional Branding For You?
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Are you thinking of personal or professional branding but wonder whether it is for you or not?
Have you ever wondered how today's influencers started from just ordinary beginnings like where most people are, to become the amazing influencers that they are today, in their respective fields?
Do you think that your ‘ordinary self’ can copy and tweak the same social media marketing strategies that they are now using, to brand and catapult yourself to an awesome success?
Whether you want to be a global social media influencer like Michelle Obama Issa Rae or the famous Kim Kardashian West or a Lagos influencer like realomosexy and toolzo, you can become whatever you set your mind on after knowing the formula for success and laser-focused with the work.
The key words for personal branding that you should keep in your branding toolbox are identity, consistency, and uniqueness.
The beauty of those qualities is that they help you cut through the deafening digital noise and empower you to stand out dominantly from the crowd.
And so, what are the benefits of branding yourself as an influencer?
You see, by branding yourself on social media (and not just your business), you can become a social media influencer.
Being a social media influencer is simply an awesome way to sell your products or services.
Therefore, if you’re wondering whether social media branding is for you or not, please keep in mind that even the most successful social media influencers started with one connection.
So in this article, we you learn what personal or professional branding is, what it comprises of and why personal branding is for you.
Let’s get started!
What Is Personal Branding?
You have your own personal brand whether you want one or not. So long as people have an opinion of you, whether prejudiced towards you or not that is your personal brand.
Personal branding (also called professional branding) is the habit of ordinary individuals marketing themselves and their careers as professionally unique.
By being aware and letting the world know of your distinct talents, you can easily search out growth opportunities as well as connect with your worth in the market place.
Additionally, it makes it easy for you to explore lateral moves that add to your catalog of skills.
Moreover, being familiar with your brand provides you with a benchmark that ensures that your career decisions are well thought out and in line with your long-term goals.
What Does A Personal Branding Comprise?
In other to craft a successful brand of your own, you should clearly state what you intend to achieve and what your central motivations are to get there.
It should highlight clearly your inborn talents, your unique skills and should be a reflection of your core values.
How Do You Go About Creating A Personal Brand?
When you mention to most people that you, "want to build a personal brand," the first thing they probably think about is numbers.
They look at metrics like the number of Twitter followers, the number of Facebook Likes and the number of blog subscribers.
You see, those are very poor metrics for measuring or building a meaningful personal brand.
A well-built personal brand means that you provide so much value in one (or multiple) niche(s) that people begin to associate your name with the idea of what it means to be successful in that industry.
In other words, you become a thought leader and an influencer.
From well-known celebrities to the annoying co-workers who boast about themselves nonstop in the breakroom, they all have one thing in common.
They promote themselves massively and ruthlessly through a personal website, social media channels and an on-the-go personal pitch.
However, personal branding is not necessarily about self-promotion and being everywhere.
On the other hand, a personal brand helps you define who you are and the type of person you want to be going forward.
And if you’re an entrepreneur, a well-defined and established personal brand can also help in building your leadership style.
Your personal brand also establishes how you want to be known inside and outside your workplace.
Building a personal brand takes a lot of work, but do you know practical steps you can take right in other to build a successful brand?
Let’s dive in.
#1: What Are You Good At, And How Do You Want To Make A Living?
I don't know about you, but I am incredibly bad at convincing myself to do things that I don't really enjoy doing. It is part of the reason I am horrible at doing a lot of things.
The first step in building your professional brand is acknowledging what you enjoy doing.
After you’ve made your self-examination and you know exactly what you love doing, then, make a commitment to be as great at that thing as you possibly can be.
This has nothing to do with being competitive, but being true to yourself that whatever you love doing, there are billions of other people love your passion too.
Not only that, they are eager and ready to take your enviable position, should you start slacking.
In other to make self-examination that would help us identify what you are good at, we will consider these main areas:
What Are Your Core Values?
Your core values define who you are and what’s important to you as a person. Flawlessly, your values determine where and how you spend your time, energy and resources.
They unconsciously nudge and direct you to act and react the way that you do every day. That is why when you choose a career or job that rejects the true core values you feel frustrated, bored or insensible.
Self-deception is the biggest scam of all.
Therefore, by truthfully and candidly understanding what makes you tick, you can have a clear vision of what direction to take.
This realistic understanding of your core values empowers you to make decisions that align with your personal goals.
It should be noted that personal core values are different from personal goals.
Personal goals help you define what you really want.
You make a plan and work your plan by taking the first step, tweaking and repeating the strategies until you start seeing results.
On the other hand, values, are about how you consciously choose to show up in relationships, at work, and in the way you navigate your inner landscape.
You commit to values daily and never reach a final destination. Your values are a lifelong practice.
Identify Your Talents
Dictionary.com defines talent as: “a special natural ability or aptitude: a talent for drawing.” So talents are simply those things that we do naturally and effortlessly.
If you understand and identify those tasks that you can perform ridiculously easy, you will be highly qualified to connect to awesome jobs and careers that can add value and professional fulfillment to your life.
Identify Your Skills And Transferable Knowledge
Each one of us has certain skills and talents that make us unique like a snowflake from any other human.
Because you are amazingly different from any other person, you can appreciate why you need to find out what your skills and transferable knowledge are.
After reading about talents in the previous paragraphs, perhaps you’re asking ‘is there a difference between talent and skill?’
Though we often use talent and skill interchangeably, they are different from one another.
We already established that talents are inborn abilities that make it effortlessly to do certain things.
On the other hand, skill is an acquired knowledge. You develop it after you have put time and efforts in it.
It doesn't come cheap. You have to be interested in the skill in other to acquire it, the efforts need to be voluntary, systematic and sustained.
Since it takes time, effort and resources to acquire the skills you have, you can appreciate why it is important to acknowledge the skills you have gained over the course of our career!
Are your skills transferable to another job? What is so unique about your skills?
The answer to both questions makes up your professional edge.
What Are Your Accomplishments?
The bedrock of your personal branding rests on authenticity. You will need to be able to tap into your genuine, humble, and personal human qualities.
This insight helps you understand how your identity, personality, and character come from authentic self and accomplishments.
Interestingly, people are more interested in your accomplishments than they are of your marketing.
They are interested in knowing the value you bring to the table now, based on your past performance.
Your accomplishments are the foundation on which your personal branding sits.
In other words, it is not possible to build a strong personal brand without any accomplishments.
The beauty of having impressive accomplishments is that it helps you grow your personal brand by word-of-mouth, client referrals and media mentions.
All done without any active promotion on your part.
That can only happen when other people know about those accomplishments in the first place, such as when your accomplishments were for clients.
Setting Your Personal Branding Goals
Where do you want to be in the short term? What kind of lifestyle do you see yourself in 5 years?
A successful goal setting starts by setting small targets, accomplish them and then progress into bigger targets while acquiring new skills.
By setting short, medium and long-term goals you can ensure your professional brand consistency.
And then, consider these questions:
What do you need and want to achieve in life?
What will success mean to you in the near and distant future?
For this exercise, you can write down as many answers as you would like. Those answers are your goals.
If you’re honest, you would readily discover that most of your goals are not connected to wealth but rather to happiness.
You are not done yet.
After you’ve put your goals in writing, it is time to examine yourself to find out realistically, how to achieve them.
One of the biggest mistakes that most people make right out the gate is that they rush into building a website for themselves.
And that doesn’t interest them, they spend a lot of time figuring out how they are going to brand themselves.
None of all that is important. Not yet.
The important thing to do at this stage is that you start owning your craft, and providing awesome value to people in the public space. Your branding starts from there.
Are you into fashion and beauty? Promote your stunning content massively on Instagram.
Are you a Chef? Go ahead and make foodie videos on Instagram.
An incredible motivational speaker? Facebook video your face off. Are you a Digital marketing specialist? Why are you not on LinkedIn?
#3: Connect And Collaborate
After you’ve created your profile page on your relevant social media channel or channels, the next step is to deliberately connect with people that would help you achieve the goals you set out in the first place.
Don’t just connect with people because you want tons of connections to brag about.
An effective way to build as meaningful relationships as you can is to connect with other thought leaders in your niche.
As you do this consistently and methodically, this will open many doors for you and also help you grow your social following.
With time, you will start to collaborate with other people who create relevant, helpful, useful and engaging content.
Into fitness? Work out at the gym together, video it, and post it on YouTube.
Is gaming your fun? Go ahead and duel each other. As you do, video and post funny rage clips on Snapchat and @tag each other in text on the screen.
Create content together and post to each other’s audiences. In a symbiotic relationship, everyone wins and everyone grows.
Importantly, you make some amazing connections and friends through meaningful connections and collaborations.
#4: Build Your Website And Email List
After you have highly remarkable followers on your social media channels, you are ready to build your website and start your email list.
Most people start with hosted platforms like BlogSpot, Squarespace, Wix or Wordpress.
As a brand, your website is your digital storefront. Therefore, it should provide the ultimate user-experience and value to your audience.
You attract and arrest their attention on social media, then you drive them to your website where you saved the best for them.
Those that are serious and savvy about their branding use a paid customized domain name. It helps establish your blog as a professional brand.
Since it is your owned digital real estate, you can also put your nice logo, favicon, and a banner to boost your branding efforts.
The winning offer is a specialized content in exchange for their email a free. The give you the permission to email them for the gift of a download, a trial code to a program, etc.
Something that will provide them value, and give you the ability to give them even more value over the long term.
#5: Launch your own products
The whole goal of building a Personal or Professional Brand is to avoid the hellish route of being an affiliate and helping someone else make the real money.
When you launch your own brand of products and services, you make money and more importantly you gain credibility as an influencer.
In today's digital world, business cards are your eBooks, podcasts, courses, products and services that speak on your behalf and your knowledge.
The amazing thing about these products or services that speak for you is that they open doors to other thought leaders in your niche. Not only in your indusry, but also related industries.
The result is that you continue building your social followings, collaborating, and engaging with new influencers and their audiences.
Why You Need To Brand Yourself
In fact, there are a number of reasons why understanding and building your own personal brand, regardless of your profession, can add tremendous value to your life.
A well-defined personal brand allows you to:
It is defined by everything you do, from what you wear to how you compose emails to how you conduct yourself on the phone.
If you are not taking control and managing your brand, others are doing it for you.
From this article, you would conclude with me that your personal branding is really important for your job search or career success.
It is highly significant to note that your success in personal branding is dependent on your being your authentic self.
It works seamlessly if you can back up your brand with real accomplishments that prove what you're capable of.
That is why your professional branding should be based on real-life examples of how you have delivered in specific situations.
This evidence of your skills and knowledge make your personal brand more credible.
The importance of marketing yourself, whether as an entrepreneur or as a valuable member of the workforce, is becoming abundantly clear.
Building a personal brand is an investment in yourself and your future.
Do you want to get started with a personal or company branding strategy that rocks?
Our outsourced social media agency would love to hear from you. Let’s roll!