Build your personal brand in 3 easy steps
Written by Professional Academy Management & Leadership Tutor, Kathryn Knights
How much time do you spend on your business or job and how much time do you spend in your business or job? Most people move from task to task, rarely taking time to reflect on themselves. If you want to keep ahead of the field it’s crucial to invest time in who you are and what you offer. The key to making this happen is to build your personal brand.
What is it?
Your organisation's brand its identity; packaged and presented in a way that is recognisable to your clients and that drives positive behaviours. Your personal brand is the art of translating this process to you. You need to build a unique identity around yourself that is recognisable and trustworthy.
Why is it important?
In the past we have been told to leave our personal brand at the door, but things have changed. People buy from people. Having a strong personal brand can dramatically improve sales conversion rates. Whether you use your personal brand to sell, build trust or drive traffic to your organisation, it's vitally important to establish one to stay competitive.
And don’t forget to throw authenticity into the mix. It’s an essential part of developing a personal brand. You must be bold enough to discover and express who you really are and own it. Richard Branson is a prime example. He focuses on being genuine and caring about his customers. He recognises the pain points (he told consumers they were getting ‘ripped off’ by banks before forming Virgin Money), and replaces that pain with a Virgin-style solution.
How to personal brand
1) Define - the first step in the personal branding process is to spend time figuring out who you really are and what you want from your career. Amazon found Jeff Bezos once said, ‘Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.’ This self-analysis is the hardest part, so here are some areas to think about to kick-start the process:
- Mission statement - a one liner that clarifies what you are all about and what you want to do in life.
- Values - these are the core principles that give meaning to your life. They are a set of standards that determine your attitudes, choices, and actions.
- Passions - the things that intrigue, energise and motivate you.
- Superpowers - the things you do better than anyone else.
- Education - these attributes are easy to identify because they're based on fact. Use figures and statistics where possible.
- 360º feedback - ask the people who know you best to provide information about your character.
- Goals - be specific about what you want to achieve.
- Differentiation - what makes you stand out? Why are you unique?
2) Develop - now it’s time to develop your unique promise of value and your personal brand statement. The statement is an expression of the promise. They create an expectation of what you can deliver.
Your unique promise of value is the promise you make to your target market that your personal brand will fulfil. It clarifies and communicates what makes you special. You must be able to live up to this promise.
You use your unique promise of value to write your personal brand statement. Here are some questions that might help you write your own personal brand statement:
- What three or four words describe your essential qualities quickly and clearly?
- What is the core of who you are?
- What do people recognise your area of expertise to be in?
3) Communicate - now you’re ready to get your personal brand out into the marketplace. To reach the right target market, you need to identify who its members are. Visualise yourself working with your ideal client or organisation. Dreaming about the perfect situation gets you thinking about who would actually be the right target market for you to put your time, energy, and effort into pursuing.
Channels to communicate through include:
- Speaking engagements - if you're looking to build your brand, then you should be speaking on a regular basis. However, if you speak in exactly the same manner others do, you will never stand out from the crowd. Show that you are confident and that you know what you're talking about. Some may criticise or disagree with you. The important thing is to remain open to feedback.
- Write thought leadership articles and participate in interviews - this will establish your credibility. LinkedIn is a great platform to use for getting involved with wider conversations and establishing you as a subject matter expert. Investing in this activity could lead to you being asked to participate in more prominent interviews that raise your brand.
- Get social media savvy - having an online presence is essential in order to keep you in the mind of your target market. There are plenty of social media platforms to choose from (LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter etc.). Rather than using a scattergun approach and signing up for all of them; pick one or two that serve you best and invest in those.
If you need further advice you can contact me via LinkedIn
If you would like to talk to Professional Academy about Digital Marketing or Marketing Qualifications to develop your understanding of brand why not get in touch today?