Which company stands out in your mind for its branding? What makes it distinguishable from other companies? Branding strategies are no longer just for companies; they’re critical for establishing ourselves. With the transformation of how we interact around the world, we have the tools to create and empower ourselves as a brand, individually.
Here are four elements to developing a personal brand:
Think about yourself as a product. The goal of branding is to differentiate in the marketplace and to be positioned as an industry leader. What are your skills, traits, and characteristics that make you unique? The package of your product is your walking resume featuring your strengths and expertise. For example, my personal brand encompasses my philanthropic efforts that date back to my high school; over 25 years of business experience, and my long-standing relationships with personal, business, and political connections.
Continue to learn about trends, news and strategies. Get to know industry leaders and learn from their experiences; there is a reason that they are recognized as influencers in the community. I’ve looked to mentors for insights and guidance throughout my involvement within the philanthropic and business communities.
With the significant role of the Internet around the world, each of us has the ability to be a source of information. Creating your own content and displaying it through a personal platform – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, website, or blog – builds your credibility. Sharing news stories, industry trends, advice, previous work, and experiences positions you as a knowledgeable individual. Even more, engage in conversations with others about their content – likes, comments, and shares help to spread your knowledge across multiple networks. Interact with others through networking – online through social networks and in-person events. Use the idea of yourself as a product, again; personally, I sell better in person (retail shops) than through the Internet (online shops). However, it’s highly valuable to be present in both spaces to maximize the marketplace.
Exceed expectations in each of your engagements, and clients will value your time and knowledge. As I like to say “under promise” and “over deliver.” This will lead to repeat engagements from clients and referrals for new business opportunities. People are drawn to you because of your attractive packaging, but they continue re-engage because they believe in what you have to offer.
Building your personal brand will not happen overnight, but awareness of your efforts that you put forth every day will slowly help to position yourself as an influencer in the community. Simultaneously, you are building a personal image, building credibility with current and prospective clients, and increasing new leads; ultimately, increasing revenue.