How to Begin Building Your Personal Brand
The effectivity of a Personal Brand depends strongly on the foundation it is laid upon. You can be really good at what you do, but if you don't know these best practices, it won’t be long until you’ll have to start over to figure out why things aren’t working too well.
We’ve listed our top tips on how you can begin building your Personal Brand for a good head start, and to make sure your brand has is clear and distinct right from the start.
1. Stay Authentic
Having a Personal Brand isn’t about being somebody else that you watch and admire on YouTube or LinkedIn. While drawing inspiration is helpful, your Personal Brand is all about who YOU are, what YOU are good at, and what YOU love doing.
It’s about being authentic and showcasing YOUR value to your niche. It has to be a reflection of your passion, skills, and values. This has to be something you can fully embrace from the onset. Otherwise, you will be running after shiny objects with an imposter syndrome, and not serve its true purpose at all.
2. Audit - Be aware of your high performance zone
Contrary to what most might think, there is a lot more work required in auditing your assets and figuring out your high performance zone. It is more than just saying “I’ve done this for years, I can speak and teach about it.”
Sure, but is it what you love doing? Is it what you excel in? Can you commit to the time and to doing the work to be an expert in it, so you can capitalize on it?
You will need to ask yourself:
What are you passionate about?
What industry or topics are you deeply interested in?
What are you really good at, and what do others say you are good at?
What skills have you acquired over the years? What training, awards, or credentials do you have regarding this topic matter? (In fact, you can have none at the moment, and still have a successful Personal Brand later on. This is why you have to love what you’re doing!)
What values and beliefs do you uphold? Are they in sync with what you want to do?
3. Your Brand’s Backbone
As you begin to see the shape that takes place when you audit, it’s also important that you build a backbone to your Personal Brand to act as both an anchor and navigator as you move forward.
What constitutes a backbone? This is your vision and mission, your personality, and your message to your audience.
What do you want to be known for? Where do you see yourself headed in x years? What legacy would you like to leave? This is your vision, and it may change as you progress, but having one will help you course your actions in the right direction.
What is your purpose? What is it that you want to accomplish? Who do you want to influence and reach? This is your mission and it will be the anchor in whatever direction you choose to head to with your brand.
What personal traits does your Personal Brand have? Are you going to be fun and cheerful? Or professional, prestigious?
Last but most important, what is the key message you will be speaking to your audience about? What is the main idea that you want to impart to the people you will meet, influence, or work with?
4. Know Your Audience by Heart
The riches lie in the niches, they say. It is definitely easier and smarter to have a particular set of audience to cater to, rather than to try and reach every single person — which is both impossible and wasteful of your resources.
What are your audience’s demographics? Are you trying to reach people in one particular city, two, or an entire state? What are their ages? Can they relate to the way you word your thoughts?
What are their problems that you are trying to solve? Are these people going to be interested in events you speak in? Do they have struggles, and can they relate to your content?
What do they desire to achieve? What do they aspire to? What emotional triggers will they have in order for them to come to you?
To have a strong Personal Brand, you have to be able to influence and impart value to the right people. Know that not everyone will be interested in what you have to offer, but that’s why you need to zoom in and focus and on the people who will be.
5. Start Documenting
People need to know they can trust you and your word, so you are required to present tangible proof of your work. Whether it be in the form of content, testimonial, or speaking engagements, anything you put out there can be used and repurposed, so document it all.
Credibility as a brand can be earned when real people can vouch for you and say something about what you did. Document feedback and results, or ask for them. These are very important.
In speaking engagements, have your photographs and video taken. Keep the script of your speech, you can use all these later on on your website and on social media.
Did you take part in conferences? Take photos and talk about it the next day on social media. Better yet, write takeaways or a full article on your learnings.
Did you write a book? Amazing, document the process and talk about your excitement and struggles online.
Track and document results at work that you contributed to, then show it to authority during performance review.
Building your Personal Brand in the beginning could feel overwhelming, and you might even think you’re going slow. Don’t hesitate to ask for help, and remember that the beginning is always the hardest, but it is also the most significant.