Whether you’re applying for a job or own your company, how others perceive you is critical. That is why you need to work on personal branding. It’s a concept that is no longer exclusive to celebrities. Everyone needs to work on their personal brand.
It can be a daunting and laborious task. You can’t build a personal brand overnight. It takes months of planning, creating, and distributing content to build your reputation. Before we delve into strategies to create your own brand, let’s take a look at what exactly personal branding means.
What is Personal Branding?
Personal branding involves marketing people and their skills just like a brand. The focus is to highlight their strengths and build their credibility and reliability. Generally, it is associated with building your reputation regarding a particular topic or niche.
In an interview with Wired, Mark Zuckerberg said, “Think about what people are doing on Facebook today. They’re keeping up with their friends and family, but they’re also building an image and identity for themselves, which in a sense is their brand.”
Just do a quick Google search of your name and check out the results that pop up. Based on these results, people form their first impressions. So, it’s critical that you put your best foot forward.
Things to Keep in Mind for Personal Branding
There are countless tools available that can help you polish your personal brand. But having access to them isn’t enough. The trick is to learn what you need to work on.
Here are a few strategies that will help you with personal branding.
1. Pick a Niche
Don’t try to be everything at once. Pick a niche that you want to be associated with. But remember to be true to yourself. Don’t just pick any niche that you find fascinating. You need to be self aware about what you’re good at. Or what you want to excel in.
Once you find your focus, you can work towards crafting messages in that specific niche. If you constantly talk about a particular topic, it becomes easier for people to associate you with it.
Be consistent in your messaging and have some patience. Over time, you can establish yourself as an authority in your niche.
2. Showcase Your Personality
Once you’ve chosen your niche and the set of skills you want to be known for, the next step is to show who you are.
If you’re someone who is funny, let that reflect in your posts online. Let your sense of humor be your USP (unique selling point). Or maybe you’re friendly and approachable. Based on who you are, decide on your brand voice and tone.
For instance, look at how marketing expert, Seth Godin, presents himself online.
Image via Seths.Blog
Seth has always been known to be bold and unique in his approach. That reflects in the way he write blog posts.
In a world that is obsessed with keywords and long blog posts, he goes for a different approach. He writes 200 word posts that get straight to the point. And none of his headlines use keywords.
3. Create a Personal Website
Personal branding is all about taking charge of your online identity. Make sure you are in charge of it. Create a personal website to introduce yourself to people. Don’t be shy to showcase your pictures and your best work.
It’s also a space which you can use to tell people your stories. Write anecdotes and tell people about your struggles and adventures. Tell them how you got interested in your niche and give them a sneak peek into your journey.
Keep in mind that your website is like your own virtual home. So, pay attention to the design, font, and the overall feel of the site. Make sure your website design reflects your personality and style.
For instance, take a look at theminimalists.com.
Image via The Minimalists
Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus are firm believers in the philosophy of minimalism. On their website, they help those who want to follow the minimalist lifestyle. Their website design is an extension of their beliefs. It’s centered in the middle, has a clean design without too many elements.
4. Create a Content Strategy
Posting content consistently is crucial to building your personal brand. I know it’s not possible to create content everyday for everyone. But that’s not a problem. You can find inspiring content in your niche that others create and share it.
Plan in advance and strive to share one at least interesting link per day. Make sure you post different types of content. Videos, podcasts, infographics, blog posts — experiment with it all.
It may not always be possible to make a content calendar but make sure you focus on consistency.
5. Do Guest Blogging
Guest blogging on other blogs is a great way to build your credibility. It gives you access to whole new audiences. At the same time, it gives you a platform to share your knowledge.
If you are new to guest blogging, first look for local bloggers in your niche. Reach out to them and ask them if they would like to collaborate with you.
Another effective way to find opportunities to publish guest posts on is through a simple keyword search. Type in your niche along with terms like “Write for us,” “Contribute,” or “Submit Post.”
6. Seek Out Mentors
“A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” — Oprah Winfrey
Whether you are a sportsperson or a sales executive, you need someone to help you reach the top. Seek out mentors in your field who know the struggles in your industry. While mentorship isn’t your ticket to success, it’s an essential part of your journey.
Tell them what you’re up to and ask for suggestions. Mentors have more experience in the game than you do. So, keep your eyes and ears open for suggestions and feedback.
7. Join Communities and Participate
Find Facebook groups and subreddits where you can talk to like-minded people. Other platforms to find communities include Quora, Tumblr, Twitter, and even Instagram.
Follow other people whose work you admire. Ask questions and connect with others in such forums. At the same time, if you think you can help someone, chip in. It’s all about building relationships.
We live in an age where you can find information about anyone with just one click. If you aren’t working to polish your self-image, you are going to lose out on opportunities.
Building a positive brand image takes a lot of time, dedication, and effort. I hope the strategies mentioned above will help you with building your personal brand.
In which other ways can you build a personal brand? Please share your insights in the comments section below.
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in influencer marketing, product launches, sales funnels, targeted traffic, and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.