Seven steps to building a game-changing personal brand
Love to gain opportunities that are frustratingly out of your reach right now? Read seven steps to building a game-changing personal brand.
The right personal brand can change everything. It can help you to stand out from the crowd, and be remembered. It can help convince a potential client or employer you’re the right person for them. And it can win you contracts and recommendations that may be just out of your reach right now.
But what is your personal brand? Have you ever stopped to consider the impression you create? How you make people feel? What they say about you when you’re not there? And importantly, how that impacts on the opportunities that are open to you?
Seven steps to building a personal brand
To help make sure that you’re creating the right impression (and gaining the recommendations and opportunities you want as a result) follow these seven steps to building a game-changing personal brand.
1) Understand the importance of your personal brand
Whether you realise it or not, we all have a personal brand. It’s the invisible fingerprint you leave on people when they interact with you – face to face or online. It’s how you make someone feel, and the words they use to describe you.
Regardless of whether you are self-employed, freelancing or employed, the right personal brand will put you in a stronger position. It will build trust and encourage others to connect with and work with you.
So it’s essential that you understand that you have a personal brand, and appreciate why it’s important to ensure your brand is conveying exactly what it needs to., to the right people.
2) Work out your brand values
Your values will signpost what is deeply important to you. They’re the driving force behind the choices you make and how you live your life.
An authentic brand will align with your core values, so you need to identify what it is that’s important to you and how to promote this within your career.
For example, if ‘nurturing’ is important, you need to find a way of expressing this. If, say, your job is more analytical than nurturing, you can still express this value in a variety of ways, from how you deal with others to getting involved in a charitable cause in the workplace. It’s the little touches that will ultimately build your brand values.
3) Identify what is unique about your brand
For a distinctive brand, focus on what makes you unique – your personal USP (Unique Selling Point), if you will. It’s the combination of skills, hobbies, values, experiences, passions and the image you project that will set you apart.
4) Pinpoint your audience
Be clear on your current and future audience and position your brand accordingly. Where will they see, hear and read about you? What is important to them?
Being authentic means that you’re unlikely to appeal to everyone, but that’s fine – you don’t want to. You want to be the perfect for for your perfect audience. And a strong, well-targeted brand will attract the right individuals.
5) Look, sound and behave the part
How do you want to come across to others? Powerful, open, engaging, confident? Your appearance, personal style and how you speak and behave should all project your brand values.
Keep the essence of your brand front of mind, the words that define your values, and ensure everything you say and do reflects them.
6) Tell your story
Your personal brand has a story. It’s the anecdotes you share with others to help them understand and know you, and why you do the things you do. The experiences that are important to who you are now.
A strong brand story will speak to the feelings of your audience, creating an emotional rapport and trust.
7) Use social media to build your brand
Social media is a quick and effective tool for building your personal brand – both in reputation and reach. But be mindful about how you engage with social media, and remember to blend your private and professional life with care and intention.
Salma is holding a free live personal branding masterclass on the 24 April 2017. Register your place now!