What is a brand? For one thing, it’s a word that gets thrown around quite a bit, but when you sit down to think about what it really encompasses, do you actually know? And do you know exactly what building your personal brand can do for yourself or your business?
Why Your Personal Brand Matters
A brand is anything, from a name to a symbol, that separates and identifies one thing, organization, product, etc. from another. It’s what someone sees when they look at a logo or marketing materials, but it’s also what people think of when they hear about you, your organization, your products, and your services.
While branding on a business level has always been common practice, it’s becoming more and more important to build your personal brand as well. Here’s why. Consumers increasingly want to know the story of founders and executives so that they can better understand a company and the level of integrity behind it. As an individual with a business, this means paying attention to and marketing yourself, as well as your business. Building a personal brand successfully can eventually provide the kind of value that equates to people associating your name with the idea of what it means to be successful in that industry.
How To Start Building Your Personal Brand
1. Be Visible
Hiding in your office won’t do you any favors in terms of your personal brand. You need to be visible and accessible, both online and offline. That means joining social media, networking at industry events and conferences, being active in your community, writing helpful articles or blogs, joining networking groups, and more.
2. Build Your Online Presence
Building your online presence is just as important as establishing yourself in person. Show that you’re an industry-leader by writing and posting articles and blogs that offer credible, useful information; start fleshing out social media accounts; update your website; respond to questions online; communicate with fans and followers. A strong online presence can give you tangible data as to the growth of your personal brand; however, you shouldn’t let the success of your personal brand depend on how many Twitter or Instagram followers you have.
3. Network the Right Way
Too often, we get caught up in our needs and what other people can do for us. Always keep in mind that the right way to network is treating it as a two-way street. Do your best to offer benefits to the other person — not only will they be more inclined to help you, but you will secure more connections and opportunities in the long run.
Become an Industry Leader
A good measure of success is when media and other news outlets turn to you for information regarding your industry. Start by sharing news and information about your knowledge through social media. Public speaking is also a great way to stand out from the crowd; speak from a place of knowledge and power, showing confidence in your knowledge of the subject.
Building your personal brand is just as important, if not moreso, as building the brand of your business. In today’s world of marketing, it’s no longer a question of if you should build your personal brand, but how you should choose to take control of your brand.