The first thing that comes to mind when we talk about branding is the way businesses appear in the corporate space or on the internet and what they stand for when someone is talking about that outfit.
Well, this is true but lately, branding goes beyond looking at business ventures to personal outlook and what we stand for as individuals. Let’s look at it this way, a personal brand is basically what comes into the minds of the people who know you well when people are asking about you.
Researching Your Current Brand:
One of the tricks used to determine your current brand in the minds of people around you is to ask them or let someone ask them on your behalf who you really are, and what you stand for.
The outcome may be good, bad, or shocking depending on what you desire to achieve. Some people are just mischievous when dealing with you, you would want to exclude these folks from this exercise and focus on the serious-minded people.
Once you get to know what they think of you and probably not what you desire, you want to begin work on tweaking your personal brand a little bit to earn more respect, leadership role, resilient highly spirited fellow character in the minds of people.
Let me also mention that, there is no end to personal branding. Day in and day out, new things come, new ways of doing things pop up and definitely there will be a weakness you would want to do away with to embrace a stronger trait. Once you’re on this journey, you are actually rebranding.
Remember this is not a fake life kind of living, it must be a reflection of values you love and are building into your life, something from the inside out.
Personal Branding Must-Haves
Look at the following as a must-have or must-followed if you want to achieve the desired positive result at the end of the day;
These are the four “Must Have” components for your brand:
1. Be focused. First and foremost, decide what your key message is and stick to it. Don’t try to be everything to everyone.
2. Be genuine and authentic. You need to manage your brand daily. You can only do this if your brand is who you really are.
3. Tell a story. A brand is much more than a logo. You must have a story surrounding your brand that your audience wants to engage with.
4. Consistency is essential. Your personality, written word, and visual images all need to carry the same message. It can be a totally fun brand or a conservative brand but it must be consistent. This is where a logo or tagline at the end of every message can be very powerful.
STRATEGIES OF PERSONAL BRAND BUILDING
1.Declare A Personal Brand Statement:
This will help you focus on what you want, the qualities you would want to build into your value system to be part of you of which you would be consistent. Clearly defined personal brand vision gives you direction, it makes you look for the right source to incorporate it. If its a form of professional training you need to be good at say a little more than average computer skill, clearly define it. If it is communication skills, you would know how to get this skill incorporated into top skill sets.
Look at this as your road map. Specific areas of your life you want to improve in order to improve your overall outlook and how people perceive you. Let this be intentional, always conscious of what you are doing and very expectant of your end result. Always let the picture you want to pain stick in your mind aside from the well defined and written goal.
2.Build Expertise One Area At A Time (Determine The Message You Want to Send)
You cannot be very good at everything but you can definitely be good at something that makes people reach out to you in times of need. This is what you can capitalize on. Perhaps your general outlook is not good enough but you just realized you have developed so much love urban fashion, you then can choose to improve in this area. Do not get me wrong, you can actually improve your brand in multiple areas of your life but it must be done one moment after another.
Why is it important to work on one aspect of your life at a time? You would need to rewire your brand to include a new way of doing things into your personal value sets, so jumping from one area to another would not make these new values stick into your subconscious self. You would want to finish with one area and allow it to be part of you before you move to another.
3. Let People Know The New You
At every point in time, let people know the new you. This is the only way to show the world and people around the kind of person you have become. This must be done consistently in order for your personal brand to grow. How do you do this? You have to be intentional about it as mentioned earlier. With no time, you will see positive feedback on your style and the way you carry yourself now.
One of the common ways to do that now is Social Media. This is where social media comes in handy. This is not a fake life as people will assume. Post works regularly about yourself, your style, generally the new you. Let people out there know and with time their mindset will change about you. Within you, you are trying to recreate a special brand for yourself in an area.
For instance, if you want people to know you are a good communication guy with very good public speaking skills, anytime you have the opportunity to speak to people or a gathering make sure to record yourself and post on social media. If you keep it to yourself, people’s mindset will never change about you or what they knew you to be.
Your personal brand is a lifelong project that constantly evolves and grows. There are no hard-set rules for creating a personal brand other than there must be a core message.
“Identity is cause; brand is effect, and the strength of the former influences the strength of the latter.” – Larry Ackerman