You might have heard this word “Personal brand” frequently without realizing its importance. Today I am going to walk you through what personal brand is all about why you need a personal brand? And how to build yourself as a personal brand this 2021?
Personal branding is how you showcase your uniqueness, your expertise, your character and stand as an authority in your particular field. Every individual has a unique style, taste and talent and we stand for different core values and beliefs. For example, some people like to be trendy while others may like to be classy, sassy or traditional.
You may be an idealist, optimist, narcissist, feminist, materialist, atheist or anything. Beliefs, opinions and ideas vary from person to person. You may be an entrepreneur, a freelancer, a home maker, an influencer, a student or a dreamer. Your uniqueness is what differentiates you from the rest and this is how you stand out as a personal brand.
The term brand was formerly only referred to a business or a product. Now branding is also associated with a person. Though personal branding was prevailing long before, still the hype about it in recent times is because of overuse of social media and flourishing of online business. Social media gave individuals an opportunity to showcase them in limelight.
Through various social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and TikTok, common people share their views, showcase their talent, build community and interact with mass audience which has lead to common man becoming a recognized personality and because of that they become influencers. And this is how personal branding came among mass audience.
Before the advent of social media, personal branding was only associated with professionals who wanted to advance their careers, models and celebrities. But now anyone can be a thought leader. By establishing yourself as an authority in your particular field, you impact your audience and strongly influence them.
That’s why personal branding can also be said as intentionally influencing public perception by establishing authority.
So who needs to build a personal brand? Personal branding is never limited to professionals anymore. Even a college student needs to build a personal brand because of strong authority of LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a professional platform where recruiters meet employees. There is much more to LinkedIn but I will cover the whole story in another post. As I said, nowadays social media run our lives. Gone are the days of resumes, recruiters are browsing your LinkedIn profiles right now. They are looking for more of your personality through your activities, your profile, how you engage with your community. So you see, how even a student needs a personal brand!
Next we talk of bloggers, youtubers and podcasters. They create content for a target audience. They educate, entertain, build trust and influence their audience. You are well aware that these influencers are well paid off when they reach good follow base. Apart from adsense they are also paid for sponsorships.
So what is a sponsorship? Sponsorship is when a brand reaches out to a particular youtuber or podcaster and asks them to promote their brand in their channel. Why do these brands reach out to common people like youtubers? This is because they know the power of influencer marketing. They know that youtubers, podcasters, bloggers and social media influencers are powerful personal brand. Still large brands concentrate on celebrities because they are popular and established personal brand. Small businesses look out for social media influencers who are more common people yet influential people because of the trust they have build with followers.
Let me explain this with example. Your favourite Youtuber is launching a course or a product, the chances of you buying the product is high because you trust the youtuber. This is how sponsorship works, if your favourite podcaster vouches for a brand, the probability of you buying it is high.
So is personal branding so easy? Nope. First and foremost, if you are going to fake or imitate others, you can never become a personal brand. You should always showcase your raw authentic self. Your strengths should be reflected in your persona.
If you are an entrepreneur, your leadership qualities and authority should be felt by others. Build your own style. Unless you really have talent, don’t lie to people. Don’t be an imposter. Being genuine is important. Because if you are exposed you are shamed.
To be a personal brand is a huge responsibility. Social media is a wide pool of good and bad things. Never ever take the wrong route. Because branding is a powerful identity.
You choose who you want to become. Let your personal branding revolve around your profession because at the end of the day branding is all about reaching your audience, building a like minded community and bringing in clients. Personal branding highly helps freelancers & entrepreneurs to build trust in their target audience. They show their authenticity and expertise through personal branding due to which they get free organic traffic to their business.
So if you have not yet started out as a personal brand, it’s time. Choose minimum two social media platforms that you are confortable as well that works for your particular field and start building your brand today. But you would be wondering, how am I going to do it?
Its simple create content on your particular field, post photos covering your professional space, personal space (family and friends) and consistently post on social media platforms. Write a clearcut description on that photo and if you have any knowledge on hashtags, work on it too. Go on live videos, do reels and provide as much value as possible to your audience. Above all boldly convey your thoughts and comments on social media. To establish yourself as a thought leader you need to be bold & stand on your viewpoint.
Now let me know what your personal brand looks like?