With the rise of our digital world, the increased use of social media and smartphones, the instant connectivity and internet transparency, there never was a time when personal branding was more important than now.
Personal branding is pretty much a cyber essential, as well as a key piece to being successful, regardless of whether you’re an entrepreneur or on the corporate path. It’s not hard by any means, it just takes a few tips and tricks, and here’s exactly what you need to know about personal branding.
First things first, you need to think of yourself as a brand. We’re not talking iconic logos here, but we are talking perception and reputation. Branding, no matter what, is an important way to add value.
In the case of personal branding, we’re adding value to you. We’re adding value to your credibility in your chosen industry. We’re adding value to the products or services you offer. We’re setting you apart from everyone else. We’re adding value to the people around you.
Answer these questions
- Who is your target audience?
- What do you stand for?
- What is your niche?
- What are you passionate about?
- How are you different from other people in your chosen industry or profession?
We need to get these questions out of the way so you can figure out what’s going to be at the core of your personal brand and how you can lend value to those around you. You want people to associate your name with being an industry leader.
The last question though is definitely the most important, because you need to be about what you’re passionate about and what you love. If you don’t love what you do, you just shouldn’t even bother, period.
Pick a platform, add your knowledge
No, your platform does not have to be www.yourfirstandlastname.com. Websites are overrated.
It’s time consuming, labor intensive, and not what you want to be doing right away in order to build your personal brand. So, pick a platform, but pick one that sets you up for success.
Let’s say you want to be a life coach or motivational speaker. Facebook is for you, start making videos and get a page.
If you’re aspiring to be a personal chef, start an Instagram account that chronicles your delectable dishes.
Heck, start writing articles.
You get the picture. Start small, don’t completely overwhelm yourself, and remember you can always add on to the platform you pick first.
Craft a killer bio
Let’s not bore people to tears, people. Even if you don’t have a specific use in mind for a personal bio yet, like a resume or a website, it’s important to make one so you can be reminded of who you are and what you stand for.
Mention exciting roles you have held. Talk about what your strengths are. Point out interesting things that set you apart from everyone else. Talk about the value you add.
Always be you
My Mom was a fan of saying to us growing up, “Whatever you do, always be yourself.”
Mom is right. Yeah, it took me pretty much 27 years to figure that out, but don’t make the same mistake I did and pay attention to her pearl of wisdom right now.
Always stay true to you and what you love to do. Even if what you want to do isn’t quite popular yet, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue it. You can rely on your personality and style to attract clients, viewers, etc. The more you love what you do and the more you stay true to you, the easier it’s going to be for you to add value and become an authority.
By the way, Mom also loved saying: “Whatever you want to be, make sure you’re the best at it” and that completely applies here too.
But remember, it’s not all about you
Your personal brand is about you, but it’s not all about you.
That’s right, personal branding and the success you can build with it really comes down to what you can do for everyone around you.
Keep this in mind to keep you on track, while keeping in mind it isn’t all about you. Don’t stop asking yourself:
How can you add value to those around you?
Bre is a female millennial go getter residing in New York. One part entrepreneur, one part geek, she obtained her degree in Textile/Surface Design from The Fashion Institute of Technology. She has held some exciting roles in both fashion as a designer working for brands like Victoria’s Secret and Henri Bendel, as well as in ad tech working for publishers like Ziff Davis.
Today she operates her own luxury label and is also the Chief Chick at Chipchick.com which reaches millions of women each month. Bre is passionate about keeping women informed of the latest technology trends and products to improve their lifestyle and believes in providing real, useful information and advice to her readers.