For the last ten years, I neglected to build a personal brand.
I always thought it was silly.
Why spend time building a personal brand?
It’s stupid…(or so I thought).
I thought “Personal branding” was reserved for:
- Show offs
- Attention seekers
- 22-year-olds trying to “make it.”
That was until I started to learn the power of a personal brand.
I found out that I was SO wrong.
This newsletter is meant for people who’ve been neglecting their personal brand.
Trust me, there are too many benefits to ignore.
I wish I would have started building a personal brand ten years ago.
But as they say, yesterday was the best time to plant a tree.
The second best time is today.
What is a Personal Brand?
A personal brand is…YOU!
- Your unique combination of skills
- Your personal experiences
- Your personality
- Your values
- Your professional achievements
- The content you create and share
- Your network and the community you engage with
- How you present yourself online and offline
- The clothes you wear
- The trips you go on
It’s everything that makes you, well, YOU.
However, a personal brand cannot be created overnight.
It needs to be curated over time.
Let’s dive into how to do that.
But first, we’ve got to understand why it’s important.
Why is Personal Branding Important?
Your personal brand can impact your career, relationships, and society at large (if big enough).
Here are the main reasons why personal branding is essential:
- It differentiates you from others in your niche
- It builds a tribe of people that align with the same interests
- It synergistically enhances your business brand
- It can open up new opportunities
- It increases your credibility and trustworthiness
How to Build a Personal Brand
Building a personal brand takes time and effort, but the following steps can help you get started:
Step 1: Define Your Brand and Develop a Goal
To define your brand, start with introspection.
- Who am I?
- What do I stand for?
- What do I want to be known for?
- What is my vision?
- What are my values?
- What are my goals?
- What are my strengths?
From there, start to outline who YOU are and what you want to be known for.
Step 2: Establish Your Online Presence
Having an online presence is crucial for personal branding.
- Creating up-to-date social profiles
- A personal website
- A well-written blog
Get started by updating your current social profiles.
Make sure your social media profiles:
- Feature a consistent visual brand, including the same background image, headshot, bio, etc.
- Highlight your achievements and projects
- Speak to your audience (who you want to help).
From there, you can build a streamlined website and drive traffic via your social posts.
Step 3: Produce Valuable Content
Creating valuable content is a cornerstone of personal branding.
Share your insights, stories, experiences, and client success stories.
Focus on delivering quality content that offers solutions and value to your followers.
- Write blog posts or articles relevant to your niche.
- Share insights on social media
- Participate in podcast interviews (or start your own).
- Create videos or webinars to educate and engage.
Content is a powerful tool to showcase your expertise and build a loyal audience.
Pro Tip: You can never give away too much value. Don’t hold back.
Step 4: Engage With Your Community
Building a brand is not just about broadcasting; it’s about interaction.
Here are a few ways you can interact with the community you’re building:
- Respond to every comment on your social posts
- Engage with other posts on all social platforms
- Attend live networking events and engage with your peers
- Offer help and support where you can
- Join or create online groups that align with your brand
By engaging with your community, you can build meaningful relationships and establish yourself as an expert in your field.
Step 5: Continuously Learn and Adapt
The digital landscape and industries are constantly evolving.
Stay relevant by:
- Keeping up-to-date with trends in your industry.
- Adopting new tools and platforms where appropriate.
- Upgrading your skills with courses or certifications.
- Asking for feedback and making the necessary adjustments.
- Following this field guide (woohoo)!
A commitment to learning and adaptation shows your audience that you’re a forward-thinking leader in your field.
Example: I learned recently that “cheat sheets” on LinkedIn perform better. Guess what? I’m now posting cheat sheets and monitoring the data.
Keep your ear to the ground.
Closing Thoughts on Personal Branding
Establishing a strong personal brand takes time, effort, and consistent action, but the benefits are undeniable.
Start defining your brand, establishing your online presence, producing valuable content, engaging with your community, and continuously learning and adapting.