Six Personal Branding Moves You Need Now
Your personal brand helps you stand apart from the masses. It establishes you as an individual and lets the rest of the world know who you are and what you’re about.
Personal branding shouldn’t be taken lightly, nor should it be ignored in favor of more “important” initiatives. To ensure that your own brand accurately reflects your mission, follow these six steps to personal branding success:
1. Create a plan of action for your personal brand.
Set specific goals for your brand.
Consider how you’d like others to see you and speak about you. Look at where you’re at now and where you’d like to be in the future, and then create a roadmap that will help you achieve those goals.
If, for example, you want to be thought of as a successful inventor—but you haven’t told anyone about your latest inventions—then it’s time to focus on that exciting part of your career.
2. Approach it with the same passion you give everything else.
Don’t be afraid to promote yourself and talk about your achievements. Throw in a few failures and future goals, while you’re at it, because these elements will let everyone know that you are indeed human.
3. Consider your uniqueness.
Coca-Cola and Dell didn’t become personal branding behemoths by going with the flow and copying others.
Look at what unique values and attributes you bring to the table and capitalize on them when creating your personal brand. What sets you apart? Why are you different? What makes you special?
The answers to these questions will help you lay out the framework for your branding strategy.
4. Aim to solve a problem or hurdle a challenge.
Your personal brand should help others solve a problem or tackle a challenge.
If, for example, your online travel agency specializes in cruise vacations, then a good move would be to establish yourself as the “go to” person for cruise information (good, bad and otherwise). That way, the people who call on you for information (both online and offline) will think of you first when it comes time to book a trip.
5. Shape your personal branding efforts around your target audience.
Let’s say you’re an experienced CEO who was laid off during the economic downturn.
You’re ready to get back into the job market, and you need to position yourself as an employable, reliable executive who had a bad turn of luck.
Keep your future employer in mind as you craft your personal branding strategy by asking yourself questions like: What do they want to know about me? What are they looking for in a new executive? What are they not looking for? And finally, how can I fill those needs with my own experience and knowledge?
6. Stick with your brand.
Changing your personal brand drastically every few months is a bad idea.
That’s not to say you can’t tweak it and improve on it, but doing a complete 180-degree switch midstream will only make people think you’re a bit wishy-washy, at best. Stick with what works, adjust as needed, and focus on maintaining a strong personal branding presence that withstands time.
By using these six tips—from the planning to the internal observations to the identification of a target audience—you’ll be well equipped to formulate a personal branding plan for today and for the future.