Tools & Templates

How to build your personal brand

Imagine if you knew exactly how other people see you. How your personal brand looks. This way, you would be able to fully exploit your strengths and features and come off as both fascinating and valuable. Read along, as we show how you identify and use your personal brand.

 

You may feel that you need more impact or visibility in your life. Perhaps you’re an entrepreneur, a representative or the face of your company or perhaps you just want your business to grow (who doesn’t?). Regardless, your personal brand is important. The way other people see you can increase as well as destroy your revenues.

 

You probably don’t know much about how most celebrities are privately, but you know their personal brand. In fact, we all have a personal brand within our social circles. Maybe you’re the annoying little brother, a hilarious girlfriend or a tireless and efficient coworker. Take control of how you are perceived and use it consciously to create more value for yourself and others.

 

Forget your weaknesses and focus on creating value

In this article, branding expert and author Sally Hogshead explains the key to becoming more fascinating as a personal brand and to control other people’s opinion of you.

 

You have to focus less on your weaknesses and stop trying to fix them. How you perceive yourself and the world around you is not important to your performance. It’s all about how the world sees you, it’s about branding. We’ll leave the psychological aspects of your persona to DISC and similar analytics for the time being.

 

The key is to focus on creating value for others. According to Hogshead, you’ll do this by first identifying three primary features about yourself based on these seven personality categories:

  1. Innovation
  2. Passion
  3. Power
  4. Prestige
  5. Trust
  6. Mystique
  7. Alert

Which fit your profile? These three features are now the foundation of your interaction with other people.

 

For instance, if you have a to-the-point approach, then that is your foundation: You deliver your presentation without any nonsense, fluff or drama, and you do it with confidence because being to-the-point is authentic to you. Being yourself gives you strength.

 

On the other hand, if you’re spontaneous, creative and emotional, then that’s the approach you choose. This is your strength and this is where you contribute with something of value. This is your personal brand.

 

Your brand is about difference and authenticity

Those who excel deliver a very specific value and don’t attempt to please in every possible way. They know where they are most likely to add value and where they can differentiate from others, and they target this area purposely.

 

These “high performers” are particularly good at something specific, which other people use to define them with. They are authentic about their expertise and become wanted for just that.

 

Like other types of brands, your personal brand is about identifying your core areas and then excel in those areas exclusively. Leave other areas to other people.

 

Forget about the things you’re not good at and only ask yourself what makes you different. How do you stand out in a way that makes a difference? How do people see you when you’re at your best? Are you creative or analytical or something else? Use this to make yourself interesting and to create value.

 

Boost your digital brand

When you know the answers to the questions above, you can control your personal brand the same way you'd control the company's brand. And social media is a perfect place to get involved, according to Jimmy Rohampton from Forbes. He offers four tips:

 

1. Identify your personal brand vision

What do you want people to think when they hear your name? This is where your personal and professional features may get entangled, which can get a bit blurry, but just follow Sally Hogshead’s approach from before. Maybe you’re going for authenticity, expertise and authority?

 

2. Get your name out here

On digital platforms it’s mostly about delivering content that relates to your niche. This may, for instance, be a blog post about innovation that illustrates your expertise, passion and desire to share knowledge. Digital content must always be made in a way which is engaging and easy to share.

 

Maybe you should have a personal website? One that present your information, your experience and links to your company website, your written work and all of your profiles on digital platforms?

 

Another piece of advice from Jimmy Rohampton is to form relationships with other respected experts within the area of your niche. You can create great value for one another by promoting each other’s content and expertise.

 

Also, reach out to the press proactively and offer stories that are relevant to your niche. When contact to the press is established you are more likely to be a go-to-source and thus an expert in your niche.

 

3. Monitor and improve your online presence

First and foremost, it’s a good idea to google yourself often. What happens? You can activate “Google Alerts” which alert you every time someone mentions your name online. You should use Google to read other people’s opinion of you and your personal brand. Adjust accordingly so that their opinion fit the brand you want.

 

This also goes for your profiles on social media. The content must fit the brand 100 %. You want to be seen as an expert but also as a human being.

 

Of course, you need to have your LinkedIn profile in order, but you may also want to consider if Twitter, Instagram and especially Facebook are the right tools for you. Perhaps you need a personal and a professional profile?

 

4. Keep learning and developing

It’s extremely important that you’re not only regarded as an expert right now but also five years from now. If you don’t show that you are updated on every little new thing regarding your niche you’ll be overtaken by others. Without constant relevance your personal brand won’t work.

 

This also means that you’re accessible and willing to communicate and share with your customers, followers and contacts. Be present, be generous and create value. Those are the cornerstones of your personal brand.