7 Steps for Building Your Personal Brand


Gone are the days when branding was just meant for companies and celebrities. Today, branding is as relevant for you as it is for anyone who’s already famous. After all, it takes everyone a series of conscious steps, that you can take as well to create an image about yourself in the minds of others. You are already a brand, whether you know it or not. Because people already have a certain image about you and view you in a certain light. When you control how you project yourself, you can create a desirable image you would want in the minds of others. This can be done by taking those initial steps to become a personal brand. Jeff Bezos says that “Branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
Now that we have established that you are a brand in yourself and need to build your personal brand, you should know what you’re missing out on if you do it otherwise. You’re missing out on that interview, job placement, promotion, collaboration, speaking engagement and so much more. Before you read the 7 steps about becoming a personal brand, you should know that it is a deliberate exercise and takes some time. There is nothing called overnight success and it all pans out with time. So the key here is to be consistent, keep following a plan, review results, and adapt to achieve desirable results.
Here are the 7 easy ways you can build yourself to be a brand:

1. Start thinking of yourself as a brand
What comes to your mind when you think about Barack Obama, Beyonce, Narendra Modi, Priyanka Chopra or any other celebrity, politician, or sportsperson you look up to? Once you have at least 3-5 words about them, you can repeat the same exercise for yourself. What would come to other minds when they think about you? The moment you do this exercise, it will help you to start viewing yourself as a brand. This is the foremost and one of the most important steps of personal branding. If you will not view yourself as a personal brand, then no one will.
Once you have started thinking of yourself as a brand, you need to think deeper and find gaps in what you think about yourself and what others think about you. You can do this by talking to your peers or people who would give you a genuine opinion about yourself. It is very important to understand who you are and what do you stand for. This is called personal or self-awareness. This paves way for the next step of personal branding.

2. Craft a personal branding statement
Your branding statement is 1-2 sentences about what you’re good at, who do you do it for, and what is your unique selling proposition. This is not the same as your mission statement, your career objective, or even your life purpose. Your branding statement helps your key prospects ascertain what’s in for them, how can what you offer to help them by making their life better in any which way. To be able to write this statement, first make a list of every possible skill you have and then activate your creative bone.
Answer these 3 questions while writing your personal branding statement:
  1. What you’re good at
  2. Who do you do it for (your target audience)
  3. What is your unique selling proposition
  • I help build an organization's culture and help them hire and retain talent. As talent management and HR specialist, I have nurtured teams for leading multinationals. Now I am interested in a role that focuses on employer brand development globally along with building cross-cultural teams.
  • As a result of what I do, I help people develop their soft skills and personality. I have worked with more than 1000 students from across the world. And I am looking at touching 1,00,000 lives in the next 3 years.
While writing your branding statement, make sure you keep it simple and short so that even a 5-year-old can understand it (not quite literally!). Most importantly, be authentic and do not exaggerate or use technical terms that no one will understand. And yes, do keep it updated always.
Your personal branding statement is a key weapon in your arsenal because it provides quick, and top-level understanding about what do you stand for, without making others read a whole paragraph about yourself.

3. Decide your social media strategy
Being on social media is no longer a privilege or reserved for a few. Almost everyone, who has an internet connection and a device to surf on is on social media. It’s a must for you to be active on social media and decide which platforms would you like to use to your advantage. Firstly, do a social media audit.

In a social media audit, make a list of every platform that you’re on, and here are some parameters you can assess your page on. If you do not have a personal brand page yet, it is a good idea to create one today, as these platforms offer some additional information like insights, analytics, etc. Now you need to decide where do you get maximum traction from, and which all platforms do you want to be on. It is a good idea to have custom URLs and common usernames for each platform. However, it is always better to concentrate your effort on where you are likely to get the best results. Next, you need to decide what are you going to post, based on where all you are present and active.

4. Have a content strategy
Having a content strategy is as important as making sense in a world full of noise and finding your space in the clutter. There’s a hell lot of content out there and what is important is how you’re going to be adding value to your audience. Why should anyone care to lend their ears or eyes to you or give you what’s most precious to them, their time!
To have a content strategy that works first look at what the experts in your field are already doing and where are they getting all of their traction from. Now you can add your own element to what they’re doing and be relevant to your audience. Here are some suggestions for the kind of content that you can share. You can share:
  • Your learnings about your industry, thoughts on topics related to your industry or new ideas that you have
  • Share a link to your industry news and add your opinion
  • Curate some stories and make it easy for people to understand
  • Infographics and HD images
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
In whatever you’re sharing, remember you need to help your audience grow, authenticity is greater than perfection and do not fear vulnerability or transparency.

5. Look the part offline
When you put in care into the way you look, it gives out the impression that you take your work seriously and that others should take you seriously as well. The way you dress up sends out a clear and confident message that you’re a thorough professional. If you invest in yourself, others will invest in you.
People judge you within 3 to 7 seconds of looking at you and if forming an impression is that quick then you must engage your audience in that limited time that you have with them. So you must dress up according to your roles and goals.
Besides looking good, make sure that you’re networking and replicating your online persona offline as well. There must be consistency in both your images.

6. Develop yourself
This is one tip that no one will give you. The development comes from more experience that you gain. However, it also comes through Self-Learning. While you’re displaying your potential to the world, it is equally important to keep upping your ante by realizing your truest potential. To develop your potential you can read a lot of self-help books, watch videos, follow experts online, have insightful conversations with people, attend seminars and workshops, write blogs & articles, do courses, improve your communication skills, learn content creation, learn digital marketing and most importantly START EXECUTING. Unless you implement what you’re learning it will all go in vain.

7. Become an expert & a thought leader
A thought leader by definition is someone who is recognized as an authority in a specialized field and whose expertise is sought after and rewarded. You don’t need to proclaim to be an expert or a thought leader. When people value what you say and follow your content, then you’ve become an expert in that field. Here’s what you can do to become (not to be viewed) as an expert or thought leader:
  • Write books, articles, blogs, guest blogs, quora answers, social media posts consistently about the topic you’re good at
  • Speak at conferences, seminars and even on your own YouTube channel
  • Train or teach people through workshops
  • Give consulting services to people, brands, and businesses
  • Develop new ideas and concepts in your field
To build your brand identity and positioning you should understand your value, know your audience, know what you’re good at, know what others think you’re good at, have an emotional appeal, think about why anyone should listen to you, and know your goals for personal branding.
The thumb rule of personal branding - is consistency and consistency alone. If you’re random at what you’re doing and do not follow through, it is very unlikely that you will be able to build an audience.
By following these 7 steps, you can get onto a new path towards branding yourself and adding immense value to other people’s lives.
At Mindgrad, we are offering an online Personal Branding Masterclass to help you envision and train yourself as a brand so that you construct an attractive Personal Brand for yourself. Click here to apply now.
All the best !
Apply for MindGrad Certificate Courses Now: bit.ly/mindgrad

Written by - Tanya Kathpal

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