When I restarted this blog, I got a comment in private saying “this will help you in your personal branding!”. Do I even want that to happen? What is personal branding, anyway?
Personal branding is the process of creating and promoting a recognizable and memorable image or impression of oneself, in the minds of others. The values of personal branding include:
- Differentiation: personal branding can help an individual stand out in a crowded marketplace.
- Credibility: a strong personal brand can create trust and credibility with potential employers, clients, and customers.
- Career advancement: a well-defined personal brand can open up new opportunities and help an individual advance in their career.
- Confidence: having a clear understanding of one’s personal brand can increase an individual’s confidence in their abilities and value.
- Authenticity: personal branding should reflect who you are and what you stand for, which can help to build authenticity. Don’t try to be different than you actually are!
- Control: Personal branding is about taking control of how you want to be perceived. Might worth getting your mentor read your blog too!
- Reputation management: Personal branding can help you build and maintain positive reputation.
However, it is not roses and pink everywhere. When developing a personal brand, it’s important to avoid certain pitfalls that can damage your reputation and undermine your efforts. Some pitfalls to avoid include:
- Inauthenticity: Being inauthentic in your personal brand can be damaging to your reputation. And it will be figured out quickly – I seen edge cases when someone’s mother posted a comment explaining that the kid is nothing like what was according to the brand 😀
- Lack of consistency: Inconsistencies in your messaging and image can confuse your audience and make it difficult for them to understand who you are and what you stand for.
- Overpromising and underdelivering: Making promises you can’t keep or not living up to your branding can damage your credibility and reputation. Like promise to write more posts and you don’t (this is post 14 this year)
- Ignoring your online presence: Your online presence is an important part of your personal brand, and ignoring it can be detrimental to your efforts. If you have an Instagram account where you keep getting messaged that you ignore – should you even have that account?
- Not monitoring and adjusting: Your personal brand should be an ever-evolving process and you should regularly monitor and adjust it as necessary.
- Not being prepared for criticism: As you put yourself out there, you should be prepared for criticism and know how to handle it. Yes, this is the internet, there are going to be trolls, naysayers, etc.
- Not being aware of the legal issues: You should be aware of the legal issues, such as intellectual property and trademark laws, that can impact your personal branding efforts.
Luckily, you likely are not the first one wanting to do something with their branding. There are a variety of resources available to help individuals develop their personal brand, including:
- Books: There are many books available on the topic of personal branding, such as “Personal Branding for Dummies” by Susan Chritton and “The Personal Branding Phenomenon” by Peter Montoya.
- Websites: There are several websites dedicated to personal branding, such as personalbrandingblog.com, brandingstrategyinsider.com and brandingpersonality.com. There are also tons of other websites to check out on this.
- Social media: Platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Mastodon and Instagram can be used to build and promote your personal brand.
- Conferences and workshops: Conferences and workshops on personal branding can provide valuable insights and networking opportunities.
- Personal branding coaches and consultants: Personal branding coaches and consultants can provide personalized advice and guidance on developing your personal brand.
- Online courses: Many online platforms offer personal branding courses and can be upped by certifications, like Coursera, Udemy, LinkedIn Learning.
- Networking: Networking with other professionals in your industry is a great way to learn about personal branding and get inspiration for your own efforts.
So let’s pretend I convinced you to follow the steps of many and start the journey 🙂 Starting to develop your personal brand can seem daunting, but breaking the process down into smaller steps can make it more manageable. Here are a few steps you can take to start developing your personal brand:
- Define your target audience: Identify the people you want to reach with your personal brand, and consider what they are looking for in a professional.
- Assess your strengths and unique selling points: Consider what makes you stand out from others in your field and how you can highlight those strengths in your personal brand.
- Create a mission statement: Develop a clear and concise mission statement that sums up your personal brand and what you want to achieve.
- Develop your visual identity: Create a consistent visual identity for yourself, including a professional headshot, a logo or personal symbol, and a color scheme. This is somewhat lacking for me, never have the time (and the skills!) for it.
- Build your online presence: Create a professional-looking website or blog and build a presence on social media platforms that are relevant to your industry.
- Consistency is key: Develop a consistent message and image across all platforms and make sure all the elements of your personal brand work together.
- Network: As also mentioned above, networking is key.
- Measure and adjust: Measure the results of your personal branding efforts and adjust your strategy as necessary. Like I recently moved from Google Analytics to Jetpack for better measurements on this blog.
So, let me know in the comments, what you think about my journey on building a better personal branding, for now 😀