Hearing people say positive things about you even behind your back brings you a good feeling. Knowing that you’re a trustworthy go-to person in your field makes you heave a satisfying sigh. These are the consequences of a strong personal brand.
Building a strong personal brand can be hard work. Of course, success doesn’t come easily. You have to work for it.
But then, you can make the process fun and less work by following the 7 steps mentioned below.
1. DO A SELF-DISCOVERY
The first step to uncovering and building your personal brand is having an inner check-up. Your personal brand is based on you; it has to be the real you. You need to know who you are before influencing the perception of others about you.
This will be your groundwork. So, it needs to be solid and authentic. Don’t adopt a persona. Don’t be a copycat. Don’t make your personal branding a tedious journey because you don’t know your true self.
William Shakespeare once said, “To thine own self, be true”.
TIP: For your inner check-up, you can answer the following questions:
- What are you passionate about? What do you have an interest in?
- What are your core values? What do you stand for and stand against?
- What do you wish to change, correct or influence?
- What are your skills, certifications, and achievements?
2. KNOW YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
I’m sure you’ve heard something like “you can’t please everyone, not everyone will like you”. This applies to your personal brand which is basically you.
When building your personal brand, you should know that you can’t be widely famous. Not everyone will know you. Only people in your corner will recognize you. This is called selective fame (you’re selectively famous).
TIP: You should choose those who your message will resonate with. They are your perfect audience-cum-clients.
3. KNOW WHAT YOUR AUDIENCE NEEDS
It is not sufficient to just know your target audience. You have to go that extra mile in knowing what they need, and what their problems and challenges are.
Armed with this knowledge, you’re a step ahead of them and will be able to sell to them what they actually need. This is why you’re the expert.
TIP: To know the needs of your target audience, critically study them. Research on their demographics (age, occupation, level of education, level of income, etc.) and psychographics (likes, dislikes, choices, etc.)
4. CREATE YOUR BRAND MESSAGE
Now, you know who you are, what you can do, what you need to improve on, and what you believe in. You also know who you want to attract and what their needs are.
It’s now time to sit down to combine your ‘research papers’ and birth that irresistible brand message that reflects what you do and offer. It is that message that embodies everything you do.
TIP: Your brand message should be direct, simple, and clear. Ambiguity will turn potential audiences or clients away from your brand.
5. HAVE A PERSONAL WEBSITE
This is an essential step in the process. Your personal website should include everything about your personal brand. Your brand name, brand story, brand message, brand logo, professional photos, clients’ testimonials, contact details, etc. should be present in a clear and strategic manner.
Visitors should easily comprehend who your brand is. They should be so much wowed by it that they convert to your clients.
TIP: Invest heavily in your personal website. It goes a long way in creating lasting impressions and converting visitors into clients.
6. CREATE CONTENTS
When building your personal brand, you have to imbibe the art of storytelling. It’s an important tool in personal branding.
In creating content peculiar to your target audience, content that are actually meaningful and suitable (remember, you know their needs), you’re able to gain a position in their minds as an expert (a go-to somebody).
But then, you may not be seen as reliable. That’s why your content strategy must be consistent. You should take into consideration the frequency of your content (how often will you publish content? thrice a week, every day, etc.); the channel(s) of publication (where will you publish them? will your audience be aware of them? your blog, your social media handles, website, etc.) and the type of your contents (which format will they be in? articles, videos, podcasts, etc.)
TIP: Quality and consistency are major keys to content creation.
7. GET MORE EXPOSURE
Aside from having your personal website, you should work on getting more attention. On your social media handles, you can post images of the projects you’re working on, the event you’re attending, the successes you’ve achieved, and so on. This may get you more audience, both active and passive.
You should also connect with other like-minded personal brands. You can gain from them, be it a piece of knowledge, a mention to their audience, or even, interaction with their audience. This will definitely help boost your personal brand.
TIP: Don’t be a lone wolf. Connect with others.