Business/Career

The Importance of Developing a Personal Brand

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The Importance of Developing a Personal Brand
Written by Robin Okwanma

The modern world is all about marketing yourself as a valuable resource person, so to speak. You need to develop and position yourself as the ideal go-to person in one service area or another – whether in business or for pleasure. You need to develop a PERSONAL BRAND for yourself.

Because both you and what you have to offer are valuable in a unique way. You can provide what other people lack, and solve problems other people see as a challenge. SO WHAT IS A PERSONAL BRAND?

Your Personal Brand: Quick Definition

Harrison Monarth stated in his web article “What’s The Point of a Personal Brand?” that your personal brand is “how you want people to see you”. He further explained that your personal brand is an intentional image you create of yourself. It goes way beyond the first impression you create, or the way you relate with managers and your colleagues. Or even how you communicate with people. That sums up your reputation – that is, what people think or say about you based on your attitude and behaviours all put together.

But personal branding is not reputation. Furthermore, a brand does not exist (or is of little or no value) until others are made aware of it. And so you must endeavour to expose yourself to your network, and to people that matter – that is, become more visible (Harvard Business Review, 2022).

Apparently the sum total of your educational background, your skills and experience may not be enough to advance you in career or life. That is, until you actively work on your personal brand. Your personal brand is what sets you apart from a crowd of high performers. In a work environment or industry where each participant is naturally expected to give their utmost best, your personal brand is a critical unique selling point.

You have the ability to change and redefine that image of yourself you wish to promote to others. You can consciously build your brand by adjusting your actions to match your goals or intentions. In other words, you are tweaking or redirecting people’s opinions and images of you in the direction of your goals. That is, by changing your actions to agree with that goal or image.

You want others to have a MORE POSITIVE AND PREDICTABLE opinion of, and connection with you. You are simply ‘taking charge of your destiny’, so to speak.

Reasons Why You Need to Build Your Own Personal Brand

Gain a More Powerful Reputation and Recognition than the Normal

It is fairly easy to know a product for its quality – you just need to use it. However, most people never get to the stage of using or testing that product until you expose it by using different marketing strategies. While certain customers are attracted to posters and others to TV and/or radio adverts, others get caught up on social media. But that product must have something unique that makes it to stand out in the competitive field. It must stand for an appealing idea, a goal, or philosophy. That projected ‘extraordinary’ image of the product is its brand.

Applying the same idea to yourself (or any public personality for that matter), that extra thing that excites or impresses people about you is your personal brand. And you need to project that ‘extraordinary’ about yourself to the world at every opportunity, both in real life and online. It is the same principle behind people vying for political offices through campaigns, or celebrities showcasing themselves. You must stand for, and project, an ideology that resonates with a large number of people (and their needs).

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You gain a more significant recognition and patronage from others at the mention of your name, because of your personal brand.

Have have Greater Access to the Public Space

Take your personal brand to the mass media and social media, develop and nurture it, and invite people consistently. And watch how your desired audience draws towards you in ever-increasing numbers.

But you can only achieve that when you give them interesting content that engages their interest. What you present to them about yourself must be worth their time and attention. By using different materials and methods to engage people (especially on social media) you have a potentially huge audience at your disposal waiting to be impressed. You will be more than satisfied with the results if you truly invest in your personal brand.

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It Creates Desirable Connections/Relationships with Others

Your personal brand gradually moves you from the realm of acquiring customers and fans one by one, to having several followers at once. You will have access to a large chunk of the curious general public who want to know you better, when your personal brand is very appealing. When your online content speaks to them and their needs again and again. And they can easily interact with you through many communication channels. Your well-developed personal brand makes you accessible and inviting at any time.

People Trust You the More

When you cultivate a personal brand, you are developing active relationships with people. And opening viable communication opportunities to visitors and customers. A well-developed personal brand allows you to build trust and dependability into those relationships. You establish yourself as an expert and authority in your field. When people can trust you for what you stand for, they would naturally come to you first. Your personal brand and/or product must exhibit a high level of quality, as you must have promised to offer them. This will sustain your credibility before them, and their trust in you.

Makes it Easier for Others to Relate With You

Your personal brand is an opportunity to keep communication alive with new and existing contacts. You must be someone easy to discuss and connect with, and easy to relate to. With a well thought-out and implemented personal brand, you are more approachable. You can develop quality relationships with people, including your staff, colleagues, and a whole lot of valuable customers and investors. And all because you are easy to approach. Believe it or not (of course you will believe it) that this will translate into huge revenue and opportunities for growth in the near future.

You Attract the Right People to Yourself – They Will Come to You

The needed and sought-after clientele you are looking for is out there, both in public space and virtual space (the internet). Your customers and followers are waiting there, perhaps lying dormant, until you stir them up. So you must go all out to ATTRACT them. Your personal brand is like a loud voice projecting your image into people’s hearts anytime they come across you and/or your business anywhere.

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If you develop and project your personal brand continually and well enough, you will reach the stage where your name and/or product will be mentioned in your absence. Your followers and customers will willingly and effortlessly promote your brand with little or no input from you. And the right sort of people, your desired clients, will come looking for you.

Your Brand Exposes Your Real Personality (and Your Real Followers)

You want your personal brand to reveal your true self, and exhibit your real personality over the course of time. You cannot be anything but real. This will test and prove who your real followers are. That is, those who truly believe in your brand, or are actually relevant to you. And you can focus more on satisfying the needs of these real followers.

Furthermore, your personal brand may evolve into something bigger or different. You would care to know those who stay loyal to your brand, and  nurture and honour them. You can make them feel special by appreciating them, and even rewarding their loyalty for better relationships over time.

It is a Powerful Marketing Tool

Your personal brand becomes your identity. Your name and your personal brand become desirable products that attract admirers and customers to you. So how quickly can you achieve this? Some experts suggest that you continually create a brand story around yourself and your product.

Interesting videos (including live videos), animations, presentations, pictures, written content can be employed. Use these materials to tell your story in an interesting way, and stay loyal to your brand while doing so. You will work a lot of magic with audience engagement when you have relevant and interesting content. And your customers will never forget your product, they will come back for it again and again.

You Become More Consistent

Your personal brand will be well respected if you nurture and sustain it. If you put in whatever is required to maintain that status quo in front of the general public. That includes maintaining the message, tempo, logo, and content, making sure they all agree across all the communication channels available to you. Both online and offline.

A consistent personal brand is easy to remember and focus on, easy to trust by followers for what they represent. And so the message must be sustained and made to agree on all channels at a time. Nor should the message be changed too frequently.

You have Greater Control over your Public Image

Developing a personal brand helps you to fully determine what you want people to think and/or perceive about you. Rather than allow them to form inflexible opinions of you. You can change the course of their thoughts in a positive way, and to your advantage. In essence, you give people the opportunity to relate with you based on your own rules and terms.

But first you must understand your target audience. You must investigate people and their moods, their choices, weakness, strengths, goals, achievements and expectations. You can repeatedly use analytics tools available on social media and the internet for this purpose.

Also be aware that the moods and tastes of people change over time. Hence the need to continue investigating the trends and choices of your target audience. They need to be followed and monitored with analytics tools on a continuous basis, to get meaningful followership.

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Briefly: Simple Strategies for Developing Your Personal Brand

What important concept, value or goals can you be strongly identified with? What drives you, and that is consistent? You must identify it, and build your personal brand around it.

Be real. BE YOURSELF. In fact, personal branding succeeds more while striving to be the best version of your original self. This is far easier to sustain than some other persona that is not you.

Check on your peculiar gifts and resources suitable for personal branding. That will include your talents, qualifications, values, belief system, achievements, interests, and hobbies.

Define your target audience. Because not everyone out there aligns with your business, or needs what you can offer. So you must learn to weed out the unwanted ones, and focus on nurturing your desired customers. You can do this by collecting customers’ (and visitors’) data and doing some research. This process is a continuous one.

Creat a unique product or proposition that attracts people. You are there to solve an identified problem for your target audience. It would be good to find out what your target audience actually want first, then design the solution to address their needs. And be as specific as possible. Position yourself as a solution maker, a specialist with a solution package (or a range of solutions) that have unique names.

Develop a personal website. Make it responsive, informative and easy to use.

Develop a content strategy. Generate and write down usesul topics or content ideas which you will develop into all kinds of meaningful content later. And maximize the use of all your communication channels to disseminate your content when they are ready.

Maintain consistency and quality in your content when you disseminate them. Your content must be consistent in promoting your brand. And consistent in presenting the same message on all available channels from time to time. Also it must be informative and highly relevant to your audience.

Improve your visibility by connecting to other people’s audiences, not merely your own. Network and link with people closely related to your brand. Use hyperlinks to their websites. Engage in podcasts and interviews, Join groups and events where you can be active. Be a guest blogger. And form useful partnerships with people that would draw more attention to your brand.

Create an online community around your personal brand, particularly on social media. Become the moderator or group leader (you may even welcome or appoint other moderators). And invite people to join and interact with you, and with one another.

 

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About the author

Robin Okwanma

Hi, I'm Robin Okwanma. Software Engineer || Django, Python || React, React Native || Blogger. Technical Writer.