In an era where owned media channels are just as valuable as traditional, building your personal brand has never been more valuable. However, just as Apple or Nike have carefully and consistently built their public image over decades, carving out your personal brand requires establishing a clear vision for your unique voice, image and value proposition to the audience you’re trying to curate. It is essential to have an understanding of these points before you start sharing ‘you’ in a massively cluttered space – the Internet.
Here are 5 ways to give you a jump-start on building your personal brand:
1. Identify what sets you apart. The Internet has infinite space and plenty of personal brands, so how are you going to stand out? This is Marketing 101. You’ve got a killer product – it’s you. But how are you going to sell it? Start by defining your character and know what your unique selling points are. Never say things in the usual way and win the customers (followers) attention with content; visuals, words and phrases that are new, surprising, and different. The objective of personal branding is to build a relationship with a customer or follower who is excited and confident in what you are offering.
2. Leverage your credentials. What is your personal brand offering and how is it adding value to the lives of your potential followers or customers? It’s important to clearly identify the product or service your personal brand specializes in – something that can be backed up. If you have the skills, you should show them but only at the right times and through the right channels. Leverage your niche and showcase what makes you special in a way that encourages customers and followers to engage and share. Produce content that adds value to the lives of your customers and keeps your personal brand “on brand.”
3. Agonize over consistency. Be on brand for yourself. It’s easy to share anything and everything but it can easily come across as forced or insincere – and nobody likes that. What you put out should be consistent and relevant with what you have identified yourself to be. Ask yourself – is this what my brand is about and does it makes sense for my audience?
Visuals– The digital world is dominated by visuals. It’s also important that you’re consistent in how you visually represent your brand. I.e. using the same colour palette, fonts and filters. If you’re clear on your message you will build a consistent brand experience for your fans and followers. Fashion blogger and influencer Mary Seng of Happily Grey is a perfect example of this. True to her name, her colour palette throughout all her social media channels is mostly grey, white and black.
Model: Why brand consistency is important!
Consistency = Trust and Trust = Customers. Be consistent.
4. Make Friends with the Internet. Be engaged – and not selfishly. Share and support other like-minded individuals by giving a little love to the digital community around you. Be collaborative – give without the expectation of return and you’ll be surprised what the digital world gives back. Take for example, Apple’s collaboration with Hermes. Aside from improving their image and spreading awareness with further reach, they were able to resonate with a larger audience by joining forces.
5. Be real. People are seeking the human side of any brand – a side that allows them to connect on a personal level. It is important to be true to yourself and your audience. You don’t have to come across as an expert in everything. Thought leaders tap into their talents, experience and passion for their business. Don’t try and be something you’re not. This allows your audience to build trust in you and your brand.