The Five Things You Should Do Today To Build Your Personal Brand
It may sound wanky, but building a personal brand could be the difference between being average and being a boss.
What is a personal brand exactly? Well in summary it’s ‘the ongoing process of establishing a prescribed image or impression in the mind of others about an individual.’ Otherwise known as – finding ways to cement that you’re the best.
The crazy thing is you’ve already got a unique personal brand, you just have to figure out how to work it. So if you’re looking to design smartphones, don’t wear a turtleneck just because Steve Jobs had a good personal brand and made like a trillion dollars.
Do you. It’s the only way this is going to work.
So how do you do it exactly? Let’s look at five ways to get started.
Develop a theme and stick to it
Take a step back and imagine a dream for your ideal personal theme. Personal branding expert Teresa Page says, ‘our wishes always have correlations, so let the vision of what you want and how it will look build in your imagination.’
Start with a word or a phrase to create a base – from there, you can begin to shape your concept.
Once you’ve got the vision, you’ve got to work on keeping it cohesive. If your theme is really broad or random, you’ll look like a total rookie. Let’s say you want to be known as an expert in crisp, minimal interior design – you can’t post pictures of cluttered or eclectic rooms you’ve styled.
Share visual diaries, art inspo and reviews that speak to the theme you’re mastering.
Celebrate your individuality!
Once your theme is nailed, it’s time to celebrate what makes you special (how heart-warming). Your point of difference is all about grasping how your weirdness is going help you stand out in a world of fierce competition.
What sets you apart? What do you specialise in? What do you love doing the most?
Think about someone like Triple J’s Dr Karl – his science speciality combined with his signature quirky style and personality have solidified him not only as an expert in his field, but as a bit of an Aussie icon.
Of course, you don’t have to strive for celebrity status in order to feel the effects of developing a point of difference. But you’ll be surprised how much success you can bring to yourself just by highlighting what makes you special.
Create a personal branding statement
Alright – you’ve got the theme, you’re celebrating your individuality, and now you need to sum it all up with a personal branding statement. Simply, a personal branding statement ‘is 1-2 sentences answering what you are the best at (value), who you serve (audience) and how you do it uniquely (unique selling proposition).’
It’s all about formulating something memorable and creative, without straying from what you really stand for.
For example, every broke millennial’s fav furniture store IKEA has a personal branding statement, but it isn’t ‘hey we got flat packs and they’re cheap.’ It is ‘to create a better everyday life for many people.’
I never knew my MALM wardrobe came from a place of such integrity. Nice.
Social media, blogs and websites
Youth, rejoice! All those times your parents or teachers told you to stop wasting your life on the web? It was just training for developing a personal brand.
With most businesses valuing online content, you need social media channels, blogs and websites that reflect who you are offline. Make sure that you not only create these online tools, but that you actually use them. Make content – either video, visual or written – flaunt what you got with quality posts every week.
Think about someone like Mia Freedman and her website Mamamia. Albeit a controversial character at times, there’s no denying that Freedman has built an empire using smart online content that speaks to her target audience. From its humble beginnings as a blog in 2007, the website now has a fan base of over 1 million people. Online content + smart personal branding = success.
Imagery and social media
When it comes to what to post on social media, let one word guide you – imagery. It’s a pretty well known fact that visual content (especially video) works a hell of a lot better than plain text.
In 2016 CoSchedule looked at Facebook Pages of the top 100 brands (according to the Interbrand list) and found that 80.20% of their posts were photos and videos. And, these visual posts were responsible for 92.15% of traffic for these Facebook pages.
Imagery works because it grabs your attention, but don’t just post for the sake of it – keep that theme in mind!
Tahlia Svingos is a freelance writer and broadcast journalist. She writes about everything from mental health to international politics. You can find out more about her at www.tahliasvingos.com.