People see brands as shortcuts in which they make their decision on what to choose, therefore, brands all work towards projecting their image and looking good in front of their customers and also take this action deliberately so why can’t humans. Why can’t humans borrow a few things from brands?
We need to be deliberate and work towards being the easy shortcut in which people can choose from either when you are applying for a job, you are pitching an idea or you are trying to impress someone and so on. How about being distinctive in a way that makes you attractive enough to be easy to choose.
What is personal branding?
Personal branding is the conscious and deliberate effort to create and influence public perception of you by positioning yourself as an authority in your field or industry or an area of interest, it involves differentiating or appearing distinctive while building credibility in order for people to trust you as a point of contact whenever necessary.
Let us look at sports, precisely football, Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the most talented footballers to have ever graced the game has more Instagram followers than the football club he plays in. He has been able to build his personal brand for years and do you know that his Instagram following yields into money? Personal branding can help generate income after efforts as being made. Let us now use a local example, in Marketing Communications, we have Adebola Williams who quite understands personal branding and fully exploits its advantages for his company and for himself. He happens to be the co-founder of Red Media, Statecraft and YNaija. He has been recognised both locally and internationally due to his deliberate efforts to keep his branding alive.
Here are steps to take in order to build a brand one would be proud of:
1. Define Yourself, who are you and what do you stand for.
Identifying this would help build the Authenticity needed for a long term brand or of what use is a brand built of fabrication?.
2. What personal or professional assets do you possess that can help differentiate you?
Here we talk about your skills, trainings and certifications. We also talk about your passions, interests and dreams and values that you hold dear.
3. Know your Target Audience.
Who are you trying to appeal to? What kind of people will I attract with my current image? How can I attract the kind of audience that I need?
4. Have a Personal brand strategy.
This houses your brand vision, mission, personality and the kind of message your personal brand should be about. Having a problem to solve is also important, ask what problem or need does my personal brand solves that would interest my audiences and other stakeholders in my personal branding ecosystem. Your personal brand strategy should answer what direction you are going to take to solve the problem you identified.
5. What personal brand Tactics and Execution are needed.
From your direction gotten from step four, you carefully think about how to bring that idea or strategy to live. Tactics are the activities needed for your strategy to work. So outline what tactics are needed and how can they work together. For example, your tactics might include public speaking and maybe social media activities and they would work hand in hand to build you as a thought leader.