If you are just starting a business, it can feel weird and awkward to talk about yourself. And the topic of personal branding is often a misled discussion about how narcissistic it could be. But we are here to break the stereotype and correct the misconceptions about personal branding definition, personal branding examples, and personal branding strategy.
What is Personal Branding?
Your personal brand is all about you. You might think, “Duh, you think?” But, see, personal branding does not mean the ultimate self-brag fest that people usually associate with. Building your personal brand does not equate to advertising yourself like, say, a cellphone or piece of clothing. It is not about blowing one’s trumpet and gloating but rather it is about charging the batteries of your light and letting yourself shine. Your personal brand is the total of your skills, your talents, your personality, your experiences, and your points of view. A personal branding strategy is not like putting products on display in the hopes that someone would take notice of it and buy it. What is a personal brand if it does not connect with people? That’s the point that people had been missing about personal branding. You are not marketing yourself, you are standing in front of the crowd and showing them your most authentic self.
Your personal brand helps you to reach out and connect with more people. The genuine representation that you show the world would allow you to be presented with the right opportunities and help you get the roles that are best suited for you. It isn’t about packaging yourself - wrapping yourself up in a shiny gold wrapper with a perfectly tied ribbon on top. It is about presenting yourself as a person outside of just your job and/or career. Your personal brand helps you introduce yourself in the best way possible.
Similar to how there are perks to being the “Prom King and Queen” in high school, having a personal brand that sticks with multitudes of people also gives you certain benefits. It helps to be known in the industry. The growth of your personal brand makes you an influencer. It allows you to communicate more fearlessly with your audience. It helps you easily move them and lead them. Your actions and/or inactions can impact your own decisions. Therefore having a personal brand is so important.
This website is one of the many personal branding examples you would find online. Quinnton Harris is a photographer and designer and has now co-founded a company called Retrospect with his fellow Black American colleagues. His personal website is designed so that each section has its background image. He does this by telling his story. In each section of his website, his personal brand grows. He talks not only about his profession and his career but also his family, his passion, his philosophy in life, and his commitment to the heritage that he has inherited. By the end of this website, he has strategically placed a sign-up section wherein you can type in your email and subscribe to his newsletter. And because of what his site visitors read about him, his heart, and his mind, they would be more inclined to subscribe and follow him.
This is the role of personal branding to your business. A well-thought-of and carefully executed personal branding strategy connects with your customers. Your business grows with your personal brand. Your target market does not see just a source and site for transactions anymore, they will relate with you and realize that you are a person, just like them. You can build a better rapport with them and establish a more trustworthy relationship. This is what building your personal brand does for your business. Therefore it is important to know how to present yourself in a way that best resonates with your customers.
Up Your Personal Branding Strategy
• You Are An Author
Know the difference between marketing your products and promoting your personal brand. Remember that for your personal brand, you like the author of your biography. Personal branding examples tell a story. They do not advertise themselves in a way that you would inanimate objects and products. Your personal brand should speak volumes about who you are. Remember that you are not meant to describe just how you look and what you can do. Tell your personal story. Write about what makes you happy and sad, what motivates you, what inspires you, what gets you down, and then back up again. You are an author, not a salesperson, when it comes to your personal brand. Do well to remember that as you develop your brand.
• Be “Dressed To Kill”
This expression is usually used to describe how people arrive at a certain event dressed to stand out and turn heads. Wearing the most fashionable clothes is the best way to enter an environment and attract attention. You come in with the desire to impress the people around you so that they would be more likely to lend their ears to you. This is a similar ideal that applies to building your personal brand. When you represent yourself, you’d want to make a splash. Look within you and find the unique qualities that you can use for you to stand out. Describe these qualities well and try to highlight what you think would sit best with your target audience. Don’t be afraid to elaborate on qualities that are more “human” and more relatable - your hobbies, volunteer work you’ve done, your ambitions, and your inspiration. The head-turners in the party are usually those that know what type of clothing stresses their personal brand and all their most beautiful features.
• Each Page Matters
Take a look at this Strikingly User’s Website. His homepage immediately gives us a sense of who he is and what he offers. In addition, he has added multiple pages to his site according to different categories that describe what kind of person he is and what kind of work he does. If you go to his site, you would see that clicking and going to each one of these pages brings you a step closer to him, which he hopes would lead to a firm handshake confirming a newfound partnership. This is vital to building your personal brand. Post with purpose. Everything you do and put online reflects on you and your brand. Develop a mindset of defining the “why” of your actions. Consider how your decisions and posts could help your personal brand. Your personal branding strategy has to be grounded by a purpose - the same purpose you set for yourself when you introduced your brand to the world.
What makes a personal brand different from a product or service brand is that you are a person. You can make genuine connections. You have the skill and even inclination to make friends. And in the business, having friends to support you is about one of the best things that you can use in your personal branding strategy. See, if you have friends that are similarly trying to groom their personal brand, or better yet, already have an established and known personal brand, you can help each other immensely. You can easily promote each other’s brands. You can inject yourselves into the audience of one another. You widen your reach and you don’t even have to do it at much cost because of the genuine connections you have formed. When you have each other's backs, you help one another and grow together.
• Tweet, Post, Add To Story!
Everyone is very active on different social media platforms. Each time you reload your timeline and/or your feed, thousands of posts have been added within the second. While not everyone is trying to build a personal brand, almost everyone is inclined to post and update as if they were. That’s why you need to create a personal branding strategy that will help you stand out from the common crowd. You need to use the constant movement and activity in these social media platforms to your advantage. Use these platforms to interact with more people. Allow them to see you as frequently as you can manage. Share what you can. But don’t forget that you should do so with purpose. Each post, story, tweet, and interaction must serve your personal brand well.
• A Website Is Your Crowning Glory
Image Taken From Strikingly Product
Ultimately, your own personal brand would benefit and grow the most when you have your own personal website. It is a stable asset to have in your personal branding strategy. A personal website is the home of your online presence. This is where you can lead your social media followers for them to know you better. Your website can hold photos and videos that highlight your brand and, in addition, your business endeavors. It can be a way for you to showcase your story and all that you can do. It is also good for your personal brand if you can put in simple blog posts on your site. Your audience will be interested in reading about you and your insights. If done right, your personal website can help you establish your personal brand in the best way possible and help you connect with the right people for the best opportunities.
Your personal brand is one of the most important things that you can do for yourself - personally and professionally. When you open yourself up to the world, the world also opens thousands of doors of opportunity. You know how they say that “To know is to love”. Allow yourself to be known and help them see why they would love to partner and work with you. Sign up with Strikingly and let us help you express yourself bravely and conquer the world!