10 Tips On Personal Branding For A Successful Career
The term personal branding is everywhere these days, but what does it really mean? Marketing yourself and your career as a brand isn’t that different from companies positioning products in a certain way to attract a particular audience.
You don't need to use copywriters or a consultant to discover your personal brand unless you're having an identity crisis, because your natural interests, looks, and personality are your brand.
You can establish an attractive, viable personal brand by determining the best aspects of your personal and professional life and using them to your advantage in marketing your projects.
The concept of a personal brand isn’t exclusive to the internet age. It was first popularized in the self-improvement book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, which was first published in 1937.
What are Your Unique Characteristics?
Think about your strengths and weaknesses. What draws people to you and your message? Is it your quirky sense of humor, fashion sense, or the analytical way you decipher the news stories of the day? Ask your friends or followers if you can’t come up with the right trait. Others often see our unique characteristics before we do.
Once you identify your strengths, play them up in photos, videos, and blogs without trying too hard. (Followers can always tell when you're "acting.") Capitalize on your quirks, mannerisms, looks or whatever else distinguishes you from the social media "pack."
People with a unique persona or brand are easy to describe. Your followers, and even some people who've heard of you second-hand will have no problem recognizing you from a quick glance or even a verbal mention if you have an identifiable characteristic.
People love to jump on the latest bandwagon – it’s been that way through history and the 21st Century is no different. If someone else is successful with a certain modus operandi, others analyze it and imitate it. Analyzing other people’s success is helpful to a point, but imitating them is not.
Many businesses and personal websites strive to copy more successful websites in the mistaken belief that a carbon-copy of a popular website will rake in more money for them. Improving another company’s formula, or putting your own twist on it, will garner better results.
Most consumers are savvy enough to tell when a site or business blatantly imitates another, and won’t respond to the tactic.
The power of authenticity is demonstrated when a positively-charged news story or meme featuring a normal, everyday person will take the internet by storm. It seems odd that one of the best tips for personal branding comes to us by looking at people who don’t know and probably don’t care about having an internet presence.
Think about your experiences, personality, unique characteristics, and the messages you want to convey. All your natural selling points combine to make you authentic.
Popular, feel-good news stories are linked to authentic people who are doing what they want to do, without worrying about following trends or imitating someone else. You can learn a valuable tip from these folks. Be yourself. Be authentic.
Use Subtle Touches to Distinguish Yourself
If you feel your authentic persona isn’t interesting enough to get noticed among the blizzard of internet content, you don’t need to become an “impostor” and put on a brand new face. Instead, fine-tune one aspect of your personality.
Your brand includes more than your website, blog or social media. It extends to your laughter, the way you wear your clothes, what you eat and everything else about you. If you like finding great vegetarian restaurants in your city, you can use that as a focus on your website or YouTube channel.
Don't overlook any aspect of your personality when searching for your personal brand. Once you decide what your brand should be, make sure it's consistent across your blog, website, and social media platforms. Have the same message and look on YouTube as you do on Facebook.
A consistent image everywhere on the internet (and in real-life) will attract the right audience and increase your visibility.
Start an Email Newsletter
Set up an email newsletter for readers of your blog, website or social media. Invite readers to subscribe to your email list. (Never add anyone without their consent.) People who take the time out to join your email list are more likely to be receptive to your promotions and sales.
Email mail subscribers are part of an exclusive club. Treat them like your exclusive fan club, and offer them the first chance to buy a painting you've done before you post the photo of it on your website or a discount on an online seminar or class you are teaching. Some popular email list services include MailChimp, Constant Content and aWeber.
Share What You Know
Share your expertise online and offline through your blog, seminars, YouTube videos and social media posts. Combine your one-of-a-kind characteristics with a tutorial, and you get lots of clicks, fans, and followers. It makes sense that tutorials, Q and A's, educational, unboxing and review videos get some of the most views on YouTube.
People want to learn more about hobbies, products, cosmetics and everyday activities. If you use your knowledge and a distinctive personal brand to deliver the information, you'll attract new fans/customers.
Build a Personal Website
The online branding world may seem like it’s based entirely on social media, but you need a place on the net that’s truly your own to shine. If you don’t have a personal website, you should build one immediately, preferably with your own domain name.
You can include as much or as little as you want on your website, and make your own rules. You won't share space with other influencers and their posts, or be subject to the ever-changing whims of Facebook or Instagram.
Your website is all about you. Any projects you're working on, plus your photos, videos, and tutorials are all in one place. Include a contact form so investors, bloggers and other influencers can contact you.
Use Your Personal Brand To Help You Get a Job
Hiring managers use LinkedIn and other social media platforms to learn about job candidates. If you have a compelling personal brand and present yourself in a favorable and productive manner, you'll get more interviews and job offers from social media.
Companies often post their job openings on Twitter before placing them on job sites, and 66 percent of hiring managers use Facebook to learn more about candidates. Use your Twitter and Facebook for more than cat videos if you want to get a good job.
If you post blogs about your chosen field on LinkedIn or instructional videos on Instagram or YouTube, employers will be more likely to hire you than a person with a similar work history and no online presence or social media profiles without authoritative posts.
Your Brand is Just as Important Offline as Online
It's easy for everyone, even introverts, to post engaging content on the internet or make a YouTube video in the privacy of their home. But your personal brand is a 24-hour job, and as long as you're authentic, you can project the same personality in-person as you do offline.
If people recognize you from your videos or the photos on your Instagram, that’s a great starting point for a conversation at a seminar. You’ll have an easier time connecting with people in person if you have a vibrant online personal brand.
Meeting a key influencer in person is one of the best ways to establish a strong business connection that will benefit your bottom line. Remember to bring business cards to conferences. Cards won't get lost or deleted in a flood of a thousand emails, though they may lie forgotten in a wallet or purse for a while.
Post Regularly on Social Media or Your Blog
We all have times when health, work or financial issues take us away from social media, but it's important to keep up your posts on a daily or at least weekly, basis, so followers don't forget about you.
If you know you won't have enough time on a certain day, you can prepare posts or blog in advance and set them up for posting on a particular day. It's easier for people to click away to another distraction on the internet if they see you haven't posted in a few weeks or months.
A Power Personal Brand Saves You Time
When you have a consistent and powerful personal brand, opportunities will come to you. Influencers, fans, potential customers, and employers will be able to find you through your blog or social media. You won't need to waste time chasing opportunity – it will come to you.
Check your emails, blog comments and replies to social media posts daily to make sure you don't miss any important contacts. If you get more correspondence than you can handle, consider hiring a virtual assistant for a few hours a week.
A powerful personal brand will attract more followers, comments, and likes on your social media profiles. Many of your connections will turn into customers, associates or real-life friends. Put a bit of thought into your personal branding, and watch your internet and offline popularity increase.