Your personal brand is how you want to be perceived, whether that is online or in person. This is quite possibly one of the most important aspects of YOU that will determine whether you become a professional success or not. This is true whether you want to open up your own business or if you want to enter the job market and look for jobs.
Why do you need a personal brand?
It is almost 2020 now, face it, recruiters will google you! This is now a fact. How you present yourself online is something that is under scrutiny and it can and does determine whether you get an interview / the job or not. This includes all your social media accounts.
In this blog post we will look at the 4 questions you need to ask yourself to build a successful personal brand.
Question 1: What are my values?
I think this is the number one question. Your personal brand is a representation of YOU. Therefore, it is crucial you stand for something and you have a set of values and that you do not shy away from that. If you do not stand up for what you believe in, then you are not giving your audience any reason to follow you or be interested in you.
Your brand needs a story and this is the message you want to share with others. So, ensure it is clear and concise. Your audience must know exactly what they are getting with you. A useful tip here is to consciously choose 3 core values you want to portray to the people and then own it!
An extension of your values is your personality. This is closely linked to this question, so I will put it here. The colour theme and style you go with should be a representation of your personality and character. And remember to keep it consistent, so you are remembered.
Question 2: What am I good at?
Once you have your values down on paper, you need to discover your strengths. What are you good at? These strengths could have been developed through education, work experience or life experience. We are all good at something, the hard part is identifying that thing and then sharing it with the world.
A couple of things to bare in mind here. Firstly, be self-aware and know yourself. Just like you have to identify what you are good at, you also have to identify and know what you are not good at. Stay in your lane and be true to yourself. Do not try to do something you know you cannot or you are not good at.
Secondly, do not look at and compare yourself with others. A flaw one can easily fall into due to social media. Looking at your old successful classmate’s snaps will only cripple you and slow you down from achieving your dreams and working towards your own dreams.
Related: 8 steps for the perfect CV
Question 3: How do I convey this to the world?
This is where content comes in. Your goal here is to combine between the answers of questions one and two. Share your nuggets of knowledge to the world, while sticking to what you believe in. Ensure what you give them is truly beneficial and not just sharing for the sake of sharing. You want them to read, be engaged and then come back for more.
You might have heard the phrase “content is king”. Well, yes, basically it is. The more content you put out there on a consistent basis, the more others will notice you. You focus on creating valuable content and building a presence, the rest will just fall into place. Do not be one of those who write 4 blog posts or create 6 YouTube videos and then they complain about the lack of exposure and views they get. Patience is key here. You must put in the work and then be patient, the rewards will follow.
If you are good at writing, you should be blogging. If you are comfortable in front of the camera on video, you should definitely be using YouTube. If audio is more your thing, then you should have yourself a podcast. If you can do all three, then do all three! However, do so efficiently and smartly of course. Do not record three pieces of content. Have one content e.g. this blog post and then make it into written form (blog), video (YouTube) and audio (podcast). Easy right?
I have seen some argue or advise that you focus on one or two platforms and that way you give it your best. Which is true, but I do think if you can do the above and do it efficiently, then why not? As long as you are not wasting time on a platform which isn’t working for you, then carry on. If you did want to just focus on a limited number on platforms, focus on two. One to bring in engagement (short content e.g. Instagram or Pinterest) and the other to give value (long content e.g. a blog or YouTube channel).
Related: How to write a personal statement
Question 4: Who are my people?
You now know what you are going to say, but you need to know who you are going to say it to. So, it is crucial you know your audience and what they would be interested in receiving from you. Create content for a specific persona – their fears, desires, hobbies etc.
You also need to know where they are. Where can you find them? Which social media platform are they on the most? What kind of content do they prefer? All of this requires good research of course.
While creating content for your audience, do not forget question 1 and do not compromise as you lose value and respect.
A secret key to continued success is to engage with your audience. Not only during the early days when you only get one or two comments a month, but when you become more popular. Continue to respond to your audience and answer any queries or thank them for their support or nice words or even deal with complaints or criticism.
These are the four questions that you should keep in mind when building your personal brand. Answer these sufficiently and you will have yourself a successful and long-lasting brand.