The branding industry has evolved considerably in recent times and is now more than just a must-have service for established companies. Whether you’re at the helm of a fledgling business, a full-time freelancer or looking at network growth opportunities, you’ll be keen on building your own brand, and for good reason.
The power of the personal brand is a mighty thing. According to a study from IBM, 71% of CEO’s believe human capital is key source of economic value and that’s a staggering statistic. In the words of Malcolm Forbes: “Too many people overvalue what they are not, and undervalue what they are.”
Though you probably already have a personal brand, it’s likely you haven’t taken the time and effort to cultivate it as a true expression of yourself and your specific skill-set offering.
That’s where the branding experts come in. Here are a few tips from me on building your personal brand:
1. Create an authentic self-brand
It’s important to remember that at the core of any successful business, is the ability to connect; be it with customers, shareholders, or the market in general. People connect with real, believable concepts, so work on building your brand around authentic principles representative of who you are, your areas of market expertise and your key offerings. Authenticity will not only ensure consistency of image, but also help you connect with your customers and give you an advantage over the competition.
2. Develop yourself as a brand
Building your brand involves a myriad of activities ranging from representation across multiple forums within your business arena, to speaking engagements, maintaining a strong online presence, managing feedback and more. Strong branding plays an essential role in differentiating a brand from the market, so the right mix of elements in this regard is essential. An example of this is YouTube sensation Bethany Motha, who started a fashion oriented channel in 2009 and by 2014, her videos hit over 209 million views.
3. Live online
An industry report by Social Media Examiner stated that 85% of all marketers indicated that social media efforts have generated exposure for their businesses. We live in a social age, with an audience who are continually learning about brand offerings, sharing and developing opinions, comparing products and more. Creating a strong online presence, be it a website, blog or across social media channels, makes you accessible and accountable to your market at all times.
4. Strive for excellence
Once you’ve identified your brand, what it stands for and your field of choice- perfect it. Learn and share all you can so your audience identifies you as an expert and trusts your opinions and offerings. This not only gives you market exposure, but also establishes you as a thought leader. Things are constantly changing, so it’s necessary to stay abreast of the latest trends and developments in the industry– keep learning.