Personal branding has been a trending topic since 2008. It has become a common suggestion to start a personal brand to grow your business and get a higher paid job. But let's be honest, it's not the right thing for everyone.
Is personal branding the right thing for you? How do you know if a personal branding is the right thing for you to do? I know that having a great relatable story is really important. Personal branding is not 100 percent about you. It is about the people. But the unique selling proposition of your personal brand is you. So you need to have a story that benefits other people.
I'm building my personal brand around the idea that I built my business while studying dentistry at university. Naturally building my personal brand and having almost no time while at school, people kept asking me about what I was doing.
I found that a lot of people were interested in hearing about my story and decided to write the story of what was happening with my new business. If you can benefit other people with your story, you have a responsibility to share it. The writing I was working on became my first Entrepreneur post, and it gained a lot of traction.
There are signs that made me start thinking about building my personal brand. If you see these signs, then you should by all means start your personal brand. How do you recognize the first sign?
1. You are genuine about helping people.
Personal branding is not 100 percent about you. It's about the people you serve. You need to be genuine about helping other people. If you are not genuine, why would people follow you? It seems that most people love to associate with other people, not just these big corporate companies who don't care about them.
You need to position yourself as a genuine person who cares about other people. If you are not genuine about helping others, then personal branding is probably not for you.
2. You think long term, not short term.
Building a personal brand will yield you nearly no results in the short term. It takes time to build your audience and your brand. You won't gain any of the benefits of personal branding untill you have a good following. You may also begin at first with a process that is not scaleable and that has no value in the short run. You work with that and you will be able to grow your personal brand.
If you are all about the short term -- personal branding is probably not for you. But if you think and work toward the long term, this may be the best time investment you will ever have.
Related: 5 Steps to Build Your Personal Brand
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After you have worked on your personal branding for some time it will begin to pay off. You will start to find that If you want a job you will be able to have it. You may decide that you want to write a book and publishers will be begging to publish your book.
3. Other opportunities start to appear.
Other opportunities will start to pop-up. If you decide you want to start a coaching business, you will have worked on your personal branding long enough that you will always be booked up months in advance.
You won't see these benefits come about in the short run. But when you have put in the time and the effort -- in the long run -- you'll see that every minute was worth it.
4. You constantly take action -- and have the time to do it.
As I said, personal branding is a long-term strategy and you need to be genuine about helping people. You will need to constantly be taking action to build your brand and genuinely help other people. But you will need to have the time to do the work of building your personal brand.
You need to free up your bucket list and start being more careful with your time. The most important thing to do when building your brand is to work on it, learn all you can about branding and follow the suggestions you learn about. Check out my checklist to help you get 300 percent more done.
But if your plate is so full that you can't have 15-20 hours, at least, every week to spend growing your brand, then you need to think about something else.
5. You are a leader
Actually being a leader is a very important criteria. Personal branding is a leadership role. You are building a tribe, not a crowd, around your brand. As Seth Godin says it, "A crowd is a tribe without a leader."
If you want to have a tribe, you need to be a leader and you will want to lead your tribe. Everyone can lead but we are trained not to do so. If you think that you can't be a leader, then don't create a personal brand.
The internet needs more enterprising individuals, not faceless corporations.
If you think you have the criteria to build your personal brand, then you need to take action and start building it. Seth Godin said it best, "The web can do amazing things but it can’t provide leadership. That has to come from individuals with passion." If you are that person with that passion and drive, you need to start leading now, and build your own personal brand.