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8 Self-Branding Secrets To Build Genuine Connection and Set Yourself Apart Following these eight practices is essential for a personal brand and to set yourself apart to survive in today's increasingly individualistic society.

By Erica McMillan Edited by Micah Zimmerman

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

To promote oneself, a fraction of healthy narcissistic tendencies combined with self-assurance goes a long way. On the other hand, connecting with others calls for qualities like humility, kindness and trust. If you are wondering how to find the sweet spot between these two strategies to build a powerful personal brand, here are some golden rules of self-branding for you.

1. Communicate your message's worth

Communicating the value you provide is a terrific approach to staying connected with others. However, you must highlight your strengths and contributions consistently at every interaction. Consistent messages conveyed at appropriate intervals while adding value to your audience are essential to establishing a solid personal brand. Remind your audience of who you are and what you can do for them.

Related: 10 Secrets to Master Your Personal Brand

2. Maintain a firm grasp on your identity and principles

Creating a successful brand necessitates striking a delicate balance between empathizing with and catering to your target audience while staying true to your values. The greatest way to establish a reputation is to be unwavering in your commitment to your core values while remaining flexible where necessary. The goal should always be to develop an approachable reputation by being reliable, self-aware, outspoken and interactive. Remember, no one likes braggers, so stay humble and stick to your principles to build a successful personal brand.

3. Keep your compassion and credibility high

False or overly romanticized portrayals of oneself and other misrepresentations will doom any attempt at building a successful personal brand. To win over your listeners, you need to demonstrate that you care about them and know what you're talking about. A little compassion can go a long way. On the other hand, credibility helps build trust.

4. Look for ways to add value and help others

Providing value to your audience should be a top priority when creating a self-brand. You can help others by providing wisdom and anecdotes from your own experiences. Compared to bland self-promotion, anecdotes from one's life tend to stick in mind for much longer. Create a story that people will want to read. Create content that caters to the specific needs of your audience and not just the search engine spiders. Remember that you are interacting with actual individuals, not just numbers.

5. Focus your attention on the benefit of your audience

Everyone, including your audience, should benefit from self-branding. If you want people to buy your product, donate to your cause, or otherwise take action, you need to show them how doing so will benefit them. Exude confidence in your product and service but also show genuine concern for your customers' well-being. Take a publicity approach that focuses on your audience and benefits the readers to satiate their "what's in it for me?" concerns.

Related: 3 Reasons Your Audience Isn't Buying From You (Even If They Love You)

6. Respect yourself and those around you

Genuine brands are built on a foundation of self-respect and respect for others. Respect for oneself and others can be seen in recognizing and accepting one's talents and faults and offering perspectives without judgment. The implementation of this proposal relies on changing the focus of all communication from judgmental to collaborative. Don't work for the audience; instead, work with them.

7. Stay grounded as you showcase your product or services

Promoting oneself as a means of demonstrating one's confidence in one's own brand and genuine interaction as a means of developing rapport with one's target audience is a very helpful perspective to adopt. However, it's easy to get misled and start thinking too highly of ourselves. This self-branding mistake can harm your brand. So, embrace humility and kindness as you create rapport with your audience.

Related: Why Staying Grounded as a Founder is More Important Than Raising Capital

8. Encourage the genuineness of your personal brand

Experts, like everyone else, fall somewhere on the narcissistic spectrum. The good news is that narcissism grounded in healthy self-love and genuine accomplishment can pave the way to new opportunities. If you want to make an impact that lasts, emphasize the genuineness of your personal brand. Show your audience that you are an influential person whose concerns extend beyond themselves.

The bottom line: personal branding will take you a long way

Businesses face competition. However, personal brands do not simply because they are unique. Other individuals and businesses may sell comparable goods and services, but they are not you. This is why personal branding is so effective. When you create a personal brand, you identify yourself against your competition.

Self-branding is an ongoing process that never ends. In many ways, creating a personal brand is considerably bigger than building a business. Work with expert PR specialists or follow the above guidelines to make your personal brand attractive, distinctive and approachable.

Erica McMillan

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Serial Entrepreneur, Online Visibility Strategist, Artist

Erica McMillan is a 10-time Founder, CEO, Serial Business Entrepreneur, Contemporary Artist, a member of the Forbes Business Council, Publicist, modern-Marketing Brand Consultant, Online Visibility Strategist and founder of the largest invitation-only private media relations network.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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