The attention span of an average adult is from 7 to 12 seconds. Is your personal brand strong enough to capture someone’s interest in that limited period of time? Personal branding is relevant to a large section of our society from students, employees, to entrepreneurs and business owners. While entrepreneurs and business owners are the face behind their brand, employees seek to influence in their professional network. A common goal unites both groups: the final goal is influences marketing to create and sell your personal story though an authentic story telling. Female Techpreneur brings you useful tips for both groups.
Personal Branding For Employees
The following steps are vital to develop a successful personal branding:
- evaluate your current branding
- determine your dream personal branding
- set clear smart goals to reach your dream personal branding
- identify your target audience
- focus on active networking
- benefit from social media platforms
Let us first focus on employees. Your personal branding presents your strengths and unique values. The strategy is based on the belief that we can actively create our reputation before letting others define it based on their judgement. You have power over how others see you and personal branding will help you define yourself before others do it for you. What can people expect from you? How do you make people feel? According to Lida Citroën, these are the key questions on how to take informed choices and create your own personal branding.
Begin with defining your current brand. How you are perceived by others? After assessing your current reputation, think about how would you like others remember you. State clearly the end goal of your desired personal brand: how do you want to be remembered, how do you want to make people feel, what do you stand for, do you let others know your real self? If you set these goals, you are on the right path to live and to make choices to meet the desired reputation.
Once you have assessed your current brand and your desired brand, it is essential to create a strategy how to reach your desired branding. Metrics such as vision board with smart goals will help you to measure success. You might want to set goals such as raising hand and speaking in meetings, networking with colleagues or watching a football match to join a conversation with your manager.
The second step is to identify your target audience. Connect with decision makers, information sources with industry information and insight, and with supporters of your cause. Consider targeting your current colleagues and employees from other companies as well as employers and recruiters. This will prepare you for a possible career advancement with a different company. Think outside of the box and connect with relevant people outside of your field of expertise. The job market is ever-changing and people normally change their career paths up to 5 times in their life. By networking outside of your field and industry, you are already building a network in different fields you might be interested in in the future.
Having identified your target audience, aim to fulfil their functional and emotional needs. While education and experience will satisfy the fictional needs, focus on your behaviour, feelings you create for others and your character to emotionally connect with the community. Specific industries might highly value different feelings such as collaboration, trust or safety. You can then use buzz words from your desired community to be attractive for this audience.
To increase the exposure of your personal brand, intentional networking with a strategy is a key. They base networking on reciprocal relationships. Three elements will help you to establish a stable and loyal network:
- be a resource of information and opportunities
- stay actively in touch with your network
- be genuine, so that people will want to experience your journey with you
Social media became a vital platform to create and develop your personal branding. Remember that your online and in person behaviour should be consistent. Therefore, your online reputation ideally mirrors your in-person reputation. Stay genuine in the online world by choosing an appropriate tone, images and content of the image you want to convey and which matches your personality. The key to a successful personal branding is authenticity. Present your unique style and image. Your virtual persona should look like you. Body language is particulate important because non-verbal communication is shown in your photographs. Therefore, your posture, position of hands and smile alongside with clothes give your audience the first impression of you.
Remember that despite your privacy settings, your shared content is public. Post publicly only content that you are happy to discuss with your potential recruiter, who is likely to see it. Avoid grammar mistakes and post consistency.
The platforms you use depend on the targeted audience and tailor the content you share according to the used social media channel. While LinkedIn is a professional network appropriate for posting articles and joining relevant groups, Instagram can showcase your creative skills and Facebook is more suitable for your personal content. Let others know you by engaging and participating in a conversation. Create a personal picture of yourself by sharing your values, interests and passions.
Personal Branding For Entrepreneurs and Business Owners
Chelsea Krost defines a personal brand as the complete extension of who you are and what you stand for. Ask yourself the following questions: What am I passionate about? Include both personal and professional passions. This approach will increase your authenticity. What am I good at? What makes me credible? Set a strategy to brand yourself before others do it for you by sharing your success stories, defining what do you want to be known for and becoming a recognised authority. All these goals need to be backed up with experience and education.
What are your personal brand goals? Personal branding for entrepreneurs and business owners is essential to create a face behind their brand. A successful personal branding could increase awareness of your company, grow your network, leverage media and collaborations, monetise your digital presence and help to find speaking or publishing deals.
The successful personal branding equals storytelling. According to Chelsea Krost, storytelling is based on 3 Cs:
- Character: tell your audience who you are and give them background details of your situation
- Conflict: become personal and vulnerable by describing a situation to which your target audience relates
- Conclusion: present your result with the Aha moment
Your expertise and gained knowledge should be clearly stated in your story telling. It should become obvious that you know how you can help others to achieve this and how you are the solution. How you present your conflict determines how memorable and trusted you will become.
The next step is to define your target market. Begin with an analysis of your current customers Do you know what are their characteristic and interests? Look for patterns that will help to create your marketing messaging.
It is vital to know your product and service. State clearly what value you provide for your clients. In what form do you share your expertise: consider an ebook, workshop or a 1:1 networking. Ask yourself what is the driving demand for your service, what results will your service or product create, for what cost, what objections can someone have, who are your competitors and what is their audience.
As the final step, create buyers’ person focused on their age, location, gender, income, education level, marital or family status, occupation and on personality, values, hobbies, lifestyle. Determine where is your audience on social media. Be where your audience is.
Content marketing is an essential tool to attract and retain valuable audience. It is beneficial to build a content marketing framework. Set an objective, the audience, the brand story and roll out the content strategy. You might want to be in charge or to outsource this part of your business. Finally, measure your results with Buffer or Hootsuite.
Consequently, create a content calendar prepared for a month. The content should be specific for this month and reflect industry events, holidays and the season. Determine a content format for each post. Track the consumer journey from awareness, consideration, purchase, retention, to advocacy. Remember that personal branding on social media needs hard work, persistence and patience. Give yourself 3 – 6 month trial period before assessing your overall success.
To build a strong presence on social media, chose wisely an easy to remember name, logo, signature hashtag, biographic details and photography. These elements should mark your consistent presence across social media platforms. Post on a regular basis and social media analytics tools such as Buffer or Hootsuite. Furthermore, follow the 80 to 20 rule. Dedicate 80 % of your content to engage your community and 20 % to the promotion of your products and services.
Think about Livestream video content. People like behind-the-scenes insight to your business such as brainstorming sessions or your keynote speech preparation. This will help you to be more authentic and relatable.
If you successfully build your personal branding, you might want to monetise your efforts. It is necessary to gain expertise before you offer it as a service. Continue offering a free value-driven content to raise brand awareness. Monetisation is based on your loyal online community, which you will gain by sharing a valuable content for like-minded people.
Chelsea Krost, Learning Personal Branding.
Lida Citroën, Creating Your Personal Brand.
Goldie Chan, 10 Golden Rules of Personal Branding.
Karen Kang, Branding Pays (Brandingpays Media, 2013).
Erik Deckers, Kyle Lacy, Branding Yourself (Que Publishing, 2017).
Dorie Clark, Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future (Harvard Business Review Press, 2017).
Donald Miller, Building a Story Brand: Clarify Your Message so Customers Will Listen (Thomas Nelson, 2017).
Quotes to be used in social media posts
Lida Citroën: ‘to build credibility means values plus action equals credibility’
Chelsea Krost: ‘personal branding is based on creativity and data analysis’
Donald Miller, Building a Story Brand: ‘Clarify Your Message so Customers Will Listen: In every line of copy we write, we’re either serving the customer’s story or descending into confusion; we’re either making music or making noise.’
Oprah Winfrey: ‘The difference between “Who you are?” and “Thank you for being here” in your career.’
The Ikigai concept: https://www.marieclaire.co.uk/life/ikigai-japanese-philosophy-531307