When it comes to Branding, we often relate ourselves to products and services. Almost all marketing classes teach us about what a good brand is like, about brand equity, about building a strong brand image, brand positioning, etc. (Probably you know Kotler better than me!)
But in this fast-changing world of information and communication, Y-O-U should have your Self-Identity, and it is paramount to brand ourselves. If I were to explain you in simple terms, Personal Branding is the process by which we market ourselves to others. It’s about who you are, what you do, what you say, how you present yourself, your gestures, your personality, all these elements communicate your brand to those you interact with and how they perceive you
Many people think that personal branding is simply for celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan or Virat Kholi, yet each and every one of us is a Brand. Whether you know it or not, you already have a Personal Brand. It’s up to you how well you manage it. As a brand, we can apply the same strategies that make these celebrities or corporate brands appeal to others.
“Your smile is your logo, your personality is your business card, how you leave others feeling after an experience with you becomes your trademark”.
– Jay Danzie
Having a strong personal brand of our own is an important asset. Creating your own brand at a young age and building it over the years, is one of the best investments you can make today. So, here are a few ways to build your Personal Brand and stand out from the crowd:
Know yourself & Define your Purpose
Take a moment and ask yourself, ‘What do you want to be known for?’ Exploring your thoughts about your purpose will help set you on the right path early in life. It’s pretty difficult task, but an important one to explore.
Have a clear look at yourself. Figure out what is best for you. Find out what makes you distinct. In marketing term, find your own Unique Selling Proposition – Be unique. Don’t create a brand that’s just like everyone else’s.
At the same time, you should remember that you don’t fake in front of others. If you try to be someone else, it won’t last, and it will eventually ruin your brand altogether.
Your personal brand is everywhere online. It is important that the right people see right things about you. Check what people see. Google your name and see what comes up. Do your profiles look professional and is there consistency across them?
For example, Apple is a strong brand that has attracted new customers by breaking standards and reaching higher levels of innovation. If you type the word “Apple” in Google, the first thing that comes up is Apple.com, not the definition or content of the actual fruit. That’s a remarkable accomplishment. The Apple brand has become a staple in its niche, and it will always be easy to find.
Social Media Platforms
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. It is best to have your presence available, updated and active on all the key sites. People will get to know who are based on your social updates and sharing.
One mistake a lot of individuals make is adding random people you don’t even know and might never come across in real life. Due to this, you will miss out on making real connections with like-minded people, which of course is the goal of your social media presence in the first place.
Connect well Individually
Your social media presence isn’t enough. You should be able to connect with people personally. You should have strong social and community ties. People should love your company. They will be more drawn towards you if you remain helpful and stay human. Most people will happily be human in return, regardless of who they are.
Blogging is probably the best way for in-depth, self-branding online. Sharing your opinions, knowledge and perspective through a blog is the easiest way to show people who you are.
If you don’t consider yourself a writer, think about taking pictures instead. Your Instagram profile could be known as your own picturesque blog. It can be as easy as using your Smartphone—no technical training required. Sometimes a picture truly can be worth 1,000 words.
Personal Branding is one of the most valuable tools for individuals in this 21st century. This is one thing that no one can take away from you, and it can follow you throughout your career. It’s a quintessential requirement that lets people know who you are and what you stand for. In short, it’s your new CV. But remember that Branding is not a one-shot deal, but an ongoing process and we must continuously invest in ourselves for a better tomorrow.
Edits by Asrar Parkar