ExecutiveChronicles | Personal Branding Basics: 5 Tips to Help You Develop Your Personal Brand | Whether you provide the finest eco-friendly footwear in LA or the best cosmetic tattooing Melbourne has to offer, people won’t see you for the shining star you are if your personal branding isn’t on point.
Many creative business owners and freelancers have reservations about mixing their identity with their branding. However, there are ways to go about personal branding that are genuine, effective, and non-intrusive. Let’s take a look at five of the best strategies for developing your personal brand.
1. Know yourself
If you don’t have a clear understanding of who you are, what you stand for, what you love, and what you want to contribute to the world, your personal branding will be unclear and uncompelling.
In many ways, this is the toughest step on your path to developing your personal brand, but don’t panic. Instead, take your time, enjoy some long contemplative walks, start journaling, chat to friends and family about how they see you, and really get to know yourself.
2. How do you want to be perceived?
Once you’ve gained a clear picture of who you are and how people see you now, it’s time to consider how that compares to the person you want to be. The picture you’re painting as you do this will guide you through the personal branding process.
If there’s a gap between who you are now and how you’d like to project yourself, that’s not a bad thing! By clearly outlining these factors, you can create a plan for becoming the person you wish to be. This journey and its destination will be essential contributing factors to your personal brand.
3. Know your audience
It’s essential to know yourself if you want to develop strong personal branding, but you must also know the people to whom you’ll be connecting. This step is about more than just demographic markers. It’s essential to engage with your audience on social media and in real life so that you can learn about what they value and how best to communicate with them.
4. Learn to be a storyteller
Human civilization is built on stories, so no matter what industry you’re in, the ability to weave an engaging tale will serve you well. Good stories go viral, and virality is one heck of a free personal branding tool.
Take, for example, A’Ziah “Zola” King. In 2015, Zola told a story through a long series of Twitter posts that were so engaging it spread all over the world and stuck in people’s memories for years. By 2020, Zola had published her Tweets as a book, and there’s now a critically-acclaimed movie that retells her story.
5. Don’t let branding eat up your private time
One of the biggest issues with personal branding is the fact that it can leave you feeling like you’re never truly logged off. If everything you do on social media is part of your personal brand, then the edges of the workday can become incredibly fuzzy.
For this reason, it’s important to take time away from screens and to establish boundaries with yourself and your customers. Some people choose to have both private and public accounts. Others treat themselves to regular off-grid escapes. Find the path that’s right for you, and make sure your brand-building doesn’t leak into the sacred space of your downtime.
Follow the tips above, and you can develop a relatable personal brand that helps you connect with your audience without taking over your life.