We all know about business branding, but perhaps the term ‘personal branding’ is new to you.
Think of your personal branding as your public image, the face that you present to the world. What is it that you represent? What does your name stand for? Your personal brand is what you, personally, are known for and the impression that people have of you.
You create your brand through a manner in which you present and conduct yourself, how you communicate with your audience (or target market), your behaviour, and the attitudes you hold. The way that your skills, experience, and personality come together in a way that is uniquely you to make you stand out from other people.
You may be familiar with the term “staying on-brand”. It’s not just for companies and business. Influencers and celebrities are great examples of individuals who have their own personal brand. Their interactions and social media content, along with the media’s depiction of them, and information available about them on the internet all come together to portray them in a certain way. It constructs their personal brand.
You don’t have to be famous or have a big following on social media to start working on your personal branding. What you probably don’t realise is that you already have a brand. It’s the way your friends, family and colleagues perceive you. Do people always come to you for help or advice, always laugh at your jokes, or tell you that you’re a hard worker? That’s part of your branding.
Developing your branding is an ongoing process, growing your reputation and maintaining the desired impression on your audience. You can let this process take place organically and let people form their own opinions on whatever you put out there. However, this can be more than a little chaotic. If you have a desired image in mind or something in particular you want to be known for; then it’s better if you take an active and deliberate part in shaping your personal brand.
Your brand can be whatever you want it to be, but it’s best if it’s something that clicks with you, or some aspect of it that you exhibit naturally. The less you have to work at it, the easier it will be to maintain, and the more genuine your connection with your audience will be.