What is Personal Branding?

As seen on FanDate October 15th.

What exactly is Personal Branding?

Personal branding is based on the principle of how other people experience who you are and what you represent through their relationship with you, whether it is personal, professional, or on social media. Now that I have laid it out there like that, I want you to ask yourself this:

Are people picking up what you're throwing down?

In other words, is the person you think you are putting out there in your relationships actually the person that people are seeing? Let's start by looking at it from a career standpoint. If you are an employee and you are trying to "prove yourself" or work your way up the corporate ladder, what types of qualities do you think your boss is looking for in order to help you achieve your goals? How do you think your co-workers are experiencing working with you? Do you come across as someone who is focused on competition and self promotion? Or do you present yourself as someone who is committed to promoting yourself through the way you help the people around you? If career advancement is your goal, imagine the type of leader you would want to work for. Now take a look at what it would be like to work for the leader who is focused on self promotion versus the leader who is focused on helping others succeed. Which of those two leaders matches the ideal leader you just imagined? I want you to revisit my initial question about the types of qualities you think your boss is looking for, have your answers changed after thinking about role modeling the behavior of your ideal leader?

“You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they what they want," Zig Ziglar.

How do I create my brand?

First, you need to take a look at the brand you have already created. A personal brand is not something we just create because now we know what it is. We have already created it even if we didn't know we were doing it. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help identify what your brand currently is:

  1. What is it that makes you who you are?
  2. What key moments in your life have helped you become this person?
  3. What are your hobbies?
  4. What is important to you?
  5. What motivates and inspires you?
  6. What careers and industries have you worked in?
  7. What role(s) do you fill in your personal life?

Another great way to see how other people are experiencing you is to ask them what 3 things come to mind when they think of you. This can be a little bit scary if you aren't sure how people are perceiving your intentions, but in order to perfect your personal brand you must be open to constructive criticism so you can grow. Hearing how other people see your brand will also give you an idea of how far off your perception of your brand is from reality.

Can you re-brand yourself?

Absolutely! There is no law that says once you become a certain "brand" you have to always be that way. For example, let's take a look at Starbucks. I know Starbucks is a major company and not a personal brand, but if they can change their logo and still be as successful as they are then so can you! Some other companies that have changed their branding include SnapChat, Apple, Pepsi, Nike, Best Buy, Nintendo, IBM, and AOL. If you are finding that the person you think you are is not aligned with the person people perceive you to be then you might want to consider re-branding yourself to become the person that you think you are.

How do I show people my personal brand on Social Media?

  1. Be Consistent. Make a list of the parts of your personal brand that you want to share with the world and then be sure that you are posting about those things.
  2. Be Yourself. Who are you when you are with your closest friends? What are you passionate about? What comes naturally to you? What makes you different? This is not about conforming to what everyone else is posting about, or if you are on social media for your business it is not about making your business look the same as everyone else in the market.
  3. Be Personable. Connect with people. What can you do/post about that will bring people together instead of driving people apart? If you want to surround yourself with like-minded people then you have to put yourself out there so that you attract more people like you.
  4. Be Memorable. Tell your story in a way that is captivating so that people want to know more and can't wait to find out what happens next. Be sure to remember why you set out to do whatever it is that you are doing and make your "why" or your purpose a part of your story.

What can I do to get more engagement on my posts on Social Media?

Two words: add value. If you are using Social Media platforms to market your business then you have to consider how your target client is experiencing you. Before you just start posting a ton of random content, ask yourself a few questions.

  1. Are you putting thought into your posts?
  2. Are your posts providing valuable information (not valuable to you, but valuable to your clients)?
  3. Are your posts entertaining? People love to laugh!
  4. Are your posts interesting to your target client?

Even though you may have heard that Social Media platforms follow a specific algorithm that you have to engage in order to be seen, you will be doing yourself a disservice if you use Social Media for quantity over quality. If your posts start to look like spam, people are going to scroll right past it like it's an ad.

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