By Tami Harris
Personal Branding. It seems to be the buzz phrase on everyone’s lips at the moment but what is it? What does it mean to you? How can it benefit you as a business owner, entrepreneur, or business professional? How do you build a brand? And finally, and perhaps most importantly, how do you sell, market or spread awareness of your brand? We’re going to break it down for you one piece at a time so without further delay, let’s dive right into a crash course on personal branding.
What is Personal Branding?
Forbes Magazine said it best when it defined personal branding by simply stating that “Personal Branding is how others perceive you.” More specifically though, it’s the continual process of molding and shaping what immediately comes to mind when others think of you and/or your business. It is so much bigger than a logo, business name or catchy tagline or catchphrase. It is the consistent messaging, the personality, the expertise and the story that is uniquely you; uniquely your business. It is the content, the vibe, the overall feel of the information that is put out into the world on behalf of you and/or your business. It is the outward packaging of your inward gifts.
Who is Personal Branding for?
A common misconception is that personal branding is a concept reserved for Big Business, Business Owners and especially these days, Social Media Influencers. That could not be further from the truth. The truth is, that like it or not, we all have a personal brand. Good, bad or somewhere in between, over time, we’ve all created a persona that immediately comes to mind when people think of us. So then the question worth asking is: What is your personal brand? Do others see you as a motivator? An example of healthy living? A religious or spiritual guide? An at-home chef? And if you do happen to be a Business Owner or Entrepreneur, what does your online branding say about your business or the services you offer? Does your professional persona portray you as an expert in your field? Does it scream professionalism or is it more of a laid back vibe? Whether for a business or an individual, branding is for everyone. In this article, we will, however, be focusing our efforts on personal branding for small business owners and entrepreneurs.
How can Personal Branding benefit you?
Simply put, the effort that you put into your personal branding can benefit you in one or two ways, and depending on your business model, both. Personal Branding can either increase your following or increase your income. These days, most entrepreneurs are going to seek the benefit of both and quite frankly, the two go hand in hand. The cycle goes something like this; More Followers equals more eyes on your social media content. More eyes on your social media content equals more content engagement. More content engagement equals more inquiries regarding your product or service and naturally, more inquiries will convert to more sales of your products and or use of your services.
So, how do you build a brand?
Let’s be clear; building a brand is only half the battle (and quite frankly, the easier half). Maintaining that brand is where the work really happens. Here are four steps to building your brand:
The fifth and final step toward building your brand?
Execute. You’ve got your name, likeness, logo, products and services all figured out. You know who your audience is (or who you want them to be), and now you just have to go out, and make it happen. Be patient in building your brand organically. Be consistent in both your work ethic and personality. And remember who your audience is, why you want to serve them and why you began this journey to begin with. Best of luck as you build your personal brand, pursue the journey of building the business of your dreams and endure the challenges along the way!