You have certainly heard about the concept of personal branding and the importance of working and taking care of it. When we talk about personal branding, we are not only referring to professional skills or practices that are also very important but also include a combination of skills and experiences that make you who you are.
With the penetrating influence of new technologies and social media, it is more than necessary to offer personal branding to third parties, capable of offering a transparent message about your identity and value.
Building, empowering and controlling your own personal brand will help you generate new opportunities while facilitating the achievement of goals and objectives.
The creation and consolidation of the personal brand should not be left to chance, it is necessary to follow a personal brand strategy capable of shaping your image in a real, optimal and effective way.
To do this, you have to take into account a series of steps or tasks that will help you in the process of developing your brand.
What is personal branding?
Personal brand or personal branding is a concept that was born in 1997 by the hand of the writer and businessman Tom Peters. Considered one of the gurus of business literature, he coined this term to highlight the importance of leaving a mark on a person’s mind. With a personal brand, we understand the strategy that an individual person implements as if it were a business brand.
Seeing yourself as a product or service that needs to be promoted in order to sell more is the key to success. This is achieved through actions such as improving the presence on social networks, becoming visible in events in the field to which it is dedicated or promoting content that aims to be recognized as an expert in a very specific market niche.
Benefits of having a personal brand
A personal brand provides many benefits to a professional profile, regardless of the field in which it is dedicated. The first advantage is differentiation, so necessary in today’s competitive world at the workplace level. Being able to differentiate yourself, be unique, within a specific economic environment is very favorable for the original idea of leaving a mark.
Being different, the potential client or person interested in the professional will keep those values or characteristics that make it unique. Ultimately, it is about being a niche leader. Specialization is the basis to be able to show yourself differently through the brand and an expert in a specific field.
On the other hand, achieving recognition is another of the most important advantages of having a personal brand. Impact on other people will make the brand get recognized with just an image or a slogan.
Occupying a privileged place in the minds of potential clients is the objective of any personal branding strategy since the main idea is to be there when a client has a need that involves buying a product or service that the brand sells. In addition, thanks to recognition, the brand’s message become more valuable.
Visibility and credibility are other benefits derived from having a strong brand, since being visible and having a presence in a specific area gives more credibility. This is supported by attending events related to the economic sector in which they work, with the writing of content that favors the image of an expert or with a design that appeals to seriousness in the work carried out. The brand image must incorporate the values of the professional for whom they want to be known and only in this way will they achieve real credibility, since image and reality correspond perfectly.
Another benefit of building a personal brand is that it encourages self-employment. This is very useful for those professionals who are self-employed and who must sell well to get clients.
But not only in this field is it useful, since it can also favor collaboration with other professionals in the same field or for hiring a company. Remember that you also have to sell yourself to a company during the selection process, and what better way than through your own brand that represents all the values and experiences of the candidate.
Steps to build a personal brand
The construction of a personal brand is a process that must be considered in the medium or long term. Through different actions and strategies, it is created day by day, step by step, but always having very clear the objectives that are being pursued. The personal brand must be founded on a solid strategy in which it is detailed what is expected with that strategy, in order to then be able to analyze the results with a certain frequency to see if the proposed objectives are achieved and to be able to make changes if not.
- Define the objectives. A personal brand can be created to win clients, collaborations, or a job at a reputable company. Knowing what is being pursued is key to starting to build it. These objectives must comply with the SMART rule: be specific, be able to measure them, be achievable, be realistic and be able to quantify them.
- Determine the target audience. The buyer persona must be a detailed profile, with well-defined characteristics, so that any action that has to do with the personal brand is aimed at that specific audience.
- Define the message and tone of communication. Through the brand, values and characteristics of the professional behind are intuited. This is also implicit in the messages that are transmitted and, almost more importantly, how they are transmitted. A serious or entertaining and fun tone will change the perception of the brand. Also the way to address the public, you or you.
- Choose the name of the brand. It can be the name of the professional in full, an abbreviation or a nickname. Any name is valid as long as it is easy to remember and to pronounce. Plus, short, hooky names have more potential in the branding world.
- Design the corporate image. The image that represents a brand has to identify all the values and characteristics for which it wants to be known. Color and typography will be aspects to be taken into account to convey sensations that fit the identity of the brand.
- Take care of your online reputation. The presence in social networks is not something negotiable, it is practically an obligation. But not only must it be present, but that presence must be cared for with content of interest to followers and attractive proposals about the brand, to get to know it better and create a loyal community. And not only in networks, but the web and the blog should be two other very careful channels. The online reputation of the brand will depend on all this, which must be properly managed to avoid crises that may have a negative impact on the brand.
- Plan and measure results. In any strategy it is as important to plan it well based on clear objectives as it is to analyze whether those objectives have been met. Otherwise, it will be time to make changes to go in the right direction.
Mistakes that should not be made in a personal brand
The first mistake that is usually made when creating a personal brand is trying to give an image that does not correspond to reality. It is very important to be true to yourself and transmit those experiences and values that you really have. There is no use fooling the future client in some way so that they end up discovering the truth and experiencing a negative feeling towards the brand.
This mistake goes hand in hand with the second most committed mistake: improvising. It is vital to have a planned strategy with key points to follow. Although the spirit of the brand and the professional behind it is more prone to improvisation, it will not be a good tactic in this case. Although intuition is always a great ally in certain cases, you cannot leave everything to free will.
Hence the importance of having a detailed strategy, which does not remain in vague or defined points without absolute clarity. The strategy to create personal branding should not be a sketch but a clear and concise script. Only then can the results and the achievement of the objectives be measured. If you don’t, you will be making the mistake of not quantifying and evaluating how the strategy works.
As for the target audience, one of the fundamental parts of the previous strategy, its definition must be such that there are no errors when directing the actions. And is that one of the mistakes in terms of the buyer persona is not understanding what they want and this is usually related to a poor definition of who the brand is targeting.
Finally, the presence in social networks must be of quality and never abandon the profiles. The feeling of neglect will not do a favor to the brand, and it will decay before its public and Internet search engines. Remember the importance of optimizing the channels in which you have a presence on the network to be really visible, beyond being present. This is linked to the need to update, to be aware of the latest trends and to be able to expose them to the public.