Think of personal branding as a measure of your value as a professional. By generating your own brand and creating an online identity, you are telling the world who you are, what you can do and that you are serious about your contribution to society. It is so much more than self promotion; it is how you present yourself to the world and introduce your persona, your essence and your values. For digital marketers, it is a powerful way to make your presence known and can be the very thing that launches a career as an entrepreneur.
Developing Your Own Personal Brand: A Guide
Discover your unique brand
First you must determine who you are and what makes you unique. Be authentic and dig deep into your own values and principles. It is vital to remain true to yourself and to express your morals in a genuine and truthful light. A superficial, fabricated persona will soon be exposed and there is no coming back from that! You need to do some soul searching. What are your strengths as well as your weaknesses and you will need to be clear on your ambitions and aspirations.
Develop a consistent messaging strategy
Once you have established your identity, then you need to express it. Generate your message by deciding on your look and your unique voice. This includes a tone, colour and the feel of all your digital assets. It must remain on message, consistent and reliable. You want to be instantly recognisable.
Effectively leverage digital platforms
Be careful when utilising your digital platforms. Your choice of websites and apps must be true to your message and appropriate for your target audience and your brand. Used wisely, a combination of social media platforms can support a different facet of your personal brand, whether it's Instagram for visual storytelling or LinkedIn for business networking.
Create and curate impactful content
Engage with your community
Don’t be afraid to engage with the people in your audience. Get into conversations and respond to comments. Haters are going to hate but they are generally a minority or even bots attempting to disrupt. Be selective and don’t take it personally. When your followers feel seen and sense a connection with you, it will serve to greatly enhance your personal brand.
Monitor and evolve your brand
It is crucial to continually monitor and assess your online presence. The online world is fast paced and fickle so you need to be mindful of your impact. Ask for feedback, and be open to making changes. The world needs to know you are present and more importantly, relevant.
The Significance of Personal Branding in Digital Marketing
You may ask yourself, why bother? Can’t I just focus on the work? The truth is, the whole world is sharing the same virtual commercial space and the new currency is trust. Anyone and everyone can throw something up online and try to sell it, but it is the brands that people know and trust that thrive. Another way to stand out in the infinite melting pot of the internet, is to carve out a niche for yourself. This way you are highlighting your particular talent and placing greater value on your skills.
There are also opportunities to connect with established brands and businesses and build on their following. Find companies in your field that share your ethos and explore the possibilities of joining forces and building a partnership. It can be of great benefit to both parties and will help establish credibility in your brand.
By building your own personal brand you can use it as a launch pad for your own career to make yourself visible in the white noise of the online marketplace. This can also help expand your reach and create opportunities to grow your career in new directions including consultation work and speaking engagements.
It is important to think of personal branding as strategic rather than a fleeting exercise in self promotion. It is where the human side of business can be present and where genuine connections are made. The anonymity of online communication can sometimes cause people to forget that they are in fact dealing with another person but your brand can humanise your business and instil trust in your market. It is where emotion enters commerce and relatability encourages connection. By strategically utilising personal branding, digital marketers can generate a competitive edge by pioneering thought leadership through memorable and authentic messaging.
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