Building a personal brand is the process of developing a “mark” that is created around your name, your business or your career. This “mark” is used to express and communicate your skills, personality, and values; it is who you are, what others recognize you for and what you have to offer. This uniqueness is what draws people to your product, services, or even just your message.
When I started LynnVille Consulting, I wanted to be known for all things writing, digital marketing and social media services. These three areas represent who I am – my passion, career and personal life integrated into one personal brand. The LynnVille brand is still evolving and growing bigger; it has been a challenging but very fruitful journey. The contacts I have developed over the years with large brands all happened because I was able to build my personal brand & uphold its integrity.
Here are seven tips that helped me build a strong personal brand, with these tips, you can also create your personal brand this year.
1. BE YOURSELF
Find your own style. You don’t have to follow the crowd and do what everyone else is doing. Use your style and uniqueness to attract the jobs and clientele that you desire. Trying to be like others will rob you of authenticity because you will struggle with being creative since your only source of inspiration comes from what you see others do. There are many people doing what I do, but I have my own style which works for me and keeps my clients satisfied.
2. BUILD YOUR PLATFORM
If you are going to have a personal brand you will need a website in order to create your virtual platform. It was easier for me to attract more clients when I give them a link to my website, this shows that you are serious and ready for business. You will also need social media accounts that represent your brand. You will use these platforms to share your voice, create awareness about your products/services and also network with other brands in your industry.
3. BE VISIBLE AND ACCESSIBLE
You can’t hide in your house or in your office behind your computer and expect to build a personal brand. You need to get out and make yourself visible and accessible. Attend industry conferences, even if it’s just to network and socialize, make your social media profiles open to the public and allow incoming messages. Most people I’ve worked with were met online and at networking events; I am usually indoors 75% of the day but I had to change that lifestyle in order to grow my brand. Social media is a thriving environment to build and promote your personal brand, use it to your advantage.
4. CRAFT YOUR PERSONAL BRAND PERSONA
Persona means a person’s perceived or evident personality. You need to create a strong personal brand persona that you can always refer to when creating materials that support your brand. You can create your personal brand persona by:
– Describing yourself – When it comes to your brand who are you and why do people enjoy working with you?
– Identifying your emotional appeal – What are your personality features? This can be as easy as saying you have a crazy sense of humour or that you are obsessively organized. Why do you think people are attracted to your brand?
– Identifying your specialty – What do you do and what do people want you to do for them?
SHARE YOUR KNOWLEDGE
It’s not enough to learn for yourself; you have to share your knowledge by helping others. One thing I’ve realized is that a water pipe distributing to other channels never runs dry. Sharing knowledge is where you prove you know your stuff and gain exposure from doing so. The more information I share, the more people come to me for solutions. You can do this through videos, social media, and writing both online and offline.
ASSOCIATE YOURSELF WITH STRONG BRANDS
Connecting to other brands can strengthen your personal brand; network and find strong brands that will fortify yours. Partner with local businesses so you can promote yourself to their customers. For example, after my media partnership with Connect Nigeria, my business gained more exposure. A good place to start would be in the three C’s: company, college, colleagues. Does your company have a newsletter? Does your college have an alumni site? Do any of your colleagues or friends have a blog? If yes, then you can offer to contribute content.
KEEP YOURSELF & OTHERS UPDATED; REINVENT & EVOLVE
If you want people to recognize you, it’s your responsibility to raise the bar ever higher for yourself and improve constantly. Find people to follow and be constantly growing and learning; I recommended to find mentors that can help you grow and strengthen your personal brand. My desire to grow LynnVille has led me to many great people who I’ve learnt and still learning from, one of them is Caroline Wabara whose website I found while researching how to improve my skills. I quickly contacted her and even purchased an eBook which has made a huge impact on my business. Bottom line – never stop learning and staying relevant in your field of expertise.
Building a personal brand takes time and effort, but it’s worth it. It’s the one thing that no one can take away from you – build it and own it. Are you an aspiring entrepreneur and need further consultation on building your personal brand? You can contact me for a chat.
If you’re an entrepreneur already growing a personal brand, what other tips did you use for your business? Tell us in the comment section.