Life Rules Of Personal Branding
Creating a personal brand can be a daunting, mythical task. And one of the easiest ways to get lost in the process is to not know where to start. Even Oprah Winfrey began by going through several style iterations on a small local show before defining her voice into one of the most influential personal brands in the world.
In both our look-at-me cultural shift and evolving job market, it’s both helpful and necessary to stand out when applying for a job or starting your own company. A personal brand is for (almost) everyone. So here are 10 life rules for creating an engaging, unique, and inviting personal brand.
1. Have a focus.
“Too many people are unfocused when it comes to press and coverage, trying to be “everything to everyone.” Decide what your key message is and stick to it,”. Keeping your message focused for your target demographic will make it that much easier to both create content around your personal brand and have others define you.
“Carve a niche, and then carve a niche within your niche. The best personal brands are very specific.” — Adam Smiley Poswolsky.
“Keep your message and content consistent to one niche topic to become memorable within a targeted community.” — Manos Accelerator
The narrower and more focused your brand is, the easier it is for people to remember who you are. And when it comes time to hire a speaker or a new employee, your narrowed-down brand will be what they remember.
2. Be genuine.
There’s an easy way to have an original personal brand—and that is to be genuine and authentic.
“People can see right through a disingenuous act.” — Monica Lin
The more obviously a brand is a copycat, the more the audience will call out the perpetrator for it.
“Be genuine. It will make it much easier to manage your personal brand on a daily basis,” explained William Harri.
Your personal brand should be an easy daily filter that you create content and reach out to your audience with. And finally,
“Be a master of your craft, skillset or industry before starting a personal brand. Then your content will help amplify who you are.” —Justin Wu.
When initially building a personal brand, you need to garnered a reputation of being an expert in your field while simultaneously amplifying on social media that same renown. If you’re deeply skilled in one area, your reputation alone will help you build the brand you want.
3. Tell a story.
If your personal brand isn’t telling a story, you’ve already lost half of your potential audience.
” The most effective personal branding strategy these days is to build a true narrative – single character monologues are boring, and even more boring for your personal brand.”
No one wants to hear you shout about your brand into the social media void, so create a story around your brand that your audience can engage with. Regularly meets and chats with your audience around the world, this would further develop your warm and friendly personal brand.
One of the best ways to tell that story is through written content or video.
“The most personal way to communicate online is with video. Simply use your smartphone to video message your clients, make a personal connection with prospective clients and connect with co-workers. After all, you always have your smartphone on you!”
4. Be consistent.
Being consistent is very similar to having a narrow focus—it’s much easier to get recognized for one topic if you consistently create content and brand voice around it. “Ensure that your personal brand promise stays consistent, both online and offline,” explains Fyiona Yong,
“You have to demonstrate consistency across your communication, gravitas, and appearance. Don’t underestimate how tiny inconsistencies can derail personal brand effectiveness.”
On the opposite, creative side, CyreneQ, a top storyteller on Snapchat, suggests
“something consistent either visually or personality wise. Something unique that people can associate with your brand and know it’s you. For example, a sidekick mascot or having a catchphrase you say after every video – something people can fall in love with.”
So whether you’re creating a wild, incredibly out-there fun brand or one that’s a bit more on the conservative, corporate side, consistency is key.
5. Be ready to fail.
Failure is tough, and all of us generally want to avoid it – that’s human nature. However, to have a personal brand that rises above the rest, you need to have a failure. Walt Disney spoke of this often when he reminisced about his failed first attempts at creating an animation brand. “I think it’s important to have a good hard failure when you’re young. I learned a lot out of that. Because it makes you kind of aware of what can happen to you. ” And what can happen is never as frightening as not trying at all.
“You’ll never achieve the best branding until you fail a couple times while pushing past your comfort zone.”—Timothy Hoang
The very best brands always come from repeated trial and error, mistakes and failures and not from instant perfection.
6. Create a positive impact.
After you’ve developed your personal brand over a period of time, there are generally two ways to continue to build your brand – hop over others and burn bridges or steadily grow a community around your brand.
My quick tip on personal branding is to remember you are your brand, no matter what your current job is, what project you happen to be working on at any one time or whatever the priority happens to be today… always keep in mind the impact you leave on others and remember all we have is our own reputation and that’s our brand , so be awesome to each other!
Keeping a positive attitude and helping others will only help healthily grow your brand in the long run.
7. Follow a successful example.
“People interested in personal branding need to start marketing themselves like the celebrities and influential people that they look up to every day.“ —Jason Wong, CEO of Wonghaus Ventures.
Your personal brand can gain success from studying trends and popular individuals on different social media platforms and then implementing them with a twist. Creatively dissecting social analytics and establishing the next big trend can be within your grasp too, if you pay attention across all social media platforms and not simply focus narrowly on one of them.
8. Live your brand.
As mentioned before, one of the ways you can make building a personal brand difficult on yourself is to separate your brand from your personal life. While certainly doable, it’s easier when initially creating a personal brand to have your actual lifestyle and brand be one and the same.
“Your personal brand should follow you everywhere you go. It needs to be an authentic manifestation of who you are and amplify what you believe.”
With this in mind, your personal brand is not only a reflection of a series of job functions like marketing, finance or creative but also ideals like giving back, thoughtful leadership or mentorship.
9. Let other people tell your story.
The best PR is by word of mouth. Creating a personal brand in the public sphere is no exception to this rule.
“Personal branding is the story people tell about you when you’re not in the room.”
“All you have in your life is your name and the reputation you garner.”
10. Leave a legacy | Noble Goal.
Once you’ve built your personal brand with a reputation and community behind it, the next step is to think about the legacy that you’ll leave behind. What are the keywords and actions that you want to be known for?
“Building a personal brand is much bigger than building a business. The only exit strategy is legacy.” —Blake Jamieson.
A personal brand is a lifelong project that constantly evolves and changes. Even the experts who build or enhance the biggest brands in the business know that there are no hard-set rules for creating a personal brand. But these general guidelines help provide first steps, especially if you’re starting a new brand or rebranding.
Creating the right personal brand will not only help you be known in your field and consistently land work but it could be the difference difference between “Who are you?” and “Thank you for being here” in your career .