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What inspires your personal brand? And why is it so important that you get it right?
I started going back through a program I purchased years ago from Marie Forleo called the B School, which is a several-week-long program on how to work on your personal brand and how to build a business that you’d like to ship out into the world.
It brought me back to why we are doing this. I believe it’s really important to say because our first episode was all about purpose and this same purpose is also important for your personal brand.
In today’s episode, we’ll be chatting about why your personal brand matters, plus give you five proven ways to shape your personal brand to the next level.
Your personal brand is how you express who you are and shapes people’s perceptions of you. It is not only a logo but it’s a whole strategic package. It’s how you speak, it’s how you look, it’s what you post about, and it’s what you specialize in. It also includes what you talk about, and most importantly, it’s what you stand for.
It’s also critical today to really think about how you are perceived in your desired market, whether that’s in the employer’s market or your business target market.
I believe a personal brand is also so critical today because we live in an age where the lines between the physical and digital realities are not just blurred, but they’re pretty much intertwined. That’s why your personal brand matters so much and the digital footprint that we leave behind leaves a clear trail of the journey that we are taking, not only as human beings, but our professional and career journeys.
Your online representation matters and the opportunity to manipulate and leverage that representation is huge. This is where personal branding comes in and where we can afford to be a bit more strategic about it.
For example, traditional brands have always needed to use novel or new ways to cut through the clutter and find resonance with their intended users or their desired target audiences. Whether you are a CEO looking to raise your profile in the industry or a retailer assistant that’s looking for a new job, the easiest way to outshine the competition is to leverage your personal brand which is mainly online.
Having a voice and having clear guidelines as to how you present yourself and put yourself out there are all the things that will open up opportunities for you. If your online representation is far-reaching and you have captured a wide audience these opportunities are amplified.
Honestly, there are so many ways to shape your personal brand. But we have made things easier for you by summarizing them into five clear ways to kickstart your personal brand.
These are the 5 proven ways to shape your personal brand that we’ve used ourselves and recommended to our clients:
The first one is positioning yourself as a thought leader and expert in your field or industry.
If you have a strong or credible opinion in your field, please share them. If there is a new angle of perspective in your industry that’s been hardly covered, then publish it. If there’s a new angle that you have identified, then get into that space and publish all the relevant topics around that specific niche that you go for.
If you aren’t a fully-fledged expert on the topic, take the opportunity and talk to people by interviewing them. LinkedIn and Medium are perfect professional platforms for you to write your thoughts in long form. And don’t forget short-form content like posts and videos.
The second way is understanding that visual aesthetic matters. What does your grid look like? Is it uniform? If people glance for two seconds at your grid, are they going to get a feeling about you?
I’m not talking about filtering all your pics on Instagram but it’s about presenting a consistent style that’s appropriate to the channel and appropriate to your audience. If you really do want your personal brand to shine, it doesn’t hurt to invest in a few professionally shot photos for your profile pictures. This is the first portal into who you are.
We also strongly recommend taking your visual aesthetic one step further, as many brands do, and even try consistently using the same or similar colors or a similar color palette and styles repeatedly.
The third way to shape your personal brand is to stay authentic. What is the unique value? For your own personal brand, you need to ask yourself: what can I bring to the world that only I can do that’s critical and different? I bet you there is something you can identify that is super unique to you and only you can give.
It is so incredibly important to stay true to who you are. And building a personal brand means building your own unique self. Being authentic also lets your passion shine through and you won’t be tempted to carve out a personal brand that doesn’t feel good. Don’t try and do something that’s not you. People will buy what you’re selling when it comes from a truly genuine and passionate place.
The fourth way is to reveal yourself. Who are you? What inspires you? And are there any behind-the-scenes things you’re doing? For some, this is really easy to say but very hard to do. But the facts and the stats say that it works.
For example, statistics show that Instagram posts with faces or selfies get on average 39% more likes than LinkedIn videos. What does this all mean? It means putting yourself out there, being real, and showcasing who you are is a vital way to gain trust and it works. People won’t just buy into a product or service or your curriculum vitae, they buy into who you are as a person.
Lastly, number five is all about connecting. We’ve all been guilty of the “post and ghost”. But, if you want your profile to become a real brand, you need to make the effort to connect and engage.
This means spending a smaller portion of each day to network. Comment on those posts with the people you are engaging with or that are within your target audience. Using social media should be a place to hang out and forge relationships while supporting each other.
Also, serve your community with content that adds value to them and really inspires them. Invite people to a conversation and give them clear points of action to continue the conversation.
Furthermore, always have a Call to Action (CTA). The main aim here is to stimulate genuine engagement. Dig deep and find ways to formulate discussions or questions that might be interesting for the rest of the community.
For Growgetters, we looked at our personal brand from a professional perspective. The purpose of our personal brand is to show relevant, actionable content as well as female-friendly and accessible content. We want to continue to source more and engage with other women in the community that is doing amazing things.
We know you will get a lot from using the 5 proven ways to shape your personal brand.
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