The term “branding” has been consigned to organizations for quite a while. Today, however, practically every person has a personal brand. Relatively few of us have intentionally developed these brands, however, they exist anyway. A digital footprint in the realm of cyber-socialism generated by friends, acquaintances, and business associates.A study by Research Now, done for AVG, revealed that about 25 percent of youngsters less than two years old as of now have a digital footprint setup by their parents.
These days, it’s too late to ask if you have a personal brand; but whether you will direct and develop this brand, or to give it a chance to be characterized autonomously. Here are seven approaches to start building and advancing your astonishing personal brand.
1. Adopt the mindset of a personal brand
Start with your desired positioning. What associations would you like people to connect with when they think of your name? Are you aiming to be perceived as an expert in a certain field? Do you want certain characteristics connected to your image? Once you have a clear brand vision, you can begin crafting your brand strategy and all its components. Handling yourself as a brand doesn’t mean going all commercial in your online interactions. As American author Deepak Chopra quotes, the greatest leaders looked inward and were able to tell a good story with authenticity and passion. A solid individual brand can yield remarkable ROI whether you are associated with a business or branding yourself as a solopreneur.
Here are a few cases of people who have developed genuine and effective personal brands and are making a great impact in the Middle East: Mai Ibrahim, Mazen Otabashi, Huda Kattan, Darin Al Bayed, Ayman Itani, Gino Raidy, Joseph Yaacoub, Fouz Al Fahad, and many more.
2. Audit your digital footprint
It’s hard to form the position you aspire to before having clear insights of where your brand stands in the public’s mind. To get an idea, Google yourself to see where you rank and use Google Alerts to receive notifications whenever your name pops up online. If your name is commonly used, add your initial or middle name to set yourself apart. Developing a solid personal brand is about being responsive to your mentions as it is about cultivating intellectual property.
3. Secure your personal web domain
Having a personal website that carries your name is probably the backbone for an online presence as it boosts your ranking on search engines. If your main presence is on social media platforms instead of blogging, consider a simple website just to have a place you call home – online that is. Start with an “About me” page, Resume, and link to your social media sites. You can expand it later by adding a blog if you have longer content. Learn how to set up a blog here.
4. Create content with value
We all know those friends who keep sharing stuff that is either boring or inappropriate, and that keep you wondering what they were thinking. Right? Don’t be that person; think of ways to add value to whoever is following you by creating and sharing content that is relevant to your brand’s purpose. If you’re a musician, showcase your tracks and share classics that people would enjoy. Comedian? Make them laugh. You get the point.
5. Think big picture when you Share
Your tweets, posts, articles, photos, live streaming, and any online interaction make up a collage that illustrates your brand and story. Since you already have an idea of the positioning you want to achieve at this stage, you can be strategic about your brand and how to build it steadily. If your brand, is a serious one, avoid sharing utterly silly content in hopes of amusing your audience. Be consistent.
6. Connect with other strong brands
The power of your personal brand is linked to your association with different brands. Find and leverage strong brands that can boost your own. Start this process with the three C’s: company, college, and colleagues. Which university did you go to? Does it have a blog, magazine, or newsletter? Consider contributing to gain exposure to an audience of students interested in your topic. Maybe the company you work for could use your expertise; offer your services for free if you’re just starting. You never know what hidden opportunities may come out of it, so take action.
7. Tell your story
A strong personal brand is highly tied to your storytelling skills. To make it simple, ask yourself “what is my story?” and start from there. For inspiration, make a list of prominent celebrities you know and go through their profiles, check their content and try to identify what they are all about. You will notice that their brand is clear and consistent, so should yours. If your interests go beyond a single field, use your storytelling to consolidate your content under one large theme. For more insights on molding your story, I highly recommend the book Branding Pays by Karen Kang and Reinventing You by Dorie Clark.
For a comprehensive checklist, check the below article.