Do you realize people search you online? What info is available about you over the internet? Check it on Google. If you have already done this, what have you found? What you have up there is personal branding details about you! Your personal branding is same as your reputation over the internet, what viewers take you to be. Take your mind off the logo, colours, design or any emblem sort of, it goes far beyond that. Your identity online is determined by the content you showcase and your personality.

It is important to differentiate between offline personal branding and the online personal branding because they both work together to achieve a common goal.

The offline personal branding method uses TV promotions, billboards and business cards among other physical means to build a personal brand. Online personal branding is purely over the internet. It utilizes the social media in most cases portraying your personal values and what you stand for.

Once upon a time, there was a distinction between your professional life and social life. This is no longer true these days. Your personality is now an extension of your professional life. This is why business experts and influencers are gradually opting to build a personal brand. It is no more the superstars’ world, brand yourself right and place yourself in a position where opportunities will come after you.  Neil Patel once said his personal branding effort has earned him millions of dollars. That is how powerful branding is.

How important is this to your life, career and prospects?

The word ‘branding’ was before now associated with companies. Some of us were also fortunate enough in sales to help our companies grow their brands. The few of us who can maximize the strength of our networks can achieve higher professional performance rates for employers. And those who can use social media to send positive messages, in personal branding, will ride the wave of this new era.

The evolution of personal branding in this age and time is an interesting one. Many reasons can be ascribed to this. One of these is that the advertisement climate is shifting towards personalities rather than company brands. People will more likely listen to a known figure in the society to promote a product rather than watch the billboards, the ads and glamorous shows. They are getting fed up knowing that companies are doing all these to sell to them.

Companies are now encouraging workers to improve their personal branding to present the firm in good light. When you develop your brand, communicating with prospective customers is much simpler, closing deals and drawing people closer to you becomes easier. About 77% of B2B buyers said they only speak to a salesperson after their online research. You sell yourself to the heart of prospects with a good self-branding, it increases your productivity.

To entrepreneurs and freelancers, creating a personal brand was never more important than it is today. Anyone who has internet access can create an audience, become an expert and begin to invite customers to their company. And that’s what a large number of people are already doing with the growth of the gig economy among millennial.

To reach that point, you should start with the right foundation.

Why Brand Now?

There is no better time than now to start branding. The reason is that branding is much like you’re building your business from scratch. It takes time alongside committed effort to grow. The mistake you’ll ever make is to wait for a huge breakthrough in your career or entrepreneurship before considering to brand. Your brand grows with you, start now. It is not the same day you uploaded your profile on LinkedIn that you’ll have that connection to nurture your network, you must work at it. Neil Patel, says it takes between six to one full year before you can begin to see results. The mention of businesses such as Virgin will simply resonate Richard Branson in the minds of people because he cares to work on his personal branding besides the company’s brand.
 
Personal branding puts a lot in your hands as an individual. It builds your image and places you before others as experts in a field.

Work at your branding consciously. The social networks are the building grounds for today’s effective branding, you can’t do without this. Never give the excuse that the time is not there for you, carve out some time, and make a schedule.

How To Be Effective With Your Branding

1. Be authentic

The first step towards your brand creation is to lay a firm foundation which you must create with trust and authenticity. Authenticity is the key principle here. You must be ‘you’. Don’t try to be someone else. Talk about topical issues you are passionate about. Focus on your career and bring out your real self.

Have in mind that developing a brand is a reflection of your personality and it has to be authentic to be effective. You can’t play out who you are not. It’s about showcasing your true self to your viewers and consumers consciously and strategically. Your personal brand ought to be a true reflection of your belief, skills, talents, interests and values you uphold. Your vision, mission and brand message should be very clear.

2. Work on a target audience

To build a brand, you must have a group you frequently relate with. View them as your audience. They should be specific. One of the greatest mistakes you can make is trying to appeal to everyone as you create a brand. In reality, not everybody is your ideal customer.

You must be able to repel those you don’t want around to attract and retain your ideal customers. It involves finding a specific target group and creating an enticing product for them. You are the product and everything you represent.

It may seem counterintuitive, but you won’t attract anyone if you want to be accepted by everyone. Not everybody who is introduced to you or who sees your message will agree with you or support you, and that’s natural. To build a successful company, you don’t need to reach everybody!

3. Have a strong offer

Build an enticing offer. What have you to show? Your career and abilities count here to attract customers and executives probably from other companies. You must have something to give to the target audience to make a sustainable personal brand. It should be an enticing and irresistible one. You need an enticing offer that can solve the audience’s particular problem or achieve a particular outcome. If you’re the gig worker, what stands you out in the crowd as the best man for the job? 

That’s why it’s so important to identify the dream customer before you come up with a service, idea or product.

4. Have an optimised website

An important component of crafting a personal brand is having a personal website. It’s also important to have a good presence on social media, but you don’t own or manage any of the social networks you set up. Your website is a network you own and manage, and visiting your site in many situations will be one among the moves your target audience takes towards becoming your customer.

Put up a professionally designed site about you that first timers won’t be lost trying to navigate it. Your value proposition, a recent professional photograph of you and a call-to-action button should be placed in the strategic locations. Your target should make them have the feeling they’ve come to the intended right place on their first visit.

5. Have a content plan and be social

Making and delivering free quality content is one of the most fruitful ways to nurture your brand and gain the confidence of your audience. Rather than trying to convince your audience how you can support them, you can instead produce content that benefits and actually does it. It builds confidence and helps put you up in your field as an expert and authority.

Find out the content format that makes the most impact on your audience and give more of it. If a video content works better for DIY content, keep to it. Your readers may value textual, infographic or podcasts, never deny them of it.

It is a great thing to know that personal branding can make you lots of money if done right. It stands you out in the crowd and places you far above others in the same industry. Personal branding helps your image and able to win high-quality projects as the best man for the job.

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