How To Build A Succesful Personal Brand

You follow them on social media, you can name every project they’ve put out, and you even have a bit of a strange crush on them. Everything that they’ve done seems cool, and you know that everything they do next will be even cooler.

In today’s economy of connection, personal branding has come to play a role, more important than ever before. Where it might have been for celebrities only in the past, we’re now living in a  moment where a lot of people have something to gain from producing work that, in a way, only they can.

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With this guide I will show you how you can create a personal brand that people love, you will have fun doing it, and it will make you some cash on the way. So let’s go!

1. The Reason You Need A Personal Brand

A common question that people ask is who needs personal branding? Why is personal branding important in today’s culture?

There are multiple reasons why one would need personal branding and it starts from building a portfolio for job searching (A Digital CV), having a digital presence so clients can find you (Freelancing) or even as far as creating a personal brand in order to make money and a livelihood (Influencers, Creators, Bloggers and so on).

Why do you need a personal brand?

Depending on where you want to take your career, it can be beneficial to create a consistent body of work that showcases your style, your purpose, or in other words your personal brand.

Personal Branding and Job Searching

It is common practice nowadays to create a website about yourself and to use it as a portfolio or just take your CV to the next level. Job interviewers might be impressed by your level of dedication, and they will be able to see previous work of yours, to get a better understanding of what you have to offer.

Personal branding can also be very beneficial when you’re a freelancer. Having a public portfolio of your work can give people that are searching for an expert in your field a clear image of what you offer. It is definitely a powerful weapon to have when you’re building a career as a freelancer.

The people who need personal branding the most are online influencers and other content creators. If you want to build an audience and get their attention, you need to create a brand that people will relate to, and support its message.

 

Why is personal branding important?

When there are multiple candidates for the same job position, personal branding is a great way to stand out from the crowd. You will definitely earn some points towards getting the job. There are not a lot of people who would go that extra mile, so yes you should work on your personal brand when you’re searching for a job.

This includes staying on topic with your social media posts, creating a personal website, guest posting on blogs in your field of expertise, case studies and so on.

2. Who Are You?

The next step is forming a clear picture of yourself. Your audience needs to know and understand who you are, to connect with you. Are you doing this to put yourself and your work out there, or are you creating a persona?

Both choices are valid, but they might differ in the execution part.

When you’re doing it for employers or clients, you should always stay true to yourself and be honest about your accomplishments.

If you’re building a brand based on your real life, you should always have a specific border as to what parts of your life you share publicly and why. Do not overshare, lie, try to deceive and so on.

When you’re creating more of a persona or a role/character for your brand, it needs to be done in a way, so that the audience is clear about the purpose of your actions. Again you need to set borders and understand that this character is still being tied to you, even tho it is being portrayed.

The most important thing in both cases is creating an emotional connection with your audience. Every personality has character elements, just like in the movies. And we connect mostly to the emotional journeys of others.

Your Backstory

The backstory describes what you’ve done in the past that got you to this point in the present.

When you’re building a CV, you list all your education details, your work experience, work examples and so on. Make sure that all the information is relevant to your desired position.

We all have many different skills and experiences, so you need to find the most important ones. Some things might take attention away, so make sure you present your background correctly.

When you’re building a personal brand, you should have more of a short story about yourself. You should tell this story in the context of your brands’ focus.

Tip 1: Your story is unique.

We have many things that happen in our lives that shape who we are, but not everything is relevant to the personal brand. Create a backstory that will tell your journey, and how you got here. Click to read my story about this website.

Your Mission

Now that you’ve introduced yourself to your audience, you need to tell them where you’re going next. The reason why they should stick around and follow you, or employ you. This is in short, what you bring to the table for them to apply to their lives.

Your mission is the second piece of the emotional connection with your audience. You need to have a purpose that rises emotion within people.

Your Experiences

This is how you keep your audience up to date and always entertained. Every character has short stories connected to the past and how they got here, or short stories about what they’ve learned recently on the field they’re in.

You should share these “gems” with your audience as much as possible. Share the good, and share the bad. We’re all human, and people need to see that to connect with someone. You’re having the same emotions as they, you have ups and downs too.

Find a creative way to tell these stories through the content you produce. People love all kinds of stories, even the ones that you’d find ordinary.

3. Who are you doing it for?

Next on the list is defining who you’re doing this for. If you think about your mission for a second, you’ll understand that there is a larger purpose behind it, than just making money. There is a reason why you chose this career, and there is a group of people that are on the same path as you.

Find an audience for your personal brand.

 

Your Audience

It is common practice with any business to create a profile on the desired people that you want to attract. Of course, nobody can be appealing to the whole public, so think about who you’re trying to reach.

When you’re creating a CV think about the kind of company that you’re trying to get into. What are the people that are employing looking for? What does a representative of that company need to look like? Present yourself in the right way for the employers you want to work for.

When you’re creating content for an audience, you need to go more into detail and create a profile on the ideal follower. Who are the people that you’re targeting? How old are they? What are their problems that you can solve?

When you have a better understanding of who you’re trying to reach it will be easier to create for that audience, and for the content to find them.

Their Personality

Think about where would this type of person hang out? Your people might be hanging out on forums, Facebook groups, they might be scrolling through Instagram most of the time, watching videos on YouTube and so on. Think about what is the best way to reach them.

You can go into further detail by thinking about other characteristics as to what type of music they listen, what events do they visit and so on. There are many ways you can find an audience that relates to your personal brand.

Create A Brand With A Purpose

The Personal Branding Worksheet will help you keep all this information in one place. It's completely free, and you can print it out to stay motivated.

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4. What do you do?

Of course, having a personal brand is not all fun and games, there is work involved in the process too. In this step, think about what you do to serve your audience.

There are many different options available here, and it depends a lot on your field of expertise. But I want to show you how you can think about the work you do in 3 simple areas: Free Work, Basic Work, and work with High Value.

Crete services for your followers.

Free Work

This is the work you offer them for absolutely nothing in return. You need this type of work to show your capabilities, and in a way cast bait for them to grab on.

For content creators, this means free contents in the form of videos, blog posts, helpful tips, free resources and so on. When you do this, you provide value for your potential customers immediately. It builds the basis of trust and future collaboration.

Basic Work

The next area of offers is the medium or short-term work. With this type of work, you should solve problems on a global level.

What does this mean? Well, let’s take a designer for example. For this mid-level, he might sell a collection of resources that people can rent or buy to use. He can offer a course on design basics or other design topics.

This level might also include a one item design, such as a simple flyer, a business card and so on. This type of work solves a relatively easy problem which does not require a lot of time.

High-Value Work

The last area of work is one where you’re involved the most. This is where your personal brand matters the most. With this type of work, you prove that what you do, is unique.

Tip 2: Not all work is created equal.

Let’s go back to the designer example. This means that a company can hire them to be the creative director of an entire campaign. The designer would produce artwork for all objectives of the marketing campaign like flyers for the event, posters, social media photos, website re-design and so on.

The level of involvement here is high, and the problem that you’re solving is of high value, so the pay here is the highest.

5. How do you do it? 

This brings us to the final step of creating a personal brand, and maybe the most important one. The whole point of personal branding is to create a personality and work that only YOU can perform. This means that people rely mostly on you to get the job done. So how do you do it?

A Unique Offer

To stand out from the crowd, you need to have a unique offer, a recognizable style, or a unique voice. It is important not to copy what others do, and instead form your own world.

If you’ve followed the steps so far, you should already have an idea of the bigger picture of your brand. Your mission, your audience, your story, and your content all work just for you, and no one else.

Think about it this way, is there a way that you can bring even more value to what you do? How can you make your offer unique to the market, and something that nobody else has or can do? Do you!

A strategy

Having a pre-formed strategy can also do wonders for your business. It’s good to have a plan of where you’re going, and how you’re going to get there, rather than going about it at random.

Sit down and plan out the next few months, or even the next year. Where do you want to be at the end? What do you want to accomplish? How are you going to do that?

Don’t leave it all to chance. Create a strategy for your personal brand moving forward.

The personal branding worksheet is a printable document you can use to keep all of this information in one place. It will remind you of your journey and purpose. 

It can also be used to show others what you do and why. You can download it for free and start working on your personal brand today. 

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