Knowing how to create a personal brand is crucial in today’s business world. Whether for reputation management purposes or wanting to establish yourself as an authority in any given field, personal branding requires a well-crafted effort on your part.
How I Personally Define The Word “Brand”
Brand – Your Distinctive, Indispensable Attributes and Value.
Distinctive – “Characteristic of one person or thing, and so serving to distinguish it from others.” In other words, what makes up your character? What are your core beliefs and personal ethos? Your brand must reflect what is genuinely characteristic about you, in that it clearly distinguishes you apart from others.
Indispensable – “1. Absolutely necessary; essential. 2. Incapable of being disregarded or neglected. 3. A person or thing that is indispensable.” A great brand is something or someone that is a must to be associated with and/or obtained. Possessing this brand in their lives has become essential to their survival or enhancing the meaning in their lives.
Attributes – “1. A quality or feature regarded as a characteristic or inherent part of something or someone. 2. Something used as a symbol of a particular person, office or status.” Brands are often defined by a logo (Apple, Starbucks), a certain color (Tiffany & Co.) or even a distinctive of sound (Harley-Davidson).
Value – “1. The importance, worth, or usefulness of something. 2. consider (someone or something) to be important or beneficial; have a high opinion of. 3. Monetary worth of (something or someone).” Value is often an abused term by marketers, but the essence of any value is the importance people place on something or someone. How important you become to the lives of others is directly proportional to your value.
Examples of “Distinctive, Indispensable Attributes and Value”
Volvo – Safety
Coca Cola – “The Real Thing”
BMW – “The Ultimate Driving Machine”
Harley-Davidson – Living life as a rebel
Starbucks – Premium coffee
Elvis – The King of Rock & Roll
Steve McQueen – The King of Cool
While these are global, well-known brands, it serves as an example of how each one has a distinctive characteristic. Moreover, their customers strongly connect with these brands as an indispensable part of their lives. Some mothers could never imagine driving their children in anything except a Volvo. Most people would think it ridiculous to order a “Rum & Pepsi.” Some car enthusiasts would never consider driving any car except their “Bimmer.” And to suggest to those who ride a “Hog” that they ride any other motorcycle brand could end up in a fight. To millions, Starbucks is an addiction and a status symbol. Elvis and Steve McQueen are still iconic brands to this day and a part of music and Hollywood lore.
Great brands are not only distinctive, but they also generate a level of indispensability that is envious to any competitor, entrepreneur or start-up. So when you approach this “How to create a personal brand?” question, you need to follow these 7 personal branding tips before you seriously embark on your efforts and financial expenditure.
7 Basic Steps: How To Create A Personal Brand
1. Determine Your USP & Visual Identity – You have to clearly determine what makes you distinctive. Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) must be genuine and one that aligns with your core purpose and ethos. A USP that is fake will be smelled out and your brand will be rebranded by late-night comedians, industry bloggers and voracious online reviewers. Even good brands get attacked, but do not let them attack you for being disingenuous.
Additionally, your branding needs to be visual for PR & marketing purposes, as you will be needing to impact your audience with YouTube videos, photos, Vine, Instagram, infographics, packaging and the like.
2. Clearly Establish Your Target Audience – One of the key strategies on how to create a personal brand is to determine which audience(s) you want to convert into long-term customers and committed fans. What are their ages? What types of media do they consume and trust? Where do they live? What are their hobbies or interests? What do they consider valuable? Know who they are, how to appeal to them, as well as how to best reach them.
3. Secure Your Name For Your Blog & Social Media – This is a must and a priority. When people search for your brand they find you, not some other person that shares your same name. Securing your own name is a vital step in how you create a personal brand.
4. Set Up Your Blog – You need more than just a website. You need to establish and manage your own “Media Center.” Like an actual media corporation, you need to establish yourself as a reputable, distinctive and indispensable brand that is publishing valuable, insightful, and relative content and news. Your blog is your best outlet for your best content.
5. Publish & Distribute Content – While your blog will be the main focus of your content strategy, content can also be created and shared via YouTube, other bloggers, news agencies, and many more outlets and sources. I have identified over 50 types of unique content that you can create and distribute for your personal branding strategy. Great content, widely distributed, is a vital component in how to create your personal brand.
6. Connect With The Right People – You must do this online as well as in person. By continually connecting with an ever growing audience of the right people, your message and branding will then begin to gain proper attention and traction. Want your content and branding to go viral? Then always make and nurture great connections. You do this through email, social media, webinars, writing books, putting on seminars, going to events and making powerful friends and alliances. Getting others to share your content is crucial in how to create a personal brand.
7. Establish Your Credibility With Notable Accomplishments & Stellar Performance – Nothing speaks louder or more effectively than demonstrated results and competence. You need to come through with the goods and deliver results. And in a tasteful manner, you need to make those accomplishments known. Nothing speaks better than fast, friendly and effective service. In fact, take it up a notch. There is a step beyond service – Hospitality. This is a key point that makes Nordstrom an iconic brand. In how to create a personal brand, this is a point that is missed by most.
How To Create A Personal Brand: Gaining The Help You Need
The biggest concern of how to create a personal brand is, “Am I doing this right?” We are all our own worse critics and trying to figure out this crucial life move can be daunting and frustrating. My advice to those people who are struggling with how to create a personal brand for themselves is to get a business coach or a mentor who has successfully navigated the personal branding waters.
If you would like assistance in how to create a personal brand for yourself, feel free to contact me at [email protected]