Heinz, Ford, and Starbucks? What do all of these businesses have in common? They all have very strong brands. Personal brands are not much different and whether you realize it or not we all have one. Your personal brand is made up of our actions, demeanor, past successes, and passions. Combined they make up what people first think about us when someone mentions your name. However, most people don’t think much about to position their brand. Follow these steps to start.
Building a personal brand is not much different than building a popular brand like you might find in the grocery store aisle or new car showroom. Start with the foundation: you. A good question to ask is, “What makes you unique?”. This is the trait or skill that will draw people to you or help you stand out from your peers. Think of this as your competitive advantage. Then, continue to build your foundation by becoming aware of your strengths & weakness and creating stories that show your experiences and your passions that make up who you are.
Next, it is time to set goals. But don’t just set any goals. Make sure to set targeted ones that help your personal brand in the process. However, this can be a bit challenging if you haven’t figured out what your exact “personal brand” is yet. So instead, start by asking yourself, “What do I want to be known for?” and set goals that help achieve just that. Also, try to establish a mix of both short and long-term goals. These short-term goals should be more tactical base but build into your long-term ones over time.
Just like a business brand has a target market, you need a target audience for your brand. But who? For example, are you trying to impress job recruiters or reach new clients? Try to pinpoint which sections within a selected group best fit your strengths, unique offerings, and experiences. These are the people you will be able to easily connect with and will be the most receptive to your messaging.
Finally, it is time to summarize your personal brand in a short value proposition. This is a combination of each of the first three steps put into a concise statement that describes who you are and the unique value you provide. Tell this to anyone within your target audience that you encounter. Make sure this proposition works towards your long-term goals while also communicating the value you provide. A great example for a recruiter could be, “I help recent college grads find entry-level jobs where they can provide immediate impact.”
Personal branding is not a one-time project. It is a continuous process that requires intense reflection and consistent work. Need help? Reach out to Em and A Pen to get started today.