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Personal brand – what is it?

Many people associate the term “personal brand” with people known and appreciated all over the world. Here you can, for example, mention Bill Gates or Elon Musk. However, this term actually fits anyone who wants to build their image and thus – consciously manage their career or professional development. In this article, we will look at a personal brand, i.e. a personal brand. Let’s start!

In a moment you will learn how to build a personal brand and what are the advantages of this approach to your image. But let’s start with the basics. What is a personal brand associated with and what does it depend on?

Personal brand – what is it?

We can briefly say that a personal brand is the way other people perceive you, perhaps working in the same sector or in the same field. The image of an expert is the most frequently chosen image pursued by people working on a personal brand. If you are active in marketing, this image is very beneficial. We’ll tell you a little more why this is so in a moment.

A personal brand consists of everything that is related to your work and knowledge. Some items worth mentioning are:
– experience;
– education;
– profiles in social media (mainly LinkedIn);
– people you know and work with;
– the publications you create (blog, articles, social media entries);
– events in which you are participating;
– projects that you carry out.

Of course, there may be more such elements, but these are basic. As you can see, building a personal brand is actually a lifelong process. A personal brand is created over time and is constantly evolving. Donald Trump is a good example. Previously, he was seen as an ambitious entrepreneur operating in the hotel sector. Today, the vast majority of people know him as the controversial president of the United States.

It may be the same with you! Even if you started out in finance, it doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to develop in marketing. Many people built a personal brand in their forties or even later. It all really depends on what you are aiming for.

Personal brand: why build a personal brand?

Short answer: to help you achieve your goals. Let us consider for a moment what the image of an expert gives you? Let’s say people see you as an SEO guru. You have earned this position with your hard work – for several years you have been publishing regularly both on your blog and on social media. You give interviews and statements to the media and industry reports. You are a speaker at marketing events. How can you “cash” this output?

Most often, you are faced with three options:

A. You can start your own business that will operate in the area you specialize in. Because people associate you, there is a good chance that you will quickly obtain lucrative contracts and you will not run out of orders for many years ahead. This option was chosen by, for example, Neil Patel. He is currently creating an agency that helps clients grow on the Internet. When you enter his website, you will see that practically everything is branded with his image – from services to blog entries.

B. You can become a recognizable freelancer and provide your services to the largest companies or conduct training. If “managing” a large company is not your dream, you can still work independently and on your own account. A good example here is Kurt Thomas, who runs a blog and website under her brand name. Kurt specializes in WordPress and has built a strong brand and recognition in this market. And all this without the “back office” of a large agency!

C. You can continue to blog and earn money on it. The mere fact of blogging, as long as it is regular and high-quality work, opens the way to many business opportunities. Probably the best example here will be Mark Lee from the blog How to Save Money. Thanks to his blog, Mark has gathered a huge community with over 156,000 fans on Facebook alone. He also published two books on which he earned huge money. It proves that a good blog idea combined with persistence can be a good source of income.

Are any of these options better? No, everything really depends on your expectations and preferences. A personal brand should be built so that you are satisfied with it.

Personal brand: advantages

People who enjoy a solid personal brand take part in interesting and well-paid projects. During the negotiations, they dictate the terms. Both large companies and advertisers want to cooperate with them. This means that – sooner or later – you will not need a permanent full-time job to support yourself. New development opportunities will open up for you, and how you use them depends only on you.

Certainly, an important advantage of a strong personal brand is that you do not have to convince anyone to cooperate with you. Your image has done it for you before. So if you are competing for an important client or looking for partners for a new project, you can expect others to be eager to work with you. Remember that a strong personal brand translates into trust that is key in business. People trust you because you know what you are doing and get good results. And it is crucial in building a personal brand.

Personal branding: the goal

As we have already mentioned, the goals of personal branding depend only on you. You can set yourself the goal of creating a thriving company or agency that will give you a decent income. You can strive to become an influencer or a person who makes money by training others. You may even want to have your program on TV or publish a book – today the possibilities are virtually endless. It all depends on how successful you will be in your endeavors.

Personal branding

Personal branding is, in short, a process to help you build and maintain the right personal brand. You can do it in person or use external support from a branding agency or personal branding consultant. Regardless of which path you choose, you need to be aware that building a personal brand is a long process (years, not months) and does not have to be successful. Why?

First of all, due to the huge competition and the multitude of communication channels. Regardless of what field you want to cover, there are surely dozens of other people who are doing exactly the same as you.

Does that mean it’s not worth trying? No way! However, if you want to be successful, you must first of all have a well-thought-out strategy, implement it successively and be patient and persistent. Let’s talk more about the strategy itself.

Personal branding strategy, or how to start building a personal brand?

First, start with a solid analysis of yourself. Ask yourself a series of questions:
– What do I do / what do I want to do?
– Why is my job / knowledge useful?
– Do I know how to interest others with it?
– Do I have evidence of the effectiveness of my solutions?
– How do I want to promote myself and communicate with others?

Do I have the time and resources to build a personal brand instead of doing something that will bring a profit right away (or: do I have the strength to build a personal brand after hours?).

These are just a few questions that will give you a good starting point. Consider point five in particular. You have blogs, podcasts, newsletters, social media entries, YouTube recordings, webinars at your disposal – choose the channels where you feel good. And not all at once.

The next step is to identify the places of action and build the so-called plan content. Especially at the beginning, it is worth feeding the blog / channel with entries so that it does not look “poor” when someone views it. Plan your first 10-15 publications and start creating and uploading them to your channel. Only when something starts to happen on the channel, you can think about the next step, i.e. promotion.

That’s right, today it will be extremely difficult to build a personal brand without any advertising. You will just get lost in the crowd, even if you have something important to say. Performance marketing works the fastest, i.e. actions focused on a specific result (clicks, views, newsletter subscriptions, etc.).

The next step is to show yourself in the industry. You can try to publish guest posts on other blogs and websites, attend events and meetings, and even participate in forums and groups on Facebook. The point is for as many people as possible to associate you and value your contribution.

Finally, let’s say about one more element that is extremely important when it comes to building a personal brand.

The key to success: unique, interesting knowledge and an equally attractive way of communicating it

We have to say it openly – you will not succeed without it. If your posts are simply a conglomerate of what you find online, don’t count on success. People are looking for effective solutions and unique knowledge supported by experience. Therefore, it is best to first gather a lot of knowledge and experience yourself, and only then pass it on to others. Copy-paste here won’t work.

What about the way of imparting knowledge? This is something that must come naturally to you. If you are embarrassed by the performances in front of the camera – give it up. People will quickly sense that you are not at ease. Choose a channel that will help you spread your wings. And constantly work on your workshop. Wonder if what you write about is interesting and well written? Will the reader get any real benefit from reading the post or watching this video? If not, be sure to correct it before posting such material.

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