Personal Branding: Setting Your Business Apart
Is it that hard to set your business apart from your competitors? Then it’s about time you considered personal branding.
We have all heard the phrase, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” But then again, it’s only human nature to judge. And you will almost always be perceived as something in the professional sphere based on how you present yourself. So, why not use this to your advantage and craft your personal brand so that it serves you better?
When you build your personal brand, you grow your network and connections in the industry, opening the doors to many opportunities for your business. That’s why all solopreneurs and small business owners should work to build their personal brands.
Why Do You Need Personal Branding?
Today, the term ‘personal branding’ is often thrown around as a buzzword by many business owners and solopreneurs.
However, most don’t realize its true importance and consider it to be some extra work they are required to do by going out of their way. But that’s far from the truth because today, where there are plenty of options to choose from, the need to stand out and make a lasting impression is more important than ever.
And that’s where personal branding can help you. Through personal branding, you can ensure that your audience knows you.
Here is a list of reasons why you need personal branding:
1. You Are Perceived As An Expert
In this competitive world, every individual vies for the same opportunities and clients, which makes it extremely challenging for newbies to make a mark.
A personal brand can help you showcase your skills, experience, and values to the world, which will not only increase credibility but also grow your network. And as your network grows, you will start being considered an expert in your field and get more business opportunities. People will recognize your name before you even meet them.
2. Helps Build Trust With The Audience
Personal branding explains the “why” of what you do – in simple words, what motivates and drives you. Thus, it ensures that your intentions are clear and genuine, fostering trust and making people comfortable working with you.
Furthermore, people are more at ease when they believe they can foresee what you will do. Also, when they know the source of your motivation, they are more likely to put you in charge of their needs.
3. Sets You Apart
Your personal brand can help set you apart from your competitors, giving you an edge over them in the minds of your customers and prospects.
Think about what makes you unique and sets you apart from your competitors. The better you build your unique selling point, the less you have to walk the extra mile to convince prospects that you are the best solution to their problems.
4. Increases Your Value
As you build your personal brand, people will start connecting with you on an emotional level, which will increase your value in their eyes.
What’s more, when you are actively involved in your niche and continually create products or services that add value to your customer’s lives, you are perceived as an expert. This, in turn, allows you to increase the prices of your products and services.
5. Brings More Opportunities
Building your personal brand will also help you grow your network and connections in the professional world and fetch you more opportunities. Not to forget, a large part of your personal brand rests on your communication and relationship-building skills. Therefore, your personal brand should reflect every version of you. This includes the social, professional, and online versions of you. If your personal brand is depicted well online, it will help you establish a strong social media presence and bring several opportunities your way.
How To Build A Personal Brand?
Building a personal brand is not as difficult as it seems. Let us tell you how it’s done in four easy steps:
1. Find Out Who You Are
When building your personal brand, ask yourself the following questions:
- What drives you to work?
- What skills do you need to develop?
- What talents or skills do you have for the job?
- What piques your interest?
- What type of projects or tasks energize you?
- What is it that people you follow have in common?
Upon finding the answers to these questions, pay close attention to any alignment or overlap that you come across. This will help you recognize some of the goals, beliefs, and values that currently drive you.
Say you discover that you are perfect at collaborating with others, love brainstorming, and efficiently managing conflict. Perhaps, you learn that the people you follow have incredible amounts of creativity, compassion, and curiosity.
Recognizing and contemplating what motivates you and what you want to accomplish can help you hone your abilities and skills to intentionally demonstrate behaviors that make your passions and biggest strengths outwardly visible.
Furthermore, you can use this information to find out the new skills that you have to develop to accomplish your goals.
2. Decide What You Want To Be Known For
Your personal brand is not only a reflection of who you are presently, but it is also a roadmap of where you want to be down the road.
Apart from knowing your existing skills and abilities, it’s highly recommended that you assess your strengths and weaknesses. That’s because it will help you uncover areas where you need to gain new knowledge or improve in order to be successful.
Predicting where you want to be in the near future and the things you want to be known for will give you some clarity on the steps you need to take to get there.
3. Know Your Target Audience
Before you start building your personal brand, it’s also highly important that you know who your target audience is. The sooner you know it, the easier it will be for you to build your story, as you will know exactly the kind of story you require to tell them.
4. Carry Out Extensive Research On The Industry
One of the most important steps while building your personal brand is to carry out extensive research on your industry. It’s strongly recommended that you find the experts and leaders in the industry and follow them religiously.
If they create podcasts where they contribute their thinking, be sure to listen to them to advance in the industry. Apart from that, you may want to consider looking for people who are successful and dig into what they are doing. Always remember that you can’t reach the top without taking stock of who’s already there.
5. Networking, Network, And Network
As you keep building your personal brand, you would want to make sure that you network daily to expand your professional circle. Make friends with the leaders in your industry by going to informal and formal networking events.
Also, at such events, make it a point to ask fellow attendees if they would like to meet again for a casual coffee chat or an informational interview. The more connections you build, the more value you can offer through your encounters. Naturally, this will help your personal brand gain more industry recognition.
There you have it; that was pretty much everything you needed to know about building a personal brand.
Before we sign off, here’s our last bit of advice: just make sure you know who your target audience is so that you can figure out the kind of story you would need to be telling them. Also, make it a point to network in social gatherings to expand your professional circle and make way for newer opportunities.
On that note, it’s time for us to wrap things up. See you soon