When it comes to doing business, it’s hard to understate the importance of a brand.
Think about the last time you had to make a decision on a product or service to buy and you narrowed your options down to two choices. How did you make your selection? More than likely, you went with the brand you recognize.
There are specific reasons why a brand packs so much purchase power (more on this in a moment). But did you know that the same principles that apply to a company or organization can also apply to an individual? You can build your own profile, with skills and qualities that your coworkers and colleagues will attribute to you.
It’s called personal branding. Let’s take a closer look at how brands stand out, why personal branding is important, as well as some useful personal branding goals you can apply.
How Do the World’s Most Recognizable Brands Stand Out?
When you think about the most powerful brands in the world, they’re typically synonymous with their industry. They’ve developed branding that puts them at the forefront of their customers’ minds.
Think about a sneaker. More than likely, you thought of a Nike.
Picture a smartphone. What popped into your mind? Was it one of Apple’s iPhones?
Imagine you’re sitting at a restaurant and you order an ice-cold soda. When you put that glass to your lips, don’t you expect it to taste like a Coke?
These brands are inextricably interwoven with popular culture and our own personal experiences. There’s a reason for this. The best brands develop content (in the case of companies, logos or color schemes) that jump into our minds easily. We lease them real estate in our minds, free of charge. They also serve the customer, putting them at the forefront by making them the hero of their own story.
Apple’s iPhone is the best example of this. With an iPhone, you can take photos, record a podcast, film a movie, take notes, or access the internet with a tool in the palm of your hand. So what exactly caused Forbes to refer to Apple as the world’s most valuable brand? It’s not about all the great features. It’s about what those features can help its customers do. The stars of the Apple brand are not the devices, but the people using them.
This line of thinking can also apply to individuals in the workplace.
Why Is Personal Branding Important?
It’s clear how branding helps the companies listed above. So why is it important to apply those same concepts to your own personal branding?
When you think of personal branding, your mind may immediately move toward the idea of logos or slogans. Move a step deeper. When you develop your personal branding strategy in the workplace, it’s about developing skills and content that immediately signal your capabilities and how you can help others achieve their goal.
The first step in creating your own personal branding strategy is simple: make it clear what it is you do and how you can help. Provide others with refreshing clarity on what area of expertise is. If people don’t understand what it is you can do for them, your brand will be less effective.
The next step is to demonstrate your value to others. Tony Robbins is one of the most successful life and business strategists on the planet. When he talks about people’s ability to have strategic innovation, the solution he tells them is simple: create more value than anyone else. A truly effective personal brand revolves around what you can do for others.
You have a unique set of skills. Find out how you can use those skills to help others accomplish their own missions. Develop content you can give away at no cost to your colleagues and coworkers that establishes you as an authority in your chosen field. Establish yourself as a leader in your role.
What Should Your Own Personal Branding Goals Be?
Now that you understand what personal branding is and what it should look like, it’s critical to determine your own personal branding goals. These may vary depending on your situation, but they can generally apply to anyone.
Become a Thought Leader
Develop original content (blog posts, podcasts, etc.) with a unique voice and point of view. Take bold stances on issues you feel strongly about. Writing content everyone agrees with isn’t any way to build a strong personal branding strategy — after all, if you’re simply sharing re-heated opinions, why can’t others just find it somewhere else? Become a thought leader who’s the most credible person in your specific area of expertise. These can serve to help you with lead generation, building your audience.
Have Others Lining Up to Sing Your Praises
There’s nothing quite as powerful as a testimonial to your effectiveness and expertise. A strong personal brand features those you’ve helped or coached in the past verifying your skill or aptitude. This could come in the form of comments on your blog posts, tagging you in social media, or making guest appearances within your content. But once you’ve been practicing for a while, others should provide stellar reviews of your performance. That proves to others that you’re worth working with.
Develop a Strong, Well-Defined Voice Through Your Content
Finally, all your content should have the same voice that matches your own personal style. Are you a naturally funny person? Don’t be afraid to infuse a little humor when it’s appropriate. If you’re great at outlining complex concepts in a simple manner, do that. Your content should match your own persona. Your coworkers, colleagues, or followers will want to see consistency from your brand. Make sure your tone and approach consistently match the content you’ve developed in the past.
Ultimately, personal branding and developing a personal branding strategy is important because it ties you to a specific set of qualities. It also demonstrates that you’re a trusted source who others can receive value from. That last point is key because personal branding is all about showing others what kind of value you can give them. When you help others accomplish their goals, you’ll find you’ll quickly be able to accomplish more of your own.
If you’re interested in building your own personal branding strategy, don’t hesitate. Reach out so we can chat. We can help you with detailed steps on how to develop content that establishes and solidifies your personal brand.