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17 Top Tips on Personal Branding

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11 Top Tips on Personal Branding

Article by Simon North, Founder of Position Ignition, creator of the Career Ignition Club and co-author of 125 Personal Branding Tips.

With more career mobility, career change and competition for jobs and promotions than ever before, personal branding is becoming increasingly important. The rise of social media has also contributed to the idea that we must create a personal brand. Here are 11 pointers that we can all benefit from, by applying them to our personal brand, whether we are just starting to develop one or are looking to refresh and refocus our existing brand. Before you do, reflect on who you are and what it is that you wish to project. You have a voice, you want to amplify it, and you want to be confident, high in self-esteem and clear about what you want to say and do.

1. Remember your personal brand is the window of your identity.

 It throws light on you as a worker. Showing your identity at all times will help your personal brand to be consistent.

2. Think of yourself as a product.

When you buy a product, you scrutinize its applicability to your need. You’re interested in its benefits, its features and its price. Anybody looking at you walks through a similar cycle of evaluation.

3. Every product creates an impression.

 When you are building your personal brand, test it. Test it with your market; test it with your friends and colleagues to see which structures within in it create a good impression.

4. What sets you apart in the eyes of other people?

Many ask other people around them, who know them well, this question. It is a question where you can put yourself into the eyes of other people and see what they see.

5. Personal branding is about how you package yourself.

Like any product, you have choice around the packaging you wish to use. Isn’t it fascinating how certain brands are so aligned to the presentation of the product that their packaging, from the moment you see the outside box, has you interested in what it is inside the box. Similarly, how can you think through the most effective way of self-packaging?

6. Apply subtlety to your personal branding.

When people think about you, they will soon come to think, “I know more about this person than I probably realize”.

7. Think about what mode of presentation you need.

You have choice of platforms on which to put your brand out there. These platforms include Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and so on. Think about what media would be helpful to lift your brand into a more exciting space. It could be a YouTube video of you presenting a blog that you have written, for example.

8. Think about alignment.

When we put our personal brand out into the market, we have choice about where we place it and how many different spaces and how many different platforms we choose. It is very important that our personal brand aligns consistently and well with everything else that we are saying and doing.
9. Consider your reputation.

Our reputation is intrinsically tied up with the lives and work of other people, both professionally and personally. Whilst we are dealing with our own personal brand, we must always remember the congruence of reputations that are involved in building our personal brand.

10. What are the assets around you that you project onto your personal brand and include in your personal statement or elevator pitch?

Try to use a minimum number of words in your pitch and avoid business speak and generic and loose language. Be as specific as you can be about your strengths, about your achievements, about your ‘wow’ factor.

11. Think about brands that you believe are fantastic.

They may be so because you think them to be powerful, emotionally subtle or innovative. Whatever it is that you find compelling in these brands, do your best to learn from them the simple lessons that you can build into your own brand.


6 Tips to Strengthen Your Personal Brand

Whether or not you're actively building your personal brand, it is still being built up with every tweet you post, every selfie you take, how you dress, what faces you make when people speak to you and every email you send. It’s up to you if you choose to nurture your brand, or let it be defined for you.

1. Start with an audit

What's the current perception of you? How do people feel about what you share, how you act, what you say?
Before we can begin to better strategize on how we’d like to be seen, we have to understand how we're seen right this second. What comes up on the first page of a Google search for your name? Ask other people how they would describe you, what they think are strengths you possess, and what they would suggest are areas you could work on.

2. Figure out what you stand for

It takes a long time for some of us to truly 'find ourselves', and even longer to really understand what that means.
You've undoubtedly seen people on social media that seem to change their views often, seemingly to gain favor from thought leaders, or garner attention from people they look up to on social media.
While catering to popular perception makes some sense, you need to have a strong understanding of what you believe in, what you stand for, and be confident enough to publicly make those views known. Your beliefs will guide your action.

3. Be you

Authenticity is the key to each of our personal brands.
This isn’t something we can fake our way through, nor is a personal brand a persona. In time, people will see through that, and you'll have a pretty steep mountain to climb to change perception.
The essence of your personal brand is all the parts that make you, you. What do you like? What don’t you like? Where do you like to eat, shop, spend time on weekends? Authenticity also means that you do what you say you will do. You walk your talk.

4. Identify your goals

What are your goals in your personal life? In your professional life? What is it that you would like to be known for?
Once you're able to define your goals, you can then develop ways to then go out and grab them.


5. Demonstrate what you’re good at

The best way to do this is through content marketing. Write blogs or articles, or use Twitter to become a trusted resource within your community on topics you have expertise on.
When people want to find information on something, rather than immediately going to Google, they go to people that they trust and those people that have helped them in the past. Become that person for at least one other person.
What differentiates you from everyone else within the same niche?

6. Take it offline

We don’t all live solely online. When I see someone that has a strong personal brand, it's because they're the same online as they are offline.
There are always ways to network offline – all industries have meet up groups you can attend, and if you can’t find one, you can host your own Tweetup. I find Facebook Groups to be the most meaningful parts of that platform for me and my own personal brand, to meet more like-minded people.

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