When most people think of brands, they think of companies; they don’t think of people. However, branding yourself is a highly effective way to establish your authority, create a buzz, and become a reputable resource in your industry. A long time ago, branding incorporate the name, the slogan, the symbol, or the design (or a combination of these elements) that define what a company offers. A brand was used to identify what made one company different than the next and set businesses apart from the competition. In today’s business world, branding is a bit more involved, but it’s an even more important element of marketing than it ever was before.
Branding refers to what consumers perceive when they hear about, see, or think of a business and the products or services that a business offers. It differentiates a business from the competition, establishes authority, and makes a business the first source people think of when they are in need of a particular product or service.
Branding is just for businesses: It’s also for people. Think about celebrities, who are essentially businesses in their own right. Examples include Oprah, Justine Timberlake, Madonna, Roseanne, Beyonce, and so many more.
Of course, these celebrities were able to become famous because they offer something in particular that the general public finds appealing – entertainment, insight, opinions, etc. However, celebrities are able to capitalize on their talents by branding themselves. In fact, branding can be so effective that if done right, it can turn people who don’t have much to offer the general public in terms of entertainment or insights, into figures that are known around the globe.
Essentially, branding yourself involves developing a unique identity professionally and a clear message that sets you apart from the crowd. Developing a personal brand is much like developing a brand for a company or a product in that the overall goal of both is to be viewed as unique and different from others in your industry.
Think of it this way: You are the product and your consumers are your employers. Branding yourself lets you market your skills in a way that establishes how those skills meet the needs of consumers. For example, consumers tend to be biased toward brands that are endorsed by the celebrities that they like the most. The same can be said for personal branding. If you create a unique personal brand, you can launch your success to the next level.
Often, people get so excited about the benefits that personal branding can provide and the prospect of establishing their personal brand that they make mistakes when it comes to actually creating their brand.
In order to create an effective brand, keep the following in mind:
Don’t forget to manage your brand, too! Once you have set your plan in motion, it’s important that you continuously monitor your personal brand so that you know how others are perceiving you and if you are still holding traction in your industry. A lot of people tend to forget to manage their personal brand and end up falling short.
When monitoring your brand, ask the following questions:
When you are evaluating your brand, make sure to answer these questions and make adjustments as necessary. Remember that your personal brand is constantly evolving. You have to be willing to make changes in order to stay relevant in your industry.
Creating a personal brand can help to take your success to a higher level. It is a valuable way to establish your authority and make your presence known.