Honing your personal brand

“Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.” – Malcolm Forbes

In the world of personal branding, winning and losing is unbalanced. The top 10% of earners in your field are likely making more money and having greater success than anyone in the bottom 90%, you included. Despite this lopsided equation, a personal brand is essential to your business. And in this blog, you will not only learn about what a personal brand is, but how to craft your own so you can sell more, grow your business, and even join that coveted 10%.

In the digital age, especially now, in these uncertain times as well as post-COVID-19, your personal branding connects to your online presence. Everyone can stand out and project different versions of themselves into the world.

What do you find when you Google yourself? What do social media posts say about you? Are you sharing your personal life and unique story with the world? Are you acting out like Donald Trump or as a thought leader in your industry? This online impression impacts both your relationship with potential employers and even potential clients.

Whether you are a small business owner, want to improve your career prospects, or become a prolific blogger, you need a strong personal brand. We tend to think about brands as companies or products like McDonald’s or Apple. However, anyone can be a brand. As an individual, your personal branding is wrapped up in the content and achievements you share online.

What most people miss is that personal branding need not be boasting about self at all. Personal branding could be a demonstration of your interests, passions or simply curiosity about themes that matter most to you. And while showcasing those interests, if you also happen to talk about your work contextually, that is both positively beneficial to you and your profession, while being meaningful to your audience. In today’s time, personal branding is more important than ever, and we have a few tips to get you started.

 

The real you versus the projected you

Strongly linked to the misconception that personal branding is boasting, is the other assumption that personal branding involves faking. Commonly attributed to Abraham Lincoln, the quote ‘you cannot fool all the people all the time’ is truer than ever in this case. Fakery, or lies, travel faster than ever now, along with the fact-checks and the truth. So, it is not worth affecting your credibility. But then, projecting yourself for the purpose of personal branding need not be faking at all. You, as an individual, are an amalgamation of so many interests and talents. If you use the basics of brand building, people could remember only a few facets of a brand, which is why marketing has the concept of Unique Selling Point or USP. In personal branding, hence, there is a need to pick a few topics that you want to be associated with and focus on them. Not talking about other topics about yourself is not faking; it is simply being purposefully selective.

 

The Power of Storytelling

Joan Didion once famously said, “We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” She is not wrong. From early human history, we have always relied on stories to make sense of complicated ideas. Almost everyone with an effective personal brand has a story, or at the very least, a “hook”, a way that you can explain who you are, what you do, and why it matters in less than a minute. This power of storytelling helps you to truly connect with your audience as a brand.

You’ll want to develop this “hook” or “elevator pitch” version of yourself as well the ability to communicate, in just one or two sentences, who you are, what you do, and what makes you unique compared to everyone else in your space. As you continue to develop yourself, your pitch will get better as will the opportunities it can help lead to.

 

Collaboration over Competition

If anything, this crisis has made everyone even more sure that collaboration over competition is the right move. People are beginning to operate in fear. Feeling a bit unsure and dying for reassurance and guidance. Step up and offer that, anything that you can do to help now you should be.

Now is the time to let the wider community know what your skillset is and how you could assist them. If your competitor is doing something that you feel you could add value to and in doing so you, you create a super service that will help others, you should go for that collaboration.

 

ABL Recruitment team