Everyone says you absolutely need to build a personal brand. But do you, really? Here are five things to consider.
Everyone needs a great personal brand.
Having a personal brand is awesome.
Personal branding is more important than ever.
You should be building your personal brand.
A strong personal brand can have a tremendous impact on both your individual success and that of your company.
Having an exceptional personal brand is also a common trait among our favourite and most successful billionaires.
That’s what several great authors and successful entrepreneurs have been telling you. The most infamous of them is Gary Vaynerchuk, whom I had the pleasure of meeting in July when he was in Melbourne, says
"your personal brand is your reputation. And your reputation in perpetuity is the foundation of your career."
If so many smart people believe a personal brand is important, a personal brand must be pretty important. Right?
Here are a few unusual tips to consider when building your own personal brand.
Personal Branding Tip 1: Do Your Research First
Commit to a niche — but choose one you can actually win.
What do you want to be known for? What sets you apart from other established influencers in the same space (e.g., maybe they’re all super smart but really boring)?
How are you going to be memorable?
All the big names in your industry started out by dominating a small space. What can you master that they can’t? What’s your superpower?
For me, I realised my superpower is I get how to help other women entrepreneurs and executives out there build their own true brand. Why? Because I am a woman, and a woman of colour, having worked in both corporate America and Asia, been an entrepreneur and continue to be one today, I have lived and continue to experience the challenges and struggles women go through everyday in their careers, business, and social pressures that exist. And having been in media, branding and business for over 22 years - I understand innately how to shape authentic personal brands specifically for women entrepreneurs and senior executives.
Personal Branding Tip 2: Weave Your Brand Into Everything You Do
Is personal branding as easy as putting on distinctive clothing or having a certain hairstyle? If only.
Personal branding goes far beyond wearing purple Converse shoes or dying your hair pink.
What you should do is weave your personal brand into everything you do. For example, brand the content you’re creating, whether it’s great data (charts, research, infographics, visualisations, etc.), photos, memes, or cool diagrams or workflows.
Also, think about the tone and style of your content. You need to be intentional in how you develop your personal brand. Simply blogging or showing up on social media doesn’t cut it.
A couple of years ago, when I worked with a client on their content tone and style, we did an exercise which helped us realise that a lot of the content being produced in their industry wasn’t backed up by much data and was boring, obvious, equivocal, or not-actionable. We changed it up by injecting some data, a sense of humour, and non-obvious and unambiguous tips that people could use into their content, so that they could stand out online and be positioned as a thought leader.
Personal Branding Tip 3: Go Big at Industry Conferences or Stay Home
People greatly overvalue the benefits of speaking at conferences. Generally, the people who attend large industry conference will only remember the top 2 percent to 5 percent of sessions. The rest will be forgotten.
You need to be great. If you aren’t reasonably confident that you will be among the top presentations, don’t bother.
Instead, make great presentations and improve your presentation skills through webinars or at local free events, where expectations are much lower. Become great. Learn by watching the best speakers in your industry, and by recording and watching your own sessions.
Personal Branding Tip 4: Invest in Yourself
Personal branding isn’t free. But it’s smart to invest in your own career and business.
That means you’re going to have to pay for stuff. Yes, with your own money.
- Hiring an editor to proofread your content.
- Hiring an business and personal branding content agency, like us, that will create your content, social media, data analytic and amplification (speaking gig, podcast etc) strategies and execute on them effectively.
- Hiring a speaking coach.
- Buying a book that will help you learn a new skill.
- Hiring graphic design help.
Personal Branding Tip 5: Don’t Do Personal Branding!
People spend way too much time building a personal brand and not enough time thinking about whether it’s really necessary in the first place.
Here’s one foolproof way to tell — ask yourself: “What have I done (or what am I doing) in my career or business that is actually remarkable?”
Plenty of “internet famous” people have come and gone. It’s ridiculously easy for anybody to share opinions online. Hard work is required if you’re serious about being successful.
Many uber-wealthy and successful people have built unique personal brands. But they also did, created, or said remarkable things.
Would there be countless articles still being written every day about Steve Jobs (more than eight years after his death) if he had never helped create our favourite Apple devices?
I spent the last 22 years of my life building my career with the past 5 years being an entrepreneur, and only more recently got started with blogging and social-media marketing. This approach has given me tons of interesting things to talk about — everything from marketing to entrepreneurship to issues around women and gender equality.
So don’t build a personal brand if it isn’t time. Do or start doing something remarkable first!
*If you are doing some remarkable things, creating a social impact and changing the world to be a better place, but seem to be stuck with your business or personal branding give us a call at 04 215 45 023 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to help make you and your business become rock stars!