What is personal branding and, more importantly, do you do it? Do you have a personal brand? If you’re now completely sure, and you’re reading this article, you either don’t have it, or you want to perfect it. Either way, you need our help so why don’t you give our list of personal branding tips a good read?
#1. Understanding What Personal Brand Is
The most common mistake entrepreneurs make when it comes to the idea of having or building a personal brand is not correctly understanding what it is. Simply put, your personal brand is the way in which people see you, how they perceive you, or what they think about you.
You need to understand that a personal brand does not mean something tangible, such as a logo, the colors you like and use or what kind of clothes you wear. It’s an attitude and a je ne sais quoi. Oprah’s personal brand, for example, is her empathy combined with the idea of being an independent and successful woman.
You could also call it your reputation and, if you can channel it in the correct way, you can attract a lot of clients.
#2. Create Yourself a Venue for Showcasing Your Personality
This venue can be anything, depending on your skills and what you want your business to be. For example, it can be a blog, a website, a kick-ass Facebook page, a fantastic Instagram account, or whatever else crosses your mind.
The idea here is to make yourself and, of course, your personal brand, known to as many people consistently and build your portfolio. When in need, potential clients can always check your channel and what you’re all about.
Remember – the more you post, the better. Also, keep it interesting and personal brand related. No one cares that you had eggs for breakfast unless they, somehow, relate to what you’re doing and who you are.
#3. Start Networking as Soon as Possible
Why? Because it doesn’t matter that your personal brand is outstanding if you have no one to show it to at the end of the day. The easiest way to do this is by taking advantage of the opportunities your city has to offer. You can attend all sort of events where you’ll have the chance to meet people who can propel your career or even become your clients.
Tip – don’t go only to the events and parties organized by individuals in your field. Try going to concerts, the theater and so on. Relaxed environments are an excellent way to start communicating with people. Who knows, maybe the person you met at an actors’ party turns out to need a freelance copywriter. And guess what? That’s you!
#4. Learn to Say No
This tip goes hand in hand with the one above. Indeed, we did advise you to network as much as possible by attending the social gatherings in your city. However, you have to be smart about it. In other words, you must understand that there are also some places, people, and events which can harm your personal brand.
Therefore, you must screen everything out and see if it fits you or not. For example, let’s say that you are a person fighting for animal rights. You are utterly against animal cruelty and exploitation, and you are a vegan. Your personal brand revolves around these concepts. What would happen if you were to attend a fashion show based on furs? Everything that you worked for so far would be destroyed, and you would be discredited.
Remember – once you build and establish your personal brand, you need to start protecting it. Don’t make silly decisions that will harm it.
#5. Always Do Good Work
This idea might sound redundant, but it’s not. No matter what your line of business is if you are a freelancer, always make sure to deliver your best. If you make and sell clothes, use the best materials and dies. If you make cupcakes, use good and healthy ingredients. If you’re a writer, be original, use your imagination, and give your best.
You have no idea just how much harmful putting out bad products can be to your personal brand. Imagine it this way. People come to you because your personal brand lured them. You’re cool, hip, in the know, creative, and original. But you sell them a T-shirt that loses its colors after three washes and a box of cupcakes that taste stale. Your personal brand will pick up a negative spin before you can say ‘freelancer.’
#6. Google Yourself. Now
This step is fantastic for polishing your personal brand. Do some research on yourself using Google. Type in your name and see what comes up. According to most branding specialists, any bad information there might be out there about you can be enough to get you blacklisted. This idea means no more clients and no more contractors.
Consider the fact that you might have forgotten about some things like an old MySpace profile or even an old Facebook one. They could contain information that you now find embarrassing and damaging to your personal brand. For example, if you are now a vegetarian cook, an old picture of you eating a hamburger in high school won’t do you any good.
#7. How About Those Privacy Settings?
Since we live in a highly digitalized world, building your personal brand takes place mostly online. There are quite a few things you need to know about the privacy settings of your social media accounts.
- Since social media venues belong to different companies, they also have distinct privacy standards and policies. In other words, what works for one may not stand true for the others. Therefore, you need to familiarize yourself will all the privacy policies of your accounts.
- Make sure that your profiles are not private. You might be posting heavily as a means of building your personal brand, but if you forgot your profile was private, it’s no good.
- Keep in mind that privacy policies change constantly. Therefore, you must stay up-to-date with everything all the time.
- The most important thing is to think before you post. Evidently, you can trust the privacy policies but only to some extent. You might wake up one morning and find out that they’ve changed, and your clients can now see what shenanigans you’re up to in your spare time.
Of course, you’re going to say that it’s no one’s business what you do in your spare time. You’d be wrong, though. Your personal brand is everyone’s business.
Image source: depositphotos.com.