The term “brand” is often associated to businesses themselves, with many individuals even assuming it only refers to large corporate companies. There are in fact, two different types of brand – a personal brand, and a business brand.
If you were an employee for example, the business you work for could have an exceptional reputation, a large market share in the industry and a significant revenue and profit every year, however, this doesn’t mean that your personal brand is up to the same standards. Co-workers and clients could view you as being negative to work with, maybe with terrible communication skills, or disrespectful treatment of co-workers. All of which will negatively impact the way you are perceived by prospective job opportunities or clients.
Whether you’re a business owner, full-time employee, freelancer or contractor, your personal brand speaks for you and can be the determining factor in shaping the future opportunities you attract. As with any industry, the prioritisation is often on marketing products and services, yet we often forget that we also must market ourselves as a positive individual!
So, the main questions it comes down to, are… What do you want people to know you for? And where do you start?
Determine Your Values and Passions
Determining your values is a critical part of building your personal brand. Yet, rather than this being based on your job title or company you work for, it focuses more on the core of your personality; what you believe is important, and what you are going to be able to bring to the table to the company or clients you work with.
Some examples of personal values that will help positively build your brand are: honesty, communication, ambition and empathy.
Understanding your passions, both professional and personal, will help identify the industry yourself or your company will best flourish in, and which audience you would like to target. Are you passionate about working with small businesses? Are you keen to work in the not-for-profit sector? Or do you get a thrill from winning large corporate contracts?
Tell Your Story Online
Telling your business and personal story online is a powerful way to build your personal brand. As humans, we thrive on personal connections and feeling similar to others, so illustrating your story online is an immediate way to develop a emotional rapport with your audience.
The key to storytelling is to be authentic and ensure information your share is relevant and positive. For example, in an About Us page on your website it is acceptable to have a background of your experience, and a bit of personal information about yourselves (see our About Us page as an example). However, if you have joined a professional LinkedIn Group, it’s best to keep the story you tell relevant to that audience; they won’t be interested hearing about your office pooch, your preferred tipple or your favourite early morning gym class.
Be Clear About Your Expertise and Skills
Transparency about your expertise, skills and your working process/style is vital in developing a personal brand by showing that you are trustworthy. People need to be clear what they are getting from you. News flash – this doesn’t mean you have to come across as perfect. Bigger news flash – they won’t expect you to be.
When it comes to choosing a business or individual to work alongside, clients look for more than just a good portfolio or cheap prices – they want to know that they can build trustworthy, long-standing relationships with the business/individual they are hiring. Being transparent about your skills and expertise, and also what you aren’t (currently) strong at, will help trust levels grow.
Shout About Your Achievements and Accomplishments
There is a term that you might have heard about quite a lot recently, impostor syndrome. The feeling that we don’t deserve our achievements, and our success has just been through luck. But really, you’ve just got to be in it to win it.
As daunting as it might be, one of the best ways to gain recognition for your personal or professional achievements is to tell everyone how great you are (without bragging); after all, how will people know how well you’re doing and what you can bring to the table, if you don’t tell them?
Deliver on Your Value Consistently & Ask For Testimonials.
It is essential that you aren’t the only person talking about your value and why people should choose you. Get other people to do it too! You should always be willing to go above and beyond what is expected, and consistently deliver exceptional service (and customer service) to all clients and contracts you have. Do this and you can easily build a strong network of advocates and achieve organic referrals. I am sure they won’t mind giving you a written testimonial for your website and a positive social media review!
As you can see, Kreativity Marketing have wealth of positive testimonials from our happy and satisfied clients; they often work with us for much longer than they were originally planning! And that is the result of working hard to develop a strong and successful personal brand, something we prioritise highly.
If you would like us to help develop your personal brand or are interested in any other services, please get in touch today!