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Personal branding is not just about the image you portray in front of the world. It is about understanding your motivations, business attributes, skills, and passion. Ask yourself, “what value am I creating?”
If you wish to build a strong personal brand, make sure you take care of these essentials. These are the 7 C’s of personal branding. They help you structure the brand image as well as business operations. Once you have these 7 C’s sorted, you’ll find yourself running your business with ease and confidence.
Clarity is required if you wish to run a business and build a brand. You have to be clear about who you are and who you are not before you start advertising to the world. The promising sign of a successful personal brand is clarity of self-perception. McDonald's is about quick and tasty food and not fine dining or healthy eating. Similarly, Disney is about family entertainment, not noir films.
You have to be true to yourself and then provide the same to the public. If you are creative, colorful, and energetic you will not be able to successfully communicate professional, calm, and formal personal brand image.
With this, you also have to be clear about your target audience and their preferences. Before you go ahead it is important to focus on this foundation. Make sure you are clear about “who you are” and “who you are selling to” before going further in the process of personal branding.
Once you have a clear picture of who you are and who your target audience is you will be able to effectively communicate your message to your target audience. You need to make your brand visible to those who need to know about you.
Utilize all possible communication tools across different marketing platforms both online and offline to reach your audience. With trial and error, in some time you will figure out what works best for you. Maybe you are good at blogging and see better results (engagement and sales) from there or maybe you blow up on social media and that gets you the best traction. You can try out podcasts, workshops, and more. Whatever the medium, maybe you need to put together a communication plan for your brand that puts you out there in front of your target audience.
Make sure to build an emotional connection with your target audience. People want to engage with brands that they like and trust.
How do you build an emotional connection with your brand?
Make sure to focus on results and features. Your clients want to know how you can help them and the results that you can provide. For example, if you sell spare parts for heavy machinery your client wants to know what is the cheapest price you can offer for the best quality of product and how it compares to other sellers.
Your brand attributes and values must dictate your actions. If your brand attribute is being “refined and regal” then you won’t throw a party for your clients in the nearby bowling alley but you might organize an art exhibition for charity. For example, certain luxury brands don’t offer any sales on their products, even if they don’t sell. This is so they can preserve the “luxury brand image,” a brand that is not available to all but to the exclusive few.
When it comes to brand consistency it includes everything from your logo, collateral material, communications, meetings, social media, and brand colors to how you dress on a daily basis.
Before making any major or minor decision, ask yourself, “does this represent my brand? “Will it reflect nicely on the brand image I have built?”
Personal brands must be cohesive across all platforms. Make sure you have the same name and profile picture across platforms like your websites, and social media accounts. This cohesiveness can increase recognition and identification by customers.
Brands that are not cohesive across platforms and on physical paperwork command less trust from the audience. If people don’t trust you, they would not want to purchase from you.
Probably the most important aspect of personal branding is content. With social media, every individual and brand is putting out content to attract an audience. If you wish to do the same, then you will have to produce high-quality content that not only attracts your target audience but also keeps them hooked. When everyone is producing content, you need to stand out.
Content is the end all be all for creating an emotional connection with your audience and developing trust. The content should be well-written, produced, and presented. High-quality content associates your brand image with quality and professionalism.
Make sure to flex your knowledge, you are the expert in your field and you need to tell the world. A big smile and friendly demeanor can help you easily connect with your audience.
Your personal brand will not be able to succeed without a strong community thriving around it. I use the word “around” rather loosely here, what I am trying to talk about is your online community or simply put the people who will pay for your product or service. It matters how you build your personal brand on social media and what you say on that platform.
You might ask what about your offline community, the people who live on your block, your friends, and your family. Well, it is great to have a local client base but it is not nearly enough. In order to grow your business, you’ll have to find more customers; there is only so much your business can grow locally.
You’ll find these new customers online. This community will be your client base so be sure to nurture them. Get to know them well, represent yourself as an expert in your field, and deliver good work.
Solve their problems, communicate with them, engage with them, and build lasting relationships with them. These people in turn will help your business by not only purchasing but also referrals. Make sure you build and take care of your community both online and offline. Your focus should always be on growth.
Personal branding is essential for every individual and business. It helps you stand out and provides a unique platform for brand positioning as well. These days companies even provide personal branding for new graduates (employees) as a way of extending and establishing their own business. Make sure you utilize the power of personal branding for your business.
Shellye is committed to helping people from diverse backgrounds to achieve their aspirations in careers and life. The content published above was made in collaboration with our members.
Shellye Archambeau is determined to help you with all possible strategies to climb the ladder of success. She values your feedback. Do mention them in the comment section below.