There are a lot of factors that go into building a personal brand. Most people associate personal branding solely on how popular you can become on social media and how many numbers of followers you command. While these are important in branding, they only reflect a tiny aspect of personal branding.
Working with different managers across Asia, Africa, and America gave me a different perspective of what goes into a brand. Personal branding doesn’t just revolve around media presence and activities, it goes deep into the individual in question – that is their values, ethics, and self-beliefs.
What is Personal Branding?
Personal branding is all about becoming a thought leader and an influence.
Building a personal brand entails providing value in a niche(s) that people begin to associate your name with what it takes to be successful in that industry.
Factors That’ll Make You Successful When Developing Your Brand
Personal branding revolves around an individual, and in order to build a brand that can last and withstand the test of time requires being true to one’s self, understanding your strengths, weaknesses, and also values.
Listed below are other factors that’ll guide you towards developing a sustainable brand.
1. Understand your values.
The world we live in is composed of so much noise that you can easily get drowned in confusion. There are lots of useful tips out there about ‘what you should be doing and how you should be doing it’. Just because someone is doing something doesn’t mean you should do it, and it doesn’t mean you’d succeed doing the same thing.
You have to evaluate yourself and understand your values, what makes you happy, and what are you passionate about.
What is it that you can do better than any other person in the world according to Jim Collins (Good to Great). Values revolve around defining what’s important to you and sticking to it.
2. Understand your strengths and weaknesses.
Because there are so many platforms out there for you to explore doesn’t mean you should use all of them. Over spreading yourself will make it hard for you to master a platform. And if you’re a one-man show, try to focus on one platform then progress when you master it.
Also, don’t try to copy everything you hear or see, be authentic and genuine and leverage your core skills, and work on your weakness.
3. Never compare yourself with others.
Comparing yourself with others will only lead to frustration and resentment. The journey of personal branding is a self-journey and it requires work, dedication, and consistency. Just because others are excelling fast doesn’t mean you won’t, you have to be patient with yourself.
Understand that no two brands are the same, we all by virtue of our birth are different – so is our brand.
You can follow a mentor or anyone who is successful in your industry but don’t compare yourself with them.
4. Have a Goal and a Plan to follow.
Having a goal or a target is one way to avoid getting distracted on your journey of becoming something new and different. It’s easy to get sidelined in today’s media world, and it’s also easy to get the necessary exposure you require to succeed.
A goal is what will keep you focused and intentional, it is what will navigate you to your final destination of self-mastery.
5. Start where you are.
Many people think they have to acquire certain degrees or certain qualifications before they can showcase their talents or skills. Some wait for an ideal moment before they can execute their brand plan. It’s one of the biggest mistakes you can make.
Understand that there will never be an ideal moment for you, where you are right now is the perfect place to start. And if you’re inadequate, you can always bridge your weaknesses through learning. The best way to learn is by doing.
6. Tell a Story
Storytelling is an ageless principle for transmitting values and eliciting emotions. If you’re not telling a story, chances are you’ll never gather an audience.
People want to feel connected, appreciated and have a sense of belonging. They want to have that personal connection with a brand and the only way to create the connection is through storytelling.
7. You Might not be Successful the First Time
Building a brand takes time and patience. Don’t get discouraged when you don’t see immediate results. Keep working at it. Branding is like compound interest, the more you add to it, the more visible it becomes.
How do you build a Personal brand from scratch?
Personal branding takes a lot of work, and it requires an individual to be consistent with their values, beliefs, and ethics.
With that said, let’s now take a look at how to build a personal brand.
· Understand what you’re good at
In the hedge hedgehog concept by Jim Collins (Good to Great), he noted that to be great and dominate an industry revolves around discovering what you’re good at to the exclusion of everything else. It a way of saying that you should focus on one thing only. Identify your core strength and something you derive pleasure in doing and then magnify it for everyone to see.
If you don’t love what you do, chances are you’ll quit or get frustrated along the way.
· Set Goal for Yourself
After you discover what you’re good at, the next step is to set goals for yourself. Your goals might be to improve on your weakness or your core strength, or how to reach mastery in your chosen profession or niche.
It is important to have a goal on how you’ll make your progress, what to focus on, and how to channel your energy.
· Choose Your platform
One of the biggest mistakes people make when developing their brand is trying to use all the platforms available out there. This isn’t only exhausting, it’s time-consuming and often leads to frustration. Goal setting also plays an important role here.
Don’t rush into using all platforms or try to figure out all the platforms to use. Instead, you should focus your energy on owning your craft. Start small where you are, and with the time you’ll notice other opportunities to explore.
As you expand your capacity and reach, always ensure to collect contacts like emails and phones number of your clients.
· Search for Mentors or Collaborators
Investing in a mentor is one of the best things you can do when starting off. They’ll teach you all that’s required to succeed in your industry and also help you to avoid pitfalls on your way to success. Bill Gates has Warren Buffet, and Mark Zuckerberg had Steve Jobs.
Collaborating with other successful people in your line of work is another great way to expand your reach and also build your confidence. Look for people doing well or people on the same path as you are and collaborate with them.
As they say, two good heads are better than one.
· Launch Your Product
After you must have gained some traction, the next thing is for you to launch your product or services.
The benefit if launching your own product is that it gives you more credibility and makes you trustworthy.