What is one key factor of personal branding?
To help you brand yourself successfully, we asked personal branding coaches and marketing professionals this question for their best insights. From getting a professional photographer to demonstrating originality, there are several factors that are key to building a successful personal brand that stands out to your audience.
Here are 12 key factors of personal branding:
- Get a Professional Photographer for Your Photos
- Engage Your Audience With a Distinct Point of View
- Start Building Your Platform for Visibility
- Humanize Your Personal Brand
- Know How to Communicate
- Focus on Your Expertise
- Be Genuine
- Show Your Personal Side Along With What You Do
- Keep Up With Industry Trends
- Define Your Audience to Help Craft Your Story
- Network Regularly to Grow Your Professional Circle
- Demonstrate Originality
Get a Professional Photographer for Your Photos
Every professional who is looking to create an outstanding personal brand should hire a photographer to capture some head and full-body shots. Select the best photos that you will be proud to display on your website, social media and other collateral. By doing this, you will come off as polished and professional.
Jae Pak, Jae Pak MD Medical
Engage Your Audience With a Distinct Point of View
Engage your audience with a distinct point of view. Your own brand should be based on something you can speak with a level of authority, so that people who are interested in that topic or field can immediately engage with your unique take. Present a confident version of yourself that people immediately recognize and want to engage with, both in person and online. People will be drawn to engage with the best version of you. Stand out with a clear point of view, and people will grow to trust your personal brand.
Brett Estep, Insured Nomads
Start Building Your Platform for Visibility
You’ve got to start building your platform to gain visibility. Depending on your goals, it can be via website or social media. For example, for your website to get you traffic and leads, it needs to be optimized. You have to think about the purpose of each page and put yourself in your audience’s shoes. You need to guide visitors to become leads and nurture them with valuable content and a user-friendly UX. If your site doesn’t have a clear journey path from start to finish, it can make users lose interest and bounce right off!
Brenton Thomas, Twibi Digital Marketing Agency
Humanize Your Personal Brand
Many professionals and consultants aim to sound smart and inventive and so their brand statement or personal introduction sound like a business pitch. It’s certainly good to be smart about your line of work (no one will hire you otherwise) – and that needs to be part of your brand story. However, start with YOU.
The key to an effective personal brand is to humanize your story. What about you in particular will make people want to work with you?
Maybe it’s some wild adventure in your youth that makes you aware of risk, but unafraid of curiosity. Maybe it’s a wide range of jobs – you have seen business operations from many angles. Maybe it’s the fact that you raised five kids – and you are a very, very efficient time manager and a discerning listener. To paraphrase Maya Angelou, people want to work with people who make them feel connected.
Stephanie Miller, Victory Song Marketing Consulting
Know How to Communicate
If you want a brand, you’d better know how to market yourself. If you want to market yourself effectively, you’d better be a good communicator. Use social media, traditional media, or any form of media that serves you well. In the end, you need to write well AND speak well. If you’re good at one and need work on the other, get to work on improving those skills. If you’re a great writer and great orator, you will have a major advantage building your brand. Try every platform that’s out there and focus on the two or three that best serve you. Over time, you’ll be more tactical and you will know the best channels and methods to growing your personal brand.
Trevor Ford, Yotta
Focus on Your Expertise
While your value proposition and branded content get the attention of your audience, it is your expertise that will keep them interested and engaged in the long term. One great tool is your LinkedIn profile which can be thought of as an expanded resume and online portfolio, where you can share accomplishments, projects, written content like blogs, and news highlights. The most successful personal branding stays focused within a specific industry, niche, or vertical and provides additional content to position themselves as experts.
Marilyn Zubak, Snif
Being your own brand means having a willingness to put yourself out there. Your story, your content and your focus need to be genuine if you plan to resonate with your audience. No heavy embellishment, no made up credentials and no half-hearted interests should be present in your personal branding.
Whether they’re your general audience, a recruiter or a contact you hope to make, keep in mind that what you’re selling them on is you.
If you’re anything but up front and genuine, you’re going to lose any interest you mustered if you’re found to be insincere. Honesty pays with any sort of branding, personal or otherwise. Audiences want to connect with their brand in meaningful ways, be sure to provide that by being upfront about who you are and what your brand stands for.
Caleb Ulffers, Haven Athletic
Show Your Personal Side Along With What You Do
If you spend any time scrolling on social media you are bound to find someone who only creates content in their “niche” and who limits their posts to one general theme. The point of building your personal brand is to get people to connect with who YOU are, not solely on what you do. Only talking about your profession is limiting and in the future, if you so choose to change fields, all of those people who followed you for specific content will eventually fade out. By choosing to show your personal life, interests, lifestyle, etc, you’re establishing a celebrity brand. Think about The Rock or the Kardashians. Do you know them for who they are or for what they do?
Isaac Mashman, Mashman Ventures
Keep Up With Industry Trends
Staying up to date with industry trends is critical to building a personal brand. Trends are constantly changing; tools like Google Trends will help you keep up with what is going on across many social media platforms. If your brand is not up to date with the latest events, you will undoubtedly miss out on many opportunities.
David Watkins, EthOS
Define Your Audience to Help Craft Your Story
You need to determine who you’re trying to reach in order to develop your personal brand. The sooner you define your audience, the easier it’ll be to craft your story. A keen understanding of your audience allows you to better understand the type of story you need to tell, as well as how and where to tell it. Define your audience to develop ways to relate to them and hopefully sustain their support.
Dan Gray, Kotn Supply
Network Regularly to Grow Your Professional Circle
It’s crucial to network regularly to grow your professional circle as you build your personal brand. The more connections you make, and the more value you provide them, the more likely your personal brand will be recognized. Networking is also a key aspect of not only building your brand, but also advancing your career.
Seminars, alumni events, professional conferences, and job fairs are excellent occasions to consider. If you don’t get a chance to connect with someone at these events, reach out to them via LinkedIn or email to spark a conversation.
Natalia Morozova, Cohen, Tucker & Ades P.C.
The one key factor of personal branding is originality. Many professionals make the mistake of blindly listening to experts and following exact steps resulting in being just another pretty face that gets lost in the crowd of equals. They look professional, they look trustworthy, but in today’s crowded market and Information overload, this is just not enough anymore. It is not their fault, naturally, they just follow the advice. But if you want to stand out, be inventive, find your uniqueness you nobody else has. The only way to discover that is within yourself through self-exploration and self-discovery.
Ana Malovrh, GerSi, Ana Malovrh s.p.