Become an Influencer
Bulldog Marketing is the only marketing agency that offers to help you be your own brand. Growing a personal brand requires:
- Building a platform
- Identifying your weaknesses & strengths
- Own your space
- Share your knowledge via different mediums
- Craft a brand persona
- Set benchmarks for success
Reasons Why You Need to Build a Personal Brand
Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey – ask anyone who these people are and most would be able to give you an answer. All four of these people were incredibly successful in their prospective markets, but more importantly all four also cultivated their personal brand.
What Is a Personal Brand?
Branding has long since been the domain of businesses, but in today’s social media addicted world, creating a personal brand is just as important.
Just like a business, your personal brand communicates your values, experience and message to others. Even if you don’t actively manage it, we all have a personal brand. It’s what we stand for. Don’t believe it? Look at your friend’s list and see what word or words you associate with the people on your list.
The Business of Marketing Yourself
The question today isn’t whether you should have one, it’s if you decide to guide your personal brand or let others define it for you. The former is obviously better than the latter. Even knowing that, only 15 percent of people have a defined personal brand and only 5 percent are actively maintaining it.
If you’re not in the business of marketing yourself, is there a reason to have a personal brand? The answer is yes!
A solid personal brand can provide you with a ton of opportunities. Even if you’re not a consultant or freelancer, a professional and attractive brand can lead to career advancement or a career change. Of course, for entrepreneurs, consultants, etc. it’s even more important as you are essentially marketing yourself as a service. If you have a brand that doesn’t stand out or stands out in a bad way, you’re unlikely to get many customers or clients. On the flipside, a good personal brand can lead to speaking engagements, media appearances, writing opportunities and more, all of which can further your status as thought leader in your market.
One of the best ways to manage your brand is to curate your social media presence. This might mean deleting potentially off-message posts. These include links to articles that have nothing to do with your market, pictures/memes that don’t communicate your message or values and so on. Even if you have a separate Facebook page for brand, you should absolutely go through your personal pages and cull some of the posts. You never know what will come back to haunt you.
A compelling brand can help you both online and in-person as people will automatically find you interesting. After all, a well thought out brand provides you with a story to share about yourself, your skills and your experience. It’s an easy way to find like-minded people who share your interests or, if you play your cards right, find customers and clients.
Of course, when networking (online or in-person) you need to approach it authentically to actually connect with people. People can tell very quickly if you’re only talking to them for your own benefit. Make sure you are actually engaged in the conversations and don’t push a sales pitch on people. It’s bad etiquette regardless of whether you’re doing it to your Facebook followers or a person you just met. It’s also a great way to reduce the value of your brand if you appear like you’re using people.
We’re constantly evolving and changing, even if we don’t think so. Every experience we have, good or bad, shapes the way we look at the world and ourselves. Many people feel lost throughout their 20s and even 30s on this constant search for their identity and self. This isn’t a modern invention either. Humans have been looking to develop their “self” for centuries. However, it’s only recently that this need has increased as there’s a higher demand for people to build their “individual capital.”
By bringing awareness to yourself and what you choose to share with others, who you are and what you stand for becomes more apparent to you and to others. While this might not seem like a true representation of who we are, a study finds that individuals who show a selected, nuanced part of their identity actually have greater freedom to express their identity and self.
The way you represent yourself to the world affects the jobs you’re offered, your circle of friends and even the people who fall in love with you. Unlike a company brand, you can’t distill your personal brand to into a logo or mission statement. After all, it’s all about expressing your value and your ‘why’.
So how does this build confidence? Defining your mission and purpose allows you to have a better grasp on who you are and makes it easier for you to embody your true self through your clothes, the way you speak, the way you write and even the way you walk. Knowing who you are and what you represent is incredibly empowering. And the more confidence you have, the more you’ll attract more people to you.
Creating a strong personal brand isn’t something that you happens overnight. It can take months or years to build it up, especially if you’re just getting started. As mentioned earlier, a personal brand is what others associate with your name based on your actions, presentation and appearance.
So how can you get others to view you in the way you want?
- Pick a theme – what word or phrase do you want people to associate with you? Once you find your theme, it will be easier to choose the types of stories you share.
- Find your difference – It’s likely there are hundreds if not thousands of people who have a similar “theme” to you. In order to compete you need to pinpoint what sets you apart from the rest.
- Create your personal branding statement – much like a company’s mission statement, your brand statement acts as a guidepost to how you present yourself to the world. It combines your theme, your difference and your skills and expertise into a short, but cohesive paragraph.
It can be difficult coming up with a truly inspiring personal brand, but luckily there are professionals who can help you craft one so you can start living your best life.