5 Ways To Build A Powerful Personal Brand
Although the term “brand” is often associated with business, the two are different. A brand is something you’re constantly building because it’s the affirmation of who you are and what you love to do. Whether you’re a full-time employee, independent freelancer or business owner, your personal brand speaks before you. Being intentional about what you want it to stand for shapes the opportunities you attract.
But where do you start? Content and branding expert Maya Elious has five tips to build a powerful brand:
1. Understand your value.
Your value isn’t based on who you work for or your position at a job. It’s based on what you’re able to bring to the table. What is it that you do extremely well and who does it best serve? In business, we talk a lot about finding a target audience and a niche market. It helps you narrow down the list of potential customers (or employers) that you can best help and who you would most enjoy working with.
If you aren’t specific about the kind of work you do or would like to do, people won’t know to come to you for it. For example, Elious knows she can help online boutiques grow their Instagram account, but she is best at working with coaches and consultants on online content creation. So that’s what she brands herself for.
Create a value proposition that speaks to what you do and who you best help. In Elious’ case, it goes: “I help coaches and consultants create powerful content so they can expand their impact and grow their business in the online space.”
By identifying the what (creating content), who (coaches and consultants) and value (business growth), she positions herself to be a thought leader in the space. Ask yourself these questions and nail down these key answers as a first step.
2. Show rather than tell.
The more you understand your value, the easier it becomes to articulate and do it. If you’re considering a few job openings and you know you’d make a great hire, put yourself out there and let your work speak for itself. Consider going digital as part of your marketing plan. As you probably know, we are witnessing a shift to digital content. Don’t be left behind.
Create a platform where people can see what you do. Don’t hesitate to promote your accomplishments as they give you credibility. People can’t connect with you if they don’t know where they find you. Having a platform opens the door to more opportunities.
3. Understand how much your value is worth.
Most people tend to estimate their pricing based on how much they’d like to make. So they usually end up shortchanging themselves because their work brings a lot more value to an employer or client than they’re charging for.
When thinking about your rates, make a list of things that would happen if a company didn’t have you on their team. For example, as a publicist, you bring visibility to brands. You do this in specific ways — maybe by leveraging your media relations for press opportunities like interviews, speaking engagements for the founders and paid partnerships. If a company doesn’t hire you, they risk losing thousands of dollars from missed opportunities. Lead with this to start getting a sense of how much your work is really worth.
In order to properly position yourself, you have to know what problems the company is facing and how you are a part of the solution. What does a company stand to lose without having you? That is where your value lies.
4. Deliver on your value consistently and get testimonials.
Don’t be the only one talking about your value. Have other people do it too. You do this by consistently delivering, and going above and beyond in all the contracts you have. This is ultimately how you can build a loyal network of brand ambassadors and get people to refer you organically. Do what you do so well that other people start raving about you.
Ask your professional network (even your existing employer) to give you a testimonial or a “co-sign.” Have them highlight what you do well and how you’re becoming a leader in your industry.
5. Increase your value through education.
Once graduation is over and you have the degree(s), that’s when the real learning happens. You have opportunities to learn in hands-on environments with online courses, colleagues, mentors and offsite work events. Are you taking advantage of these opportunities to keep being among the best in your industry?
If you need to, set up a savings fund for conference tickets, books and other resources that further your education. Some companies even have a budget that they allocate for their employees. Find out if yours does. Showing that you have a desire to stay up-to-date in your industry shows a level of commitment that simply cannot go unnoticed.
What do you want people to know you for? This is where your personal brand comes in and why it matters.
Collected by HR Strategy’s Customer Service Dept.
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