Uncovering Personal to Build a Brand

We all know that establishing a Personal Brand is crucial in this digital age, and I couldn’t agree more.

Image via: Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Rapid globalization, technical innovations, social media explosion. They all have created a growing need within us to express and stand out from the crowd.

Personal Branding is now synonymous with reputation. Companies employing generic sales-driven marketing and advertising strategies have forced consumers to put their trust in individuals instead. Human-to-human (H2H) approach is now driving marketing and awareness campaigns.

So, what does Personal Branding involve?

Personal Branding is a continuous effort. We understand core values, define vision and mission, execute engagement-centric tactics and produce call-to-action-driven content that’s relevant and valuable to target consumers.

Data suggests, to succeed you should:

Know your target audience. Become a thought leader by regularly publishing relevant, timely and useful content. Network to build a two-way street and offer your resources and skills. Be responsive on your social media channels. Help drive growth and create trends in your industry. Be persistent to keep your brand fresh by evolving and embracing yourself.

These hacks are all well and good, and I can make sense of most of them and what they entail. There’s only one problem.

How exactly do I ‘become’ that person who can build and sustain a personal brand successfully?

This ‘become’ led me to the next question: How can I build my personal brand when I second-guess who I am and what I want?

You are thinking what role who I am and what I want play in Personal Branding strategies.

Let’s understand why.

You might have all the tools, resources and manpower to sustain your brand. But they won’t yield desired results if you don’t scrutinize your and your brand’s vision, goals and actions.

Life is a journey with infinite possibilities. The choices we make, words we use, actions we take. They all represent our conscious and unconscious efforts. We are bound by them.

On a fundamental level, everything around us has a temporary shelf life. Our physical body, emotions, memories, expectations, wealth, relationships and even failures. Unfortunately or fortunately, it’s not in our nature to let go of things that easily. Even though our mind understands that gradually things do change, we still try to hold on.

We can, however, try to change the perception about and approach toward ourselves and people in our life. This will prove critical in becoming a person capable to not only create but also sustain a personal brand that’s authentic and engaging.

So, how do you go about making that change?

Here are the 7 steps:

  1. Find yourself — Personal Branding begins with this. It’s a step that will take some years off of you. You must be thinking, ‘It’s definitely easier said than done.’ Well, join the club! I am just like you. But be brave enough to think and see within. Meditate, read, sing, exercise or nap. Do things that calm you down and help you sync your mind and body with one another. Increase their frequency in your daily routine.
  2. Embrace subjectivity — The corporate world promotes objective mindset. Whether we want to admit or not, subjective often replaces objective when we are working. What differentiates us from other mammals is our ability to express and act on our feelings. We are driven by subjective perception that’s defined by personal feelings, emotions and predispositions. Learning to accommodate others’ subjective views will make you more humane and friendly.
  3. Ask why — How many of you have completed a task assigned to you without completely understanding? Well, I have too. I think I overdo nodding. But I am trying to change that. My mentor once told the key to success lies in ‘Why’. Simple. Always ask why. You will find opportunities in places where you thought there were none.
  4. Be compassionate — We all are muscles and bones. Every one of us has gone through worst of times and come out of it smarter and wiser. Others’ opinions, suggestions, thoughts, thus, matter. Know that. This does not mean you should live by them. Instead, use them to engage and communicate better.
  5. Expand gaze — Change the way you look at and absorb your surroundings, personally and professionally. Have a long-term view that not only includes your colleagues, mentors, competitors, employees / employers but their individual goals as well. This broadens your horizon of improvement and opportunity.
  6. Read — It’s the most effective way to understand the What, Who, Where, When, Why, How of your industry. Companies are going digital and designing mobile-first campaigns. Reading enables easier consumption of ever-evolving industry trends and practices. This helps us develop hyper-personalized campaigns. Expand your mind and embody this digital age without fear.
  7. Learn — We learn something new every day. Take it all in! Be it a slang your kid keeps repeating, a song local radio doesn’t stop playing or a subject that you never liked. Open your mind and heart. You will look at yourself with different set of eyes.

Personal Branding has become fundamental to establish genuine engagement and trust with your consumers. These hacks will help you and I to create and sustain a successful personal brand and get recognized as a thought leader in our industry.

What steps do you use to achieve personal in your Personal Branding?