How Do You Make Yourself a Brand and How Can Personal Branding Help You Achieve Your Goals?
The main purpose of marketing is to differentiate your brand, products, and services. Who wants to buy the same stuff? Or why would they buy your brand if you are offering the same thing as your opponent?
So what happens when you’re the subject, what makes you different from the other 8 billion people?
If you have goals such as being a leader, being recognized, respectable, being an entrepreneur; In addition to being good at what you are doing, you need personal branding, i.e. you need to differentiate yourself from other people/competitors.
When you are not a brand yourself, you cannot be different from the people around you, from many colleagues and competitors. So even if you do your job well or you are the most loyal friend, most of the time, people may not notice these features or abilities.
For example, in the case of a promotion where you work as the strongest candidate, another colleague can take that promotion.
So how do you become recognizable?
The Beginning Of Personal Branding: Making Your SWOT Analysis
Personal branding is, above all, a journey into one’s own inner world. So it’s a kind of self-discovery process.
It is as important as the process itself to discover yourself, to move with a guide and not to get lost within yourself. The guide you need is one of the most basic business analysis methods; SWOT analysis.
First, let me explain briefly for those who don’t familiar with;
The abbreviation SWOT consists of the initials of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. This method is actually an X-ray of your inner world. In this way, you know yourself better like knowing what you need to develop and what you need to put front. In addition, opportunities and threats are happening outside of your control. Those are which may have opportunities for growth/development or threaten your goals.
Let’s take a look at how to implement this after the brief briefing. We have two short and basic questions to answer before analysis;
“What is My Goal? What Do I Want To Succeed Or In Which Field Do I Want To Be Successful?”
When answering the question, you should take care to set as clear and measurable goals as possible. Because if your goal is not clear and measurable, you cannot measure whether you have achieved the goal by performing the correct analysis.
In my story, my goal was to get a job after 3 months from my university graduation. The company should be a start-up and I wanted to work internationally. Also, I would like to be a manager in my first year at that international company. My field was Marketing Management. Seems like a tough goal :) But I succeed it.
After finding your own goal, you can respond to the second question.
“Who Is My Target Audience? What Are The Common Characteristics Of The Target Audience?”
Each brand must have a specific target audience. It is essential for your success how accurate and precise your target audience is. Let’s examine through my story as an example. The questions we need to answer are:
- Which company would be fit for my personal goal?
I always wanted to work in the education sector. But classical education companies were not interesting to me. I was looking for something new like e-learning.
- Which company can give me a chance to work freely rather than limiting me with basic and repetitive daily works?
I’m not a person who can sit on the same chair every day and do the exact same things every day. That’s not me. So the company which I will be work at, should be supportive of persons like me to create new things and follow the passion which may lead the company to success.
- What will they want from me?
I’m a person that overcome from hard problems with creativity, love to work in the field of marketing and loyal person to the company which helps to go further every time and work harder if needed for the company success.
After answering these two basic questions, we can now start the analysis.
A little warning before you start!
It is of great importance to be objective and multilateral in SWOT analysis.
For example, when choosing your strengths, you should not identify your strongest points in your opinion, identify yourself with what you really good at and which is really noticeable by others.
So if you don’t sure about it or if you can’t fully realize it, you should definitely get the support of the people you believe will be honest with you.
First Step: Deciding Your Strengths.
When you consider your goals and your target audience, what are your most important strengths to help you to achieve your goals?
I’m a really hard worker, creative person and my job is my passion. Also, my attitudes are not like a fresh graduate. More like a mature person. And I have a strategic thinking ability which helps me to see the whole picture and talk and act wisely. Those can help me to deal with lack of experience problem and make me a manager in my job.
Those are not just my opinions. I have many proofs to assure those are true and I got help to choose them as my strengths depending on my goal. You too can search for proofs for your strengths and/or get help from your friends who you can trust to be objective against you.
Step Two: Discover Your Weaknesses.
In this step, it is very important to discover and identify your weaknesses objectively. Because your target audience will consider them. This can create barriers between you and your goals. It is therefore important to discover them clearly and to decide how to fight them.
In my case, my weakness is that I resist against the managers if I see that they are following wrong issues and I follow the things that I think is right.
This is a huge handicap for me and I’m still working on it :)
Your weaknesses are your areas of development that you should work most on in your branding process.
First of all, to start with the most effective one can be the best.
However, developing your weaknesses is not usually a process that will occur immediately. In this process, you must produce strategies to mitigate them, to cover them with other aspects and to prevent them from going forward.
Third Step: Being Aware Of The Opportunities In Front Of The Door
In fact, it is necessary to see that this is not just about you. So you need to be aware that there are variables that are not under your control and that can affect you well or badly. The first is the opportunity. Opportunities can be shortcuts to your destination. Being aware of them may be something that will increase your chances of success and affect your strategy.
In the company that I worked with was supporting young people to get more responsibility and be more creative rather than only doing what managers say. Also, there was a new brand borning in the company and they needed someone to manage marketing operations. Guess what? I was the candidate :)
That was a great opportunity for me to gain more and more experience in a short time and can prove my abilities against my managers.
The Last Step: Confronting Threats
Threats are situations or events that occur outside your control, such as opportunities, that may affect you. Threats are likely to have and may have a significant impact on your goal.
In the company, there was a managerial crisis in the marketing department. That could be a barrier between me and my goal because no bodies attention was on me and the current manager doesn’t like me because of my weakness. He could fire me anytime before I got a new job in a new brand under different managers responsibility.
In such cases, it is very important to develop an action plan to combat the threats you have identified. When the threat in our example occurs, it can be a good solution to step back and try to repair bridges between me and my manager.
Bonus Tip: Image as a Companion of Your Personal Brand
After making our analysis and final arrangements, the image is in order. The image is how you look like in other people mind. If you want to be a successful brand, you must integrate what you really are with the image that your audience wants to see.
It may be very important for the target audience that you are intellectual, social, cool. In this case, your image should be based on these values.
The image is even more important than what you do and what you can do. But remember, a good brand doesn’t just give the best promises, it’s the ones that make promises into reality.
That is, you can create the best image with your speech, association membership, and resume, but you cannot succeed if you don’t really fit into that image.
It is a good practice to study the most successful people in the same or similar fields as you before working on your image. Even those who have the same audience as you, their clothing, their speech, their sociality, and the language they use on social media can be inspiring for you.
With these examinations and creating your image with the information which you get in defining your target audience, then integrating yourself with this image will make you the desired and wanted person.
The only rule:
Never lie to your audience and yourself. Don’t act like someone you’re not. However, an image you truly embrace can bring you to success and happiness.
End of The Story
I’m currently [18.04.2019] working as a Business Development Manager and I got the promotion in my first year. We are a global company and I work with a lot of people around the world. Just like I wanted.
You can achieve your goals too. Just use this simple but very effective guide to it. That’s the secret. I believe in you that you can achieve your goals in your journey. You should believe yourself too before starting it. Your goal is waiting for you to get it, to touch it, achieve it…