What’s Personal Branding and How to Build One?

If you are here, reading this, then you are definitely influenced by the big personal brands in the world. Your interest might also pique from the words of digital marketers stressing about building a personal brand. But you know what, you are still confused.

 You do know the power of this and might have tried creating your personal brand on social media platforms as well. One of thre main reasons is the distrust in traditional marketing and access to media that is more centered around businesses that create an impact. But it’s not easy, is it?

Building a brand in the coaching industry requires an inner shift, knowledge about the industry, and finally the discipline to stay consistent through the highs and lows of business!

History Of Personal Brands

So let’s first talk about how personal branding came into existence. Although it has always been there, especially as a reputation in all human beings. But mostly associated with kings, pharaohs, ministers, the tribal chief in those times. Their names held reputations and people associated them with the personality traits they possessed.

When we condense and focus it on the households, the head of the family had a trait. And finally, every person already has it. But how intentional you are with respect to the public image, that matters. Now, reputation can be good or bad. But when you are building a personal brand, you will have to intentionally create a reputation with the public. Your core brand values will have to be associated with your personality, values, opinions.

The word” personal branding” was first coined in 1937 in the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.

Later, it was Tom Peters in his 1997 article “The Brand Called You” which presents branding yourself in the “Age of the Individual.”

Now, it is more rampant than ever!

What’s Personal Branding?

Personal branding is the process of creating a perception that individuals are a brand. This will include everything a business brand owns. Be it a personal brand logo, brand presence on social media networks, engagement, website, books and so on.

People trust people and not the logos and hence to create that bond with the audience, personal branding is efficient. They will know who can help them. So go-on, brand yourself!

How to start building a personal brand?

There are different stages in personal branding and if you win over the clarity part, you are halfway to success.

Brand Clarity

This is the foundation of building a personal brand. The clarity.

WHO You are

WHAT you do

WHY you do it

While answering these questions you will find your brand mission and vision statement.

Read this article on How to craft your personal brand vision and mission statements.

Brand Identity

The identity has everything with how people connect to you. The visual identity includes

  1. Brand Logo’
  2. Brand color palette
  3. Brand presence

Brand Authority

Your personal brand is perceived to be an authority or a go-to expert in your field when you gain the trust of your audience.

This can be achieved by becoming familiar with them.

Showing up consistently.

Here’s an article about “How to stay consistent with content creation and the tools I use to produce 100’s on content every single month”

Hence when you show up consistently and provide value to your audience, you showcase yourself as an authority

Brand Deliverability

It means how well you can deliver what you promised to your audience.

The traits of a strong personal brand can be identified through

  1. Value Content
  2. Differentiation
  3. Unique voice and belief
  4. The Personality Trait( eg: Kindness, brave, grit, and dedication)
  5. Personal Story to connect with the audience
  6. The reviews and feedbacks of the customers(known as User-generated content)

So How Do You Build A Personal Brand?

Let me assure you, it’s not going to be easy. Building a personal brand requires persistence, patience, and a growth mindset. There are no put and fast rules that say how to build a personal brand. It is different for each person.

But there are certain ground rules that you can adapt to brand yourself. This will be beneficial in the long run. Having a consistent record of content creation and loyalty from your followers can land you bigger gigs and also give you a purpose to work on.

A Brand Photoshoot

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Florentina

As expensive as it sounds, it is necessary when you are entering a global market. But if you are new then I have another plan. Look your best, that doesn’t mean over make-up. Just a good suit, a neat haircut, no beards or bushman eyebrows. Make yourself presentable.

Visit your nearest photo studio and get a couple of headshots done. Have them edited for a few bucks and you have a brand photo to create an online identity.

But if are aiming for a global presence and trying to take your business to the next level. I insist that you invest in a good photoshoot with a brand photographer.

The above picture credits go to Florentina, owner of goldenhourpictures and credits goes to Jolly Schwarz Photography

Consistency

This is the age of social media and hence you will probably be on a few social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, Twitter, and if you are a blogger, a dedicated blog space.

The first thing you need to do is update your profile picture. Let your brand headshot be the display picture on all the social media platforms. This will help in maintaining consistency which in turn will increase brand awareness and brand connection.

So people will know who you are!

The color palette

Owning brand colors and extensively using them is highly beneficial for people to connect with you and your industry. And If you are not into designing, the process is going to become a bit cumbersome(actually a nightmare). Hence you will need assistance either from some tools or a brand expert.

Let me take you through the free tools you can use to choose your brand colors.

  1. Choose a maximum of two primary colors and two secondary colors

The Primary colors are going to define you in your journey.

Here are some examples of strong personal branding on instagram.

https://www.instagram.com/itstimbeehler/

https://www.instagram.com/budscunningham/

https://www.instagram.com/brandbuilderdan/

https://www.instagram.com/digitalsnehaa/

You can follow these amazing people on Instagram. The first is from Brand The You.

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How do I choose my personal brand colors?

Choose two primary colors that Define your brand. Be consistent in using those on all the platforms. To choose your brand colors, let’s use some of the free online tools.

Coolors – The super fast color schemes generator!
Generate or browse beautiful color combinations for your designs.coolors.co
Color Palette Ideas | ColorPalettes.net
Free collection of color palettes ideas for all the occasions: decorate your house, flat, bedroom, kitchen, living room…colorpalettes.net

This is my absolute favorite. You get the gist of choosing the right brand colors. They have got many such templates you can choose from. Once you take the colors for your brand. Don’t forget to thank the creator over social media. It’s a good thing to give credit to the designer and the photographer!

Color Hex Color Codes
Color-hex gives information about colors including color models (RGB,HSL,HSV and CMYK), Triadic colors, monochromatic…www.color-hex.com
Color Palettes for Designers and Artists – Color Hunt
Discover the newest hand-picked color palettes of Color Hunt. Get color inspiration for your design and art projects.colorhunt.co

Do explore these tools and finalize your personal brand colors.

How does color help define a brand?

A brand has a visual impact on the reader’s mind and the customer recognizes a brand with certain colors more and hence they help in creating brand connectivity and awareness amongst its users. The color consistency helps in creating a fan base with the product.

Once you are ready with your brand colors, the next is creating content!

Choose Your Niche

Personal brands are more associated with the expertise and passion one has. But after that, we have a whole lot of clarity sessions to be done. If you are not clear about what you want or whom you are going to teach. It all goes downhill

BRAINSTORMING IDEAS TO CHOOSE YOUR NICHE AND MAKE IT PROFITABLE

To understand this perspective, you need to know about human needs, It is known as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs where the human needs are segmented.

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It is from here, you can brainstorm ideas.

These niches are concerned with helping your reader fulfill their needs in terms of Physiological, safety, love/belonging, self-esteem, self-actualization.

physiological means home, shelter, food.

You can select the niche in this category. Let’s see a few examples

Food blogger- one who travels and visits many hotels and eateries to review those places.

Cooking- You can open your own cooking blog/website and sell your recipe book as a digital product and become an affiliate to the many food products and earn a commission while promoting their brand.

Home- Design, interiors can be an amazing niche if you are interested and have an extraordinary eye for the design and architecture

Home- Decor, art, paintings. If you are an artist and you can paint sculpt, then definitely you can concentrate on this niche.

This is how you start analyzing each topic and select the niche you want to invest time into.

In the meantime, keeping these in mind, try answering the below questions to get a clearer idea because you need to be passionate as well as it requires you to be in the fields for a really long time!

  1. What do you usually search on the internet?
  2. What is that topic that keeps you hooked even while you are speaking to your peers?
  3. It might be movies, books, cooking, travel, photography, writing, business, technology.
  4. Now, I know we are interested in multiple things, but what is one thing that you gravitate the most to?

After jotting it down, I’m sure you are left with 2–3 options. Well, we love many things, don’t we?

But, here’s the catch, narrow the damn thing down.

So now you know about the needs of the people and what you are interested in. To narrow it down you need to find the target audience.

Whom are you writing for? How are you helping your readers? This answers how you will be helping your customers as a personal brand!

HOW TO SELECT YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE?

Selecting the target audience needs a well-placed action plan. Take out your journal: To keep a track of your brand-building activities Or better maintain a Trello board, I totally love managing the website from this tool!

Now, it’s time to answer the below question:

WHOM ARE YOU WRITING FOR?

For example, I selected the Niche: Blogging

I would want to solve some of the reader problems and I make a few problems sentences that my reader is facing.

A reader who wants to open a blog

A reader who wants more traffic to his blog

A reader who wants to monetize his blog.

A reader who wants information about the latest SEO updates

OR

If you select the niche as cooking, try solving the problem of a reader who:

A reader who wants to learn cooking

A reader who wants to learn south Indian Cooking/North-India cooking/Italian etc

A reader who wants to master the cooking art

A reader who has ingredients and looking for a recipe

So on and so forth.

And the list can go on: This is how you select your audience, by selecting what a reader is searching for. You need some data here, and that is why, analytics is an important concept to learn, monitor, and scale your website.

So I hope I helped you with finding out the niche and narrowing it down.

Creating Value Content

Then it is time to start THE WORK. Building a brand overnight is a myth. It is not possible. On the other hand, little achievements in completing small tasks over a period of time are sure to earn the credits.

Once you have decided on your target audience and analyzed their core problems.

Start by creating content pillars.

Content pillars are categories of the main topic that can be understood better with different sub-topics. If helping online coaches to build a strong personal brand is my niche then the content pillars would be

  1. Personal branding essentials
  2. Brand Identity
  3. Personal brand examples to inspire
  4. Personal branding on social media

These would be some of the sub-topics I would be concentrating on. Likewise, each of these content pillars will have its own bucket list thereby never running of content ideas to serve my niche.

HOW TO CREATE VALUE CONTENT?

Most of the time, we stop ourselves from giving our all. Hence we need to realize that we gave them

  1. Entertainment
  2. Education
  3. Edutainment

The third category is finding love all over the world. But it is mighty difficult to nail at that.

Hence when you are in business, focus on bringing value to the reader. Come up with something that people can save and read for later using as a guide.

How To Use Social Media To Build Your Personal Brand?

Branding yourself is all about connecting with your audiences, showing up for them, bringing solutions to the table, and letting them know that you are there for them.

Social media platforms help you to connect and be closer to your audiences.

Leverage them to grow as a personal brand.

But each of the social media platforms is a beast in itself. You need to understand the basics to tame them.

Twitter- It’s mostly connecting under 280 characters with your audience and even building a strong network connection in your field. I have met some amazing people, industry leaders and feel really connected to them.

Instagram- It’s mostly visual content that grabs the attention of its users. The many features will have you addicted to the platform but it also provides a great medium to share your insights, build your brand and show consistently to your users.

Quora- This is where you get a chance to help people in a certain way. They are asking for help, regarding a few problems and directed to experts to answer. You can leverage this opportunity to show your expertise and actually help the audience. Through this, you will be positioned as an authority or a go-to expert in your field!

LinkedIn- Are you looking to connect with the minds behind the big brands. You will be able to directly connect with them here. All the industry leaders, right from the corporate hierarchy system can be found here. This helps in your career and also in positioning your personal brand. Stay consistent, helping people is the mantra.

Facebook- Although Facebook has been undergoing a lot of transformations and video content being pushed. You can still find huge value and groups of the target audience who are always in your reach and easy to understand and craft the customer avatar.

Pinterest- It is an image search engine and ranking on Pinterest has also got great conversion rates. Those articles that didn’t make it to google’s first page can rank through the Pinterest platform.

Youtube- It has also grown massively into a video search engine. So, yes, you can help your customer through creating video content and creating trust, credibility and positioning yourself as an authority in your field.

You can use any platform but ultimately it is how you help people. How YOU are making a difference with your content.

Why is personal Branding So Important?

Branding yourself is not a matter for celebrities and influencers anymore. The world is changing at god-speed. the technologies of yesterday are of no use for tomorrow. In this chaos, the world is facing pandemics, wars, and recession.

The main question is WHY should any company keep YOU?

Then answer the question

Why can’t YOU start your own venture?

For both the questions, the answer leads you to one entity. The people! How are you helping or impacting their lies with your existence? What is it that is so powerful that people find value in your work and content?

If you are going to impact lives then your value is more.

So when this happens,

The Benefits of Building a Strong Personal Brand are

  1. You won’t go in search of jobs. Career comes and finds you.
  2. Companies won’t be able to fire you. Instead, they would be willing to pay you more
  3. Your customers will value your time and money won’t be a constraint as you provide immense value. Hence you attract premium clients.
  4. You can start your own venture when you have confidence in your skillsets and position yourself as an authority.
  5. You don’t own businesses anymore, you start brands. You are a brand and a brand stays!

Who needs Personal Branding?

Entrepreneurs, consultants, business coaches, life coaches, fitness coaches, all kinds of coaches, employees, solopreneurs, mompreneurs, everyone needs personal branding. That way they can impact more lives and live a life of abundance!

What is personal branding in business?

Personal Branding in business is the process of building yourself as a brand so that your business ideas flourish with the brand image created. Elon Musk is a personal brand and any business he opens is bound to thrive, because of how people perceive him, a highly skilled and dedicated businessman.

That is how strong building a personal brand would be!

This article might help you- What is personal branding and how to use it for your business

When is the best time to start building my personal brand?

The good time was five years ago, the next best time is NOW. So don’t delay. Start planning and work consistently for the next year. Then stay consistent over the next five years and see how your life can change!

 I hope to have answered all your queries if you need more information about this. Please reach out to bru@brandtheyou.com.

I will personally check my emails and answer each one of them.

Brunda Sunil

Brunda Sunil

Founder & SEO Content Strategist

She loves all things words. Having worked as an SEO content writer for seven years in different industries. She now passionately works as an SEO content strategist and entrepreneur. She helps start-ups, solopreneurs and personal brands with high-quality SEO content for generating organic traffic through content strategy and a holistic SEO approach to rank the client’s website on google’s first page.

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