“You” are The Brand

According to Wikipedia, personal branding describes the process of people positioning themselves and their careers as ‘brands’, self-packaging themselves for success.

It's best to start young
It’s best to start young, especially if you’re going to be a rock star.

When people think of personal branding, often they refer to celebrities and moguls like the Justin Biebers, Richard Bransons, Donald Trumps, and Timberlands of the world. You think of Trump Tower, not the man, Donald Trump. You think of Bieber Fever or The Biebs, not the boy behind the brand.

But this is how it works for us mere mortals – we market ourselves to others in order to become ‘our own personal brand’.

Personal branding is driven by the career path you’re on, the hobbies that occupy your spare time, the people you spend time with, your behavior patterns, and the financial influence you have on people, amongst other factors. Just as celebs and corporate brands use tactical strategies to market themselves, so we too need to build brand equity and form a name for ourselves.

How do you create your own brand?

When I was in school, I often thought that only teenagers don’t know what they want to do with their lives career-wise, yet when I started working, I discovered that, damn, there are a load of people that actually don’t know what ‘job’ they should be doing! And many have often settled for whatever they can find.

Brand building tattoo
When was your personal brand established?

That’s why it’s important to follow the process of personal branding, by…

Recognising your brand

Every one of us needs to discover ourselves – what is the biggest driver of your passions, and who inspires you the most to fulfill these passions? Having a role model is key, and yes, even the big shots have role models.

Setting goals, having a clear vision of where you want to go, and a mission for how you will get there is critical. Recognising your brand includes both believing in yourself, and being yourself.

Building your brand

Brand differentiation and adding value are two very important factors in building your brand. The brands we know and love are successful because they have their own identity! Take Lady Gaga for example; she’s different, and people love it! You as a ‘brand’ need to add value to people’s lives, make them feel as if you have something unique to offer them. A simple way to do this is to take the time to listen to people and share your thoughts with them.

How to stand out from the crowd
[Head]Stand out from the crowd.
The next step is to find a niche in the market and become the master of that niche! Work toward a goal and be ready to work hard. The best way to build your own brand could be through online marketing. Use social channels to advertise yourself, network, and meet people. Having a good website is key, and blog often enough with interesting content to build up your name through consistency.

Carrying your brand

Be responsible with ‘your’ brand. Never slip up on keeping your online profiles tidy; ensure you are blogging often enough; join the conversation; share your ideas, dreams, and thoughts with people; and basically,  keep people interested in you!

Be reliable and stick to your word at all costs. Deliver on the things you say you are going to deliver on, and never keep a customer waiting.

The art of marketing thyselfBe creative. Change things up once in a while! Come up with interesting topics and ideas when using your online profiles to advertising yourself, and ultimately your business.

Remember, if people find your content boring, it’s as simple as a click of a button to get rid of you in their eyes. They just have to unfollow you on Twitter, or delete you off Facebook.

Lead the way. Show your competitors, and by competitors I mean people in your industry or your fellow sales rep at work, how things should be done and always carry yourself appropriately because you are your very own brand name.

All of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.” ~ Tom Peters in Fast Company.