What is a personal brand and why you need it
We can clearly associate a number of projects or areas of activity with specific people. For example, in design we often hear about Artemy Lebedev, we associate Maxim Ilyakhov with editing, and Apple is Steve Jobs. There are a lot of examples, but the most interesting thing is: why do we immediately think of these people? Yes, they made a huge contribution and developed a lot of cool projects. But it’s also because these people have developed a personal brand.
This article tells us what the personal brand is, why we need it, and how to develop it.
What is a personal brand
A personal brand is a certain image, an image formed in people’s minds. At its best, it should be memorable, recognizable, and discussed in the professional community as well as with the general public. The image is formed by associating it with personal or professional qualities and belonging to a certain company or broadcasting an idea.
The result of its development is an increase in coverage and level of reputation. A person becomes a media personality, that is, active on the Internet and social networks.
Who needs it and when
It can be said that everyone needs a personal brand because it helps them stand out and be remembered among their competitors. But other companies (potential customers) rather want to work with the best in a particular field. Well, or take an example from them.
We are used to seeing a developed personal brand in politicians, actors, showmen, or athletes. But who else could benefit from it?
- Entrepreneurs can increase the reach of their project or business this way.
- Marketers or sales professionals can use the tool to attract new clients.
- Experts will attract people for consultations and increase the number of appearances.
- Freelancers will increase their price tag, showcase their portfolios and be able to showcase their expertise.
What’s more, developing a personal brand can be beneficial to people who are employed. As a result, such an employee will be noticed by his or her superiors, he or she will gain useful connections, and from colleagues or partners it is possible to earn respect.
In addition, a personal brand can make up for a lack of skill. This is because some employers are looking for people with a good reputation and a strong personal brand, without always scrutinizing resumes.
Who does NOT need it and when
A personal brand is not a one-size-fits-all solution to all problems. For the most part, it helps only when several factors coincide. For example, if you are:
- An expert in your field and know how to show it.
- Understand that a personal brand takes years to develop, if not months, and requires serious investment.
- Ready to spend a lot of time and money on all this.
- Have a specific goal that will be achieved only through the development of the image.
- Are able to defend your position, but do not get into an argument in the heat of the moment. This is because some people have serious battles in the comments, and such actions will not help in the development of a personal brand.
- Have cases. Now that’s the best way to demonstrate your professionalism.
And if you fail on these points, either keep learning and looking for yourself, or personal brand development is irrelevant to you yet.
In order for the venture to succeed, you will need significant achievements, the ability to present yourself, time and money to promote. But much more important is to have a goal, an understanding of why you need to develop a personal brand in the first place.
Also brand by link
Advantages and disadvantages
A personal brand is a common marketing tool, and it, like any other, has a number of pros and cons. First, let’s talk about the advantages:
- An easy way to attract and retain attention.
- Increased recognition and competitiveness.
- Increase your loyal customer base.
- Free advertising with testimonials through satisfied customers.
- A quality digital footprint. It’s to the point where your name will be googled someday, and it will be cool if what you’ve been PRing for so long comes up at the top of the search engine.
- Expanding opportunities – from moving to a larger company to starting your own new company.
But personal branding has some disadvantages, too, to name a few:
- Facing criticism and negativity anyway. This will have to be understood and remembered: there will always be those who are against you.
- An unclaimed brand wastes a lot of resources. First, determine if your audience needs you and your services.
- The need to understand the marketing mechanisms and create an aesthetic image. Any product or service won’t attract attention if it doesn’t look interesting, and it’s the same with a personal brand.
- And it’s not a fact that you’ll be able to build a sought-after image the first time around. Experiment, change your pitch and style, and maybe you’ll find something of your own.
- The need for restraint in behavior. If you start to get annoyed with someone, it’s better to either ignore them or gently push them away or block them. Your violent reaction will not attract the most loyal audience and form a wave of negativity. And to work it out then have a very long time.
As for arguments, it’s up to everyone. It is desirable, of course, to respond to comments mildly, and hot topics like politics or religion to discuss at all is not recommended.
Examples of a strong personal brand
Elon Musk. There is nowhere without the famous American entrepreneur and engineer, the CEO of Tesla, SpaceX and other companies. Most people primarily associate these companies with him. This is due to his media activity, as well as stormy comments on various situations on the Internet.
Mark Zuckerberg. We all know him as a media mogul, philanthropist, Internet entrepreneur, and co-founder of well-known social networks. Almost every news story about these platforms now includes his statements and comments. Also, if you haven’t seen the movie “The Social Network” about the founding of Facebook and its involvement in all of this, we recommend checking it out.
Bill Gates. Another American Internet entrepreneur and social activist better known as the creator of Microsoft Corporation, which gave us office products and the Windows OS.
Jeff Bezos. This man is currently the founder of the Amazon site, the owner of the aerospace company Blue Origin and the publishing house The Washington. But you have probably heard the song of the same name in his honor, which at one time made the Internet viral.
Pavel Durov. We know him mostly through sites like VK and Telegram. And his name appears in many works and online resources.
Stages of personal brand development
To come up with a personal brand, it is recommended to follow the following steps:
Understand what you want to achieve with this tool, what result you specifically want to arrive at. You should have a short and clear goal that you will achieve as a result.
Don’t forget about individuality and authenticity. If you don’t have them, you’ll just blend in with the stream of other people. Use your trait or characteristic that people pay attention to more often, then turn it into a highlight.
And don’t try to copy anyone. Just be yourself 😉
Here, formulate exactly what problems the personal brand will solve, what associations should cause. Well, define the niche in which you will stand out as an expert.
Next, specify your strengths and weaknesses. What attracts attention and makes you look good, amplify. And repulsive qualities can temporarily disguise, but later you have to work them out. Important is the acceptance of their weaknesses and shortcomings, otherwise, when the first stream of criticism, your image can not stand and fall apart like a house of cards.
Choosing your target audience
For your audience to choose you, you must first understand what they are and what they need. If you find their main pain points, and later with the help of your personal brand, the growth in popularity will be fast.
Developing a concept and key message
The key message is the message that should form in your audience’s mind when they view your blog or website. This is the message you will be broadcasting all the time. Therefore, it is better to have “on hand” evidence of your position or expertise.
On the basis of the key idea, an approximate promotion concept is worked out. This is your packaging, your image, the way your audience will eventually see you. The key message should also be accompanied by a legend, a story about how you arrived at this stage in your life and what you want to achieve.
Choosing the best site
To develop a personal brand, you should choose the site where there is already an audience. And not just any audience, but exactly your target one. Basically popular social networks and platforms are considered. There is also a variant of release guides, writing author’s books or articles in specialized magazines. A website with a portfolio and useful content will also need to be created, it will act as your main business card on the Internet.
Remember, a personal brand is not a hobby. It’s a job that requires a lot of effort and investment, constant attention and money. It may even start to take time away from your leisure time. But do not forget that the development of such a tool will bring quality results in the future in the form of increased fame and recognition.