For most people, the word brand denotes a company, especially one that is widely known. But, a personal brand is as important as a company brand as it is what defines you and sets you apart from the rest. A strong personal brand makes it possible for you to get jobs, promotions, and recognition in the industry.
Building a personal brand is a proactive way of ensuring that your career takes the path you want it to take. A personal brand does not simply mean a good online presence. It means that you are good at your job that when a person hears your name, they can immediately associate you with a certain expertise. Think of Mutua Matheka, or Bikozulu. When you hear their names, you think expert photography and a wordsmith, respectively.
Building a Personal Brand
Know What You are Good at
A personal brand is built on a certain expertise. So, identify what you are good at and work on building it until you attain expert-level knowledge. Your personal brand should be linked with a certain field so that it becomes what you are associated with. Once you know what you are good at, identify your strengths and weaknesses and work on maximising on your strengths. Just like any brand identifies its niche and works on becoming the best, so should you.
Create an Online Presence
The digital space has definitely created opportunities for you to improve your visibility. When trying to build a personal brand, choose a suitable platform to share your knowledge and skills with the world. Whichever platform you choose, ensure that it is best suited for your kind of brand and actively participate in conversations, apart from sharing information. The important thing is to ensure that you are not just hiding online and that you are showcasing your expertise. While at it, keep off issues that could negatively impact your brand.
Be Deliberate with the Information You Share
People get to know you from the information you share with your networks. As such, avoid the temptation to binge-share unnecessary information both online and offline. Remember, apart from your ability to be good at what you do, the information you put out to the world shapes how people perceive you. Remember, even the biggest brands in the world have a certain brand image and brand voice. When creating yours bear this in mind.
Know Your Values
All big brands have a mission, a vision and core values. While having a mission and vision is important, having values matters even more. These are principles that define you and what you stand for. They guide you in your day-to-day activities and you strive to ensure that you stick to them. Values shape how you make decisions, which will become synonymous with you and your brand.
The importance of networking can never be overemphasised. Whether it is online or offline, networking helps you gain insights into your industry and share your knowledge as well. Remember, brand visibility within your own industry is what really counts, especially as you grow in your career. So network actively and share insights with your circle on a regular basis.
Building a personal brand requires deliberate efforts. You must be clear on what you want your brand to be like and project this same image to the world around you. A strong personal brand can pave way for growth in your career so take it seriously and work on it.