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You snooze, you lose – Personal branding is a game changer

First things first, what exactly is personal branding? And how does personal branding affect a business or your career trajectory?

Personal branding is a form of storytelling.  At a corporate level, it is how the company represent itself, it is who the company is, how they differentiate themselves from their competitors and lastly, what is their value proposition – in other words, what makes your brand stand out from the rest and what value it offers to the consumers? Whereas for a personal level, it is the image you project – how you want the world to see and know you: it could be your vision, mission, principles, goals and ethos in a professional landscape.

In the past few years, the concept of personal branding has gained much momentum and traction as the job market becomes more competitive.

Many high-profile individuals, be it celebrities, politicians and various public figures, most of them are tied to a personal brand. Take Elon Musk, Barack and Michelle Obama, Mark Zuckerberg, even BTS are great examples where they have already established an impeccable level of identity in the public realm.

They managed to unvarnished the nature of social media, allowing themselves to be vulnerable by revealing more of their real personalities, this creates a sense of genuine connection with their followers as showing true personalities through content that makes celebrities appear more human.

Though some might think its hype, but branding yourself is extremely important at this day and age especially in a professional context. The widespread use of the internet and social media have made it essential for any professionals.

For instance, it is impossible to disassociate Tesla with Elon Musk, same goes to Apple where the tech giant is an embodiment of the late Steve Jobs. When you think of Microsoft, your mind would naturally pivot to Bill Gates. Microsoft is Bill Gates. Amazon is Jeff Bezos. Tesla is Elon Musk. These public figures are synonymous with the companies they have built, tethering their personal branding to magnets on a fridge.

Continue reading if this excites you and makes you want to take the next step in personal branding.

Here are five proven steps to build your personal brand:

  1. Figure out who you are and what you want to accomplish

A personal brand requires you to be an honest reflection of yourself, what are the skills that you have, what are your aspirations, values and principles, what motivates you to get out of bed, what work drains your energy and what work fuels you, what industries do you find interesting, what impact do you want to create?

It is crucial to determine this vital information – take a step back, reframe your thoughts, think deeply and most importantly is to be authentic.

  1. Discover your unique value proposition

To build your personal brand, it is important to leverage on your differences as it is what makes you unique and stand out from everyone else.

If you have no unique selling point, you will be seen as similar to everyone else out there and your personal brand would not be authentic. Always keep in mind that people remember those who stand out from the crowd, as it allows you to achieve “top of mind” awareness from the rest.

  1. Optimize your personal websites and social media profiles

In this day and age, almost everyone has access to the internet and probably already possess a personal website and multiple social media profiles to gain traction, engagement and social awareness. As for social media profiles, there are abundance of different channels to utilize, ranging from Tiktok to Instagram to Linkedin. While it is vital that these various platforms align to tell a cohesive message, choosing and focusing on one would bring better results.

So, what should you include in your personal website and social media profiles for a start?

Key points such as your interests, education, aspirations, past experiences and accomplishments, testimonials, your unique value proposition are valuable assets for both personal website and social media profile.

  1. Be consistent with your content and always add value to your audience

You have to be consistent with your messaging on your social media profiles. There are way too many talents and leaders with extremely strong social presence, and one thing in common amongst them would be their consistency in creating content that is insightful, imparting knowledge and being involved in conversations within their industries or in topics that interests them, step by step, they create a community with an impact.

  1. Building a tight knit community of your own

We can all agree that social media is overly saturated with content, and amassing a large following may seem incredibly impressive, it is not going to generate any value for your personal brand if there is no engagement in place.

Building a community is creating a space where people would converse with one another and helping each other out. If you are thinking of starting a business or to advance your career, joining Facebook or Linkedin groups, joining or conducting webinars and meet ups would help.

Building your personal brand requires an enormous amount of effort and time, and it is almost impossible to succeed overnight. However, the payoff would be massive if done correctly and consistently. A successful personal brand allows you to build a network and community of professionals and like-minded individuals who value your worth, opinions and perspectives. It does not matter if you are building a business from scratch, or you want to accelerate your career, or to find a mentor, a great personal brand will pave the road for you and get you to where you want to be in life.