Personal branding defines differentiation and differentiates market winners. If you think about how much content each person sees in a day, you will understand why the competition in the market is so intense. Personal branding is the name and reputation game; A trump card will help you attract the attention of the target market more than other competitors.
Personal branding is more than a practical method, it depends on the mind of the person. It means that you must first cultivate the mentality necessary to become a brand in your mind and then proceed to the branding process. In this article, we are going to examine personal branding both mentally and practically. After reading this article, you can make a suitable plan to become a brand in your field of work.
More than a billion names are searched on Google every day. Your name might be one of these searches, of course, if you try to get out of your inner cave!
We have previously discussed what personal branding is and a summary of why and how to have a proper personal brand.
In this article, we want to talk about “What is personal branding and why is it important“. Stay with us
What is personal branding?
To start, we will answer the question of what is personal branding. We will start with an example and explain in a practical way what personal branding is.
Imagine that you are the CEO of a business that is going to sign a contract with another organization for cooperation, and you are the one who is going to manage this joint project.
In the first case, let’s assume that you are a person who has completely worked on the branding of your organization and your business is known in the market. Probably, this will encourage the CEO of the target organization to cooperate with you. But since this person does not know you, he is not sure if you can complete the project or not, and this creates doubt in him. No matter how professional you are, the CEO of the target organization must research you and then sign a contract.
In the second case, suppose you are someone who, in addition to working on the organizational brand, has also paid attention to personal branding. You have a personal website, LinkedIn account, Instagram, etc., and your resume is known. In this case, when your audience sees your resume and the brand you have created, they will realize that you are an expert in your work and that your skills have been seen. As a result, he probably doesn’t need to do research and will sign a contract with you in the same initial meetings. In this episode, we introduced you to what personal branding is. Stay with us in the rest of the article.
In both cases, you are the same person with the same skills and abilities; But in the second case, you have introduced yourself to the market and as a result, can cooperate with the best in the market.
The meaning of personal branding
The meaning of personal branding is that a person presents some of their characteristics in such a way that they are known in the job market and among their audience. Take Cristiano Ronaldo for example. He has become a powerful brand in football and almost everyone who knows what football is knows the name of this player. Ronaldo is famous in football and no one knows if he can be a good advisor and guide people in the right way or not. His personal brand focuses on his expertise.
Sometimes the definition of personal branding is also used for groups. We see this issue a lot in music groups; In recent years, many singers and musicians have formed groups called “Band” and have created a brand for this group. The audience knows the name of the group and many of them are not familiar with the names of its members. This is also the definition of personal branding.
History of personal branding
Napoleon Hill was the first person to raise the topic of personal branding in the famous book “Think and Grow Rich” in 1937, and the history of personal branding began there. After that, the book “Positioning: A Battle for Your Mind” also talked about personal branding strategies for business development.
Tom Peters was the person who in 1997 in the article “Brand in your name” explained real personal branding and introduced it as a unique topic. In this article, he said that each person is the manager of his brand and should make money by promoting his features, abilities, and skills. In this article, he said that personal branding makes you gain credibility in the market and do business with the help of this credit. The credibility you earn in the marketplace can be as valuable as the services or products you offer.
After that, experts and experts in the field of management talked more about personal branding. Many of them believed that building a personal brand is closely related to digital marketing.
Reasons for the importance of personal branding
Imagine that a director wants to choose an actor for his new film. There are two candidates for the main role in the film: the first one is an unknown person who says that he has great acting skills and can play this role well, but he has not acted in any film so far. The second person is Leonardo DiCaprio and he doesn’t say anything!
If you were the director, which one would you choose?
Do you even go to the audition and measure the skill of the first person in playing the role?
Your answer to this question raises the importance of personal branding.
In the following, we have mentioned five of the most important reasons for the importance of personal branding.
- The audience has a clear picture of your skills and professionalism and knows exactly what you can do.
- You are marketable enough that you choose who to work with instead of others choosing you.
- You will gain valuable connections.
- By building a personal brand, you will get a better definition of your personality and skills.
- You have a marketing trump card that no budget can buy.
Principles of personal branding
So far in the article, we know what personal branding is and how important it is in business. From now on, we will enter into more practical topics and start by teaching the principles of personal branding. We have explained it fully in the article “Principles of creative personal branding“.
If we want to make everything simple and practical and do not have any additional words in our discussion, we can summarize the principles of personal branding in three parts. In the following, we provide information about each section.
The first principle: self-knowledge
First of all, you need to determine in which field you intend to become a brand and which of your characteristics is known as your brand. Self-knowledge requires you to identify your values and priorities, what you are interested in, and which of your characteristics and skills are valuable to your audience.
It is better to use pen and paper to implement the first principles and rules of personal branding so that nothing is forgotten. For self-knowledge, you can answer the following questions:
- What are you interested in doing?
- Which of your personality traits and behavior do you like the most?
- What do you think are your strengths?
- In what fields are you skilled and professional?
- In what area would you like to be professional and well-known?
- Do you need more training or are you ready to stand out in your area?
- What values are most important to you?
The second principle: aesthetics
Many people do not pay attention to this principle and think that as soon as they have a skill and put it forward, they will become a brand. But the principles of personal branding are connected like a tricycle, and if each of them does not exist, the other principles will not work.
Aesthetics is what first draws the audience’s attention to you and makes them listen to you. Aesthetics is important in all dimensions; Work environment decoration, cover, style, site user environment, design of virtual pages, content, etc.
Your appearance and interior should be similar to the brand you intend to build.
The third principle: is to introduce the brand
The third principle includes all the parts that show you and your brand to the audience. There are different methods for this; Marketing and advertising, search engine optimization, holding campaigns, etc. Some of the principles of personal brandings, such as aesthetic factors and brand marketing, are the same as branding for businesses.
Of course, you should also pay attention to the space you choose to introduce yourself. For example, if a manager places ads on an entertainment page and produces humorous content for personal branding on Instagram, he will not get the desired result.
The principles of personal branding say to know yourself first, then set up a showcase for the show and then start the show!
How to do personal branding? (Steps of personal branding)
The implementation of personal branding principles is another important point in this process. Of course, thanks to Instagram in Iran, some people have become famous and have many followers without following the principles of personal branding and professional methods. We all know them too; People who have been raised without any special skills and with margins.
In my opinion, it is better not to consider these people as personal brands and to use the standard method that professional people take. In the following, we will explain the steps of this process to reach the answer to the question of how to do personal branding.
Step 1) Specify who you are and what you specialize
When you implement the first principle of personal branding, it will also pass this stage. At this stage, you should clarify four points:
- The purpose of your brand (what do you intend to achieve by creating a brand?)
- Brand mission (why brand)
- Brand’s point of view (in what sense and in what area do you become a brand?)
- Brand personality (Which one of your personality traits is mentioned in your brand?)
In general, in the first stage of personal branding, you should create the backstage of the show. Of course, you don’t need to clarify everything from the beginning. Maybe there are some vague points in your mind at the beginning that will become clear along the way. Once you’ve planned, strategized, and made up your mind about the personal brand you want to build, you can move on to the next steps of personal branding.
Step 2) Determine your target audience
To know how to do personal branding, we need to know who we are branding for. Creating audience personas is the best way to get to know your audience. You need to determine which people are going to know you; These are the people who benefit from knowing you and can benefit from the added value you create.
Choosing the wrong target audience is like selling sand in the desert! For example, if Mr. Dekami targets technical technicians who usually don’t think about management as an audience, they won’t have any personal branding achievements.
Step 3) Find the right space for activity and content creation
After you know your audience, you need to know where they hang out the most. We have already mentioned that personal branding is more related to digital marketing and is not mentioned as much in physical marketing as in virtual space. So finding the right space means finding the platform where your audience is most active. You don’t have to be limited to one platform, but make sure you’re not in the wrong space.
For example, a programmer cannot find his target audience on TikTok or Instagram. Because most of the users of these applications are people who have installed them for fun and do not open them because of writing code. On the other hand, professional spaces such as the site or LinkedIn and in some cases YouTube can be suitable platforms for the personal branding of a programmer.
Step 4) Create value
If we consider the answer to the question “how to do personal branding” as a road that you are going to travel, we can say that in the previous three stages you have prepared your car to travel this road and in this stage, you will move on the road. Now you know the space and the audience and you should start producing content. Content that creates added value and is useful for the audience.
If you still don’t know how to add value to your audience, don’t worry. Think without limits, pay attention to the values you wrote in the first principle of personal branding, and think about what your brand can add to this world. These questions are key and very deep and may take a long time to answer. But until then, don’t despair and keep going.
The fifth stage in personal branding begins when you have built your brand and have been promoted, and you must plan to achieve the goals you have specified.
Personal branding methods
Personal branding methods can be divided into three general categories. In the following, we will explain each of the ways of personal branding.
- Method 1: Brand yourself
Some people use personal branding methods for themselves. For example, a manager turns himself into a brand in the field of management and benefits from it.
With his personal brand, he can find better colleagues and build powerful connections. He can also implement his plans more easily and put his organization on the path of growth. He uses the advantages of branding for his own and his organization’s benefit.
- The second method is: Use your brand for other companies
The second and third personal branding methods are usually used by celebrities. One of the most famous people who chose the second method is Ronaldo. You have probably seen his advertisements for the Clear brand. Ronaldo has used his personal brand to benefit Claire and is paid handsomely in return. This is also one of the methods of using a personal brand.
- The third method is: Use personal branding to develop your own business.
The third method is not similar to the second method. In this method, the branded person directs his audience to use a specific product or service. But the people who choose the third method, establish a brand by themselves and do advertising for it. For example, David Beckham was one of the people who chose the third method and founded his perfume brand in 2006. Many Iranian celebrities have also chosen this method of personal branding.
8 of the most practical personal branding techniques
The generalities of personal branding have been discussed up to this part of the article. But there are still details in this topic that you should know and apply to build a successful brand. Personal branding techniques are considered to be a kind of potter’s foot in this process, which we have discussed below.
1. Create an original brand
Fake brands disappear very quickly. Some people spend a lot of money on advertising and they can become famous for a while, but after a while, they are completely forgotten. Because they have not created value. Authenticity in personal branding means being yourself and showing something in your brand that exists!
Some people overdo the aesthetic principle of personal branding and mistake it for showing off. The meaning of aesthetic is not to take a photo in such a way that the logo of a Benz car must be in the picture, or to mention during your conversations, what is the area of the house where you live! Aesthetic means to be stylish while being original, behave with manners, and show the characteristics of your brand in yourself.
Expressing this issue in words is a bit challenging; But probably with the many examples you have seen in cyberspace, you understand my meaning very well that a rich person is very different from a rich person. To be original, you have to be rich.
2. Not everyone needs to know you
One of the personal branding techniques is to focus on the target audience. Not everyone is going to know you and be familiar with your brand. You are also not going to try to introduce yourself to everyone. Never forget that you have identified your target audience in the second stage of the personal brand-building process. They are the only people who need to know your personal brand.
3. Be committed to your brand
Many people don’t use the third technique and that’s why they don’t feel good. Of course, the third technique is largely dependent on the first technique. It means that you must first create an original and real brand so that you don’t need to pretend to be something you are not. After that, you can use the third personal branding technique.
Commitment means that even when you are not in front of your audience, you still look like your brand, and you can only do this when you have introduced your inner characteristics as the brand’s personality. If there is a big discrepancy or difference between who you are and what you have shown others, you will not be successful in personal branding and you will not experience a good mood.
4. Always keep going
We always summarize the continuation in three key points:
- The personal branding process takes time. You may be active for a few years and no one knows you, but suddenly in a few months, you will appear and many target audiences will get to know you.
- Staying brand is as important as building a brand. Probably you have also seen people who are known and after that, they did not grow anymore and continued the same process as before. This issue has caused them to be removed from the competitive market and no one remembers their names anymore.
- You will be a brand as long as you are in front of your audience. Your audience may recognize many personal brands. So if they don’t see you for a while, they will forget you little by little. In digital marketing, the saying “whatever is lost is lost” is true to a large extent.
5. Be different
Differentiation is one of those personal branding techniques that does not need to be explained! Your brand must have a unique style and personality to remain in the minds of the audience. Copying and being similar to others will never make you a brand.
Of course, you may not have an idea of the distinction at first. But try to use creativity, ideation, and innovation to use at least one distinguishing feature from competitors in your personal brand.
6. Learn to deal with critics
There is no person who has done personal branding but has no critics. Unfortunately, the culture of criticism in Iran’s virtual space has not yet been created, and many people express their negative opinions in unpleasant tones. You must learn to deal with opponents and critics. Sometimes you need to be firm, sometimes you need to answer in a friendly way, and sometimes you just need to be silent. But you should never be angry and disrespectful. Doing so will seriously damage your personal brand.
7. Pay attention to the audience
This technique is very simple and to implement it you can do anything that you think will make your audience feel valued. In the following, we have provided some suggestions in this regard.
- Answer comments and questions.
- Sometimes organize free live programs or webinars.
- Give gifts to the audience.
Of course, giving importance to the audience largely depends on the persona and the space in which you are present. For example, the last two suggestions in the above list are not suitable for professional audiences who are not looking for entertainment or learning.
8. Too much humility and too much claim is harmful to personal branding
You have probably heard the proverb “The more fruitful the tree, the lower the head.” But if the head is too much under the tree, its branches will break and dry! So forget this adage in the world of digital marketing and personal branding and talk about your skills and achievements instead of being humble. Remember that branding means showing what you are!
Of course, some people overdo it in the area of personal branding and become a “hollow drum” with too much volume. This case is also one of the viruses that plague some people in the process of personal branding.
Personal branding techniques
Step 1: Reveal your personal brand
All you have to do is find or slowly develop the qualities and behaviors you want others to associate with you.
You can’t do this overnight! Be patient and spend some time.
At the same time, you should not choose for your brand characters, those who are not you and you are very different from it; Ask yourself:
- What is my greatest strength?
- What is my area of interest?
- What qualities do I have that make me unique and special compared to others?
Step 2: Set goals
Now that you have a sense of what makes you and your brand stand out; It’s time to set goals. What kind of audience and market will you reach with this brand? What will you and your brand achieve?
Define your target market: Find your target market. What kind of people do you need to prove yourself to? Focus on your target audience first.
- Competitor Research: Find your competitors and research them thoroughly. What makes you different from them? What are your advantages over them? Work on these differences; The difference between you and your competition is what can lead to success.
- Business Agreements: What do you want to know about his name? What is the first thing that comes to people’s minds when they hear your name? honesty? Professional work? discipline? gravity? dangerous?!
Step 3: Design a communication plan for yourself
Thanks to the development of the internet and especially social networks and all kinds of platforms that help you communicate with others; You can cultivate strong connections for yourself on these platforms. Follow these things on social media:
Media selection: Choose the best media that fits your brand promise. LinkedIn may be the best way for some and Twitter for others.
The content strategy of each media: Study the principles of activities in each network. I do not mean the operation of its buttons. Each social media site has its content production strategy. You want to create content one way on Instagram and another way on Twitter.
Brand Agreement Violation: Never post content on these networks that violates the Brand Agreement. We are not saying that you must always and precisely use photos and special texts of your works; No, just don’t break the brand agreement.
Step 4: Check the Google search results
What websites people visit when they search for your name on Google is very important. If you intend to brand yourself, you must take care to attract a part of your audience that found you through Google.
What should I do if my name does not appear in the results?
If your name does not appear in the results, create an account on (at least) one of the following social networks:
Engage your audience more.
Start a WordPress website with a suitable format, or if you can’t, create a good blog with a good format and create content according to the area you are interested in. To be active, you must be able to maintain your relationship with your audience in the best possible way.
Does personal branding have a book to read?
One of the ways to grow in the path of personal branding is to read books. Even if these books are not directly related to this topic, they will still strengthen your academic load and can help in the brand-building process. But studying in this field is not without merit and will give you ideas for developing your personal brand.
In the following, we have mentioned some of the best books related to brand and personal brand.
- Be your own brand by Peter Montoya
- 22 immutable laws of branding
- Brand sense book was written by Martin Lindström
- Creating a Powerful Brand by Ellen Wallace, Leslie Desharnatoni, Malcolm MacDonald
Personal branding consultant
Using a personal branding consultant is like traveling with a tour leader. It is also possible to travel without a tour leader; But since you don’t know your destination completely, there is a possibility of getting lost or missing some sights. But the tour leaders accompany you during the trip, they are familiar with the challenges of the destination and the route, and they can prevent problems during the trip.
Personal branding consultant helps you to know your skills and talents, find your target audience and use the best method to create content and create added value for them.
the last word; Apply now for personal branding
By reading the Personal Branding article, you got the practical information you need for personal branding. But you should also pay attention to the virus of idealism.
Many people think that they are not professional enough to build a personal brand and they still need to learn and start branding after reaching an ideal level.
But the important news is that the ideal level to start with is always one step ahead of you; Unless you start now. Remember that branding is not a destination; It is a path that you should always follow and reach your goals.
So plan now to build your personal brand, get advice and think about the value you can create. Branding the management of a collection multiplies its value.
Your frequently asked questions
- What are the benefits of personal branding?
Increasing the field of communication, creating useful connections in the field of work, creating credit and reputation for business and individual, creating potential opportunities for business growth, more visibility, increasing interaction with users, etc. are the most important benefits of personal branding.
- Why is it important to know personal branding techniques?
Whether you have a brand or a business, or you want to do personal branding for yourself, you should be familiar with personal branding techniques so that you can walk this path and deal with its challenges more easily. Familiarity with personal branding techniques is the key that opens many locks for you and your business!
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