In personal branding, more than ever, people research about you, online or through their social circles, even before they meet you or pay attention to your products. Accordingly, designing a good brand is more important than anything else for your success. Consider the numbers in the following examples:
- Google searches for more than a billion names a day, and that’s a personal branding opportunity
- 90% of employers use social media to find the right person, and 75% of them use search results in their employment.
- 90% of Internet users admit that online browsing influences their purchasing decision.
- Today, almost everyone involved in personal or business relationships gathers information online or by word of mouth.
creative personal branding
In the late 1990s, the concept of personal branding expanded as one of the assets of individuals.
At that time, people increasingly wanted to shine in the role of experts. As in previous decades, people no longer introduced themselves as representatives of an employer. Rather, as Tom Peters puts it, people introduced themselves with their brand.
Today, online searches and word of mouth shape audience perceptions before you introduce yourself. So there is no doubt that you need a personal brand.
You already have a personal brand; This personal brand is what people hear, see and believe about you. If others think you’re always late, this is part of your brand. If they do not find information about you in online searches, their impression is that you are not important. If someone they trust says you do better than anyone else, your brand will be a brand of quality.
The benefits of having a strong personal brand
The advantage of having strong personal branding is the power of reputation, which paves the way for resumes, appointments, negotiation leadership, book sales, and other experiences you want to succeed in. Another benefit of personal branding is instilling a sense of self-direction.
Ancient philosophical texts state that Socrates and other Greek scholars said that the most important task in life is self-knowledge. Once you know your personal brand, you can think deeply about who you are, how you want to present yourself, and how you want to succeed. By personal branding, you help others in the market by providing the following reliable information:
- Who are you and what do you represent? This eliminates the need to introduce the joint before each interaction.
- Your professional knowledge and credibility lead to increased attention to what you say.
- Your unique benefits and values lead to competitive advantage, higher profits and demand, and higher preference and revenue.
- The field in which you are best and whether what you offer is commensurate with what your customers are looking for and need. Accordingly, it increases the speed of decision-making and does not allow you and your customers to make mistakes in choosing.
- Personal branding as internal coercion
- In addition to helping others get to know you, the brand helps you get to know yourself better. Through personal branding you specify:
- In what field are you the best and because of what unique and important feature do you want to be known?
- What is the brand image of the person you want to create and what do you want others to accept and trust when they come across you or your name?
- What is the roadmap you are pursuing to achieve your goals?
- How to introduce yourself in person, in writing, on social media, in business, or in another social arena.
- Gives you confidence about your strengths, goals, target audience, and unique personality and expertise.
Personal branding helps you do what you need to do. Identify your assets, audience and goals; After recognizing these cases, you can know your reality without contradiction with peace of mind.
In addition, strong personal branding has another valuable advantage: Makes the customer tolerate you. The positive image and good reputation you have with others, due to personal branding, cover your mistakes and make you continue on your way with strength. The following are examples of personal branding goals:
- Introduce yourself in the role of an expert in a specific field;
- Improve visibility and reputation in your community or industry;
- Distinguish yourself based on unique talents;
- Being influential in social and commercial spheres
Start the personal branding process
Determine your starting point. Building a personal brand begins with a deep reflection: What do you want people to accept and believe about you? What is your interpretation of success? What is the requirement to convert an existing brand image to the desired brand image? Take the following steps in your research:
1. Pattern selection (myth):
Who or what do you want to be and why?
2. Assess your core competencies:
Once you’ve set your pattern, list the features you need to get. Which strengths do you have and which should you create? A personal brand is a reflection of who you are, not who you want to be. To achieve the desired brand image, you need to be the person you want people to believe. This is an important principle in personal branding.
3. Ask others for their opinion:
Write five words that you would like to describe your brand image. Then find out how well those words fit people’s current beliefs about you. Look at recent certificates, certifications, endorsements, and testimonials, and extract words that describe your strengths. If you work for a company that is subject to periodic reviews, look at recent evaluations and extract positive traits.
Then ask people you know or work with what are the 5 words that come to mind immediately after thinking about them. Find words that are often used about you. These words, willingly or unwillingly, are what people believe about you. Great if the words that people use to describe your brand image match your favorite words: Your personal branding has started well. If not, your first step is to move the existing brand image to the desired brand image.
If the people you want to influence have misconceptions or old beliefs about you, it’s your job to change their current beliefs into what you want them to be.
It does not matter if you want to change your job completely, enter a new field or eliminate an existing misunderstanding. You have to accept that people do not give up their previous beliefs easily. You need to build a bridge that leads them from the belief to the belief you want them to have. To gain brand strength and credibility, make your communication unique by any means of communication, whether online, in person, in writing, or by telephone, and make sure that these actions are not inconsistent with each other.
Competition for a job position or an attractive opportunity is very tight. So you need to know and know what sets you apart from the rest.
- What do you do and what do you not do? No one expects you to be the best in all areas. If you make such a claim, you will lose your credibility from the beginning. Make a list of the things you do best. Also, write down everything that others do and you do. These lists will help you define your position.
- What is the most striking feature about you? What makes a person want to see you up close? What is the news about you? What makes people want to meet you? Find accomplishments, abilities, or items in your resume that set you apart (things that make you attractive make people want to know more about you). Then create your personal brand statement and social media posts about these items and introduce yourself based on these attractions.
- What makes people know and remember you? What do people say when they explain about you? What do they expect when they see you? What is completely different about you?
You just have to be in Hollywood to be a star! When you gain the awareness and respect that people in your industry, community, or field of interest will search for you with such confidence that they will surely benefit from your relationship with you, you will become a genuine personal brand. This brand will make you a famous figure in your field.
Industry celebrities: Experts are often cited as a professional field for the role of keynote speaker, giving advice or opinion, inviting and their names in the news.
Social celebrities: Local celebrities and celebrities are invited to important local projects and fundraisers. Their ideas are influential in local programs and policies, and their names are always among the names of guests at important events.
Online celebrities: Some social media pages have a lot of followers. The most famous online celebrities earn high income by advertising the goods and publishing supporting posts of these goods on their page.
Creative Personal branding for freelance jobs or consulting services
You may want to turn your ability and talent into a branded business that others know and trust. Especially if you want to compete with existing businesses or expand your solo business into a larger organization that you can sell later; In this case, in addition to the personal brand, you must also create a brand for your company.
According to most forecasts, one in three people today will work independently or on a contract basis, and in the coming decades, probably half of the employees will be independent.
If you want to succeed in selling services as your main or secondary profession, you have to prepare yourself to compete more and more. That’s why personal brands are useful.
These brands help you convince your target market that you are serious about what you are doing and that your products are different and completely better than other options; Convince them that they can count on your products for today, tomorrow, and the future. In a credible survey, participants in the Freelance Industry Report were asked to describe their most effective way to find and attract customers. The most common answers were: Referrals (customers sent to your company from other companies) (27%), word of mouth marketing (26%), and networking (17%).
By building a trusted brand, your individual business is no longer a set of sub-tasks or activities, but this trust can generate referrals, positive word-of-mouth marketing, and networking success, both online and offline.
Steps to building a creative personal branding
Branding down leads to poor initial impressions, lower pricing, and lower-level competition with structured, professional, and well-known competitors.
When you decide to turn your freelance business into a business, take the following steps to lay the foundation for personal branding for your company:
- Define your business. Mention your distinctiveness, target audience, and competitive position in this definition.
- Define your company brand and how to introduce it online or in person.
- Formally establish your company. Choose and register a name for your company. Also, open a bank account for your company that separates personal and company funds (by paying company expenses through personal checks, your company credit is damaged).
- Get ready for marketing by building your brand identity and helping people find you in cyberspace by building a website and social media page.
Especially if you provide services to organizations more than people, be sure that customers prefer to work with professional and reputable companies instead of interacting with people who may sooner or later change jobs. Branding for a personal business brings you this advantage.
Creating a balance between a personal brand and a company brand
If this season has done its job well, by now you are convinced that you need to create a brand for yourself and your business, even if it is solo or part-time. Most importantly, the strengths of the two brands must be balanced. This book always emphasizes improving the image, visibility, credibility, and trust of the brand, but you should be careful not to expand your personal brand or business too much. These brands need to be in line with each other and both with your goals.
Suppose your personal brand and your company brand are on two scales. Which one is heavier? If you are building a brand for yourself or your business, consider the following questions:
- Is the awareness of your brands equal or is the awareness of one of them higher than the other?
- Search for the name of each brand on the Internet. Are the results for each brand equal in terms of number, quality, and degree of compliance with the desired brand image?
- Review the recommendations, ads, mentions, and comments of others about your brand. Did they mention you personally and then mention your business name or vice versa?
- Has each brand maintained its independence while supporting the other? In the absence of one brand, will another brand retain its credibility?
- Can your company brand survive without the strength of your personal brand?
- Is your brand visible enough among the company’s brand? Is a personal brand strong and visible enough to strengthen the power of your business?
There are two types of imbalances between personal brand and corporate brand:
If the company brand is stronger than the personal brand: Follow the branding steps in this book to increase awareness and value in business, industry, society, and online. Especially if a more personal appearance is more profitable for your business, or if you plan to take advantage of opportunities outside of your current business through a personal brand, prioritize personal branding and personal brand identity, awareness and credibility. Strengthen yourself.
If a personal brand is stronger than a corporate brand: Reduce the emphasis on personal branding and focus on the organization’s name, team, processes, and assets. Especially if you have a plan to develop or sell the company’s brand in the future, or if you want to have a say in competing with seemingly stronger organizations with better branding, prioritize branding for your business.
If your business does not have a website, create one. If your business does not have a logo, design a logo and display it clearly in signatures on emails and online personal pages for business contacts.
Promote your personal and company brand at the same time
When you build a brand for yourself and your company, you create two sets of brand images in people’s minds. Your organization’s name evokes an image for people and your name evokes another image. By linking the two brands through simultaneous reinforcement, each brand will be an asset to the other brand; Creating a connection between two brands increases the power of brands and makes it easier to access each of them.
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