The WHY, WHAT and HOW of Building Your Personal Brand
I am sure you have noticed more and more personal brands popping up and business leaders finding creative and innovative ways to position themselves and their companies.
You may be shaking your head at this trend and wondering why you should jump on the band wagon and invest in building your personal brand in the first place….
Indulge me a little, as I demystify the WHY, WHAT and HOW of Building Your Personal Brand…. I promise it will be worth the read.
Similar to what branding does for a business…personal branding allows you to:
- Control the narrative
- Align your brand with your overall goals
- Position yourself for bigger and better opportunities
These three benefits are great reasons why you should invest in your personal brand, but let’s dive a bit deeper beyond the obvious….
1. First impressions count
First Impressions count, whether we like it or not. Most people will Google you before they meet you or right after — what they find is what informs their first impression of you.
Now ask yourself, is it a good one? What has been published about you? Do you have a digital footprint? Do you own the narrative? Are there some embarrassing highschool or university pictures floating around somewhere that you are no longer proud of? Did a reporter that interviewed you turn the words around in your mouth? Is the information you are sharing across LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media sites consistent with your brand?
2. Do it for the Culture
If you are a Founder / CEO or a C-Level Executive in a big corporation, your personal brand serves as a huge asset that can grow your company both publicly and internally. Most organisations have issues when it comes to scaling their culture and we often see a dilution of the culture the further down in the value chain you go. A podcast or well curated LinkedIn Profile or blog where you share your values, strategies and finely curated insights into your life, even though externally focused, can help scale your culture as it’s an opportunity to communicate and connect with employees; especially those you don’t encounter regularly. It also helps attract the right kind of talent and build a great organisation.
3. Unlock Opportunities
Investing in your personal brand helps you clearly articulate who you are, what you do, and how you can help others. This not only allows people to see the value in connecting with you, it also unlocks opportunities that you never even considered or thought about. Positioning yourself in a strategic manner will give you visibility and access to people who are influential and who can open doors for you both on a local and global level. It also helps you expand your network online and offline, which is always a good thing — as they say your network is your net worth.
So now that we have established why you should build your personal brand, let’s quickly make sure that we are on the same page with what exactly a personal brand actually is…..
Let’s start with what a Personal Brand is NOT….
- A Personal Brand is NOT your social media and digital presence.
- A Personal Brand is NOT just a logo, tagline or a nicely designed profile.
- A Personal Brand is NOT a list of values, goals and nicely defined messaging pillars.
- A Personal Brand is NOT a personal website or blog.
Your Personal Brand…
….establishes your public persona and communicates your values, beliefs, goals, and purpose to the world. It is the unique combination of skills and experiences that make you who you are. It is how you present yourself to the world.
Now that I have answered the Why and the What….It’s time to take flight! Let’s talk a little bit about the How….
Building your personal brand is a long journey and starts with gaining clarity on your Purpose, your Goals, your Unique Value Proposition, your Target Audience, your Messaging and Narrative as well as the best online and offline channels to use to reach your audience and achieve your goals.
Once you have clarity, you need to pen down your strategy and define your goals, messaging pillars, target demographic, the channels you can engage them on, the type of brand collateral you will need, as well as how your content will be structured and of course what strategy you will deploy to achieve your goals. These strategies then need to be implemented and translated into a Digital Plan and a PR Plan that will help drive the implementation and ensure that you get the most out of all your effort.
Digital plays a huge role when it comes to building your personal brand. In my mind it is the cornerstone of brand building, whether for personal purposes or corporate purposes and many of the same principles that apply to building a corporate brand apply when you are building your personal brand.
At Futuresoft we have spent years positioning African brands using Digital and we have often partnered with Redrick PR to deliver a more holistic approach to achieve this. Over the years Ijeoma Balogun, CEO of Redrick PR has not only become a close friend, but also a business partner and someone I love talking strategy with. In one of our strategy talks I mentioned that I was looking at offering Personal Branding as a service and as they say the rest is history.
I am proud to announce that Futuresoft and Redrick PR are collaborating and launching an all encompassing Personal Branding Product specifically tailored for African CEOs and Corporate Professionals that are looking to position or reposition themselves for amazing opportunities.
Ijeoma and I have 25 years combined brand building experience and have worked with various CEOs and Career Professionals to help them position themselves in the process of positioning their brands.
Together with our experienced teams we will help you develop a brand strategy, design your brand collateral and build your Digital and PR footprint.
If you would like to learn more and receive our personal branding brochure — please send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch this space….there is more to come…