Personal branding is presenting yourself as a brand. Just like a brand, you can (try to) influence what others say about you by means of a strong positioning. Considering yourself as a brand, isn’t that a bit strange? Not really: with social networks like Linkedin, facebook, and Twitter you can be found online almost everywhere. If you also have a weblog or your own website then you are even more represented. Of course, physically you also come into contact with employers or people who can help you further in your career.
Why not take full advantage of these contact moments and channels to get yourself in the spotlight? With good personal branding, you can get a job faster or perhaps even acquire customers for your own company. You can influence what’s to be found about you! With personal branding you make sure that people will eventually recognize you as an expert in a certain field or someone who can fulfill a certain need (like a brand), whether this is with your skills and knowledge (your CV), or with a service or a product that you offer.
What are the golden rules of Personal Branding?
- Be consistent
The power of personal branding is recognition. A brand has a logo, for example, you have a professional photo that you use on all your social networks. Also, think of a sturdy elevator pitch in which you can ‘sell’ yourself within seconds: who are you and what can you do? Have a few strong slogans ready and apply them the same everywhere, including online. Make a business card where you mention what you have to offer. Also, use the same tone of voice everywhere, so don’t switch from very formal to very informal language.
- Know your strength
A brand positions itself by means of USPs (unique selling points). If Porsche’s representatives shouted from the rooftops that they were also a great family car, no one would find that credible. This is because Porsche focuses on a certain target group, enters a luxury segment and also has a strong profile in this segment. The message you can get out of this is: choose your target group and the core of what you are good at. Don’t try to be everything, but pick out a few strong characteristics that you communicate about yourself. Choose your niche, a special target group that others don’t focus on or focus on to a lesser extent. Example: Twitterer @Socialijs positions itself as the first twittering ice cream man in the Netherlands. Or do you, for example, focus on a certain need: advisor for starting female entrepreneurs with a child.
- Be sincere
“Be yourself, there are plenty of others,” is the well-known saying.
There’s no more annoying than people pretending to be someone they’re not really or imitating others in vain. That’s how it works with digital traffic. Try to meet a need that twenty others have not yet met. Consider, for example, the competition between brands, what does one offer that the other does not? Try to find out in an authentic way what really is your strength. Dare to give your opinion and interact with people. Keep your distance from spamming or automatic messaging, so that people don’t think you’re not a real person or that you’re trying to make something out of that.
- Whos is hearing you? – Calling and shouting at people who don’t want to listen to you is of course absolutely pointless. Trust and interest in a certain target group must, just as with brands
infact, be built up slowly. First show people what you can do for them or what you know. Don’t start with taking (asking for people’s favors, promoting your offers, etc., harassing them with e-mails), but focus on the other: offer them something that simultaneously shows them that you have certain qualities. For example by writing about relevant and current topics or giving unpaid advice. Rome wasn’t built in one day and your personal brand isn’t created in this way either. Maintain your network, regularly share content, contribute to discussions and keep it up. Then people will automatically look you up because of your knowledge. In short: not me, me, me and the rest can suffocate, but give and only then take!
- Positivity is contagious
Do you always get so tired of those people just whining? Then remember that negativity is not conducive to your personal brand either. Maybe you think: negative publicity is also publicity, but this is less true when it focuses on your own person. So try to deliberately publish positive reports about yourself. Be positive and optimistic, nobody wants to listen to whiners.
- Think about your visibility
A brand only becomes really successful when it is recognized by people and they know what it stands for. This is not only due to a strong positioning, a recognizable corporate identity, but also because they come into contact with the brand in several places. The brand is present where they are. In the case of personal branding, for example, it is also important that you are represented in several places. So don’t just think of social networks, but also network get-togethers where people with the same interests come together. Dare to come from behind your computer.
- Open or closed?
If you are consciously involved in personal branding, you should also consider which networks you do or do not want to ‘protect’. Maybe you want to have a very businesslike look and that’s why it’s not very convenient for everyone to see your personal photos on