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101 Guide: What is Personal Branding?

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What Is Personal Branding?

Let’s define “personal branding”:

String, our founder of The Trusted Voice”, coins it as

“Walking in your truth every day,”

That’s why she established ”The 7Vs of personal branding and influence”.

“Personal branding” is the practice of marketing and packaging yourself, your career, and your personal experiences as a brand.

It can be a simple thing like promoting your skillset or expertise.

Having a strong personal brand allows you to promote what’s important to you.

What’s important to you can be different, like: 

  • It can be promoting your business.
  • It can be about brand deals.
  • It can be about sharing knowledge.
  • It can be about a social mission and shining a light on a cause.
  • It can be about finding a job.

Whether it may be, having a personal brand online is a valuable asset to help you stand out.

Why Is Personal Branding Important?

With what’s happening with COVID19, and all these job losses, marketing yourself and standing out is becoming more relevant.

Weber Shandwick’s study suggested that the Chief Executive Officers’ reputation plays an active role in not only attracting employers but also in motivating them to continue relations for longer; thus, how a CEO interacts online is directly proportional to the appeal and success rate of his or her company.

This suggests that the CEO and other executives should be active in building their brand online. Your social channels, like LinkedIn and Twitter, are now becoming tools for recruiting talent.

Here are other things to consider: 

  • If you’re promoting your business, your prospect will check your social channels or even Google you online.
  • If you’re an expert looking for speaking opportunities, organizers will check out your videos and see what kind of audience you have.
  • If you’re a content creator, sponsor and brands will check your socials out.
  • Or, if you’re looking for a job, HR departments will first look at your LinkedIn profile and see how you market yourself.

Whether they are found online, it could have a significant impact on your personal and professional welfare.

Check to see if your social network has consistent messaging and visual branding.

Build Your Personal Brand For Opportunities

A personal brand opens gates to:

  • Better job placements,
  • Interviews,
  • Projects,
  • Brand sponsorship
  • Speaking engagements,
  • Partnerships, and even promotions.

All in all, even if we move the numbers aside, you need to focus on personal branding to build an additional channel to help yourself grow.

Regardless of your professional status or your involvement in the type of industry, your brand can make or break all sorts of opportunities for advancement. It has indeed become an essential part of cultivating your career.

To get started, one must lay a strong foundation:

  • Building and optimizing profiles over several leading social media platforms,
  • Content writing that relates to your work,
  • Collaborating with others, including partnerships or sponsorships.
  • Videos that highlighting your goals, and expertise
  • And working towards a brand strategy.

This investment of effort, time, and resources may sound overwhelming.

However, once you’re through, you will have a roadmap in hand to follow, making things manageable in the future.

Remember, personal branding helps you distinguish yourself from your competitors. Make it so business and others want to work with you. Be that choice.

First Step: Define Your Personal Brand with The 7Vs

The first thing you need to know about building your brand is that it doesn’t happen overnight.

It is an ongoing process that takes vision and planning and a lot of execution.

You cannot go from zero to a million followers without laying the foundation first. It’s also always good to remember that everyone has a different objective and gameplan, so focus on your growth.

What’s your ‘Vision’?

This is your reason for existence. Your focus should be on the why.

Why should people follow you?
What is your why? What do you stand for?

You should be clear on what your primary objective for your brand is.
Simon Sinek, a great thinker talks about the power of why.

What are your ‘Values’?

What is important to you?
What’s your point of difference?

Your values give you clarity on your purpose (i.e. your vision) and add to your point of difference. Typically, your value system acts as your moral compass.

Some examples of values include accountability, honesty, or excellence.

The more in touch with your value system, the more this will help you maintain a character of integrity and authenticity.

Also, let’s take it one step further.

Your value is also how you position yourself in the market. Which is your USP or Unique Selling Point (Hint: this is typically your expertise).

Your USP is something that differentiates you from other brands. It’s something that you offer that others might not. Convincing others about your brand and service gets far easier when you have a USP. It would help if you had a USP to power up on your competitors. A strong selling proposition gives you an upper hand when it comes to branding and selling.

Again, for finding out what your USP is, you have to pay attention to your target audience and their needs. You give them the best version of what they want. Look at industry trends, search up what’s trending on social media, and try to bring your twist to it.

Who are your ‘Volks’?

Your volks are your ‘folks’ or your audience.

Your people are the building blocks of your brand. One of the biggest brand failures is trying to appeal to all kinds of people. That cannot happen and often results in too many ideas and, overall, a mess. When you are building your brand, you attract the volks who have similar interests and goals as you do. So when you find them, hold on to them.

Identifying your niche and targeting small groups is much more useful than focusing on everyone.

What are you saying with your ‘Voice’?

Your voice is the medium conveying your message to the world.

Your voice carries your key message, what are they?

What are your key message and topics that will help reinforce your brand?

It tends to be intensified across numerous channels, well past just audio. You can do podcasts, live streaming, and videos as well. You need to leave an enduring impact on your volks, and for that, you need a voice that addresses your volks.

This returns to your vision and values. At the point when they are lined up with your audience, your voice will impact them, which assembles trust.

What are your brand ‘Visuals’?

What visual do you want to be associated with?

Your visuals are the impetuses that trigger a chain response in individuals’ minds and help them to recall you.

String uses fried chicken to help trigger her volks, it’s her secret code to her clubhouse.

You are the essence of your brand. Your face is visual. At the point when individuals need to associate with you, the primary thing they see is your image – your face. You have to make sure you’re putting your presence out there and making yourself known. People want to connect with other people.

It can be a color, a visual or a tagline.

What is your measure your ‘Validation’

It’s your metric of success – what is it?

Your validation is the method by which you assess achievement. It is the way you measure the accomplishment of your objectives and the adequacy of your vision, values, volks, visuals, and voice in building an effective individual brand.

This prompts self-approval: The way toward perceiving and tolerating yourself as a unique, influential individual, equipped for engaging achievement in others and adding to the world past your own.

To make progress, you should have a method for estimating it. That is why setting sensible and feasible objectives are so significant: It gives you a benchmark that you can use to work with.

Finally, monetize your influence, this is your Victory.

Your victory is tied in with accomplishing the way to live your vision consistently.

How do you make money building your brand or influence?

It doesn’t have to be monetary value, perhaps the victory you want to achieve is to have a keynote speaking gig. Or your victory is to benefit your business.

Victory is a higher picture of reinforcing the previous Vs and assembly in a way that you can walk your truth every day.

To do that, you should think of building your brand as an investment that needs to be sustainable and manageable.

Second Step: Build Your Credibility Online

You know what you’re good at. It’s time to show the world too. People prefer learning from experts, so if you think you’ve got the skill, you have to share it with the world.

Utilize your image to begin getting stable arrangements in relevant third-party distributions and channels to publish your content. It’s important to show others that you are applicable and learned along with the continuous content creation that you share on various platforms and profiles. Sharing on very esteemed, and top-notch platforms build up this sort of believability.

To have a substantial online presence, you have to manufacture the websites and profiles that you need individuals to discover. This includes having a robust blend of individual sites and expert profiles.

You can choose any of the platforms from this list to build your online presence. Here are a list of channels that you can start thinking about building your brand.

  • Your Personal Website
  • Your newsletter
  • Your blog
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • TikTok
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Facebook Groups
  • YouTube
  • The Trusted Voice
  • Vimeo
  • Tumblr
  • SlideShare
  • Medium
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Quora
  • And the list goes on and on.

Create content to amplify your voice 

Create content and distribute it on various channels. This is a way to build brand awareness, build an audience (of volks) and bring in new opportunities.

Start this by first establishing your competitive advantage.  It’s not enough to have content; it has to be right content, delivered through proper channels to the right audience.

The best content to amplify your voice is to attract your volks. This is how you start building an audience.

To reinforce your brand, reinforce your voice by creating content conveying your message.

Likewise, to attract your volks, create content

Video is a trust accelerator

Make use of videos to speed up your brand trust.

One of the biggest assets you can do is to tell your origin story.

These days, building and maintaining brand credibility among new customers and loyal fans alike is hard to come by.

Crafting the right content in social videos can help you earn your volks’s trust and earn your sales.

Your personality is shown through video, that the level of transparency you have with a video that cannot be found through writing.

Use video to show the scenes behind your business or work.

Moreover, videos have been found to drive more engagement on social media than any other form of marketing content.

Write blogs to showcase your expertise 

If done consistently, blogging is one of the most effective ways of building brand awareness.

Blogging offers a cheaper option of marketing for small businesses. When done well with relevant and useful content to the target volks, blogging can attract more prospective customers and drive traffic to business sites.

If you an sizeable number of audience that is in a niche topic, that’s also how you can develop brand sponsorship deals.

Curate content on social media

Content curation involves searching into those topics that interest your volks.

Curation will expose you to new viewpoints, conversations, and topics relevant to your volks.

Curating helps become known as a thought leader in your field, and your content will always be a source of answers to people’s questions in that field.

Third Step: Build & Nurture Your Community of “Volks.”

Always remember that even if it’s your brand, it’s not just about you.

It’s about your community. Your volks.

That includes folks who are connected to your brand.

Build a connection with your audience by talking to them and posting relevant and relatable content on your social media. There are a million ways how you can stay connected to your volks. It’s important to give back to your volks who support you.

Build more connections and push yourself to network more so that you and your brand can gain more credibility.

To grow a community, be part of the community.

Community happens online, too.

To grow a community, you need to be a part of it. This means supporting, shining light on others, and interacting with others.

You can contribute by:

  • Finding Facebook groups with similar values
  • Follow key Reddit threads
  • Use Twitter chat like for marketers, there’s #LinkedInChat or #ContentChat
  • Comment on key influencers (see on the notes below)
  • Be a moderator of popular online communities

Create content to attract your volks, share your knowledge

Creating engaging content doesn’t require being a specialist, being passionate counts, too. You just have to be knowledgeable in the information you want to share. Then present it in the most organized way possible.

Great content is allowing people to walk away with a key takeaway message.

Poorly organized and hard to find content will always drive away your potential audience. Make sure you create some avenue that will get your readers to stay at the site. Things like related article links, signing up for more information will help keep your clients at your location.

Commenting is Queen 
Make it a habit to comment on other influencers’ content. Influential influencers and pay attention to the kind of links they are creating.

So they will always look at where their traffic is coming from. Before doing this, make sure you have a clear name and picture on your account to make it possible for them to recognize you on your other platforms. Use the same photo and be consistent.

It’s how String got to interview Gary Vaynerchuck. She tweeted him a video requesting a quick interview chat.

Conclusion: It’s Time To Build Your Personal Brand

The point is building your brand is an investment.
It takes time to build. Now that you’re arm with the will to build your personal brand.

  • Start creating content.
  • Update your socials.
  • Build your volks / community.

Building a personal brand is a marathon and it’s an investment worth building.

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