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Quick Class on Personal Branding

What is a personal brand?

A personal brand is your unique identifier. It is having a reputation and being known for it. It is discovering that thing that sets you apart from the pack. It is the ability to identify the unique skills, experience and expertise that separate you from other professionals in your field. When people think about you, what is it that comes to mind? Why should they listen to you? Why should they do business with you?

Why is it important to build a personal brand?

First, because companies rarely give business to other companies. People give business to other people (that they like). So if you have a weak or bad personal brand, it is possible that your company will not get that much business.

So think of your personal brand the ability to define and use who you are, to create opportunities for yourself, for your company and for others. In the same way that companies have mission statements that they like to be identified by, your personal brand is your mission statement.

So how do you go about building a (strong) personal brand?

First, start by answering: Who am I? What do I do/What problem do I solve? What am I good at? What skills, knowledge, networks do I have? What separates me from others in this field? What is my X-factor? How can/do I prove this? Who do I want to know this?

Then you go to your audience

You build a product/service to target a specific client type. It’s the same with a personal brand – who do you want to know all those things (above) about you? This helps you figure out which channels/methods reach your audience. Is it online? Which channel? How are you going to project yourself? Since your brand is who you are, that means you can’t project one image online and be something else offline.

In much the same way that companies grow and reinvent themselves without losing their values and credibility, with changes in the industry, it is expected that even with your personal brand, you will reinvent your methods to stay ahead of the curve – without losing your values

Be consistent. 

Decide who you are and what you want to be known for, and stick to that. You don’t build a personal brand from being “good at everything” because then, nobody knows where to place you. Are you a nature photographer? A kickass marketer? Or mobilizer supreme? Not all… 

Be personable and authentic. 

You grow a community of champions because they see you as part of their little stories – whether those be successes or failures. Don’t fake it or try to project the superhuman and infallible, which isn’t relatable… 

Invest in knowledge! 

Know your craft and build credibility from it. People can spot a fraud from afar, and you will get found out if you’re just a gambler. Being kick-ass at your work involves output but also knowledge. If your knowledge of things is the same as everyone else then you have no personal brand. 

Now go prosper!

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Written by Benjamin Rukwengye (1)

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