You will surely have heard of the term personal branding, which has been around a lot in the various websites for personal growth and marketing. Anyone who has started working for at least ten years knows that the concept of personal branding at that time was not in common use. We did what everyone in the world had done before us: head down and do our best to make sure that someone recognized our talent.
This is no longer the case today. The rules have changed. Everything has changed.
Human relationships are now mainly online, rather than friendships we speak of “connections”. The tons of paper we used for graduation theses and exams were replaced by keys that in 2 centimeters and a few grams contain the equivalent of thousands of books. And for several years we can comfortably carry thousands of songs in our pockets.
In this context, the world of work has obviously changed. No longer constituted by word of mouth and recommendations from relatives and friends, but from the references of our social network, built both in real life and on social networks, people with whom we share values and ways of thinking.
Building lasting relationships with our network does not disregard the way we show our personality. A personality that today we can call our personal brand.
What is personal branding?
A term coined by marketing guru Tom Peters in 1997, we can appropriately define personal branding using the words of the most authoritative Italian professional on the subject, Luigi Centenaro who describes it as follows:
“Your brand is defined as what people collectively say, try and think about you and your services in your life, professional or otherwise. Doing personal branding means communicating effectively and positively influencing those people with respect to the perception of your brand”
The purpose of personal branding is to create a unique value proposition, a strong reputation in your industry and establish a solid and lasting relationship with the public. The influence of brands in business activities is now evident and overt, but nowadays it has become important also on a personal level. After all, behind companies that work with other companies, there are people who establish relationships with other people. As Centenaro argues, “markets have become connections”.
How do you create your online presence?
If you are looking for a new job, or if you want to work better, you need to make your employers feel that you are the resource they need. If you are a freelance and you are looking to increase your customers and your sales, you should think of self-branding as a way to build trust towards you.
We want to provide you, based on the model of Luigi Centenaro, Personal Branding Canvas, and a guide in a few simple steps to create your personal brand. It will help you stand out from your competitors and become more attractive to the target audience.
Step 1 – Define your identity
The first step in the personal branding strategy is to create your identity. It’s the way you want to be perceived by others and how you want to live your life, both personal and professional. We can summarize the 5 fundamental elements for creating a differentiating identity:
- Definition of your values: Your values are the “glasses” through which you observe and react to what happens to you. They are the motivations that push you to do what you do. Your values are your “why”.
- Character traits of personality: The one that makes you unique in the eyes of others, which allows you to empathize with certain people who will become your fans and followers. These are the characteristics that distinguish how you do something. For example, if you are a competitive person in everyday life, this trait will easily be reflected in your business too.
- Your passions and your interests: These are the things you like to do in your free time. A particular type of sport, or collect coins, be with your children, etc. All those things that make you happy and you do and even do free. Being able to transform one’s passions into a profession is the most obvious factor in the success of a personal brand.
- The vision you have of yourself in the long run: A vivid description of how you see yourself when you have reached a top position in your niche market.
- What makes you credible for your audience: I have all those skills learned, technical and relational skills, prizes and awards you have received that make you credible in the eyes of those who read and follow you.
Step 2 – Locate your audience
Have you ever read web content that seemed to be written just for you? What seemed to be about your world, which came into your head and gave you exactly the solution you were looking for? This is what it means to know your audience. It gives life to your content, it allows you to empathize with your readers. Create a complete description of the ideal person you want to talk to, indicating the most specific details such as:
- First name
- Whether male or female
- What’s her job
- What pastimes he has
- What are the motivations that drive him to do what he does
Don’t be afraid to go into detail. Talk about everything about this person, from the tasks he performs at work to how he behaves in the family. The more detailed the description, the easier it will be for you to identify your ideal audience.
Step 3 – Communicate your message
There is no better way to communicate your message than a well-written and well-positioned blog on search engines and up-to- date and engaging social profiles. After you have identified your potential audience, as in step 2, you can start creating your channels. How to make a strong impact right away?
- Differentiated from the mass.
If you try to create your personal brand by declaring to the world how beautiful and successful you are, it will be very difficult to get a result. Instead try to put together two concepts that concern you and that you don’t see very often around the web. For example, if you are passionate about photography and, at the same time, about football, you could get to know yourself as a photographer specializing in amateur football events. We are sure that kids would like to be able to watch their own game with photographs and HD movies just as if they were playing on TV channels! These are two concepts that are apparently unrelated to each other but that can create a new specialized sub-niche by literally exploding your popularity among interested people.
- Also share failures.
We are not saying to share only bad news, but we know for sure that the “good life” that many people share on Instagram and on social media is totally false and cleverly built by professionals in the sector. People tend to always put themselves on the “loser” side and when you share some of the normal personal and professional episodes (maybe a series of posts on a particularly intense 80-hour work week to deliver a project) you get the favor of a wider audience because you are recognized as a genuine and real person.
- Throw yourself.
Perhaps the most important point. No one can find out who you are and follow what you do unless you hurry to show yourself to the world. Many people make the mistake of waiting for the right moment and ending up never starting. Whatever channel you choose, you will only reach a small part of your potential audience. Make sure you test all the platforms to see which works best for you. Remember that the audience you can create on Youtube with your videos may not be interested in your Facebook page or your Twitter profile. This is because the public that uses the videos is perhaps not interested in reading long posts on Facebook or seeing an important concept summarized in just 140 characters.
Why should you create your personal brand?
Even if you’re currently not actively doing personal branding actions, others perceive you in a specific way based on a set of your personal traits and abilities. It’s about your reputation or how others see you.
And people act based on how they perceive you, they see you. This means that the perception affects their decision to rely on you for a service or buy a product from you rather than talking about you and your business to their acquaintances. If your reputation does not reflect the values of your brand and you are therefore misunderstood, you inevitably lose a lot of opportunities or end up creating relationships with the wrong customers and people.
About the Author!
Megan Max is a new team member who has been working so passionately for the team of copywriting at wikipagecreator.org. Megan had also been contributing her knowledge and skills by writing helpful contents for different bloggers.