What Is Personal Branding: 4 Ways To Leverage It To Become A Remarkable Leader
Whether you scratch the surface on the importance of personal branding or dive deep into the type of content an individual should publish on their social networks and personal website, how you answer reveals what you believe about the best way to brand yourself.
It’s critical to define this type of branding and know its purpose. Personal brand marketing is crucial to becoming a successful entrepreneur, speaker, or business person.
Even if you don’t know it, you have an online reputation. So how can you leverage and improve your personal brand for your career? First, let’s get into the finer points.
How Do You Define Personal Branding?
You create a branded version of yourself simply by your existing online and in-person personas. Your activity online portrays specifics about your brand. Your absence communicates something to the watching world even if you are not active online.
How do you combat this phenomenon and use it for the good of your business? How do you start building your brand? The purpose behind branding is where you can find the answer. So what is personal branding, and what is the goal?
What Is The Purpose Of Personal Branding?
The purpose behind this type of branding is unique to you, the individual creating a personal brand. Forbes says, “A personal brand is the unique combination of skills and experiences that make you who you are.”
Strong personal brands will help you stand out from competitors. When your brand aligns with all aspects of you, the individual, trust will form between you and your potential clients. The common purpose behind this type of brand is to find and connect to your target audience.
When you bridge the gap between you and the people you hope to reach, the potential for reach, income, and impact go up. That said, it’s essential to look at a great example of how to do so in order to have a concrete example of personal branding tips.
What Is A Personal Brand Example?
Note that Maxwell’s books focus on his brand. For instance, let’s say you asked, What is personal branding for John Maxwell, and how does his writing reiterate his brand? He writes in genres that reflect his image and bring value to it. John Maxwell is an excellent example of how to promote yourself through personal brand marketing because his business is all-inclusive:
- His website reflects his core brand values
- His books align with what he stands for
- His training focuses on furthering his message
- His academy reiterates his brand message
Real Leaders considered him one of the top 50 keynote speakers globally, and his success as an author simply reiterates this fact and his ability to establish credibility. Maxwell’s brand focuses on the tagline, become the leader you were born to be. His blog posts underscore this brand, which Maxwell is the center of.
How To Leverage Personal Branding To Your Benefit
Be gracious with yourself as you work through these steps. Personal branding is ever-evolving and can be challenging to grasp in the initial stages. Take your time and remember that growth is a process, but learning is continual.
As you leverage your brand, intentionally focus on the fact that this is your personal brand, but it is also your public brand. When you choose to create a personal brand, you default focus some of your branding on yourself. However, everyone has traits they appreciate and quirks they wish they didn’t embody.
When building your brand, take time to decide how to portray who you are accurately. You should include your strengths, but your weaknesses can also play a part in your brand. Showing your weaknesses and areas where you shine shows your audience that you are personable.
Individuals follow personable leaders who share their flaws. You do not need to have everything together to be a remarkable leader. Keep this fact in mind as we continue through the following points.
1. Articulate What You What To Be Known For
You may not have given a talk on TEDx yet, but if you want your audience to know you as a speaker, taking your message to the stage is a great way to articulate your brand. In addition, this ensures you can record your message and post it on your website as a visual example of who you are.
Take the time to ask yourself what you want to represent and what you want others to know you for. This time is invaluable because it will help you in the next step as you articulate what is personal branding and answer what is personal brand management.
2. Grow Your Online Presence
Record Your Public Speaking
Katie Kimball is a prime example of an individual who articulated her brand and took it to the next level through her online presence. Due to her bold choices, Katie is the national voice for healthy kids cooking. In 2020, The Wall Street Journal even recommended her Kids Cook Real Food eCourse, the best online cooking class for kids.
3. Take Your Brand Offline
When we say take your brand offline, we mean to represent your brand outside of the digital landscape. Who you are in person is your brand. So, regardless of whether you’re presenting online or on stage, you represent your brand at all times:
- During the meet-and-great
- At the Q&A
- When someone runs into you at the airport
These interactions point to your brand’s integrity or lack thereof. For example, if you present yourself as personable and outgoing online but reserved and distant in person, the alignment between your online and offline brand is lacking. Take the appropriate steps to align both your online and offline presence.
4. Define Your WHY And Use It To Motivate You Longterm
Simon Sinek’s TEDx talk, Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Action, is perhaps one of the most helpful questions to ask when maintaining a long-term personal brand. Finding your why often begins with finding your passion.
When you know WHY you want to meet a particular goal, this knowledge base helps when you’re months or years into your career and need long-term motivation. Follow these six steps to help you define your why:
Ask yourself passion-defining questions
Assess your specific skillset
Deeply understand the topic you love
Reach out to others with like interests
Look for themes in your passions
Ask how your passion will impact the world
With that in mind, remember that your brand can’t simply stand by itself. It must bring some sort of value to your audience.
Networking Is Crucial
Effectively building your brand frequently comes down to intentional networking. There are many ways to network—in fixed environments or a social event wholly removed from your career goals. Some common forms of networking :
- Participating in webinars
- Attending conferences
- Giving workshops
Each of these activities helps you in the creation of your brand. The more you engage with other professionals, the better your chances of exemplifying the traits of a remarkable leader.
After all, articulating your brand shows those around you that you are qualified to lead yourself. In addition, when people trust how far you’ve come, they are much more likely to trust you and follow your leadership for themselves as well.
What A Coach Can Teach You About Building Your Personal Brand
Coaches are a fantastic resource if you find yourself wondering about the next best step to take to build a personal brand. For example, Brad Stevens was trying to allocate his time between business ventures, meetings, and family. He wanted to give a TED Talk but needed a coach to help him move through the process efficiently.
Simply investing in himself through his Thought-Leader coach, Brad landed a TEDx Talk. Since giving his talk, Brad has gained 18,000 views and dozens of leads for his outsourcing organization. Now he uses the TEDx talk as an educational piece in his business email marketing funnel, where he’s reaching 130 to 150 new entrepreneurs and business owners each month.
Brad’s brand is cohesive, centered around his core message, and articulated through his TEDx Talk. In the beginning, Brad had a lot going for him. He pursued entrepreneurship and taught himself how to conduct a supply chain on a global scale.
More than just knowing how to do so, he handled products from Asia and Europe, packaging in China, and distribution centers in various states. His knowledge base was broad, but through focusing on his brand with his coach, Brad grew his success in ways he never imagined.
Personal Brand Management: Take Your First Step Today
Now that you understand what this type of branding is, how to leverage it, and are equipped to start building your personal brand, it’s time to take your first step to further your dreams. But, before you start, let’s spend a little time answering questions you may have on your journey.
There are many first steps you can take, but choosing the right one is vital. Building your own brand from the ground up can feel intimidating. Instead of getting overwhelmed, choose one of the first steps below to help you get started.
Your niche largely determines how you go about creating your brand, so while filming a video may be the right first step for some to take, you may want to identify what sets you apart from the other leaders in your industry. Take some time to look through the points below and choose the best next step for you goals.
How To Make A Personal Branding Video?
A video allows your audience to get a feel for your speaking style, the tone of voice you choose to communicate your message, and your stage presence. Record yourself on your phone, via Zoom, or choose another option that’s simple for you. Upload this video to your website and use it as a brief introduction to who you are.
What Do Most Goals For Personal Branding Have In Common?
When you take time to define goals and what sets you apart, your level-up your brand. Your audience knows exactly what you stand for, your mission, and what you work to accomplish through your brand. Many brands work to execute this four-step process, but take the time to do it will and you will stand out from the crowd.
What Are Personal Brand Attributes?
Attributes such as your professional qualifications, personal achievements, and personality contribute to your brand. After all, the word personal is the core word in the phrase personal branding. Therefore, these attributes directly influence the specific steps of building a personal brand and brand awareness.
So which attributes will most help you reach your goals? What are your strengths? How can you grow in them? Which weaknesses should you brush up on to keep them from holding you back?
Writer Tom Peters says, “To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.” You are the leader of your brand. To be a remarkable leader, it’s time to create an effective personal brand.
Articulate what you want to be known for, pinpoint your why, and dive into creating. Your personal brand directly reflects you, your goals, and your dreams. Make it count—it is worth it for your business, yourself, and future audience.