Cool and Easy Techniques to hack your Self-brand by using simple Branding Techniques in life and work



Concretising abstract realities


As Humans, we try to understand information or things happening around us by using symbols or models. Primitive man would personify nature and give nature personal qualities. Thunder would be some kind of god and so on. As time passed, we began to mature and started modeling things and ideas. 

Definitions are very basic to understanding a concept. So with Personal branding, I shall attempt to do something similar. I won't be defining it myself, but I shall use the help of professionals.


Why Personality Development is not Personal Branding?


Personal Branding has been the interest of a lot of researchers. This is not confined to only Management or Marketing as one might imagine. It has also been the interest of a lot of academicians and Life Coaches too. 

A common error is confusing it with personality development. A good amount of Self-help books or we may say books related to Life skills can help us in this department. In my mind, the difference lies in the focus one takes. Personality development focuses on developing the man in the mirror or we may say the inner man, on the other hand, Personal Branding is concerned with marketing you. 

It is concerned with bringing out your strong points and USP and marketing it effectively. Studies on celebrities, professionals, and employees, in general, have brought clarity and better understanding in this area.

I would use both Personality development and Personal branding. I believe these are very important life skills for any Professional. So Let us define Personal Branding.


Defining Personal Branding


Personal Branding is applying marketing and branding concepts to an individual.
I believe this simple definition captures the essence of what is Personal Branding. 


Personal Branding...a vital pillar of any professional

One might ask, Why does one need Personal Branding? It is not important, etc. etc. Let me tell you why this concept is important to you, but also your career. 


I think it is important because it brings out the best in you and portrays effectively by setting you apart from the rest.

A Management researcher Mark Morgan calls it a vital pillar of any professional.


Steps to Personal Branding


With the growth of Social media and other avenues of Communication, There are different ways in which the individual communicates about himself and the work that he or she does. So having a tool to help strategize the way we are perceived and related can be really helpful and can be used as powerful leverage for growth personally and professionally.


Important note on Personal Branding


So how does one start, What are the steps to building an Effective Personal brand? Before I enlist these steps. Let me tell you that this field has evolved and shall evolve in the future. So I shall be noting strategies that are broad but can be applied with some wit and thinking effectively to different situations.


7 Steps to Personal Branding

  • Step 1: Understanding yourself

This is the first step towards branding, it is getting a better understanding of oneself. This would mean taking a self-audit and trying to dig deeper within to get a clear understanding of our nature or personality. You could do this, keeping in mind how you view yourself and how others see you. This is the first step towards your goal of Personal Branding.

  • Step 2: Evaluate the brand that you are

Unconsciously we all are creating a reputation or an image of ourselves in the mind of people. So eventually we are branding ourselves. So whether people understand you or misunderstand you. It is important to understand how they perceive you.

A simple step to begin the process would be doing a bit of research. You could start by asking your closing friends about your strengths and weaknesses. You could then evaluate them with your own responses to similar questions. This could be a good beginning to understanding how people perceive you as a brand.

  • Step 3: Develop a Brand mantra

Every successful company or personality has a short phrase or mantra that encapsulates the essence of its brand. 

You could start by trying to understand how you differ from other people in the industry (that you are employed in) or if you are a student, you could compare the points that differentiate you from other students.

You could also look at points of similarity between you and the rest. This will help you build a list of points of differentiation and similarity with others. Now put it all together and build a short phrase or around it. This is your Brand Mantra. Some might even call it the essence of the brand.

  • Step 4: Offline Branding

Now that you have a branding mantra, Let us move to the next step. 

In our daily lives, we interact with a lot of people. We communicate and speak to a lot of topics every day, maybe with words, the things we do, our gestures or maybe just the way we appear. All this builds an image of us in the minds of people. 

So with offline branding, we shall use these same points to our advantage. Keeping in mind our Branding mantra we shall coordinate ourselves accordingly. So this could be the design of our visiting cards, our appearance or even the way we greet people every day. We shall do these activities intentionally and thoughtfully. These will help you build a strong and effective reputation with the people you know and meet every day.

  • Step 5: Branding yourself online

Even if we do not realize it, our activities online and our digital life can play an important role in the process of personal branding. These could be the messages we forward on Social media or the comments we pass online. It all matters in the process of Personal Branding.

Our Digital Lives Play an important role 


So a Social media audit can be done online of all the social media platforms we use. After evaluating your interactions online, you could create a concrete strategy to help yourself in the process of brand building. Your image online and offline should synergize for it to be effective.

  • Step 6: Communicate the message of your brand

Now after you have created an online and offline branding strategy you need to implement it. I am not saying your execution will be perfect, but if you don't start it there will be no benefit. Another important thing is that Personal Branding is not about faking an image that is not you. The easiest and smartest way is to be yourself.

  • Step 7: Recieve Feedback

I believe feedback is highly essential to improve and perform better. So try getting regular feedback from people. This could be done by evaluating how things have improved for you after personal branding or even by asking people who are close to you. This feedback can then be used by you to improve your offline and online branding strategies.


Putting it all together

Branding has been used successfully by Celebrities, Politicians and influencers alike to build a brand out of themselves. Time for you to leverage your best and build a personal brand. 

This, of course, takes some effort but it is worth it and it has a lot of benefits. People begin to have a better impression of you, they could begin to trust you more or even perceive you thorough as a professional. 

Personal Branding is all about enhancing your strengths and communicating them effectively. It is not about creating a fake image or reputation of yourself.


Kind words on Personal Branding

Gary Vaynerchuck has some important ideas for helping you create a personal brand. He stresses the important understanding that whether one is a small or big brand, it is a brand. Another important aspect is to understand that a lot of times besides looking at your brochure or reading your resume, People just check you out online.

 Lastly, I think Gary stresses the difference between understanding the concept and applying it.


Check out the video below:



Some important Ideas by Gary Vaynerchuck

  • People read Google before reading your Resume.
  • Hello! Everybody is selling
  • It's the only thing you have
  • Even a small brand is important
  • It's okay to be yourself
  • Don't be stupid about the whole process
  • Application of the concept has its nuances

Summary

So here it is some ideas and techniques to actually use to create a Personal Brand. One might ask, Why do I want to create one. There are many reasons. Please share your reason in the comments section. We shall look into the benefits of Personal Branding in some other article in much more detail.

Ciao! Take care...

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