How to Create a Personal Brand
I’m going to tell you what it means to me.
What is Personal Brand
A personal brand is an element that not only helps us build our own online identity but also differentiates us from the rest. It “forces” (in the good sense of the word) people to perceive us differently.
Another definition of personal brand that I can give you is the following: The main characteristic that leads us human beings to build a personal brand is very simple: to differentiate ourselves.
Just as companies create their own name, their own colors and their own logo that represents them, those of us who want to highlight our personal brand do the same.
Other definitions of personal brand
The great Jeff Bezos (CEO of Amazon) defines personal branding as “what others say about you when you are not around.”
“If people like you they will listen to you, but if they trust you, they will do business with you.” by Zig Ziglar.
Before starting to create your branding …
Developing a personal brand, in turn, I think should be something very natural. You must be who you say you are.
Personally (and as I said in the first paragraph) I am fascinated by the fact of having the ability to leave my own mark on this planet and especially the paths and opportunities that arise along the way thanks to one’s own decisions.
You must never create a personal brand with the intention of being famous, but you must do it with the desire to be able to enhance who you are as a person and to transmit a different look.
Trying to be different, disruptive and creative is the shortest way to growing a personal brand.
It is not that nobody is born with the gift of being a personal brand, we are all different and we can offer good things to society.
When people hear the benefits of creating a personal brand, they immediately want to start doing a thousand things at the same time and they want to attack all the fronts that there are in addition to appearing on all the social networks that exist.
Precisely, the most important aspects to create a personal branding are:
Know where you should be present and where you should not.
Save time to be able to enhance the effect of your brand.
Have the mentality or mindset necessary to transform the creation of your brand into a daily habit.
Understand that it is a long-term benefit.
1. Know where you should be present and where you should not
There is a word that everyone who talks about Digital Marketing likes a lot, and that word is: optimize.
Optimizing means being able to improve efficiency, waste less time and boost process results.
We must optimize our time and that our online presence is where it needs to be.
2. Save time to enhance the effect of your brand
Related to optimization is the concept of saving time, of being productive, of doing more in less time.
There is a lot to do when building a personal brand, a lot really, and it is common to lose focus of what we are doing, start doing a thousand things at once and end the day without having completed anything.
You have to focus on what matters (I keep saying this to myself every day) and focus on an important aspect of your brand every day.
3. Have the mentality or mindset necessary to succeed
In my view, the most important aspect that you must take into account before starting this long journey is that you must have the necessary mentality to endure the whole process.
There are good days and bad days. Days of productivity and days when you don’t want anything, but you should never lose sight of your goal.
💡 Ask yourself these questions: Am I able to work on my personal brand for a long time even if I don’t see a result in the short term? Do I feel like “spending” time on it? Do I have enough time to dedicate it? Do I have realistic goals and do I have a long-term goal that I want to achieve?
All those questions will be essential to draw your strategy.
4. Understand what is a long-term benefit
It may be that in the short term you will obtain some other benefit but we always work on our personal brand with a view to continuous improvement.
Think of all that the word “build” implies. By building our own personal brand we are creating something different and unique. Something that represents us.
And if it is something that represents us, do you think it can be built in a short time? No. It probably takes his years.
5. Understand that you are not a resume, you are your job
Resumes are great when it comes to entering the job market, but when it comes to personal branding, you shouldn’t take them as a reference.
You are the work you do and your success depends on it.
Some characteristic elements of a personal brand
There is a list of elements that make up your Personal Branding. The great thing about these elements is that you can have control over all of them and that you should not go out to look for them since they are part of who you are as a person.
1. Your image
Both your physical image and what you show of it on social networks is an element that makes your personal brand.
There are always factors that will help you differentiate yourself from the rest and make yourself known for who you are.
By this I do not mean that your success depends on how you dress. It means that the image you transmit will affect their first impressions of you.
2. Your voice and your gestures
Another element that is part of who you are. You should think about whether you act and gesture the way you want, and whether you vocalize in a clear and concrete way.
3. Social networks
Social networks say a lot about who we are and what we want to show about our lives.
Do you show things that contribute to your personal branding or personal image? Of course, if you have no interest in building a personal brand, you can ignore the fact that you are concerned about your content. Although if you are reading this you will surely be interested …
If you want to progress, you must do an analysis of each of the elements on this list and verify if you are following the correct path outside and within social networks.
6 advantages of building a personal brand
Creating a personal brand, I think, is one of the least tedious tasks that can bring the most benefits in the long run.
Many even create it without even knowing the concept and what it means. That is why I was talking about how naturalness for this kind of thing is very important.
Now let’s talk a little about the advantages that we can achieve by increasing our personal image.
In a previous article I reviewed 4 of the most important benefits of a personal brand.
But I will add some more advantages!
Why You Need a Personal Brand
1. Be recognized for your work and for your branding
Being recognized does not imply being famous.
All people (by default) like to be recognized for our work and for our dedication.
At the same time, I think that practically everyone wants to get promoted in order to improve the quality of our lives.
I personally am not the most outgoing human being on earth, and yet I would love to be recognized in my industry.
The excuse of “I’m shy” or “I’m not interested in being recognized” doesn’t work here, because the matter doesn’t go that way.
2. New job opportunities
If you have a personal brand, you have a differential that other applicants do not have.
If your personal website talks about your projects, your achievements, your works. You have something that others have not done.
You must take advantage of it.
Isn’t it better to have a differential that enables you to positively influence companies looking for workers
I understand, not all sectors give you the ability to develop your brand or are open to you doing so.
But keep in mind that details such as those on your social networks and those on your personal website make you different and allow the company (without having interviewed you) to know much more about what you can contribute.
3. Give classes, conferences or talks
It is undoubtedly one of the practices that will help you the most to make yourself known. It is also an activity that not many dare to do.
You not only impact the 100, 200 or even 1000 people that may be in an auditorium, but you also generate an impact on social networks.
Imagine the amount of opportunities and people whose life you can make an impact with one of your talks. Whatever it is.
I recognize that speaking in front of an audience is something that can be quite scary. Stage fright, and it is very common to have nerves days before the preparation of the presentation in addition to the fear of being confused during it.
However, in this sense, it is important to focus on the message and all the positive things that we can generate.
4. Generate additional income with your projects
Maybe you start or have started with the creation of your own website. And maybe that content is so good that people love visiting your website.
Not only people like you but also companies in your sector.
In addition, and due to your “reputation” in the networks, you receive offers from different companies to put advertising on your website.
Isn’t this a personal branding advantage? Of course. Indirect, but it is. In turn, I recommend that it be the least important of all, at least at the beginning.
Generating passive income is never going to be seen as a negative. Another issue is the way you manage that income to give value to your users and not turn your site into an advertising scare.
5. Develop new skills, learn and grow
Every time a person tries to train in a new area he is developing new skills.
You are learning new concepts.
Creating your own brand or personal image can contribute in this regard. Think about all the new things you can learn and how far ahead you will be with other people.
The more knowledge you have, the more capable you will be to deal with different situations. It doesn’t seem like a minor detail to me.
6. Creating and working on your personal brand increases your chances of success in the future
You may have realized that being a benchmark in your sector, generating income and being someone recognized for your intellect in a certain area will cause the chances of getting what you want to be very high.
For me, personal branding means taking charge of a part of your life to try to exploit it in a positive way that benefits you.
We all want to be successful in life. By “success” I do not mean strictly monetary. I look at it from the point of view of happiness.
My head clicked the day I realized that I have the freedom and resources to take the path that makes me happy.
There are many people who take years to realize this.
Today, if you are reading this you should know that you have everything you need to succeed and that your chances of success simply depend on your work. Not only from your ordinary job, but also from your personal brand.
How to Create a Personal Brand: 7 Steps
I hope I have convinced you with all those benefits!
Now that you understand what a personal brand is and what advantages it has, we can start creating it.
I am in favor of doing things the old school. Grab pencil, paper and start creating. I recommend doing it.
As the content of this article is very important to me, I am going to give you the example of my personal brand.
1. Who are you and what do you want to do?
I hate asking myself these kinds of questions, because sometimes we are not very clear on these answers, but it certainly works.
Questions: What do I want to achieve with my business? Where do I want to go? What motivates me to want to start developing my brand? How committed am I to go all the way? What were the paths that I traveled in life that made it possible for me to want to build this today?
Example: I am Sebastían Cardozo and what I want is to help entrepreneurs, small and medium-sized companies to consolidate their online businesses through digital marketing and also, that they can do it in the fastest and most productive way possible.
My motivation stems from the fact that all my life I was passionate about doing productive things and analyzing how I can do to better manage my time.
2. Aim for differentiation
I already talked a lot about differentiation in a previous article that dealt with the competitive advantages that our online business can get.
With differentiation we refer to the fundamental aspects that will make our business a business that shines in its own light. A different way of looking at things.
Example: The differentiation of my business is that I take productivity as the fundamental element. I feel that it is the most profitable way to build online business online.
3. Set clear goals
As in all planning, it is essential to be able to set goals, both in the short and long term.
Example of objectives: I want my personal brand to give me the ability to influence people to think productively and manage resources efficiently. Not only in work but in day-to-day life.
4. Your own professional website
If I do something I want to do it well, and I think that way for everything.
The web page was one of the elements that I had the most “problems” with applying this. Not because I didn’t know how to make one, but because I always wanted it to be perfect.
The first advice I’m going to give you to make a web page is don’t worry about the details (for now), just get started, learn how to build it and have fun in the process.
What matters is the content of the web and not so much the functionalities. Concentrate on that the fundamental is, and that the web is a reflection of what your brand wants to transmit to the users who visit it.
If you are going to create a web page, I recommend using quality hosting such as Siteground, which is the one that I personally use. Trust me, it’s worth it.
5. Brand branding
Possibly one of my favorite points, creating a brand’s branding from scratch.
Because? Because I love the immense creativity that is generated to be able to design the logo, the colors and to know where to put everything.
Very interesting ideas can come up that can open your head.
And above all, with the hope that it will motivate someone or help them to get down to work.
Your personal brand should have a distinctive touch. It must be unique, not only for you but for those who will perceive it.
6. How am I going to work on my personal branding? Media and tools
Ok, you already have your website made and your social networks ready to publish.
But what do I do? It is time to create the content.
Questions to ask yourself: Where do I want to be positioned? Do I want to create a blog? Do I want to upload videos to Youtube? Do I want to have close communication or do I just prefer a basic corporate website with the services I offer? What do you want to create on social media? What message do I want to leave my followers?
All of that matters and it is important to ask yourself. Create content with a goal, not just because.
The media in which you will be present are the media in which you will work on your personal brand.
In addition to the means, the tools, of design, of production, whatever it was, are also important.
Other questions: What tools will I need to carry out my purposes? Do I need to spend money on one? Am I excited to create this type of content?
Because there is also that, the process has to be a learning that leaves us positive things, and that also motivates us to continue.
The final idea is to be able to work on what makes you happy.
7. Identify your mentors and learn from them
Possibly you already have them located, or maybe not.
Mentors are people who inspire us to want to do what we want to do. They are generally role models.
Checklist of tips to enhance your brand
Now it is the turn to give you a list of tips that can help you increase your personal brand even faster, and that, to a lesser or greater extent, can be very valuable for your goals.
The practice of these tips can vary according to the area and according to the person, but they are generally necessary.
What you spend on your personal brand today is an investment.
From the first moment I started blogging, I knew that as long as they weren’t outrageous amounts of money, I was willing to spend to invest in what I knew would be a long-term investment.
The same happened to me with branding. I am willing to spend on ads on Facebook, Instagram and other networks as long as my personal brand reaches more audiences.
When we create a personal brand of this style, we also spend time. Today I can tell you that time is more expensive than the tickets you invest.
Being able to write on the blog, being able to publish on social networks, being able to read other materials from different professionals …
Everything takes time, but you have to be willing to do it.
1. Networking opens doors
“A comfort zone is beautiful, but it won’t allow you to grow”
To improve our situation we must get out of our environment, meet other professionals, other companies and interact with different people.
I’m not saying forget about your best friends, I’m saying be open-minded towards changes.
2. Work hard
Yes, I know. It is obvious. Very obvious, but it is necessary to put it in this checklist.
Because along the way we tend to lose focus of that hard work that we have been doing.
There are going to be days when you don’t want to start your business and you just want to rest, there are going to be difficult moments and many others when you won’t have time to cover everything you want to do.
But the key is not to let all those thoughts divert you from your goal.
If your goal is to create content, you must continue to do so no matter what, every time you create a new piece of quality content you are closer and closer to achieving that goal that you had set for yourself.
Procrastination can often also work against you for your online ventures.
There are a multitude of things that can keep you out of your way, or that try to delay you in the pursuit of your dreams, but we have a life to overcome the obstacles that may come our way, the other is to surrender, and that is not a option.
3. Take care of the aesthetics of your image
Something that is very important to me is to be able to take care of the aesthetics of my personal image online, by this I mean all your profiles on social networks and that they align with the impression you want to give.
There are many professionals who may not be taken so seriously by these types of factors. For me it is something important.
If you can take professional photos better, if you can take care of your branding so that the colors that represent you are also reflected in your social media profiles, also better.
There must be a certain strategy in the union of all these elements and your person.
You don’t have to be Brad Pitt, nobody is talking about the aesthetics of your person or your beauty. We are talking about matters of professionalism.
Personal branding resources that can help you: blogs, ebooks, books and videos
If you want to know more about personal branding, I recommend the following professionals:
Eva Collado Durán: Creator of the book «Marca Eres Tú».
Cláudio Inácio: Reference of Personal Brand and Digital Marketing in Spain.
Andrés Pérez Ortega: Creator of several books dedicated to personal image.
Luisa Zhou is a benchmark in the English-speaking market and is a columnist for multiple important portals such as Entrepreneur, Business Insider and The Huffington Post.
Learning how to create a personal brand is essential for all those who want to stand out in their sector.
It has incredible benefits for your future and can even become an indirect source of income.
Applying what you have learned about personal branding can help you a lot in the day-to-day life of your online business or venture.
Have you already started developing your personal brand? Were you able to complete all the items on the helpful tips checklist?
I sincerely believe that following this definitive guide to the letter can help your business grow, whatever it may be. Any question or suggestion you have, do not hesitate to leave it in the comments area below.