The importance of branding cannot be understated. If you are a professional, if you are an entrepreneur or otherwise in business for yourself, you need to develop your own personal brand. Once you create a personal brand, you need to develop strategies to maintain it and enhance it as time goes on. Appreciating what is involved in personal branding, there are four essential tips that you need to bear in mind.
What is a Personal Brand?
A personal brand is a mechanism through which people remember you. A personal brand is more than a logo, trademark, or some other type of designed embellishment. Rather, a personal brand is the sum total of how you personally present yourself in a business or professional setting. Your business, or one with which you are associated, has its own brand. You personal brand builds you and your business. Despite this duality, your personal brand always focuses on your as an individual.
When considering your personal brand, you need to keep your eyes and mind focused on coming up with concepts that make you stand out. By indicating that you need to come up with a brand concept that permits you to stand out, you don’t want the final result to be branding that is garish or overpowering. Thus, when working on your personal branding ideas, when you think of stand out, consider that to mean stand apart.
No matter the underlying motivation or necessity for a personal brand, the fact is that a prime reason for pursuing this type of branding is to obtain an edge over the competition, both for yourself and your business. Thus, while you can consider what other individuals similarly situated to you are doing in regard to personal branding, you must not mimic the concepts pursued by others. Indeed, in doing comparison research, you need to make note of what not to do in light of what others are doing.
On a related note, when it comes to developing a personal brand that stands out, you are not only attempting to distinguish yourself among competitors. Rather, your personal brand is also intended to aid you in standing out among people within your business as well (assuming that you are not the owner).
Convey Your Story
Another essential element associated with personal branding is the need to convey your story, not the story of your business or professional endeavors. Your business, your professional endeavors represent only part, but certainly not all, of who you are.
Conveying your story has two parts. First, your brand needs to compelling that it captures the interest of others and makes them want to hear and read about your. Second, and perhaps even more importantly, your story needs to be so compelling that it motivates others to share it. In many ways that represents ultimate success in personal branding when other people begin not merely “singing your praises,” but begin to relay the sum and substance of your story to others.
Utilize a Core Concept
When you are developing your personal brand, you cannot be diffuse and scattered in that process. You need to recognize a core concept that best recognizes what you want to be at the heart of your personal brand.
For example, if you are an attorney that is developing a personal brand, examples of meaningful core concepts might include honesty, tenacity, fighter, and other traits possessed by a lawyer and of value to a client.
Substance Over Style — Always
Finally, when developing your own personal brand, you must always put substance over style. For example, the first step you take in developing your personal brand should not be designing a logo. In many cases, an individual embarking on developing a personal brand comes up with a logo as the first step in the process.
The reason this is not typically a proper first step in developing a personal brand is that a logo presented at the outset would lack meaning. A logo at this juncture literally would be style over substance, rather than the other way around.
Once you establish essential substance around your self and brand, you can then embark on creating a meaningful logo. Moreover, once a logo is backed up by substance, it can be used as a means of enhancing your brand. You can even incorporate your logo on items used to present and promote your brand, including items like custom USB flash drives or other items that you can convey to others as tools to remember and recognize you and your personal brand.
Jessica Kane is a writer for , where you can create your very own custom usb drive for your brand or company.