Eighty3 - Creative Solutions

Personal Branding — What is it and Why do I need it?

Express Yourself

So, what is Personal Branding, and other than to get rich (and we’re not judging!), why should you bother? We’ve all heard of individuals who’re worth, well, loads. Like Oprah Winfrey, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Gary Vaynerchuk. They all started somewhere, of course, but what they’re selling isn’t only themselves, but their brand too.

Express yourself! Defining Personal Branding.

What does it mean to you?

Personal branding is a professional extension of you and the persona you present to the world. As Jeff Bezos famously said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room. And if they’re talking about you, they’re not talking about your competition, which is all the more reason to ensure what they’re saying is great!

So, just like you control the heavenly mist of perfume or aftershave you leave behind, you also have control of how others see you and your business. Your personal and professional brands don’t have to be the same, but it’s far simpler (and more original) to be you all of the time. After all, each of us is unique, and well, any form of facade is hard to maintain, right?

Why your brand is so important…

They say, “First impressions count”. Well, that’s what your brand is out there to do: convey your image and create that first impression. It’s what your prospect will first see; get it right, and you’re on to a winner. It goes with you everywhere — online and offline — and publicises you even when you’re not there in person, so just like your perfume (or aftershave!), why not make sure your brand is doing the leg work and the talking when you’ve left the building?

 

The opposite of having a personal brand would be to take a ‘scatter gun’ approach: unfocused and indiscriminate. You can take this route if you like, you’re sure to get some hits, but it won’t always (or perhaps ever) be exactly who or what you’re looking for. Creating a brand that is striking, specific, and client-oriented means you’re more likely to attract the right people. Centre your aim and set your course; know who you want to appeal to.

 

So, before we get into the nitty-gritty, here are some great examples of personal branding done well: Gary Vaynerchuk and Charli Marie. Both are very different and very individual. Their sites are coherent and client-specific. Want to see a few more? See here.

Convinced? Here’s where to start:

1. Choose your perfume.

Firstly, define what you want to do. Spend some time brainstorming and ask yourself these questions: which sector will you be working in? What are you selling? Who are you selling it to? Perhaps take some time to outline your client avatar. Equally, think about what you stand for as an individual. What are your professional values? We’re guessing they’re not shoddy workmanship or tardiness! This is where you get to shape your brand.

Employee or self-employed, either way, these questions are still relevant. You’re either representing yourself or your company and if you’re employed, your brand will move with you to your next big break – it may even help you get it.

2. Put down the scattergun…

Just as you wouldn’t sell apps to people that don’t own smartphones, make sure you pitch your brand at the type of person you want to do business with. Don’t try to be everything to everybody. If you want to work with innovative creatives, make sure your brand speaks to them. Conversely, if you’re a suited professional, a brand that screams eccentricity probably won’t cut the mustard. Stay focussed and streamlined on this one!

3. Consistency is key

When looking for advice on building a personal brand, chances are consistency is in there somewhere. And rightly so; it’s important. Your client needs to know what they’re getting, and you don’t want to confuse them. So once you’ve found your place, stay there. Your prospects won’t thank you for giving out mixed signals. This doesn’t mean becoming boring but instead conforming to your image. Maintain this throughout your journey with clients, from contracting to delivery, and ensure your actions reflect your brand and values.

If you do need to make any changes to your brand, do so slowly, step by step, and take your audience with you

4. We all love a good yarn.

So tell some stories! Storytelling will bring dynamism to your site and your posts, whatever media you use. It’s a great way to paint a better picture, convey a better understanding and bring your brand to life. You can say so much more and be more informative and engaging. Take your clients on your adventure with you. 

5. Socialise

Social media can be an exceptionally powerful tool. By using social platforms you and your brand are always visible, you can access a massive range of people, and you can be as creative as you like! Take heed though: we’ve all heard of prominent individuals who’ve posted something slightly off the wall and have taken the consequences (oops!). Think before you move; ensure you represent yourself and your brand accurately in what you upload, post, or tweet. It can easily come tumbling down around you!

Lastly, we all like to be with others that “fill us up” — happy, optimistic people with enthusiasm and an upbeat attitude. Don’t be negative

As you and your business mature, your brand will develop with you. Your activity and actions, be they physical or digital, will continuously reinforce it. Personal branding is crucial for your professional image, and over time, it may even accrue value! Oprah, here you come!

Need help defining your brand or want knowledgeable creatives to bounce your ideas off? Drop us a line; we’d be happy to help!

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adjective

belonging to the same family, group, or type; connected.

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