A personal brand is everything in marketing for recognition, advertising and networking. Standing out gives you more mileage as an individual. Having a personal brand opens doors to real human connections with not only consumers but also your entirety of both online and offline audiences. There are quite a number of secrets for marketers to bring alive their personal brands and this starts with crafting the right strategy.
In a situation where you want to show off your unique promise of value, a personal brand is key. This makes you an example of what is possible for your client. If you don’t have a brand, why on earth would a potential client believe that you could market them?
In this article, l will feature a conversation on #AfricaTweetChat which was led by Hanisha Lalwani, a senior marketing manager at Michael Page Africa for the Middle East & Africa region.
Why craft your personal brand
Your brand equity is determined by your personal brand. As a marketer having a personal brand distinguishes you from the rest of the marketers and also it becomes so easy when someone recommends you.
People are likely to buy from, and listen to someone who looks, talks and acts like them as opposed to a large corporation. Hence, if you build your brand like a business, but still maintain a personal front, you’re guaranteed to inspire trust amongst your audience.
For instance, Janet Machuka represents ATC Digital Academy, #AfricaTweetChat, as the founder. Her personal makes it easy for people to relate to the community in the tweet chat. As a marketer, this puts her on top of her game as an expert in digital marketing hence a competitive advantage.
As Hanisha puts it, “having a strong personal brand as a marketer makes you memorable and occupy top of mind recall when someone is looking for talent to fill a competitive role hence a direct correlation with the opportunities that come your way.”
- You are an extension of what you sell? People will always see you and your business as one entity. Your image, personal brand, reflects what you got to offer.
- Boosts reputation and helps to boost one’s marketing efforts.
- Makes your brand trusted and authentic by showing what you are specialized in. This also builds an audience that listens to you and expands your authority in the process.
- It answers people’s question on “Who do we call for this?”
- In order to maintain your longevity in your space or area of expertise, practice personal branding.
Aspects of your life to base your personal brand off
What makes a personal brand worth of engaging and remembering is how it relates to life activities and social issues. You can have a purpose for your personal brand as a marketer as to maximize your target audience to grow in your area but adding other aspects of life in it such as hobbies, your background, your community and your social interests gives you more to not only talk about but also show how humane you are.
Be free and add your personal values, career, your relation with people and passions you have.
These are ways you can practically use different aspects to demonstrate your personal brand:
- Post about your marketing campaigns successes that you have managed such as the way Hanisha does it.
2. Tweet about your love of football or any other sports you are interested in. You can give updates or comments about live football matches.
3. Showcase your work. Show people what you’ve created. Barrack Onyango is always proud of every little effort he makes to create videos for his clients.
Secret to crafting your personal brand in the right way
Every individual who takes the personal branding journey always wants to achieve a goal. It can be becoming the ‘to go to person in the area of expertise’, more monetary value or status in your industry among other goals. Well, many people have different reasons to building their personal brands.
In this era of digital marketing, marketers should package their personal brands to be friendly, approachable and valuable to their target audiences.
Some of the secrets should answer these questions:
- Who are you? Which is your expert title? What is your niche? Why should brands choose you?
- Which digital channel do your target audiences are more vocal?
- Have you created connections online and offline?
- Which industry experts have you reached out to, networked with or building a relationship with?
- Are you part of communities such as Twitter Chats, Facebook & LinkedIn Groups with people with similar interests?
- Are you original and real? What is your personality like?
- How often do you stay up-to-date with trends in your industry?
Above all, be yourself. Everyone else is taken.
Consequences of not living true to your personal brand offline
A personal brand doesn’t just present you online only. People are going to meet you in person, engage with you and share ideas, is there a similarity between it online and offline? Will people be confused who you are if they meet you in person?
Like every enterprising, you collapse and it at times hard to rise up. Re-branding is very expensive, especially in winning trust from your audience. In a passage from Embrace Your Magnificence by Fabienne Fredrickson, which I believe sums it up perfectly:
Surprisingly, the act of sharing more of my authentic self to others affected my business in a good way. The more vulnerable I was, the more prospective clients started coming out of the woodwork and acknowledging how refreshing it was to hear me be so truthful about my experiences, fears and feelings. And they hired me. (p. 57)
- Everyone who knows your online brand will expect to see it offline, if you can’t live your online brand you may lose monetary deals and will be torturous mentally.
- You might be seen as a fraud and it can be difficult to reverse the effects of brand negativity.
- You will be seen as a clout chaser. You faking your brand and this will definitely lead to people not believing in anything you say in online.
- You’ll appear to be inauthentic and your audience’s trust in you will erode.
- It creates inconsistency hence not sending a clear message – it will be killing your brands personality; the best brands feel real.
To crown it all, let people have one personal brand both for online and offline instead of two unrelated personal brands.
Your personal brand is your reputation you build through your interactions and actions both online and offline. Work on your personal brand today, start now, don’t wait till you get that dream job or become famous or semi-famous to start talking about yourself.
Want to start your personal branding journey? Reach out to me, email@example.com
You can also have a look at our ATC Digital Academy we’re launching in 2021 to see the course you would like to register into. You can do early registration/subscription for email alerts.