The development of digital technologies and social media has led personal branding to an entirely new level. We’re currently living in a time of unpredictability and with the competition fiercer than ever, you have to get more creative with personal branding. I will tell you why personal branding is valuable and show best practices, to convince you to start your own brand.
So, what is a personal brand? It’s an image you’ve created around your professional self. It should represent a combination of skills and experiences that are unique to you, like your unique personality and wide knowledge.
Personal branding is usable for several purposes, whether you’re searching for a new job, growing your network, build trust and authority, attract more clients, or creating a lasting platform. Even when you’re planning on starting a business, a brand that connects to a person’s face is much more trustworthy according to Basu, T(2020). But it doesn’t only increase trust, there are more benefits to personal branding:
- You receive a much higher perceived value.
- You differentiated yourself from the competition.
- You are more authentic.
- You are the ‘go-to-person’ in your area of expertise.
- You are recognized as an expert in your field.
- And you’ll attract opportunities (Kistler, 2020)
When it comes to additional inspiration for how to create and maintain your brand, here are 3 well-known personal brand examples that illustrate some of the best practices in the industry.
1. Elon Musk
You ‘may not know’ about Elon Musk his existence, but recently he has become the number one mentioned car brand (Tesla) on social media. The reason for that is not because of their advertising, which they hardly ever do, but because of their CEO’s social media presence. Though he’s a well-known public figure, his recognizable face can’t be found on the website tesla.com. Instead, shiny products and clear copy are what touches his presence, every part of his site. What can you learn from Elon Musk? Tie a face to your brand, take a bit more personal approach, engage with your audience, and it could be all the marketing you’ll ever need. (Jovancic, 2020)
2. Neil Patel
If there’s one person who can teach us about marketing, it’s Neil Patel. In case you don’t know him, he is one of the best marketers in the world. He generates about 2 million site visitors a month on his site Neilpatel.com, where he teaches how to market online. His face is all over the internet and he even uses Call to Actions like, “Yes, I want Neil to teach me how to grow my business”. He really puts effort in building a personal brand because if you take a look at his blog, you’ll notice that Neil replies to almost every single comment. (Influencermarketinghub, z.d.) Neil’s close interaction with his audience adds extra credibility to what he does and helps building his personal brand image. People appreciate the personal attention – so when you build your brand on Instagram, try to answer all questions people ask you. It will give them the feeling that you take them seriously and that they really matter.
3. Michelle Obama
The United States’ former First Lady Michelle Obama is one of the most influential women in the world. The reason for that has nothing to do with her PR specialists, political advisers, or stylists who dress her. No, it is her authentic self and genuine personality that makes her relatable and accessible (Fortaine, 2019). In her memoir Becoming (2018)she describes how it has been being the first Black First Lady and details her entire life before and after stepping down from the First Lady position.
As Michelle Obama says: ”I believe in my story, I bring my truth, it shines through and it’s not something you can hide.” She built her brand on beliefs and qualities that make her who she is. So, what you can learn from Michelle is to just be yourself, to belief in yourself, to be authentic, and let your interests become your true passions. Don’t visualize a perfect representation of yourself, but make sure people can relate to you. (Cawthorn, z.d.)
Sell the product that is you
Now hopefully you are convinced that you cannot avoid personal branding and that have enough inspiration and reasons to start marketing your own brand. No matter who you are or what your expertise is, you can benefit from putting effort into your branding. Whether it’s a portfolio, blog, or an Instagram profile, you’re telling us honestly who you are. Why not amplify all that is mind-blowing about you?
So, start today, thank me later.