How to Build a Personal Brand

By Karen Layman, aka Karen person pointing at the words personal brand

You might be asking yourself if building a personal brand is worth it and is something you should start. Building a personal brand is especially important if you are trying to stand out in your job field or look for new opportunities. It’s also a way to showcase your skills. If you think this is something you’d like to pursue, here’s how to build a personal brand.

1. Build Your Foundation

Crafting a personal brand requires a strong foundation of authenticity to build upon. Many people think that building a personal brand means creating a persona. This isn’t the case. A persona implies a facade or a fake personality.

You do not want your personal brand to be a persona. Your personal brand should be a true reflection of who you are. Branding should not reflect something that you are not. Building a personal brand it’s all about marketing your skills and authentic self to potential customers and audiences.

Start building your brand by looking at the skills and traits you have. The point where those assets join is where to start with building your brand. Some things to consider are passions and interests, core beliefs or values, as well as your hard and soft skills. Don’t forget about any degrees or credentials either!

You also should think about your brand’s vision, mission, and personality. Think about what you want to be known for, why you’re building a brand, and what personality traits you can bring into your brand personality. Brand matters to your business and similar concepts carry over to personal branding as well.

2. Define Your Target Audience

If you work in marketing or social media, you probably know why defining your target audience is important. But it’s important to understand your audience when building a personal brand, too.

You can’t appeal to everyone. Trying to be the perfect candidate for every single person is impossible. By identifying the type of client or customer you want, you can better tailor your personal brand to fit. It’s not necessary to reach everyone to have a successful business.

There are a few key things to identify when thinking about a target audience. You need to consider demographics, like age, profession, and location. Also, think about why they might come to you. What are they struggling with? How can you solve their problem? Identifying these things will help you narrow down your brand, which will help you succeed in attracting the right clients.

3. Tailor Your Website

It’s critical to make a great first impression. Having a website tailored to your personal brand is key to getting the right exposure and finding the right clients. A strong presence on social media is important, but a personal website is even more important. You get to decide exactly what goes on your personal website and most likely will be one of the first places potential clients find you.

Make Important Information Easy to Find

Make sure information is easy to find and understand. When potential clients visit your website, they should immediately be able to understand who you are and what you can offer them. Your mission statement should be easy to find and easy to understand. If they can’t figure that out in the first few minutes, they probably won’t stick around.

Ensure Your Website Encourages Conversions

Your website should also help you convert visitors into customers or clients. Certain elements can help make these conversions possible. A professional logo with your name will give your brand a step up. Keeping your logo clean and clear is a useful logo design tip to keep in mind.

Visitors should also be able to find a contact form easily. Using social proof on your website is another way to increase conversions. People are more likely to trust other customers’ testimonials and reviews about the services you offer. Have a few forms of social proof on different areas of your website.

Finally, a clear call to action (CTA) on your website is also important. A CTA tells your visitors what you want them to do. That could be filling out a form to stay updated on your business or receiving free resources.

4. Develop a Content Strategy

Putting out content is a great way to attract clients and build your brand. Making sure you have a strong content strategy in place will ensure reliable content on a schedule. If that feels overwhelming, it can be helpful to create an editorial calendar to organize ideas and schedules.

Instead of trying to convince your clients that your services can help them, try creating content that is useful for them. Doing this will help establish you as an authority in your field and build trust with your potential clients. Brainstorm topics that are useful to your potential customers. Next, decide what types of content to focus on. That content could be blog posts, social media posts, YouTube videos, or webinars.

While it’s important to publish consistently, focus more on quality. Putting out four quality blog posts a month will help you more in the long run than shallow or poorly written blog posts every day. Producing quality posts while also keeping them easy are important tips for writing an effective blog post.

5. Complete Your LinkedIn Profile

There are some advantages of LinkedIn for small businesses and it’s important for your personal brand, too. It’s a great place to connect with others in your field, build relationships, and learn from people in your industry. LinkedIn is also helpful when job searching or looking for potential employees.

There are a few things to do as you complete your profile:

Choose the Right Profile Photo

Your profile photo makes the first impression. It’s important to pick the right photo to convey your brand. You will want a high-quality photo no matter what. Make sure the photo has good lighting and is well staged.

You should think about what business connections you’re trying to attract. If you are in a more formal industry, choose business attire that fits in with your peers. Are you are in a creative space? Pick a photo that conveys you in a creative environment. If you lead seminars or teach, it might be good to use a photo of you speaking in front of an audience.

Enhance Your Bio and Summary

Along with your photo, this action tells viewers who you are and what you can offer. Three short paragraphs is a good length to aim for. It gives enough information but keeps things concise.

Talk about your vision, achievements, how you’ve helped clients or your company, as well as what separates you from others in your field. Be sure to include contact information as well. You can even mention social media profiles if you wish.

Include Visuals

You can either create new content or use content you already have, but be sure to fill your gallery with your work. Use content that showcases your vision for your brand. Infographics can be helpful here because they can give viewers bite-sized amounts of information in a visually pleasing way. If that’s not your thing, simply use whatever fits your profile best.

6. Maintain Consistency

Consistency across all your platforms is one of the things businesses should be doing on social media. This is important when building your personal brand, too. It’s important to consistently post content, but that content needs to stay consistent, too.

If you have a particular color scheme for your website, incorporate that with the content. If you have a very professional voice, carry that into all your communication. Is your style more laid-back? Maintain that tone unless you need to be extra professional in a particular setting. Implementing some of these strategies is just one of the ways to get your content noticed.

7. Make Trust and Reliability a Priority

People tend to think that you have to have a certain personality for a personal brand, but that’s not really true. You don’t have to be the most charismatic person in the room to attract people to your brand. Even quieter or more introverted personalities can build a valuable brand.

When it comes to building a brand, you need to come across as real and relatable. Share content about your past experiences and challenges. Show your audience what your character is like and then back it up in your personal interactions with them.

It’s also very important to be reliable and trustworthy. People look for these traits when hiring employees or working with others on joint projects. When you plan to post something relating to your brand, make sure you can truthfully answer these questions:

“Is this useful to my audience?”
“Does this build trust with my clients or audience?”
“Am I being authentic in what I’m sharing?”

Being able to answer yes to these questions will set you up for building authenticity and trust with your audience.

This is just an overview of how to build a personal brand. By building a personal brand, you set yourself apart from the rest of the crowd. You are unique and no one else can be you; use that to your advantage!

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