Important Guide to Personal Branding
Personal branding used to be mainly an idea of designing quality business cards and logo for distribution at events and social gatherings for brand awareness. But as much as those are still needful, they do not play a major role in this digital era. Now the human factor plays a big role and it entails name, reputation, tone of voice, experience, skills of the individual doing the branding. Wikipedia defines personal branding as, “the practice of marketing people and their careers as brands”.
We all have our personal brands, we may not just realise it. According to Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, “Your personal brand is what others say about you when you leave the room” (Trevien, 2016). It is about individual uniqueness that makes one stand out among the crowd. It is like a fingerprint that cannot be duplicated.
When it comes to personal branding, it must be intentionally committed to and strategised because it’s always mentioned in the business circles that people ultimately buy or do business with people they know, like and trust. People want to be emotionally connected with you before they buy from you. That is why regular communication with your audience on the best channels where they are, is imperative.
When people are emotionally connected to you, share your values and resonate with your story, they will buy your products and services.
Personal branding is very important because it can lead to interviews, jobs placements, promotions, speaking engagements and partnerships if well managed. According to CareerBuilder, “Seven in ten employers (70%) use social networking sites to research job candidates during the hiring process. Nearly half employers (48%) check up on current employees on social media – A third of employers (34%) have reprimanded or fired an employee based on content found online”. (CareeBulder, 2018).
Personal branding makes a person establish his name as an expert in their area of speciality. It helps to position your name in a positive manner thereby endearing you to your unique audience who have a good impression of you and believe in you.
Personal branding helps to grow confidence. When your audience begins to share, like, and make positive comments on your broadcast and social media posts, it gives you more positive energy to do more.
Personal branding motivates people to live a genuine, consistent and honest life. The day a person’s character becomes questionable, is the day people who used to like or buy from you withdraw their commitment to you and it may result in the loss of money and a dent to reputation.
HOW TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA FOR PERSONAL BRANDING
- Set your goals and objectives on which of the social channels will resonate with your brand. Join the right groups who share your values and interests, where you could connect with the right audience.
- You will have to sell yourself before you sell your products and services.
- Be consistent on all your social media profiles. Use same profile image, a short description of you, logo, voice, tone and distribute posts regularly.
- Share relevant contents across your social media profiles.
- Be active in all your social media channels, engage with your audience, ask them questions, answer their questions, to build a solid bond and connection with them.
- Post quality images, videos, infographics and a call to action links to lead your audience back to your blog/website.
- Look for the right influencers in your niche area and connect with them for mentoring and to give you the platform to promote your brand to their wider audiences.
- Analyse your strategies along the way to see areas you are doing well and those that need improvement. Analytic tools will be of great value for this purpose. It will help you to monitor the behaviour of your audiences and to track the performances of each social media channel.
EXAMPLES OF USING SOCIAL MEDIA FOR PERSONAL BRANDING
He is a British business magnate, investor, author, and philanthropist. But aside his company brand name called VIRGIN, he is a man who intentionally engages in personal branding to connect with his wider audiences through constant use of social media channels across the board. He uses uniform profile images and banner heads.
He has over 3 million followers on the Facebook page, over 12 million on Twitter and over 3 million on Instagram. He posts daily with texts, images, videos and the links to lead audiences back to Virgin website or his personal blog page https://www.virgin.com/richard-branson. In one of his posts, he mentioned his admiration for his mother, who inspired him to be who he is today, and many of his followers resonated with his storyline by telling their own stories on the comment threads.
He is a catalyst for change and a strategist for success. He creates change in minutes when normally it couldn’t be accomplished in years. (Robbins, 2019)
Tony Robbins was very active in all his social media channels including YouTube. As a motivational speaker, mentor and someone who holds conferences and personal sessions with people, most of his contents are on videos, it is not a surprise to see the Facebook head banner in the video. All his posts in texts, images, videos are with links to lead people back to his website.
He uses social media strategically to connect with his audience by posting multiple times in a day, sharing his personal life stories and career events. No wonder he has 4.2 million followers on Instagram, 650,468 on YouTube, 3.1million on Twitter, 4million on LinkedIn, 3.9million on Facebook. He distributed similar posts across all the channels with links leading his audience back to his personal website. https://www.tonyrobbins.com/
In a nutshell, effective personal branding is anchored on: being intentional with set-out goals of social media profiles that resonate with the personalities of the audience you intend to attract, being consistent in your way of life and the contents you distribute across the channels, respond to your audiences’ comments and queries, and patiently wait for the results you desire.