Personal branding has become more crucial than ever. It's no longer just about presenting your resume or business card but about showcasing your strengths and your uniqueness. 86% of consumers say authenticity is important for them when choosing which brands to support.
In this step-by-step guide, you'll learn the essentials of how to build a personal brand that resonates deeply with your core values and mirrors your purpose.
Table of Contents
- Define Your Purpose and Values
- Identify Your Strengths
- Know Your Audience
- Create a Consistent Online Presence
- Craft Your Personal Brand Statement
- Create Content
- Engage in Networking
- Seek and Showcase Testimonials
- Continuously Invest in Your Skills and Knowledge
- How To Build a Personal Brand: Key Takeaways
- How To Build a Personal Brand FAQs
Define Your Purpose and Values
Your personal brand should be an honest portrayal of your beliefs, strengths, and mission. This forms the backbone of your professional identity and guides the path to your success.
To start defining your purpose, consider the following steps:
- Reflect on your long-term goals and aspirations.
- Identify your core beliefs and values.
- Understand how your beliefs and values align with your goals.
Understanding your values helps craft a successful career. Reflect on the following points while identifying your values:
- What characteristics do you admire most in others?
- What belief or behavior has guided you in difficult times?
- What activities give you the most satisfaction?
Identify Your Strengths
Knowing your strengths allows you to shape a relatable personal brand, reflecting what you can add value to and what sets you apart. To identify these strengths, take some time for self-reflection. You may find it useful to ask yourself some probing questions, such as:
What am I naturally good at?
- What activities energize me?
- What tasks seem to flow easily for me?
- Where do I consistently perform well?
- What skills and talents do others compliment me on?
When identifying your strengths consider both:
- Hard skills — tangible, specific skills, such as knowledge of specific software or fluency in a foreign language
- Soft skills — more abstract skills and more akin to personal attributes, such as communication abilities, problem-solving skills, and adaptability
You can use tools like the CliftonStrengths assessment to help codify these strengths into your brand. Don’t forget that a key part of identifying your strengths is recognizing where you may need to improve.
Know Your Audience
Understanding your target audience is perhaps the most important aspect of branding, influencing your messaging, your online presence, and the value you offer. Start by identifying who you want to connect with or impact. Are they potential employers, clients, and collaborators or followers who share similar interests?
Forbes indicates that failing to understand your audience may present a disconnected brand presence. To prevent this, create audience personas about your ideal audience. These personas may include demographic data, interests, challenges, and aspirations. This will allow you to tailor your branding efforts more precisely, resulting in a more resonant and impactful personal brand.
Plus, being audience-centric ensures your personal branding efforts remain focused and efficient. By considering the following aspects, you can construct an audience-friendly personal brand:
- Relevance: Ensure your messages, whether shared through social media, blogs, or any personal interaction, align with what your audience finds valuable.
- Empathy: Reflect understanding and genuine concern regarding their challenges and interests. This establishes a deeper connection with your audience.
- Engagement: Involve your audience by creating interactive content or forum discussions and encouraging their input. This connection creates a community and increases the perceived value of your personal brand.
Create a Consistent Online Presence
It's no longer enough to just have an online presence — consistency in your messaging across all platforms is what truly makes the difference. This uniformity not only builds credibility but also increases visibility and recognition.
This is how to build a stable and consistent brand presence online:
- Choose Relevant Platforms: Discover where your audience spends most of their time and ensure your presence is strong on those platforms.
- Create a Consistent Look and Feel: Your visuals should carry the same message across all platforms.
- Post Content Regularly: Posting valuable content will keep your audience engaged and coming back. According to Coschedule, posting frequency depends on the platform, the nature of your content, and your audience's preferences.
Craft Your Personal Brand Statement
Your personal brand statement is a tagline that summarizes who you are and what you do best. Think of it as your unique selling proposition — it sets you apart from the crowd and makes you memorable. However, it must be precise, powerful, and true to who you are — don’t overstate or understate your abilities.
Consider the things you uncovered about your purpose, values, and strengths. What are the key messages you want people to associate with you? Make sure your personal brand statement reflects that.
Here's an easy structure to follow:
- Who you are
- What you do
- How you do it
- Who you do it for
- What value you bring
When producing content, create relevant and valuable pieces that resonate with your audience and reflect your brand identity. Here are a few strategies you can employ:
- Regularly share articles, videos, podcasts, or any materials from reputable sources that your audience may find helpful.This not only positions you as a go-to resource but also helps to establish your authority in your field.
- Don't just parrot information, provide your unique perspective. This could be in the form of blog articles, webinars, podcasts, or social media posts. Cross-posting across different platforms can increase your reach and engagement.
- Encourage your audience to share their thoughts and create a dialogue.It can be as simple as asking a question at the end of your posts or creating a poll. Then, you can use the feedback to improve your unique selling proposition.
Engage in Networking
Networking fosters fruitful relationships and allows you to expand your reach. 85% of jobs are filled through networking, emphasizing the significant role that connections play in professional life.
Traditionally, networking might have involved attending business events or parties, but now, there are abundant opportunities available online. Sites like LinkedIn and Twitter have become valuable professional networking platforms.
As you network, remember to:
- Be genuine and authentic; never force a connection
- Offer value to your contacts; don’t only seek to receive
- Engage consistently in online discussions within your field to boost visibility
Seek and Showcase Testimonials
Testimonials offer social proof of your potential to deliver value and make a difference. This is why 92% of consumers are more likely to trust non-paid recommendations than any other type of advertising. If you have clients or colleagues who've benefitted from your skills and expertise, don't hesitate to ask them for a testimonial.
Here’s how to go about it:
- Identify a mix of professional and personal contacts who can attest to your skills, character, and work ethic.
- Approach these contacts politely, briefing them on your motive behind collecting testimonials.
- Request their permission to feature their testimonials on your official website, LinkedIn profile, or any other platforms where you have a presence.
- Display them strategically — choose high-visibility sections of your website or social media profile to embed these testimonials.
Continuously Invest in Your Skills and Knowledge
Staying competitive means staying updated — consistently investing in your skills and knowledge has become essential in career survival. This knowledge will also help you think of unique and creative branding ideas that will set you apart.
To remain at the top of your game, you can:
- Attend professional development courses. They can be online or in-person, like the ones offered on platforms such as Coursera, or Udemy. These platforms give you access to a wide range of topics, from soft skills such as leadership to technical ones like programming.
- Read. Reading professional literature and online articles keeps you informed about the latest trends in your industry. Consider subscribing to well-known industry publications.
- Attend conferences and webinars. Events and webinars provide unique learning opportunities, offering insights from multiple industry experts.
How To Build a Personal Brand: Key Takeaways
Building a personal brand is a strategic process that requires clarity, consistency, and authenticity. Remember that your purpose, values, strengths, and audience should be the focal point of your brand's foundation.
If you need help building a personal brand for yourself, reach out to a branding agency.
How To Build a Personal Brand FAQs
What is a personal brand?
A personal brand is a unique combination of skills and experiences that make you who you are. It's how you present yourself to the world. Effectively, it's a statement of your value proposition, and what you bring to the table.
Why do you need a personal brand?
Personal branding helps you stand out from your peers and competitors. It helps to build trust with your audience, create an extensive network, and reach your personal and professional goals.