What is Personal Branding?

What is Personal Branding?
Article by Jelena Relić
Last Updated: April 04, 2023

The real personal branding definition has evolved. The old notion of personal branding as something that benefits you and helps you get jobs is long gone. Today, personal branding is about making your business memorable to others and relevant to the customers or clients who matter most.

In essence, it’s no longer about what’s in it for you but rather what’s in it for them. Read on to discover the truth about personal branding and the elements that can help your business attract more customers in today’s competitive market.

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What Is Personal Branding?

Personal branding focuses on developing a consistent brand identity. It's about ensuring that people see you align with how you want to be seen.

It entails managing your reputation, career, and professional identity.

Your brand is your unique selling proposition— what separates you from the competition and helps you stand out.

Personal branding considers your skills and interests, strengths and weaknesses, and values and motivations.

Ultimately, it's about ensuring your professional identity resonates with your target audience and making it easy for people to choose you.

6 Truths About Personal Branding: What It Is Not About

The truth about personal branding is that it's a lot more than just what you do and how it’s presented. Here are six things to keep in mind about what personal branding is not.

  1. When you look at the bigger picture, personal branding is not about you. The point of personal branding is not to create a perfect idea of you.
  2. It is not the same as self-branding, which is about developing your personal brand.
  3. Personal branding is not about doing what makes you happy but rather doing what helps others achieve their goals and dreams.
  4. Personal branding is not a selfish act but a generous one. Because the actual personal branding definition is that it's about your customers; it's about how you can best help them to achieve their goals.
  5. It's not just about the products and services you offer; it's also about how they are presented to the world.
  6. Personal branding is not just about making an excellent first impression but also ensuring that the impression lasts over time and through many different situations.

Why Is Personal Branding Important?

It's a Basis For an Excellent Customer Experience

When building your brand, it's important to remember that people don't buy things from companies; they buy them from people.

If you want to be successful in business, the most crucial thing is to focus on the customer experience.

Your customers will always ask themselves: "Is this product worth my hard-earned money?" And if your answer is no, then why should they buy it?

By creating a consistent, memorable brand for yourself, you are helping others to understand who you are and what value you can provide.

It Boosts Your Reputation

Also, it takes only 50 milliseconds for people to form a first impression of your brand.

That’s why it's essential to build a personal brand that leaves a lasting impact on your target audience, especially in today’s cut-throat business environment.

By establishing this personal identity, it becomes easier for people in your industry to recognize and connect with you, which can lead to opportunities for collaboration or mentorship.

You'll also be able to build a reputation as someone who has expertise in your field by sharing valuable insights on your blog or through social media posts.

People who hear about your business through word-of-mouth or online reviews know that their experience with you will be positive.

And when people know what you stand for, they can more easily trust that they'll get the best products and services from you.

It Helps You Get Noticed

Building a personal brand helps you get noticed by people who wouldn't usually hear about your products or services.

As they recognize the value you bring to their lives, they'll be more likely to purchase from you.

When everyone is offering similar products and services, it can be challenging for customers to decide which one to purchase.

But when you have a personal brand, people will recognize that you're different and seek your products or services. Potential customers will believe your services will be of higher quality than what's being offered by others.

It Creates Drive

When you have a personal brand, it's easier to stay motivated. You'll be able to channel your energy into what matters most, which is helping people.

When you're working on something that has deep meaning for you, it's easy to find the drive and inspiration needed to keep going.

Working toward something greater than yourself makes it easier to stay persistent. You'll also be able to tap into the power of your audience when they support you in your endeavors.

5 Elements of a Personal Brand That Lasts

1. Authenticity

The first part of what makes a good personal brand is authenticity. Your brand needs to be authentic and reflect the person you truly are. 66% of consumers believe transparency is one of the most crucial qualities of a brand.

Being inauthentic is like trying to build a house on sand. It can be done, but it's not going to last.

If authenticity isn't in place, everything else built on top of it will fall apart. Your reputation might be affected, and your brand might lose the trust it takes to build a successful business.

The best way to build authenticity around who you are is to start with your core values and principles.

What do you stand for as a person and in your business?

What is important to you that you want to see reflected in your brand?

These things will give your brand authenticity and build trust and credibility with your customers and clients. They will also help you stay consistent with the messages you send to the world.

2. Accountability

Once your brand has built authenticity with your core message, staying accountable for your promises is important.

Accountability is essential to building credibility and trust with your customers, clients, and audience members.

Being accountable means that when you make a promise, you keep it by delivering on time and being consistent with the messages you send out to people.

It's not enough to deliver on time; you also need to exceed expectations with your services. This is a great way to show your customers and clients that you are honest and care about what you do.

3. Communication

Building connections with your audience, clients and potential customers is what communication is all about. The best way to do this is by telling your narrative.

  • What's your story as a person?
  • How did you get to where you are today?
  • What mistakes have you made along the way?
  • How did you learn from these mistakes?
  • What were your biggest challenges and successes?
  • What made you the person you are today?

These are the things that people want to know. The truth is that they don't care about you as a business owner or what your business does; they care about you as a person and how you overcame challenges, made mistakes and built your business.

By communicating your narrative, you have the opportunity to build a real connection with your audience.

You also have a chance to share your story with others in a way that builds trust and honesty with your customers and clients.

4. Personalization

The next step in creating a solid personal brand is personalization. This means you customize your services and experiences based on each customer or client you work with.

For example, if you are a sales or marketing consultant, you don't provide the same advice for every company or every type of business.

You need to customize your advice and recommendations based on the customer or client you are working with. The same is true for someone who is marketing or selling your services.

You must give a unique and personalized experience to each potential customer or client you work with. Doing this builds a strong connection with your customers and clients because they feel you care about them and they matter to you.

5. Relevance

Finally, the best way to create a lasting brand is to be relevant. Your brand needs to be relevant to the people you are trying to reach and work with.

You need to understand the challenges that your customers and clients are facing and be able to offer solutions or products and services that help them overcome their challenges.

You also need to understand how your customers and clients look to be served, and you need to know how they want to be communicated with.

The best way to do this is by interacting with your customers, clients and audience members.

Engage with them in ways that let them know that you care about them and their challenges. Let them know that you have solutions for the problems they are facing, and let them know you care about building a relationship with them.

Let them know that you want to be involved in the community and that you want to be a valuable member.

How To Measure Your Brand’s Success

Now that you know what elements make up a solid personal brand, it’s time to put these into practice. Start by researching and analyzing your competitors’ brands.

  • How do they stand out from the crowd?
  • What makes their brands memorable?
  • What are their unique selling points?
  • What are their weaknesses?

Identifying the answers will give you a better idea of what you need to do to stand out from the crowd and what elements of your brand need to be strengthened.

Next, you’ll want to measure your brand’s strength and success. There are two key metrics to focus on:

  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Social Engagement

You want to track consistent growth over time when measuring these two metrics. If you aren't seeing consistent growth, then you need to figure out why and make adjustments where necessary.

What Is Personal Branding: Final Thoughts

Personal branding is a powerful way to make a statement, develop your unique presence, and build a healthy reputation.

The key to creating a lasting personal brand is working to develop strong trust and loyalty with your audience. After all, 7 out of 10 customers pay more for brands they trust and are willing to abandon those they don’t have a connection with.

In addition, it takes mere 50 milliseconds for a customer to form an opinion of a brand, so make sure your personal branding is on point. Every interaction is an opportunity for you to increase the positive perception that your audience has of you.

Lastly, remember that personal branding is a journey, not a destination. You must keep working on it to stay relevant and last long in a constantly changing market. Even though it is something personal, a professional branding firm can also help individuals with their own brand image and perception among peers.

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