Tom Hanks has it. As does Barack Obama. Closer home, film stars like Aamir Khan and TV personalities like Arnab Goswami have built it carefully over many years.
No prizes for guessing what that elusive ‘it’ is -- branding -- of the personal kind. There was a time when branding was relegated to companies but this no longer holds true. In today’s digital world, everyone whether intentionally or not, will have a digital footprint. The question is no longer if we ought to have a personal brand but whether to cultivate and enhance the brand with careful planning and thought or let someone (or something) else define it on your behalf. Evidently, the answer is the former.
Brand marketing is key
In the simplest terms, a brand is a symbol, a design, a name or even an emotion that is recognised and associated with a company or a person. Businesses undoubtedly work with each other but it is the people who make the business valuable and worthy. Which is why branding at a personal level is as vital as that for a company.
Good personal brand marketing can result in anything from better job prospects to industry recognition to better clients for the company you work for.
Creating a unique personal brand is about staying ahead of the competition. And to do this effectively, you have to make your brand appealing to the target audience. Let us now look at some ways to build such a brand.
1. Get your personal website
Getting your own space on the internet is paramount. Register a domain name that reflects the direction you want your brand to take. A keyword-rich domain name that can instantly connect your audience to you can work wonders. Also, remember to select a credible domain name extension.
2. Think of yourself as a brand
Once you have an online presence, it is time to brainstorm. What is it that you want to associate yourself with? What qualities most appeal to you? Is there a subject matter that you are an expert of? Ask yourself these and many other questions on these lines. Once you understand how you want your brand to be seen, work on being authentic and yet strategic.
3. Keep a sharp eye on your online presence
Once you have registered a domain and understood what you want your brand to stand for, it is time to audit your online presence. How you communicate your message is as important as where you do it. Some prefer to stick to social media while others prefer a personal website that allows much more flexibility, space and can be used in a variety of ways for promotion. If you are sticking to only social media profiles, you can use redirect features to promote your domain name or you can advertise your website on your wall.
4. Be yourself; be consistent; be credible
If you want to reach out to your audience on a long-term basis, mere glitz and fancy will not help you. What you need is consistency; just like how corporates build their brands on a set of core principles, personal branding must also focus on being original and authentic to be successful. There is nothing wrong with being influenced by mentors or following the lead of an admired personality but take care not to imitate; instead, focus on identifying why you are different and what makes you unique.
With these tips in mind, it is possible to build a personal brand that can rival the best out there in the digital world.