Corporate branding and personal branding are well connected.
The only difference is that instead of marketing a product or service, a person is being promoted and sold to a prospective customer or client.
People want to purchase from distinct individuals who have skills and abilities that others do not and with whom they emotionally and personally connect.
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To succeed at personal branding, you must understand the needs and wants of your prospects (or the target audience of your personal branding campaign). Your brand resides within the minds—and hearts—of your target audience. It is the sum total of their experiences and perceptions of you. A strong personal brand is invaluable as the marketplace gets crowded with not only competitors, but those solutions your target audience BELIEVE are alternatives. I call that a “magnetic” brand. Your personal brand can become magnetic if you are differentiated from the competition and you FOCUS on the one thing that makes you better or different.
The Power of Personal Branding
Personal branding is actually easier than company branding, because if you believe in your talent, in your skills, and your ability, it's easier to sell what you believe in. Your image is already created; now you have to market it.
Personal branding can single you out as an expert in your field. When engaging in personal branding, remember that you must create a strong and consistent brand. Don’t skimp just because it's about you.
Strong brands are clear about who they are and what they are not. Since you already know who you are and what you are not (this is your authenticity), personal branding can be simple. Strong brands are also consistent; it's easy to be consistent in who you are.
By branding yourself effectively, you will:
The key to successful and effectively personal branding…
As your target audience begins to see your name and become aware of the knowledge and unique benefit that you offer, before you know it, they will not only know who you and what you stand for, but they will begin to seek out your expertise.
They will identify with the brand that is YOU.
Personal branding gives people irresistible reasons to work with you. Even if your purpose for personal branding is to improve job search results, you ARE your business. Period. It’s something about YOU than engenders trust and makes people decide to do business with you. People will CHOOSE to work with YOU if you have a strong and compelling point of differentiation.
So what is your personal brand? It’s your total perceived value, relative to the competition, as viewed by your audience.
Your Core Audience
Choosing a specific audience for your personal brand is another form of focus.
Targeting means you reject the idea of believing the best way to build your business is by hitting every living person in your area or in your potential market. Targeting allows you to focus on the specific customer types that are the most desirable, either because of their ability to pay, their size, their need for your products or services, or some combination.
Some benefits of targeting:
More topics that will help you build your personal brand:
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Who are you…really?
One of the most common questions you will ever be asked is, “What do you do?” Or, “What business are you in?” The most common answer to those questions are nouns; what you do, offer, make, or sell. But who are YOU, really? Not, “what you do” but who you are REALLY are. Answer these questions to begin building your personal brand. You must create clarity around the “why” of your personal brand or business; not just the “what.”
What’s important to you?
What do you think about?
What are you about?
Why gets you out of bed every day?
What value do you offer your family, community, the world?
What’s about your work is most meaningful to you?
What accomplishments are you most proud of?
What do you stand for? (If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.)
Now, Let’s Look at Your Current State
Where are you with your personal brand today?
What do you or what does your business specialize in?
Describe the services you currently offer.
Define the qualities of these services.
Characterize the core values of these services. Are they aligned with your personal values or the core values of your business?
Who is your target audience? What types of people do you or your services attract?
What do they think about your current brand?
What would you like them to think about your brand?
How will you attract them to your services?
Who else is competing for their loyalty and devotion?
What type of relationship you would like to have with your clients/customers/employer?
What message does your current communications send to your prospective audience?