From Good to Great: How Personal Branding Elevates  Business
Pratiksha Rastogi
10X People

From Good to Great: How Personal Branding Elevates Business Owners

If you are looking for a way to stand out among your competitors, gain visibility, build credibility, and be open to new opportunities that can elevate your career, then personal branding is the answer.

When you type in “Oprah” on Google, you need not type “Winfrey”.

When you type in “Elon”, you need not type “Musk”. 

And that’s the power of personal branding.

I won’t be surprised if you have come across this term many times recently. And, no it’s not a term marketers are throwing around to grasp your attention. It could in fact be the key that you can use to unlock your and your brand’s fullest potential.

So what exactly is personal branding and why do you need it? 

Imagine you're a larger-than-life superhero with your own comic book series. Each issue highlights your incredible powers, heroic deeds, and witty one-liners. Similarly, personal branding is about crafting your own narrative as a larger-than-life figure in your industry. 

You showcase your superpowers (skills and expertise), perform heroic deeds (achievements and contributions), and deliver memorable lines (captivating content and engaging communication). Just like a comic book hero, your personal brand leaves a lasting impact and attracts an enthusiastic fan base.

A fan base means more people want to purchase your comic book (the product or service your brand is offering). 

So in short, people need to fall in love with the super-hero of your brand, that is you so that they want to know more about your brand.

I am personally not a big fan of definitions, but in case you are, here’s how some incredible minds at Sprout Social defined it. 

“Personal branding is the process of defining and promoting what you stand for as an individual. Your personal brand is a culmination of the experiences, skills, and values that differentiate you.” 

If you are still confused about trying your hands at personal branding, here’s what Raina De, founder of Marque & Brew, has to say.

From Good to Great: How Personal Branding Elevates  Business

Now that you know the impact a great personal brand can create on your business, I am sure you are eager to start off with building yours but before you jump to it, here are some points you need to keep in mind.

You already have a personal brand

Your personal brand is nothing but your story, skills, and characteristics that make you unique from your competitors. How you present that to the world is your choice, and ultimately forms your personal brand. So it’s better that you present it in such a manner that attracts like-minded people and establishes you as an expert in your industry. 

Be authentic

Gone are the days when all people pay attention to someone who always portrays a perfect picture to the world. Perfection is boring.

A 2020 survey by Salesforce found that 92% of customers consider trust to be the single most important factor when deciding whether to do business with a company, and trust can only be built when you are willing to show your imperfections and vulnerabilities to your customers. 

It's widely understood that even the most accomplished individuals have their imperfections. When you strive to portray perfection, people's skepticism kicks in. If they can't trust you, they won't feel inclined to do business with you.

Be consistent

You can choose various online mediums to work on your personal brand, but you won’t see results if you aren’t consistently communicating with your audience or your potential customers.

As a business owner, you already understand the importance of being consistent so just make sure to apply that here as well, and you are bound to reach your goals sooner than you think. 

Don’t do it because it worked for others 

Every day, the moment we wake up, we are bombarded with so much information available online. Most of it seems repetitive and sometimes inauthentic as well because most of the people are creating content that they know is working. It becomes problematic when you lose the characteristics that are unique to you.

To state it simply, your uniqueness is your selling point and you must leverage it when building your personal brand.

It is a matter of trial and error 

People who have been able to build a tremendous personal brand for themselves would agree with me on this: they did not get it right in the first go. That means each one of them followed a different path, trying and discarding a host of tools and techniques along the way.

So unless you keep on experimenting, you won’t reach a stage where you feel that your personal brand stands true to your story and values. 

Now that you know ‘why’ you need to build a personal brand and ‘what’ points you need to keep in mind, I am sure that the question of ‘how’ must have risen in your brilliant brains. 

Let’s deep dive into how you can build an unforgettable personal brand: 

Personal Branding Working Plan
Personal Branding Working Plan

Identify your unique value proposition 

What do you bring to the table that makes you stand out and makes your audience choose you among your competitors? Identify that and create a plan around your unique offerings. 

Identify your target audience 

Let’s say you are running a business, so who would you like to add to your network? 

My guess is fellow business owners and entrepreneurs who have established themselves in their respective fields, investors who actually see your passion behind your brand, potential customers and clients who trust you and your business, and top talent in the industry who can help in making your vision a success, so on and so forth. 

Likewise, irrespective of what you do, you need to identify your target audience otherwise it’s difficult to reach your goals, which brings me to the next point. 

Define your goals for building a personal brand

The goals you set for yourself while working on your personal brand set the tone for how you proceed with your strategy.

For instance, let’s say that your goal is to get invited to speak at public events like seminars, panel discussions, conferences, or as a guest speaker, now in order for that to happen, you need to put out content that establishes you as a brilliant public speaker and an expert in your field. 

Similarly, let’s say you want to find a business partner, so accordingly you will want to put out content that helps in attracting the right person who would be interested in becoming your business partner. 

I can go on and on, but I guess you have got the idea. 

Identify the platforms that work best for you 

This majorly depends on how much time are you willing to invest in your personal brand. And if you are thinking that you can hire a personal branding expert and you’ll be good to go then let me correct you here because your contribution to your personal branding plays a monumental role.

You will still need to give your inputs on a timely basis, you will still need to put your brains to the ideation process, and you will still need to put efforts into forming a network that works best for you because let’s be honest, no one knows you better than yourself. 

So it’s completely up to you to decide whether you wish to start with just one platform or wish to work on multiple platforms simultaneously, depending on the time you can devote. 

Here is a list of a few platforms you can use for personal branding: 

  1. LinkedIn 

  2. Twitter 

  3. Facebook 

  4. Instagram 

  5. Newsletter 

  6. Blogging (Personal website or guest blogging)

  7. YouTube

(The question of how you can use these platforms might arise in your mind and for that keep an eye out for a detailed article coming your way.)

Start putting out content online

Once you have decided on the platform that works for you, you need to put out content that helps you achieve your set goals.

You can consider the following formats to post content: 

  1. Written content: Works best for LinkedIn 

  2. Infographics: Apt for LinkedIn, and Instagram 

  3. Videos: If short then aim to use on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube 

  4. Carousels (in the form of PDF): Works best on LinkedIn and Instagram

Honestly, the best way you can figure out what can work for you is by experimenting so don’t be afraid to put all those crazy ideas to test. 

Pro Tip: Make the best of your content by the method of repurposing. If I am being honest, no one but only you remember what you posted 6-months back, so if you think that it’s still relevant, go ahead and repurpose it either on the same or on another platform. 

Engage with your target audience 

If I didn’t already tell you that engagement plays a crucial role in making your personal brand a success then forgive me because without engagement personal brand will be like a cake with no sweetness, and no one likes that. 

This could just be as simple as reaching out to someone to leave an appreciation note or tell them how they inspired you through their work.

This simple act of reaching out can create a voluminous difference in your personal branding strategy. 

In conclusion, creating your personal brand is like betting on yourself and that’s the best bet you can make.

The question is, are you ready to bet on yourself?