Branding your business remains the primary goal, but by adding personal branding to the marketing mix will only enhance the overall successes of all branding efforts. Personal branding is becoming increasingly important because modern audiences tend to trust individual people more than their organisation. Audiences are bombarded and so used to seeing advertising everywhere.

The perception is that organisations take actions and speak with only one thing in mind – sales! Personal branding therefore allows you to establish a reputation and an identity while still maintaining a personal level of trust and interaction. Let us look at some fundamentals for building your personal brand: 

Differentiate yourself
Differentiation is crucial to your personal branding success. Before you can establish or develop your expertise, you have to decide what you want to be known for. The world of personal branding is flooded with competing individuals. If you are like everyone else in the market, you are a commodity, and you look the same to the client as all the other options. If your target market discerns nothing special about you it will be easy to just pass you by.  It is advisable to develop yourself in a very specific niche and to not just choose a ‘general’ field. With a niche focus you will have more opportunities to prove you know what you are talking about. Although the potential audience might be slightly smaller but it will also be that much more relevant. 

Generate content
Once you know your area of focus, it is time to start building your reputation. The best way to do that is to show off your expertise. Content marketing is the best way to build a brand and reputation online. People look for information and they tend to go back to sources that were helpful to them the first time. If you can become a trusted source of information through your content, over time you will become collectively known as the expert of your specific field. If you are trying to win the business of your personal brand followers, it is a good idea to work up a few case studies. Work with your past or present clients and co-workers to develop a solid narrative. People love real stories more than promises or speculation. Prove what you have done by giving them digestible case studies. 

Network regularly
On social media and in the real world, the key to sparking growth in your personal brand is networking. Engage with other individuals in your field, social influencers who have many connections, and anybody else who could be valuable in helping you spread the word about your expertise. Attend professional networking events to meet influencers in your area, and in the online world, engage in community discussions whenever you can. The more opportunities you have to meet people and talk, the better. You should also consider looking for speaking events. It will give you the opportunity to demonstrate your expertise while connecting with new audiences. 

Connect to your target audience
Personal branding success requires communicating your message to the right people — not necessarily to the entire world. And it requires communicating in a way that creates emotional connections with your target audience. You simply cannot build a solid brand without building relationships, which are based on emotional connections. Building a strong personal brand helps you interact with your target audience in a clear, consistent way that quickly becomes familiar. That consistency builds trust in your target audience, which allows those emotional connections to form.

Placing a strong personal brand on the frontline of your sales process can dramatically improve conversion rates. Whether you use your personal brand to consult or drive more traffic and trust to your business, it is vitally important to establish one to stay competitive. Building your personal brand is like gardening. Once you lay the basis and plant the seeds, you will be in a great position to eventually reap the benefits.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein.

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