How do you decide whose email messages you are going to read and respond to first in the morning and whose emails you going to send to the deleted items as unread? The answer lies in personal branding. The name of the email sender is every bit as important as a brand. It is a promise of the value you will receive for the time you spend reading the message.

Personal branding is not new; it has always been there. People only assessed each other’s reputation and promise of value before deciding whether to partner, hire, or do business with them. It used to include nothing more than a simple business card with your name on it, but with the development of social media and an increasingly individualised society, the brand you build around yourself is perhaps the single most important way to stand out in your spheres of influence.

Personal branding is the practice of marketing yourself and your career as a brand. It is much more than a status update or a professional photo. It is how and what you want to present about yourself online and offline to potential clients and employees. Personal branding is how people will remember you and seek you out for. Once you become the “go-to” person for your skill or knowledge, you will become a critical asset because of it. Essentially, it is the ongoing process of establishing a prescribed image or impression in the mind of others about yourself.

Let us look at some key aspects to remember when building your personal brand: 

Personal branding is not about selling
It is about making yourself available to others, both clients and employees. People like to do business and buy from real people. Ensure that you are visible online on the platforms of your choice i.e. LinkedIn. Keep a balance between business-related updates and personal updates, so that others will see you as being both professional and personable. If you can get people on board with your personal brand, then the selling part will take care of itself. 

Stay consistent with your brand
Personal branding is not just a buzz word or the latest temporary craze. Clients will only start recognising your brand after they encounter it a few times. If you are using multiple platforms, it is essential to keep your overall appearance similar. Work your brand into your email signature or order stationery with your special signature on it. 

Personal branding is a process
Personal branding is not just a catchy logo or tagline. As with normal branding the process of personal branding also includes identifying your target audience so that your brand positioning message will resonate with them. Because the defining and development process looks at your vision, purpose, values and passions, branding is also a personal development tool. With this introspection comes a keener understanding of what kind of work is a best fit for you. Personal branding allows your message to grow and evolve as you do. 

Your brand is your reputation
Personal branding is not merely ego-stroking and self-promotion. It should have substance. You already have a brand and all you need to do is to define the unique set of strengths, personal attributes and drivers that differentiate you from your competitors. Ask some feedback from those who know you best. They already know what your personal brand is about and why you are the “go to” person for something specific. It is a great option if you want to establish personal credibility, because you can establish the like, know and trust factor faster 

Personal branding is not just another marketing box that must be checked off. Building a powerful personal brand can be a true game changer for your business!

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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