The Act of Personal Branding. Part 1: What it means and Why it's important
In my previous article, ´Your Personal Brand Is Much More Than You think´, I explained what a Personal Brand is and I suggested 5 questions to ask yourself, which can help you to start defining your Personal Brand. As promised, I will now talk about the act of Personal Branding. This is Part 1, which will be on what Personal Branding means and why it´s important. The next and final article of this series will be Part 2, where I will discuss how a Personal Branding process works.
What does Personal Branding mean?
Once we recognise what a Personal Brand is, we can understand what Personal Branding means and the principles which it´s based upon.
Personal Branding means defining, communicating and developing your Personal Brand in a way that is authentic and effective, to connect with your audience, deliver value and get where you want to be. Everything you do and say, including your personal image, contributes to the projection of your Personal Brand. Have you ever wondered why sometimes people get an impression of you that is different from who you really are? Most likely that means that your Personal Brand is not yet fully defined or you are not communicating it correctly, if at all.
Three are three principles that rule Personal Branding: Authenticity. Consistency. Frequency. Authenticity means that your Personal Brand should reflect who you are and not try to convey an identity of someone you are not. Consistency means your words match your actions, you are the same person online and offline and your message is consistent across the channels. Frequency refers to your visibility, if you don’t communicate regularly you won’t be able to make your Personal Brand and message visible to your audience.
Why is Personal Branding important? Having defined what Personal Branding means, we can´t move onto how a Personal Branding process works without highlight its benefits, which answer the question: ´why is Personal Branding important?´.
Personal Branding allows you to:
Gain a stronger sense of identity
Clarify your goals and purpose
Use your strengths and unique traits to position and differentiate yourself (unique value proposition)
Define your niche / audience
Understand how you can deliver value to your audience
Communicate who you are, what you do and why you do it authentically and effectively
Gain visibility and connect with your audience
Save time and energy by only focusing on what's important for you
Be in control of the steps you need to take in order to get where you want to be
Given the list of benefits mentioned above, there may be different reasons that lead you to engage in a Personal Branding process. You might be seeking an advancement in your career or a change of profession, you might be thinking of starting your own business, you might already have one and wanting to take it to the next level or maybe your profession more than others requires you to have a certain level of visibility and exposure.
The reality is that while some years ago Personal Branding was a nice to have, it is now a must have for many professionals across sectors, roles, levels of seniority and geographical locations. Economic downturns showed us that differentiating yourself is one of the best ways to stand out and progress. We live in a society that is highly competitive and the rise of social media made it possible for people to showcase their personal and professional profiles from everywhere at any time. Having a strong Personal Brand is what makes the difference.
So, what's your goal? what would like to achieve by engaging in a Personal Branding process? And if you are thinking about it but find difficult to make the first step, what's stopping you?
As you may have picked up from the Personal Branding definition, at Step Up with V a Personal Branding process is composed by 3 phases: Define. Communicate. Develop. Stay tuned for Part 2 and final article of this series, where I will explain how this process works.