Most people still don’t see the importance of personal branding, and some who have started personal branding complained on the effort they need to consistently put in to build their own brand. It’s a long process, and returns are not seen until much later which is why most people quit making effort before they understood what it really is for.
You are constantly selling yourself.
The more you understand what this means, the easier it is to grasp the idea of personal branding. Whether you are in an interview, introduced to someone, run a meeting, doing a presentation, pitching for investment, parenting or networking, in most circumstances in our lives – we are selling thus branding ourself. It matters to us how we appear to others to make them remember us the way we want them to.
We all start by being a nobody.
No one is born famous, okay, maybe if your parents are already famous. But generally, we grow up not being known until we step up to build our name out there. And truth be told, people want to be known because business opportunities naturally open up more to people who has become a ‘somebody’. Being someone with a reputation means, you have gone on to prove something of yourself good enough that other people vouch for your skills and talent.
And the natural human instinct is to trust someone that everyone else has already trusted.
What are you expecting from personal branding?
There are hundreds of reasons why people personal brand themselves. For me, it was more about seeking opportunities and collaborations to work with people. I wanted to be known for what I do, so I build business from relationships that have already started with trust more than a cold call or random knock on doors. Trust me, it was much easier to step into a networking room where people want to connect with you and know you rather than when no one does.
So think about the objective of why you want people to know you or what you do. Who are you trying to win, and for what reasons?
Why I think personal branding is the best way in winning business?
Just think about it, you’ll be more convinced to invest money or buy products from someone whose face you’ve seen. Putting a face to a conversation helps a lot, which is why telemarketing is hard to close sales. People feel more comfortable when they see a personality behind a product pitch, and most of the time would close a deal based on trust on the person more than the quality of the product.
Personal Branding is effective and monetizing when it successfully contributes trust and form relationships – both online and offline. In this modern era, social media has allowed people to utilize their personal brand to network with hundreds of people online in a day as opposed to speaking to ten people in a physical networking session.
The skill to personal brand well is being charismatic enough to make strangers be avid followers.
How long do I need to work on my personal brand until I see results?
It depends on your expectations, you must lay your objectives before you invest in personal brand. Are you after accolades, clients, investments, networking, future career roles etc? In my case, I wanted a tangible network that would help me connect to partners and investors. And it took me a year on Linkedin, to build a network large enough to propose seeking investments. I had to spend time to build and share my accolades, track records and experiences in order to attract interest of my potential investors. Knowing that my potential investors need all those information, over a substantial period of time to form deep trust bonds with me before they invest.
It would take a shorter time period if you are after clients. The client needs to trust you in terms of the your knowledge depth and positive testimonials. So for that target audience, the results would be faster.
How do I even start?
Content has to be about you, and what you do – better told in a form of a story. We all go through experiences in life, some of which are worth to tell and these form personal branding content to showcase your best qualities and character. Start by telling others who you are, what you are passionate in and what your future vision is like. From there, people resonate with you and are more open to connect.
Personal Branding is not Boasting.
Some people will misunderstood you completely when you put yourself out there. They think you are boasting about your achievements, accolades and customers’ testimonials when all you are doing, is sharing your work and results to open new opportunities and attract more clients. Basically, you are just here to seek more business for your income.
But careful with the way you curate the content, write in a way that it gets others involved – their thoughts, opinions and sharing. You want to start a post about you, but end with a lesson that people can resonate and take away to improve their lives. Or end off a post by asking about what other people think and giving them the opportunity to share their story. When you get others involved, then the post is not just about you – this cannot be categorized as arrogant or boastful.
Everything accumulates so consistency is the key.
People stop posting when personal branding do not give them the results they want (yet). But trusting relationships takes time, which is why being patient is important. If you’ve started investing time to personal brand, do keep consistent at it. The moment you lose interest and momentum, going radio silence will make your past efforts redundant. To reap the returns of investment, just keep doing what you do.
What you put up accumulates every day, that random people who happen to stumble on your profile starts building lasting impressions of you the more they see your content. And eventually who knows, that takes you to the goal – to the people you intend to attract all along.
Share how has personal branding been working out for you?