New: Personal brand – your way up!
TanAx creative marketing agency is proud to announce a new service. Today we are launching our Personal Branding service.
It is no rocket science that one needs to brand their business. With brands like CocaCola, Apple, Google, Amazon and many others, we are familiar with value of business branding. It is standard practice today.
However, it was not until people such as Steve Jobs, that the concept of personal brand existed. However, even then, personal branding as a service was a privilege of a select few. Personal Brand expert is a luxury only CEOs and top management could afford. However, times have changed.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the job market has become extremely competitive. In order to stand out in such a competitive environment, you have to define what is the unique value that only you can add. That value is the sum of who you are as a person and your experiences. The best way of communicating this value to the outside is personal branding.
Personal brand doesn’t only help with job search. While it may land you a job, it can also help promote your company, build your influence in the market or your reputation in your current organization. At TanAx, with our 15+ years of international strategic marketing experience, we are launching Personal Branding as the new service that we offer to entrepreneurs. Our experts will help you start your journey to successful personal brand!
3 EXCLUSIVE TIPS
In this article we wanted to give you a few ideas on what to consider when starting a personal brand. Below we will cover 3 important things to take into account. The hardest part of any serious venture is to get started and make a habit out of it. So if you want to build a personal brand, but don’t know how, these tips will get you started. However, if you are a busy professional, you may want to perfect your skill set and leave branding to a professional agency. In any case, we hope that you will find the tips helpful.
TIP 1: WHAT DO YOU STAND FOR?
Firstly, before we dive in, let’s formulate what is a brand. According to Forbes, “…use … “brand” to refer to the perception customers have about that product or service.”©. Meaning, your personal brand is a perception that you want people to have about you.
Daily we do make an impression on others. This happens naturally. However, if you don’t control these perceptions, chances are that people either won’t see the best parts of you or they will just get a random impression. Therefore, personal brand helps you communicate who you are to the world in consistent and strategic manner.
In order to do that, you first and foremost need to identify the things that you want to be known for. It is the hardest part of personal branding to know what message you want to put out into the world. However, without a clear message in mind, you will never succeed as a brand. Therefore, it is a must to formulate clearly what you stand for.
Begin by examining your past achievements.What are you most proud of? What are the most meaningful experiences you have had so far? Who do you want to be in the future? Answering these questions may not be easy, but it will help you explore your own motivation and focus on what is really important to you.
Let’s explore an example. Our client is a marketing professional She has lived and worked in multiple countries. Her passion is mentoring women, especially in developing countries. She also has two degrees. One is an MBA and another one is in Painting. She has 15 years of experience in sales and marketing roles within a multinational environment, managing remote multicultural teams. She is well known for perseverance, delivering results. In terms of personality she has a great sense of humor. What she enjoys the most is people management. She also believes in ethical business and fairness. Also, she participates in charities (animal welfare). Finally, she used to be an exhibited artist. So, what is her personal brand?
First and foremost at the core of her personal brand is the fact that she is truly a global citizen. She loves multicultural environment. In her opinion, understanding other points of view, other cultures and respecting them opens your mind to the world. This is how the best ideas are born. Therefore, we would emphasize this in her personal brand. Hence, the communication will be around the fact that this lady speaks 4 languages, lived in 5 countries and worked closely with all regions except Latin America.
So we are taking an actual valuable experience that this person has and highlight it. What is also important, is that she will sound credible and authentic speaking about multicultural issues, because this is something she, herself is passionate about. On top of speaking about multicultural experiences also highlights this person’s adaptability, flexibility and communication skills. All of these are strong positive messages, reinforcing her brand.
Second aspect of the personal brand in this instance is the fact that this lady really enjoys people management. She has 8 years of experience managing teams. What makes her people management experience stand out is the fact that she has managed remote teams since 2012. Now that, is important. In 2020 the whole world was forced to work remotely. And many organizations have struggled with that. There are few managers who have a decade of experience engaging remote teams.
Additionally, she has been mentoring women from different cultures. That means, that she can be an asset to any organization that is working towards diversity. It also means, that she can be a good coach. That is a great skill to have. Managing a successful team requires identifying strengths and weaknesses, capitalizing on the strengths and coaching the team through the weaknesses. Previous experience in coaching diverse demographic is certainly an asset.
Finally, the thing that clearly sticks out is that this person has both Business and Art. She has experience in sales and marketing with a large company. But she also was an exhibited artist and has a Painting degree. Firstly, it speaks to versatility. Secondly, it shows that she is creative. And that is for sure a valuable skill for marketeer. Also, it shows a multi-faceted, complex personality. It means, that this person is capable of thinking out-f the-box. A skill certainly helpful for post-covid marketplace.
Therefore, in order to begin your personal brand efforts, you have to identify what you stand for and what you are good at. In this example we have highlighted: multicultural, global experience; experience managing multicultural and remote teams; versatile out-of-the-box thinking. These traits and experiences make up for a unique profile and add value in the marketplace. This is the first and most important step you need to take when building a personal brand.
TIP 2: CONSISTENCY
Every interaction you have leaves a mark. These days, these marks are often digital. And that means two things. First, they are more permanent, as what you post on social media tends to stay there for a long time, it gets re-posted or archive. And rarely goes away. Second, you tend to reach more people. If you say something to a person face-to-face, they may tell somebody else about the conversation. But that is a probability, not a certainty. However, when you post on social media you actually count on the message reaching more people.
Therefore, especially now, it is important to take charge of impressions that you make on others. This is crucial when it comes to your use of social media. It is also important for any professional interactions. But let’s talk about social media first.
Most people use social media for entertainment. They post random thoughts. Pictures that reflect the mood of the day. Sometimes, emotional outbursts. Young people are especially prone to indiscriminate and, sometimes, inappropriate use of social media. However, these sporadic posts are going to stay out there. The totality of these random posts produce a certain impression of the person behind the social media profile. Therefore, by approaching social media in inconsistent manner people leave an unplanned and often negative image for the world to see.
This approach to social media and professional interactions means that not only you failed to use an opportunity to speak for yourself, but you may have actually compromised the image you have been trying to build your career. Let’s for a minute imagine the following scenario. A young and bright lady is trying to get a job in an international company. She has a Master’s degree in relevant discipline. She also speaks 3 languages. Additionally, she has taken the time to get work experience by doing summer internship and also contributing to an NGO as a volunteer.
Now let’s imagine that this same young lady goes to a party and takes selfies with her friends. She ends up drinking a bit much. She posts some of these pictures on her Instagram with mildly provocative comments. The next Monday she applies for her dream job. The HR officer does pre-select her for the interview. The young lady is invited for the interview and does pass it successfully. Prior to making an offer, the vigilant HR officer checks her references and goes over the girl’s social media profiles. In doing so, the HR discovers the said pictures from the party and a runt about behavior of her autistic niece at breakfast a few days ago.
While we are all human and we all make mistakes, the public nature of social media makes those mistakes our permanent record. In this instance, the posts may not seat well with the HR officer. So they may well cost this young lady a job opportunity.
Now, if you are going to start a personal brand, this is not an acceptable situation. You can no longer use social media randomly and hope for the best. Instead, you can turn it into a great personal branding tool. All you have to do is to use social media consistently and with a purpose. Once you have identified what you are good at and what you want to say to the world, all you have to do is stay on topic.
If you post regularly, this should be easy for you. It means what you have to do is to simply ask yourself a question, whether what you are about to post contributes in a positive way to the image you want to project. If the answer is yes – fantastic. If it isn’t – you should not be posting it.
The task is more daunting for those of you, who do not post regularly. In this case, you should come up with a routine and stick to it. For instance, to begin with making a commitment to post once a week. Set aside one hour of your time every week. In between come up with ideas of what you want to right about when you are in transit, waiting in a line, etc. Write them down in a notebook, if that helps. Review the ideas, select the ones that are particularly “on brand” for you and write. Once a week. Every week.
Once you have a stable posting routine, it is time to join some groups and follow hashtags that you are interested in. Make sure that those interests are consistent with the core personal brand you have developed. Make it a habit to monitor the groups and the hashtags for 10-15 minutes every day. On a lunch break. Or in the morning when you drink your coffee. Join the discussions that you find interesting. Comment when you have something to say. Make it a habit.
Like this you will start building your personal brand. You just have to remain consistent. In values you represent. In your posting routine. And, finally, in terms of commenting & participating in relevant discussions. While developing a habit to post regularly and to participate in discussions is less challenging, staying on topic may be harder. Make sure to edit & to keep the ideas flowing! And if you are really having a hard time, ask for professional assistance, hire a personal brand agency.
TIP 3: REMAIN AUTHENTIC
The key to success in personal branding is, firstly, finding your voice. Secondly, making it clear to the world, speaking consistently. But the last ingredient of best personal brand is authenticity. People sense sincerity. And, above all, they sense insincerity That immediately turns them off. Therefore, whatever you do, please make sure you stay genuine and, also, true to yourself.
In first part of this article we spoke about importance of identifying your strengths. However, we also said, that it is important to understand what you want to enjoy, what you stand for. The reason why that is paramount, is that building a personal brand requires a consistent and focused effort. In order to maintain the level of dedication that is required to create content regularly and still be authentic, you have to actually be interested in the subject matter.
Building a personal brand requires commitment. If you are focusing on subject that you are genuinely interested in, it becomes a learning opportunity. As you continue to explore the subject matter in attempts to create good content, you will become more knowledgeable on the topic. If you really care about something this becomes a natural process. However, if you are trying to “fake it”, keeping up the work will become a challenge. As you struggle to find relevant subjects to post about, your tone will become strained, rather than authentic. Inevitably, your audience will feel it. Therefore, it is really important that when formulating your brand and values, be absolutely honest with yourself.
Everyone in this difficult times can benefit from a personal brand. It can help you get a job. It may be key to growing your business. Or, it can become a way to advance your career in your current organization. Whatever your goals are, personal brand can help you get there.
In order to build a successful personal brand you firstly, have to understand what are your strengths and values. Once you have found your voice, you need to be consistent. Don’t leave it to chance. Make sure you use every opportunity to communicate what you stand for. Personal Brand requires dedication and work. In order to keep it up, it is important that you stay genuine and authentic. Sincerity always resonates with the audience.
Some people find it daunting. It is not easy to identify your strengths and weaknesses. It also requires dedication and some technical skill when it comes to social media. Finally, a lot of busy professionals simply have no time to spare. If you fall into one of those categories, or simply need more information, feel free to reach out. Our experienced marketing professionals will be happy to offer you a personal branding consultation and help you identify the next steps.