How to Get Started With Personal Branding

you are your own brand

The term ‘personal branding’ is used daily in the digital world and is an increasingly popular marketing strategy that can be used by anyone in any industry, thanks to social media.

The term has been evolutionised since it was coined in 1997 by management expert Tom Peters, in his essay, ‘The Brand Called You’. 

It is a powerful tool to help you stand out in today’s digital landscape. A personal brand helps enhance your visibility and credibility online, attracting relevant connections and opportunities.

Understanding Personal Branding

What is personal branding? In simple terms, it’s showcasing your expertise, values and identity online to become more visible and promote yourself within your chosen field. 

It can benefit anyone, not just those in the marketing industry. For example, a personal brand can help promote your e-commerce business. You can share your story and process, putting a face and personality to your business. 

Having a personal brand that aligns with your e-commerce brand will strengthen your business’s authenticity and add that human touch that many brands lack. 

Finding Your Personal Brand

When starting with personal branding, the first step is to understand and discover who you really are. Take some time to think about your strengths, passions, and interests. What makes you feel most excited and engaged? What do you want social media to see or think of you? 

Understanding your core values will help you build an authentic personal brand that truly represents you.

Think about the people you want to connect with or influence through your brand. Identifying your target audience will make sure you are resonating with the people who are most likely to support you. 

It’s also helpful to do a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats).

Personal branding is about showcasing the best version of yourself whilst staying true to who you are. Find ways to position yourself as an authority in your chosen field or interest. 

By understanding yourself and your target audience, you’ll have a strong foundation for a successful personal brand.

Crafting Your Personal Brand Identity

When creating any brand, it’s essential to have these five things: 

Consistency – personality – a brand statement – proof of expertise – and aligning visuals. 

When it comes to building your personal brand, creating a strong and memorable identity is crucial. You need to decide how you want to present yourself to your audience. How do you want them to see you?

Consistency is one of, if not, the most important aspect of establishing your personal brand. Make sure to use the same name or handle across all platforms so it’s easy for people to find you.

You need a powerful brand statement that represents you. Your brand statement is like a personal elevator pitch – it should convey who you are, what you do, and what makes you unique.

Demonstrating your knowledge and expertise will build trust with your audience.

Your personal brand isn’t just about showcasing your professional skills; it’s also about showcasing your personality – people connect better with genuine personalities.

Additionally, using professional images can impact how your personal brand is perceived. Choose a profile picture that aligns with your personal brand and resonates with your audience. 

If you’re branding yourself within the marketing field, a friendly but appropriate photo is probably best. Also, if you’re using a casual and informal tone of voice in what you post, use a casual profile picture. 

For example, Olivia Mae Hanlon, founder of ‘Girls in Marketing’, uses a friendly and casual profile picture on LinkedIn which is appropriate and fitting for her brand and target audience:

She uses informal language on LinkedIn (‘It’s backkkkkk’) whilst being an authoritative figure in marketing, especially for her target audience. Her personality and brand are consistent through her language choice and imagery on her LinkedIn profile. 

Consistency in visuals across your online platforms will also reinforce your brand identity and make you more recognisable.

Building an Online Presence 

A strong online presence is crucial for your brand. It’s like your own space on the internet to show off your skills and achievements. 

Social media is the most effective way to facilitate a personal brand. Select the platforms that align with your objectives and that your target audience frequently uses. 

Jess Hunt used her personal brand to build her beauty brand, REFY.

Because of her influencer and model status, she already had a successful personal brand and over a million followers on Instagram. 

These followers were already potential REFY customers because her e-commerce brand targets the same audience as her personal brand. Her Instagram aesthetic has always been minimalist, just like REFY:

Both Jess’ and REFY’s Instagram profiles have a very similar colour scheme.

The branding and packaging of REFY match Jess’ Instagram and general aesthetic. 

Many influencers have e-commerce brands whose success came from their already established and authoritative name in the industry (as well as being high-quality products). It just shows the opportunities that having a personal brand can bring.

If you’re looking to build professional connections, LinkedIn is a great option. It functions like a digital resume, allowing you to showcase your work experience, skills, and interests to others in your field.

Focus on making meaningful and relevant connections rather than how many you have. It’s easy to get caught up in seeking validation through follows and likes. Engage with other content, join relevant groups, and participate in discussions.

Building an online presence can be a gradual process, so it’s important to stay positive and not get discouraged if you don’t see immediate results. Remember to stay authentic and consistent with your brand.

Establishing Credibility

Establishing credibility and expertise is crucial for your personal brand. You can’t be successful in marketing without proving you know what you’re talking about.

Share valuable content that resonates with your target audience. This can be through writing blog posts, creating videos, or starting a podcast to showcase your knowledge. 

LinkedIn is a powerful platform for personal branding. You can use LinkedIn’s publishing feature to share articles and industry insights. Content builds your reputation, so think carefully about what it is you’re posting. What does your post actually offer your audience? Is it useful? 

Connect with professionals in your field, join relevant groups, and engage in discussions. As you participate in more conversations, you will become more visible and known on LinkedIn.

Share your achievements on your LinkedIn profile to build confidence in your abilities. If you’re consistently producing valuable content, your audience will soon see you as a credible and reliable connection. 

Protecting and Managing Your Personal Brand

Once you’ve established your personal brand, manage and protect it like a valuable asset. Your online presence shapes how other users perceive you, so it’s crucial to maintain a positive image.

Handling criticism is a necessary skill when working with social media. Not everyone will agree with your ideas or choices, so address concerns constructively and use feedback as an opportunity for growth.

A single negative incident can damage your reputation swiftly. There have been several instances where influencers were “cancelled” for making a single inappropriate comment. Always be mindful of the content you share and the company you keep. 

As your interests and expertise evolve, update your personal brand accordingly. Regularly assess your goals and values, ensuring they still reflect your brand’s identity. Don’t be afraid to change your strategy or refine your message as you grow personally and professionally.

Personal branding can help unlock new opportunities in your personal and professional life. By understanding your strengths and values, you can create a compelling brand identity that resonates with your audience. 

Know what and why you’re posting, put a face to the content and, to quote Ash Jones, owner of personal branding agency Great Influence: 

“Find a way to stand out. Be different in a sea of mediocracy.”

At Fly High Media, we focus on delivering the best results for your business. Our dedicated team of experts offers a range of services to enhance your company’s online presence. 

Contact us to find out how our digital marketing expertise can benefit your business!

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