Your Most Burning Questions About Personal Branding, Answered

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Developing your personal brand is vital to career success. Due to a highly competitive job market and business environment, both new and experienced professionals are bound to find effective ways to demonstrate their value even as they adapt to a variety of industry changes.

Personal branding has therefore become paramount for prestige, landing promotions or achieving high paying jobs and a variety of business goals. Yet there is still a lot of confusion surrounding personal branding. I’ve asked some leaders to share their most burning questions about their personal brands.

What is the difference between having a personal brand and being a social media influencer?

Having a personal brand reflects who you are and the unique value you bring to the table in your niche. Your brand is the sum total of your personality, skills, experience and values. Having a personal brand is synonymous with a solid reputation that people know and trust. It lets others know what to expect when they deal with you and gives them the confidence to work with you based on your talents, character, and professionalism.

That’s why many professionals see great importance in channeling this powerful personal capital to others to develop their personal brand, discover their best qualities, and achieve their strategic goals.

On the other hand, being a social media influencer is building an online persona and brand by vigorously using social media (and largely for profit). For many influencers, the main goal is to attract a large and loyal following to seize the opportunity of earning potential, collaborations with large corporate brands, free products and online celebrity status.

Their content primarily focuses on current trends in lifestyle, fashion and travel, with social media influencers empowering their followers to have a sufficient following to buy a product, use a service, or endorse a brand. Based on the ability to influence. ,

I hasten to add that not all social media influencers are entrepreneurs trying to make a fortune. Many knowledge workers are reinventing themselves and using social media to express their expertise to the target audience. Their goal is often to build credibility in their field and get paid for their expertise through mentoring, coaching and speaking.

Although being an online celebrity is the currency of our digital age, establishing a strong, trusted and respected personal brand takes time. You have to lean into your expertise, experience and character as much, if not more, as digital metrics. To reduce your personal brand to social media metrics is to remember its value as a resultant career management strategy and a path to becoming a trusted leader in your industry.

RELATED: What to Know About Influencer Marketing in 2022

How do I brand myself?

Branding yourself is about building your reputation around the things you want to be known for – and letting others know about it. This requires taking stock of your track record, especially in the areas in which you are most competitive.

Personal characteristics can be taken as human skills (compassion, credibility, work ethic), and you should emphasize your assets, qualifications, credentials and experience that demonstrate your expertise in your niche. These signal to others what is important to you and help guide every decision you make. It is also important to take stock of the areas that may need improvement.

After you’ve defined the key features of your brand, you need to make sure you’re sending the right signals to the right people about the unique value you bring to the table. Depending on your strategic goals, you can adopt a variety of strategies to communicate your brand such as taking on leadership roles at work, writing a book, speaking up, blogging, volunteering for a cause in which you Believe, teach a course in your area of ​​expertise and build an online presence.

Remember that social media is just one way to get your brand out to the masses. It should not become a substitute for your personal brand.

How do you keep your brand relevant and responsive if you change careers? What steps do you take to (re)build your brand in a new location?

A new career is a great opportunity to rediscover yourself in a new environment and a welcoming clean slate on which to customize your brand, try new ideas, and bring your value to a new audience. Huh.

To keep your brand relevant and responsive, it’s essential to emphasize skills that are immediately transferable to your new role and responsibilities. Aim to use them to help address or resolve organizational pain points within your niche. It is sure to make a compelling first impression.

A new career is also a unique opportunity to develop new competencies, use latent skills, and establish your brand in new and dynamic ways. To accomplish the latter, identify the specific public who are your brand’s gatekeepers and consciously go about communicating your value. This might mean taking the lead on projects, contributing ideas to team assignments, or sharing your expertise online. Also, expand your network.

Changing careers can sometimes be isolating. It is important to build community through participation in professional associations or community organizations. New networks are vital to elevating your brand and can be a source of new opportunities and satisfying professional relationships.

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When you have a portfolio career and are known for different things, what aspect of your expertise do you get to share?

When your career includes a variety of jobs and multiple sources of income earned from monetizing your skills versus a job in a single organization, you have a portfolio career.

With portfolio careers, you should avoid confusing your audience. Instead, identify the core skills and expertise you bring to the table in your various job roles and decide what you want to base your brand on. Which of these skills kindle your fire? Who is aligned with your long-term goal or strategic mission?

Then be strategic about your roles and focus on the skills that will help you deliver long-term value and gain traction with your audience. Continually sharing your expertise in the areas you want to be known for and being associated with makes your brand focused and credible.

What are some guidelines for keeping your personal and organizational branding separate?

Your brand as an individual and as a professional should be the same. If you’re a leader in your family, making important decisions, looking after the home and kids, and managing a budget, you can (and should) use this ability to add value to the workplace.

Unfortunately, many professionals mistake their job position or title for their personal brand. It is important to remember that your brand is you. Therefore, you are lending your brand to your employer, and when you leave that company, you will be taking your brand with you.

How are corporate leaders facilitating their employees by owning their personal brands? Is workplace culture malleable and capable of evolving as its people evolve?

As more employees become familiar with their personal brand and seek to operate with purpose and passion, employers must also develop a workplace culture for the people on their team – who they really are and the specific values ​​at each table. brings.

Leaders must know their employees’ personal brand – their unique strengths, goals and interests, human skills and values ​​– and use their talents to solve organizational problems. Leaders should also assign employees work that they are passionate about and where they can excel and feel confident to deliver their best work. In addition, leaders can speak to their talents and advocate for employees when opportunities arise. This will have a positive impact on employee performance, productivity, morale and retention.

RELATED: Why Employer Branding Is So Important

How do I know when my branding strategy is working? At what point should I wrap it?

The most distinguishing indicator that your branding strategy is working is when you have met the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the brand building process, whether it’s reputation, in terms of earnings or earnings, landing a better or different role. Or in terms of social media performance metrics.

For example, if your message has gained traction among your target audience, you are viewed as an expert or a trusted leader in your field. If you are getting your ideal customers and attracting high ticket sales, you can claim success. However, keep in mind that personal branding is a lifelong investment. It is important to maintain a commitment to your brand, be aware of new developments in your industry and issues that can negatively affect your brand, and be able to adapt to changing conditions over the long term.