While ‘branding’ used to only be associated with organizations, many of the important lessons that companies learned along the way can also apply to your personal brand. Here are five lessons that I think are important to consider:
Position yourself strategically
Just like an organization or company needs to be aware of their competition in order to be successful, so does your personal brand. It’s important to know your place inside your niche and offer some expertise that makes you unique compared to what others are offering. For example, when it comes to fast food, who do you think of when you want a burger? Chili? A submarine sandwich? These restaurants have made themselves known to their audience for something specific and marketed themselves accordingly.
There’s nothing worse than coming off as fake or untrustworthy in the eyes of your audience. Large organizations realize this, and that’s why their branding strategies always need to coincide with one another. You don’t want to confuse or anger your audience by trying to be something (or someone) that you’re not. This is not saying that your brand can’t evolve or grow – but in order to build a loyal following, you need to be consistent.
Know your audience
You need to identify your audience’s wants, needs and desires. You need to connect with them, converse with them and make them feel like you get it. Good ways to do this? Through social media and blogging you can share expertise and advice while connecting with your followers.
Transparency has become an important buzzword as customer service and big companies jump on the social media bandwagon. Transparency does not mean sharing everything, but it does mean being honest and upfront about important issues that may arise.
Because you have specific expertise, it can be helpful to create relationships and work together with others who can help your audience in a different way than you can. Not only will your audience appreciate it and remember you for it, but you’ll be building mutually beneficial relationships with other professionals at the same time.