A strong personal brand isn’t just for renowned authors or famous celebrities. It can also be a powerful tool for individuals working normal careers. This is particularly true in the modern, business landscape where personalization has become a key to success.
A personal brand can help build trust with clients. It can single you out as a source of authority, information, and solutions. It separates you from others and helps you stand out in a crowd.
How to Create a Strong Personal Brand
Whether you’re creating your own business or working for someone else, it’s worth investing in your own personal brand. Here are a few tips to help you create a robust personal brand that can go the distance.
1. Pick a niche to focus on
One of the first things to realize about personal branding is the need to focus your attention. You’re not in the business of building friendships or shooting the breeze. You’re creating a brand that, when operating correctly, offers value to others.
As such, it’s important that you focus that value in a specific direction. A good example of this is Adam DeGraide. DeGraide is a serial entrepreneur with an impressive track record. He’s built multiple businesses in cutting-edge industries. He’s also been featured on major sites like Forbes, Inc., and Mashable.
Suffice it to say, DeGraide’s accomplishments speak for themselves. And yet, when it comes to his personal brand, the successful entrepreneur tends to focus on one area: motivation. From sharing his faith to offering up stories from his inspiring life journey, DeGraide has built a brand that connects with others through the medium of motivational speaking.
By honing in on a certain aspect, such as motivation, you can ensure that your personal brand remains focused. This gives an added level of potency to everything that you say, write, and do.
2. Make it personal
Personal branding may sound, well, personal. But it’s easy to slip into a pattern that is anything but intimate. As you approach your personal brand in a more systematic manner, it’s easy to slip into treating it as little more than a business venture. It’s important to fight this tendency when it starts to become too strong.
That isn’t to say that there isn’t a business element at play. There certainly is. Your personal brand will, in many ways, mirror the attributes of any company’s branding efforts.
However, personal branding is unique in the way that it can capitalize on the personalization factor. Thought leader and podcast host Juliette Stapleton explains this succinctly by pointing out that people trust people. Especially when compared to brands. It’s human nature to listen to another person before you’ll put your faith in corporate identity.
Strong personal brands can connect with others through stories and personalized lessons, as was the case with DeGraide from the previous takeaway. A personalized approach can’t fall victim to competition, as it comes from a deeply intimate and unique vantage point. It’s important to use this to your advantage when building your brand by steering into the personal side of the equation.
3. Avoid perfectionism
One of the most essential elements of a strong personal brand is the ability to be confident. If you want people to notice you, you need to approach everything with a sense of authority.
That’s the whole idea behind being a thought leader. If you want your personal brand to stand out, you need to do more than just be good at what you do. You need to provide unique insight and effective answers that you can express in a confident and accessible manner.
One of the worst ways to derail this aspect of personal branding is by becoming crippled by perfectionism. Now, just to clarify, the message here isn’t to be lazy or to create poor-quality work. It’s important to do a good job with everything that you do.
That said, it’s easy to become obsessed with looking perfect when you know others are watching your every action. This can cripple your ability to be effective.
Matt Plummer, gets to the heart of the issue. The founder of the online coaching service Zarvana points out that a lot of perfectionist behavior and tendencies come from a deep sense of fear and insecurity.
If you’re operating out of insecurity or a fear of failure, it’s difficult to create a strong personal brand that feels robust and able to lead others. While everyone struggles with fears and insecurities, it’s important to avoid letting these emotions dictate how you manage your brand.
Building a strong personal brand takes a lot of work. If you want your investment to be worthwhile, make sure to address these three critical areas. Focus on a niche, be personal, and avoid perfectionism. If you can do that, you clear the runway to let your personal brand thrive.