#OB2022ThoughtLeadership: People buy people, who are you?

effective personal branding strategy

Amongst the long list of things that changed with the onslaught of this pandemic, is the way people approached the intentionality of life. For the very fact that many people left the world before their time, we were made painfully aware of our mortality and the unpredictability of life – and the fact that life in itself was “too short” to shrink ourselves, to play small, to do what we did not wish to do or be what we did not wish to be.

Most prominently was the silent scream of purpose. For most people, being just a number that adds up to the almost 8 billion already existing in the world is not enough anymore. The world has seen a major shift in the tenacity of its population to tell their stories and personalize their journeys on the earth causing a big wave the future of work, entrepreneurship, employment and business far and near.

Personal branding is how you tell your story, it is certainly how you get the world to notice you, your impact and your purpose. The world would hold a perception of you so you have a brand, like it or not. The onus now lies with you to decide if this perception is accurate or you will want to tell your story as it is.

Communicating who you are and what makes you different among all others is what makes you notable and propels your purpose. Your unique combination of skill set, experiences, strengths, weaknesses and personality is what makes you, you.

Building a recognizable personal brand opens professional opportunities. It helps you create a vision for your future that most often leads to a better job, better contacts and clients for your company, industry recognition – a personal brand influences what jobs you get, how well your businesses do, who you have in your network, even your earning potential– People buy people.

Thankfully, if there is anything that is easy to do amongst the numerous others you have to do to excel, it will have to be ‘being you’.

Building a personal brand can be daunting in the start, but staying true to yourself about your story and your journey towards your purpose makes it easy. A personal brand exists in all areas of our existence. In both our look-at-me cultural shift and evolving job market, it’s both helpful and necessary to stand out when applying for a job or starting your own company. A personal brand is for (almost) everyone.

So here are five (5) ways to create an engaging, unique, and inviting personal brand.

  1. Have a focus

“Too many people are unfocused when it comes to press and coverage, trying to be “everything to everyone.” Decide what your key message is and stick to it,” Keeping your message focused for your target demographic will make it that much easier to both create content around your personal brand and have others define you.

  1. Be genuine

There’s an easy way to have an original personal brand—and that is to be genuine and authentic. People can see right through a disingenuous act. The more obviously a brand is a copycat, the more the audience will call out the perpetrator for it. Be genuine. It will make it much easier to manage your personal brand on a daily basis.

  1. Tell a story

If your personal brand isn’t telling a story, you’ve already lost half of your potential audience. The most effective personal branding strategy these days is to build a true narrative – create a story around your brand that your audience can engage with.

  1. Be consistent

Being consistent is very similar to having a narrow focus—it’s much easier to get recognized for one topic if you consistently create content and brand voice around it. Ensure that your personal brand promise stays consistent, both online and offline.

  1. Live your brand

As mentioned before, one of the ways you can make building a personal brand difficult on yourself is to separate your brand from your personal life. While certainly doable, it’s easier when initially creating a personal brand to have your actual lifestyle and brand be one and the same.

Your personal brand should follow you everywhere you go. It needs to be an authentic manifestation of who you are and amplify what you believe.” With this in mind, your personal brand is not only a reflection of a series of job functions like marketing, finance or creative but also ideals like giving back, thoughtful leadership or mentorship.

Right, I had said 5 ways… and then there is this way- Bonus Point – Let Herrada help you curate and tell your story.

Get professional assistance: Creating a personal brand in the public sphere is no exception to this rule. Personal branding is the story people tell about you when you’re not in the room.” “All you have in your life is your name and the reputation you garner.”

Always remember, a personal brand is a lifelong project that constantly evolves and changes. Even the experts who build or enhance the biggest brands in the business know that there are no hard-set rules for creating a personal brand. But these general guidelines help provide first steps, especially if you’re starting a new brand or rebranding. Creating the right personal brand will not only help you be known in your field and consistently keep you in your purpose but it could be the difference between “Who are You?” and “Thank You for being here!”

>>> the writer is the Founder of Herrada, a boutique consulting firm that has already become an industry leader in training and consulting in the nouveau services of Image consulting, Personal and Corporate branding, soft skills and Etiquette, Diplomacy and International protocol.

Their mission is to help clients effectively communicate who they are as individuals and as professionals by virtue of their personal brand and image and also guide companies in planning and communicating their brand identity and equity through their development of their personnel with training in Image Consulting, Soft skills and Etiquette, Diplomacy and International Protocol.

Their offers include Brand Strategy and Consultation, PR and Event Management, Marketing and Media Relations, building apt brand reputation and offering real solutions to personal and corporate brand challenges. Herrada has assisted start-ups, individuals, entrepreneurs and maturing companies with image and brand management strategies and has been pivotal in enabling them to reach their goals and make impact, not just in Ghana but internationally as well.

Blessed Agyemang is truly extraordinary in that her current position as consultant in image and brand management and supply chain management after she had already made an exemplary professional career in supply chain in the Halliburton Europe, Eurasia and Sun Saharan Region after handling efforts towards enhancing local content and indeed this was pivotal in convincing her to go into image and brand management for persons- both corporate or entrepreneur and companies. She can be reached on [email protected]

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