Does your business have good personal branding? A common misconception people make is that they think branding is JUST a design. But in reality, it’s more than that.
So what is it then? Personal branding is how you promote yourself and your business (think of it like influencer marketing). It is a combination of your experience, skills and personality and how the world perceives you as.
Mastering this skill allows you to differentiate yourself against other competitors in your niche whether that be online or offline. You can do this by sharing your own story while reflecting on your brand behavior, values, and attitudes, together with spoken and unspoken words.
You can even use images to portray how people view you. This includes how you look in real life, how the media portrays you and the beliefs people gain from the information they find about you available online.
Your personal brand will change throughout the years so don’t be afraid! In this post, you will learn the 3 signs of good personal branding and how you can install it into your business.
1. Figure out your USP
USP stands for “unique selling point” (mainly known as “unique selling proposition” but right now let’s stick to “point” to make it easier for you). It is referred to as a specific benefit that makes your business stand out from the rest of the business market.
So before you make your move on creating your specialized USP, make sure you keep this one question in mind: “what makes YOU different from the competition?”
In Jane Hillsdon’s book “How To Do Marketing”, she points out these 6 things to make a mesmerizing USP:
- Make sure your USP is clear and memorable.
- Don’t try to please everyone and everything: the saying goes, don’t try to aim at everyone because you’ll end up leaving no impressions on anybody.
- “Don’t base it on something your customers expect as a given”: an example of this is we provide a professional service and we listen to your enquiries. What she indicates in this is that “if these are the only characteristics that separate you from the competition, then you must be in a pretty ordinary industry” (so make sure to keep that in mind when creating your USP).
- Pick something that your competitors CAN’T duplicate.
- (Here’s an important one) Don’t try to differentiate your business based on price.
- Figure out what will appeal most to your target market: a cool example of this is my favourite graphic design tool – Canva. Their tagline “empowering the world to design” allows them to separate themselves from competitors like Adobe. Their tool is aimed toward beginners and novice designers through their easy drag-and-drop feature all the while making their content look professional.
2. Have a Personal Branding Strategy (PBS)
Ask yourself this question “where do you see yourself and your brand heading in 6 months, 2 years or 5 years?”
Having a personal branding strategy allows you to describe where you stand right now and figure out what level of visibility you want to accomplish in the future. In your detailed plan, you will need to list the tools you would be using, how you will measure your campaigns and the skills you will need in order to help you achieve your goals.
An example to include in your PBS is a content calendar. I myself have a content calendar mainly for my Instagram account. Before the start of a new month, I like to do research on what’s trending in the industry, the upcoming seasonal trends, and research helpful content for my target audience. After that, I create the content and schedule them on an IG scheduling app (automation is key).
Another way you can install PBS is by doing a content marketing strategy. You can research where your target market is and then note down how you can be an expert in that specific area. Some ideas could include blogging, social media, guest posting (like this post you’re reading right now), podcasts, eBooks, courses, media press, webinars or seminars. There are many more ideas that I haven’t listed (so get searching!)
3. Engage with your followers
It’s a no-no from me to just ghost your existing followers! Making an engaging personal brand requires you to interact with your audience. You can do this by replying to their comments, and reaching out to them (via DM, email, video call or even in person).
Once you achieve this and have an engaging audience, you can then ask them questions or create polls to get their opinions on your products or services. This will help you grow as a brand and a business while keeping your target audiences’ trust.
In addition to the above, if you have a professional business account on social media you can take it to the next level and use the analytic tool to figure out the time people are engaging with your post and see what your audience likes from you (this can help you plan out future content).
So these are the 3 signs of good personal branding. It’s time for you to branch out and create a remarkable USP, create a PBS and start engaging with your new and current followers (if you haven’t yet!).
(Book) “How To Do Marketing” by Jane Hillsdon.
Ellen Tran is a Melbourne-based freelance content writer and the founder of Designs & Art by Rae, which features branding designs, illustrations and copywriting catered to female businesses. Influenced by her “Gen-Z” style of writing, she loves anything related to astrology and the law of attraction.