5 steps to creating a strong personal brand

Image is everything. How you appear to the world is your personal brand. This, therefore, means a strong brand is preferable than a weak, uninteresting and unpolished one. Here are five ways to build a strong personal brand.

  1. Be true to yourself.

Imagine how hard it would be to build an impression based on a fake you. To build a strong lasting brand, it should be a reflection of who you are, your beliefs and your strengths.

Do not be afraid of being vulnerable, take the masks off and put away all prejudices. People connect with people; your true self is the consistent self that will not deter those with whom you have connected with.

  1. Speak.

To build a brand, you should speak as much as you can. Be consistent with your ideologies but do not be afraid to communicate if you develop a new understanding or change in beliefs. Learn to articulate yourself well and in a unique way that identifies with you.

Speak from a place of knowledge and power. Show that you know what you’re talking about, and answer questions in a way that serves your audience.

Be confident and show it. Criticism and disagreements will come, learn to deal with it well. The important thing is to remain open to feedback. Thank others for sharing their views, and if the points they raised were legitimate, determine how you can improve and do better next time.

Speaking engagements are opportunities to be seen and heard. Start small, and keep building.

  1. Write.

Thought leadership articles and interviews establish your credibility. As with speaking engagements, landing the best opportunities takes time and effort, but if you remain open to what comes your way, pretty soon you’ll be showing up everywhere.

Take interviews, share and comment on trusted and authentic publications regularly and consistently.

  1. Build your online presence.

Do you know how you’re appearing and coming across online? This is something you’re going to want to monitor on an ongoing basis, and improve upon whenever and wherever possible.

How are you appearing and coming across on social media? Do you come across as a pervert or guru in your industry? Take advantage and show that you are not a machine but someone with social interactions such as family, friends, and entertainment. Flesh out your media profiles, most employers look at those. Do you have a website for your brand, websites are more manageable than social media?

  1. Remain a student of your industry.

No matter how well you know your industry or area of expertise, it would be wise to remember that things are changing at a faster rate than ever before, and you have to stay up-to-date with the latest changes and trends.

It takes time to build your personal brand. If you fail to stay relevant, all of your efforts will be wasted. If you don’t want to be discredited, then you’ll want to keep a steady supply of articles, trade journals, blogs, and books on hand.

It also pays to learn new things, develop new skills, and to expand your knowledge. If you’re not growing, then you’re stagnating, and that’s the last thing you want to do as a brand.

As you begin to sharpen your personal brand, the right opportunities will start coming your way. People will begin to see that you know what you’re talking about, and they’ll invite you to be a part of their stories or news pieces.

However, don’t forget how important it is for you to have accomplished something yourself. You can’t talk about what you haven’t done because that will take away from your personal brand. Be open about your shortcomings and weaknesses. This will make you all the more human and relatable.

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