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Personal Branding

Chris Hambly's picture
Submitted by Chris Hambly on 13 July 2010 - 1:59pm

Coca Cola, McDonald’s, and Mickey Mouse are some of the most recognisable brands in the world. Through the use of social media an individual can be his or her own brand to stand out among peers, colleges, or within a particular industry. It can be quite similar to developing a product brand.

Start out by asking yourself a few simple questions:

  1. What are you really good at? It’s not just about being an expert or even an expert among experts. What skills do you have that makes you head and shoulders above the rest.
  2. What is my niche? Who are your competitors if you have any or will you be the only
  3. Is there a market for what you do? Whether it’s a product you make or a service you provide people have to want it. If you are the only one or one of a few providing it, it will make it easier for people to identify you with it.

Take a business approach to developing your brand. Start out with a brief mission statement to zero in on what it is you want your brand to accomplish. This will prevent false starts while building your brand. Also decided who is your target audience. Are you trying to appeal to your peers on a causal basis or growing a customer basis for your services or structuring a public identity within your business?

No matter who your target is, the key will always be content. Give them what they’re looking for. Make sure it’s always appropriate for the viewer. It is never a good idea for potential clients to see photos of you slinging back the vodka bottle at a party. Remember image is everything when you’re building personal brand.

You want to make good use of the social media available. For example Facebook has the option of groups or fanpages. Here is where you can set the standards for your brand’s exposure by posting relevant updates, guiding discussions, and interacting with your followers. If you have the capabilities make short clips to post on YouTube. Many social networking sites are interconnected so it makes it even easier to get your information out.

Personal branding shouldn’t be viewed as shameless self promotion. It can a useful tool in the networking process. The more people that become aware of you and your valueable assets, the more likely you are to end up in the job you’ve been dreaming of. As a freelancer it may lend a more personable approach to potential clients. Personal branding is an opportunity to present the best side of who you really are besides just a resume in a stack on someone’s desk.