Granting Permission to be Yourself
Personal branding is about celebrating your individuality and expressing your authentic self. It is about carving out your own place in the world, stepping into a role that only you can fill and doing things in a way in which no one else can do them. Each and every one of us has our own unique value and something different to offer. The personal branding process assures you that it’s okay to be yourself and to let your freak flag fly.
Developing your personal brand helps you gain confidence. The confidence comes from acknowledging your strengths and recognizing all of the positive qualities you have to share with the world. As you gather the building blocks of your personal brand and focus on the positive aspects of your personality, you are able to determine your unique value. When you know you have something of value to offer, your self-esteem soars.
You build credibility not through your words, but through your actions. Your target audience, (your ideal clients, employers or consumers) want to know that you can do what you say you’re going to do. If you live your personal brand, keep your brand promise and take actions which align with your brand, you are automatically on the path to credibility. As you continue to build a track record with your target audience, their words – in the form of testimonials and references can then become tools for supporting your credibility.
Showcasing Your Specialty
Having a personal brand is owning the business – of you. You can begin to create your own niche by picking a specific area that you want to be great at and claiming it. No one can specialize in “everything”. To develop a specialty, the best place to start is with what you know. What problems are you particularly good at solving? What can you do that few others know how to do? Who seems to be drawn to you? What segment of the population do you understand best? Your niche market is determined by your unique work experience, life experience and personality. Personal branding gives you the opportunity to cultivate yourself as an expert within the niche market of your choice.
Leaving Your Mark
Part of the branding process is becoming known for something. The first step is to identify your best characteristics so that you know what to build on. Your personal brand is your legacy. It’s the way that people remember you through your actions, your expertise and the emotional connections you make with others. It gives you the opportunity to shine and leave your mark on the world.
Connecting You with Your Target Audience
Personal branding success not only requires communicating your message to the right people, but also in a way that enables an emotional connection. Building a strong personal brand helps you interact with your target audience in a clear, consistent way. That consistency builds trust which allows emotional connections to form.
Distinguishing Yourself from the Competition
We are hardwired to notice what is different. We notice the person who wears red in a sea of black clothing, we notice the outliers, the ones who stand out from the crowd. Differentiation is a crucial part of the personal branding process. If you are just like everyone else in the market and your customers cannot discern anything special about you, why would they choose your product or service over another? By recognizing and developing your unique talents, you can distinguish yourself from the competition.
Getting the Support You Need
When you are clear about who you are and what you need, you are able to ask for support with clarity. If you know what you need, you know what to ask for. Defining your personal brand helps you determine your needs and identify who is most likely able to fulfill them. This comes with knowing your strengths and your weaknesses. From there, you can tap into your network and get the support you need to solidify your personal brand.
Focusing Your Energy
A benefit of having a personal brand is that when you have a clear understanding of who you are, what you do best, who you want to work with, and how you want to use your talents you can focus your energy on the right things. Using your personal brand like a filter allows you to more easily say yes to the right opportunities and say no to the wrong ones. You can determine what is “on brand” and “off brand” for you.
Letting Yourself Be Lazy
A personal brand helps you avoid the need to reinvent yourself. After you pinpoint your expertise, your goal is to use it over and over so that you reap maximum benefits from it. After you craft a personal branding statement (a concise expression of who you are and what you offer) you can use it in every communication that you create. The beauty of personal branding is that while it is never static, (you will always want to learn and grow), it thrives on consistency. Consistency requires you to use key pieces of your branding puzzle again and again, even as your brand evolves.
If you are interested in learning more about personal branding and crafting your own personal brand, check out the article, How To Create A Personal Brand.