Self branding or personal branding is not a new concept; however, it has been on a constant rise over the past decade. Back then, it was just companies, celebrities and social icons that were busy promoting themselves. But with the blossoming of the digital age and with social networking integrating itself into modern life, self branding has become very commonplace. Everyone who is anyone is busy building brand self and is not even aware of it most of the times. Then again, some people are very good at it and some even hire professionals to do it for them. But to build your own brand, you needn’t be an expert in marketing and media. All you need to do is to decide what you want the world to see you as and then consciously construct a presence that is in sync with brand “YOU”.
To build an impressive brand self, you must understand the basic concept of a brand. A brand is all about perceptions. Brand “YOU” is what people perceive it to be, nothing more or less. Therefore, aligning all the elements of your personal brand to a specific brand identity is very important. Your brand self will be viewed by your friends, family, current employers, prospective employers, partners and everyone else who is part of your network.
Start out by identifying what you wish to be seen as. Identify three to five characteristics of your personality that you wish to emphasize about yourself. While deciding on these characteristics, try and focus on positive adjectives and refrain from choosing negative or aggressive traits. Always remember that a brand with a likable image is likely to score high with your audience. If you will think well of yourself, people will start thinking that way about you too.
Once you have identified your key characteristics, start building your brand elements as per those characteristics. You can support your self-brand with a series of online and offline brand elements such as business cards, resume, portfolio, profile on social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest. These are the faces of your personal brand and people will see you and make an opinion about you based on how you design these elements. Consciously cultivate a synchronized image of yourself in all these touch-points so that a consistent face of brand “YOU” is established.
Once you have cultivated a social identity for yourself, start writing a blog. Blogs provide a subjective medium for you to express your qualities, opinions and accomplishments in a well planned manner. It not only adds to your social image but provides a depth to your self-brand. An alternative to blogging is developing a personal website. Develop a website about yourself with a domain name preferably comprising of your own name. Link your social media pages, resume and portfolio with your website and write about whatever that you are really good at. This can be the single, most powerful platform showcasing your self-brand.
Finally, after you have invested all the time and effort in building a brand identity, start living it too. Your every action, which will be in public domain, should conform to your brand image. Remember, the more authentic and transparent your brand is, the more believable it will be.
Visual Courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/60861613@N00/