Nike encouraged people to “Just Do It” irrespective of their gender, age, or level of fitness. Apple helped the world to “Think Different.” And KFC has always kept to their “It’s finger-lickin’ good” promise. All these are their personal brands. What comes to your mind when you think about personal branding and career development? Are these two terms hand in gloves when it comes to accelerating one’s career? Well, if you’ve been looking for a way to accelerate your career, then you’ve just hit the jackpot. Kindly fasten your seat belts because it’s time to explore how building your personal brand can accelerate your career. I’ve got lots of secrets to divulge – let the show begin!
Personal Branding and Career Acceleration
“Products are made in a factory, but brands are created in the mind.”– Walter Landor
So, what is personal branding? Personal branding is the decisive effort and actions to create and influence the public perception of your business. With personal branding, you can take your business and career to a whole new level. When you build your personal brand, you make yourself and what you do to stand out from the sea of businesses already in existence. In essence, while other businesses keep struggling to identify their hustle, you have moved on to more productive things. And of course, this is all thanks to your personal brand.
Anybody can start a product line, but not everyone knows about the undeniable impact of personal branding. A personal brand can make all the difference between businesses that thrive and those that barely survive. Without an iota of doubt, no business owner wants their business to collapse. While everyone starts a business in good spirit, not everyone enjoys the ride. If you want a hell of a roller coaster ride in your business, then now is the time to consider getting yourself a personal brand.
Building a business is not all about hard work, but smart work as well. Your ideas are the fuel that keeps the car moving. When you decide to think of something that makes you and your business distinct, you will surely find it. So, why is personal branding seemingly so essential, and why can it fast track your career? Well, let’s find out!
Why Personal Branding Can Fast Track your Career Success
“Personal branding is the art of becoming knowable, likable, and trustable.”– John Jantsch
When you develop a personal brand, you market your career to the world in an irresistible manner. Developing a personal brand involves weaving your person as a brand. This singular move can go a long way in improving your outlook to clients and potential customers. But before you can build a personal brand and stay true to it, you must have deep self-awareness and realize who you truly are.
A personal brand shares many similarities with a corporate brand. It tells the world your story. This story can play a pivotal role in helping you establish or boost your career. Over 85% of hiring managers state that a candidate’s personal brand influences what hiring decisions they make. Your personal brand should highlight your strengths, build trust, establish a reputation, and communicate your unique attributes. All these features and more work hand-in-hand to ensure your smooth sailing in whatever niche you find yourself. So, when you pay close attention to cultivating your personal brand, hiring managers will not be in doubt if you’re the best fit for open positions.
How Personal Branding Gets People to Do Business with You
“If people like you, they will listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.”– Zig Ziglar
The concept of personal branding hinges on building the trust of past and potential customers so that they are more willing to do business with you. For example, any tech gadget with an Apple logo slapped on it can gain the trust of customers very quickly. The personal brand spells reliability, security, premium quality, innovation, and lots more.
Personal branding is simply the reason why many people would prefer to go for an iPhone over other equally excellent smartphones – they want to identify with the brand! And even when you sell your business or pass it down, people will still identify you with the brand, just as Apple is to Steve Jobs. So, building a personal brand is not something you should handle with levity or dilly-dally into – your personal brand outlives you!
Let’s consider another personal beading legend – Coco Chanel. Chanel was able to exude confidence in her fashion sense and brought new ideas and looks that people never imagined. She was confident, classy, and chic – the same way she made those who used her products to feel! Chanel was the only fashion designer to appear on the Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.
So, in essence, personal branding is an individual journey – not something to be imitated. It births you an opportunity to truly be yourself and sell it in any product or service you offer. The journey from personal branding to career success is sometimes laden with lots of uncertainties with many decisions to make. But when you push through, you will experience career opportunities and business success.
Tips for Building Your Personal Brand – Important Ingredients
“Your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business.”– Steve Forbes
Building your personal brand requires that you have some qualities and put some things in place. Building a personal brand is something you have to do intentionally and deliberately – nobody makes a personal brand in a day. Here are five questions you can answer to assist you in creating an authentic personal brand that will accelerate your career and contribute to your business success.
- What is your Core message?
- What Connections do you have?
- How can you Communicate your message effectively?
- How can you turn Challenges into opportunities?
- How can you remain Committed to your brand?
- Your Core Message
At any point in time, you must be prepared to pitch your core message when the opportunity arises. This means while you create your online and offline presence (Connections), your core message must be compelling and consistent. You can’t be everything, so what do you want people to know you for? What are your core values and other guiding principles you live by? Your branding message will become synonymous with your brand if you keep at it.
Many opportunities will come our way, but before jumping on any, always determine what you stand for. There is a saying that if you don’t stand for anything, you will fall for everything. Let every message you send or imply have a particular undertone and backlink that points to you. An example of a core message could be “Visualize and Actualize,” “Never Stop Improving”, and the likes.
- The Connections You Have
Before you can build a personal brand, you have to make your connections and relationships. Connections are one of the essential ingredients in building a personal brand. It’s the crux of the entire process, the life of the whole operation. If you already have a core message, the next thing is to connect with others and communicate your message to them. Think about who your target audience is and go after them as if your career depends on this – because it does!
To stay relevant in your niche in the business space, you must develop your ability to connect both within and outside your organization. One of the most productive ways to do this is by creating a substantial online presence using LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Form relationships with people from all around the world, attend relevant conferences, and the rest is history. Bear in mind, however, that while relationships you form may not pay off immediately, it would surely yield results sooner rather than later. In all, always be curious and open.
- Communicating Your Message
Congratulations! So, you now have a core message and a growing connection. But how do you communicate your core message to your target audience? A great branding strategy for communication is the use of clear and consistent stories and tones. For example, you can create a blog or post regularly on social media. You can pitch your life story and tell your audience what makes you passionate about what you do. Then from there on, keep doing everything with a singular aim – to shine in the niche that you have chosen.
What you post on social media, blogs, etc., have a way of bringing you closer to those who would help you accelerate your career. You would be able to meet new clients, new employees, new talents – the list is endless. Communicating your core message effectively and to the right audience are vital ingredients to building an ultimately successful career.
- Turning Challenges into Opportunities
For Coco Chanel, it was bringing new designs into a world that believed in an all too conservative and conventional mode of dressing. For Mark Zuckerberg, it was looking for ways to connect the world on a scale never before imagined. Every brand has its own share of the challenges they must overcome.
The greater the challenges you face, the greater the opportunity to stand out. There are many challenges you would encounter in building your personal brand. But always remember that challenges are the doors that lead you to greater opportunities. For example, while you may find yourself in a very saturated market, there are things you can do to make you unique. With over 7 billion people on the planet earth, no two people are the same – whether living or not. So, bringing your uniqueness into your brand space is a sure way to remain ahead of the game. Always look to solve challenges that can make you stand out.
- Remaining Committed to Your Brand
The winds will come howling at you, trying to goad into giving up or following the part of least resistance. Building a personal brand is not the easiest thing in the world, just like building a house isn’t. Nobody builds a brand in a day. So, building your personal brand will take discipline and a long-term commitment to the process. You shouldn’t fall for using a scattergun approach in creating a perfect personal brand. It takes time and requires a process – a modus operandi.
Be intentional and consistent with what you do and how you operate. Post your content regularly, share relevant information, etc. Just try your best to do things regularly. Once you wake up every single day to work on perfecting your brand, you will begin to attract the right opportunities.
Building a personal brand is the single most essential and powerful thing you can do for your career. While it is no child’s play, it’s worth it. Invest your time in building your personal brand and growing a valuable network. These will set you up for future success. But in all, remember – Be Yourself. Market Yourself!