Personal Branding for Students and Young Professionals
Personal Branding is something companies are very familiar to. The idea of marketing to the consumers is a necessity for a simple reason – their brand will define who they are and will set them apart from the rest of the competition. Dell, Apple, Samsung, Ford, Coca-cola to name a few – there’s a reason why we can easily determine which these names refer to. And despite being regarded as international brands, these corporations weren’t that known when they were first founded. Yes, it was all because of how these companies branded themselves to their consumers.
Nowadays, the concept of branding should not be limited to these companies. Young entrepreneurs and even students who are aiming to be their own bosses should have an idea as to how they should be branding themselves. Take Mark Zuckerberg for example. He started his venture on Facebook back when he was still studying in Harvard – according to the statistics by Marketwatch, it has already generated about $12.47 billion in revenue last 2014. Facebook, now a global icon, wouldn’t have reached that status it has today without proper execution of their branding concept.
So how exactly are we going to go about this? Jot these important pointers down to familiarize and create your own personal brand.
Before you even think of marketing yourself, you will need to know yourself first. Who are you and what sets you apart from the rest? Why should people be interested in what you have to offer? Ask your friends their own opinions about you – how does yourself look to them? By the time you have provided yourself an answer to your question, you will have a pretty good idea about your personal brand.
What fires you up?
One of the best methods to make someone work is to make them work a job they enjoy. As Confucius would say, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Apply these mindset when determining how your brand will look like. Don’t leave your ideal field of work in pursue of something that’s not even favorable to you. If you want to do volunteer work or work as a freelance writer or even a tutor, don’t let anything stop you from doing these – don’t let yourself go rusty in the job that you love.
Knowing your targets
To whom did you create your product? Are there any people that can promote it in anyway? The need to know who are the people that you’ll be serving with is important. That’s because the opinions of these people will reflect to how you and your brand will look like to the general audience. Their testimonials will have a great impact, as most people would take their words with a lot of weight compared to the information listed on your company website.
Use Social Media
Facebook is regarded as the biggest social media platform on the planet. And while their numbers can’t be compared to the other one, Twitter still comes in second place. However, if you’re a professional businessman, you should be using LinkedIn as well. Their platforms may feature unique ways of navigating through but they all have one common purpose – to share content. When you’re branding your company, it’s much more favorable to market yourself on these platforms.
You may already have an idea as to whom you should be branding yourself to. That means, you know which social networking platforms they are mostly spending their time. Focus your efforts there and properly provide it with necessary content that will target them.
Sync your Online Presence in various platforms
Information about yourself should be correctly shared throughout your social profiles. A single misspelling or misinformation might easily cause your reputation to plummet before it can even rise up. Be sure that your website, blog and social media accounts are all fed with correct information about you and your brand.
Grow the number of your followers
Another great thing about social media is that it allows you to interact with people closely. You can talk with them, befriend them and by doing so, you create a bond with your audience. This will create a ripple effect – those people who have known about your brand will gladly forward what you have to offer to their very own circles. That is why you need to keep on engaging with your audiences and continue building a relationship with them.
Remember that as you grow your number of followers, you are also growing your online reputation even more – your are slowly becoming an authoritative voice on your field of expertise. Make sure to properly market yourself to them by constantly reminding people about the services that you have to offer.
Gain the favors of your audience
Give your audience something that will make them look your way – something to leave them in awe. Encourage them to favor you instead of your competition. There are a couple of ways that you can do this like having a well maintained website, a very informative blog and more.
Provide new content constantly
Never let your audience see your profile pages go stagnant, even for a day. Post updates on a daily basis in social media and new articles or posts on your website on certain intervals. Keep your audiences fed with new information about your brand. Show them that your company is growing and that you have some solid proof for them.
Call to Action
Always encourage your visitors to come back another or read the latest happenings about your brand. You can do these through the use of well placed Call to Action buttons. Do you want them to subscribe to your newsletters? How about making them like or share your posts? These buttons will make it easier for them to do these actions.
Why Personal Branding is A Necessity for You
In a book by Tom Peters entitled, “The Brand Called You”, he stated that regardless of our age or position in a company, we need to have a good understanding of branding. That’s because we ourselves are our own brands and that it is up to us to know where our brands will go. As of today, we have the means to be a notch above the others – with social media being our most forefront tool. However, in the end, it’ll be what we do with ourselves that will decide if we’re going to succeed in this venture.
One good proof if you’re succeeding at your personal branding is that you won’t need to find jobs – they will come looking for you. However, if you’re finding it hard to land a contract, gain a business partner or a new project for that matter, then that there is a problem. You might want to spend some time finding what you did wrong.
The appearance of social media has made it possible for us to gain an authoritative voice without having to sound like a old man. While the traditional corporate executives listen to people with decades of experience for advices, through social media we can easily gain the reputation we need for our personal branding through constantly providing authentic information about the business we’re in. If you can show them your professionalism on this platform, you can get people looking your way much more efficiently.
On a final note, always remember that you are in control. You are your own brand and it’s in your hands where that brand goes – to the path to success or into the ground. But always remember – you won’t get anywhere if you don’t step it up first.
So, when will you be starting your own brand?