Ultimate Guide On Personal Branding
Maegan Lujan

Maegan Lujan

Brand Strategist. Business Leader. Author.

@maeganlujan

Have you ever typed your name or brand into Google to see what comes up?

What did the internet have to say about you? Was it shocking or intriguing? Or maybe …boring.

We leave a trail of crumbs online. Maybe an old social media profile you no longer use. Maybe an article you wrote way back when that now makes you cringe.

Think about all the information you have shared online via Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms. Plus your website and blog if you have them.

Does all of this information align with who you are and where you want to go? My guess is no. Are your profiles clean and professional? What would a recruiter learn about you if they searched for you online? The last date you went on, what you did on your last vacation, your family problems?

Did you know that 70% of employers and recruiters use social media to check out potential candidates?

You may think then maybe I should not be online at all if I do not want what I’m doing out there. But, according to a CareerBuilder Survey, 57 percent of employers are less likely to interview a candidate if they cannot find them online. Not having a social media presence could cost you your dream job.

So it is important to have a digital presence. The question is, are the bits of information that you have out there on the world wide web the things you want to be known for?

If not, help is here. Strategic Personal Branding

What is Personal Branding At Its Core?

First, you have corporate branding, the most notable form of branding.

It’s what most people think of when they think about branding. The name or image that comes with a huge business or enterprise like Apple or Tesla. It’s basically what people perceive, how they feel, and what they picture when they hear or see a particular name of a company.

By its common definition, branding is a marketing practice where a company creates a name, tagline, a symbol, or a design or concept that represents what the company is about. This helps consumers distinguish a service or product easily from other offerings.

Branding is crucial for a business to thrive.

Great branding leaves an imprint on people’s minds and positions a business as unique from competitors.

When a business is starting to develop its advertising, establish its reputation, and build out customer service strategies, that is the time to get strategic about creating a unique brand profile. This includes the creation of social media accounts to boost brand awareness and increase sales. Social media is important for both building brand loyalty and getting sales.

78% of salespeople engaged in social selling are outselling their peers who aren’t.

So what about Personal Branding?

Personal branding has many of the same basic elements as a corporate brand but you are branding a person instead of a business. This comes with a different methodology.

Like a typical name brand, you have certain characteristics that define who you are and what you care about. There are names and ideas that people associate with you. Your personal brand is your reputation and your story. It’s what you believe in and what makes you, well you. It’s where you have been and at the same time where you are going.

Creating A Personal Brand

Personal branding is all about owning your narrative. Being the lead in your life and business story. It’s about deciding what the world will think of you and not the other way around. However, you cannot simply come up with fabricated tales of adventures and decide that’s who you’re going to be. Do this and people can see right through it. Your personal brand narrative needs to be authentic, but you get to tell the story your way.

Not sure how? Let’s break it down a bit…

1. Start with your story

A personal brand strategy boils down to your story. Without it, there’s no brand.

Your brand story should revolve around two things:
● Who You Are
● What You Want To Achieve (Purpose)

The authenticity of your answers here will determine the success of your personal brand. When you have this laid out, compress it into a small sentence or an elevator pitch – a concise and persuasive sentence describing who you are and what you do.

Then and only then can you add the visual elements that make up your brand’s character.

40% of marketers predict that between 51% and 80% of businesses will heavily rely on visual content into 2021.

– Venngage

Visual storytelling increases engagement drastically, especially on Facebook. The Charmin Bears grew Charmin’s engagement to about +585%. Netbase Quid

2. Monitor and clear your name with the search engines

Once you have your who and why it is time to align that story with your current digital presence. To put the best version of yourself on the web by cleaning out what is already there that is not serving your purpose.

Search for your name and then browse through the results.

Put attention to the articles, posts, or images that come up and could negatively impact your digital footprint. The ones that do not reflect your current brand
vision. Delete articles you have written for your own site or as a guest writer that are not what you want to portray. If there are items on websites that you do not
own you may have to ask in order to have them removed. But do what you can. It is worth cleaning up your presence.

CreativeBloq has some help with this How to delete 99.9%* of your digital footprint

Then..

3. Build your community

A personal brand has no influence if you don’t have a group of supporters that follow and engage with you. Find your people.

In order to successfully find them, you must ensure that your message is tailored to them and that you are using a platform that they also use.

After finding the right people and the right platform, you can draw them to you with the right messaging and branding. Learn where they hang out, what articles they read, what social media platforms they frequently visit, their hopes, and their fears.

4. Create a content marketing strategy

Next, you need a strategy.


A strategy to create valuable content that will keep your people coming back again and again. This can be in the form of blogs, social media posts, podcasts or videos, or anything that makes your audience engage with you.


Content begins with an objective. Always keeping in mind your brand story, you can decide what you want to achieve with each piece of content. Your content should serve a purpose.


If you have what it takes to be a fashion blogger, you could create content about fashion trends. If you want to show your cooking skills and inspire people to cook you could create cooking video tutorials.


While you are creating your content you also need to consider your distribution channels. Focus on the platforms that you know and love and where your audience hangs out online. You do not have to be present on every platform. Choose 2-3 and know them well.

5. Make connections through outreach

Personal branding needs a personal touch, and relationships are critical.

Some experts say that you should connect with people in the same industry, but there is also a lot of leverage in connecting to those outside your industry in complementary industries.


You can begin by attending events, writing guest blog posts, being interviewed on videos or podcasts, or creating content with other creators for webinars.


It may feel scary at first to reach out and collaborate but you never know what these risks will bring to your business in the future. After all, personal branding is not focused on business alone. It’s about taking risks and growing who you are.

6. Be a MENTEE

It’s quite rare for a successful person to have no mentor. Even Tiger Woods had one!

Why not just figure things out on your own?

Mentors have wisdom that you do not yet have and can take you so much further in your business and faster than you can ever make it on your own. They can listen to you, give you advice, and push you when you need it.

They are essential in helping you avoid costly mistakes and can keep you focused when motivation is low.

Having an influential mentor can greatly impact your personal brand.

Choose someone you hold with high esteem or someone who makes the content you read and love. Listen to their talks, their speeches. But don’t just listen. Implement and then follow their advice.

Choose someone who has more experience than you in your industry, a good record of success, and is willing to share their knowledge with you. You will also need someone who can tell you the hard truths that you do not always want to hear.

Conclusion

Creating a strategic, successful personal brand is about knowing who you are and the story you have to tell. Then cleaning up your digital footprint. Finding your community of people and where they hang out, developing a strategy, and then getting help along the way to keep you growing. It does take work but the payoff is BIG!

Creating a strategic, successful personal brand is about knowing who you are and the story you have to tell. Then cleaning up your digital footprint. Finding your community of people and where they hang out, developing a strategy, and then getting help along the way to keep you growing. It does take work but the payoff is BIG!

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