• Bethany Williams

Personal Branding Is All About 5 Things

Relevance, Popularity, and Necessity; It’s rare that you see these words come together. Two cups of coffee, a granola bar, and a clementine later I can think of very few. There are many relevant things, many popular things, and many necessary things; but not many that fit all three.

One thing that I know to be relevant, popular, and necessary in today’s competitive market is Personal Branding. Before you can fully understand why Personal Branding falls into all three categories it is crucial that you fully understand every aspect of it.

Personal Branding itself is creating a memory of yourself for a consumer, customer, or fan. Branding is setting yourself apart… being one in a million, being utterly different and unique in a way that everyone you meet knows you are the best at what you do before you speak.

Think about the best service you have ever received… most people attribute their best service to a small business and a few will give kudos to big corporations. Either way it is most likely that your best service was during a major event in your life; anything from a wedding, to prom, or even a big move. The reason people remember the service in the midst of all the chaos surrounding the big event is directly linked to personal branding. You remember the person who helped you, how they went out of their way to make sure everything you wanted was accounted for, the fact that they made the stepping stone in life you were currently facing just a little bit easier. You remember the people who help you. The people who make you feel special, important, smart, beautiful, and happy.

Personal Branding is all about 5 Things: Pre-Exposure, Consistency, Reputation, Appearance and Actions.

Pre-Exposure is simply the act of making sure you’re in front of your customers before you’re actually in front of them. This is done on a Personal Branding level the same way it’s done for a business, you make yourself in a way, an icon. You get your face out there though Social Media Interaction and Advertising. Social Media Interaction is pretty cut and dry, you simply need to interact with you community, specifically those in your niche market to make sure your name is recognizable to them. Interacting can be the small act of liking a post someone shared, thanking someone for liking, following, or adding you, or even commenting on local publications top news stories. Advertising on a personal level is a little bit different than advertising on a business level, you don’t actually buy space in the local newspaper and just insert block of empty space with your name in it. You’re free to do that if you wish, but I’m simply speaking business cards. The purest form of personal advertisement, which if done correctly is a great stream of possible revenue. This small piece of cardstock holds vital information and can be placed almost anywhere. You can leave them at restaurants, shops, local businesses, libraries, literally anywhere you go, unless otherwise stated, is fair game for Personal Advertising.

Consistency is much shorter and to the point; the most important things here are relatability and design. When it comes to relatability I’m not so much talking about how your customer relates to you but how your customer relates you… to you. In essence it’s all about how your customer puts two and two together and makes the connection between all of your social media outlets and your community advertising. When your customer is on your Facebook and then visits your Twitter and there is consistency in the things you say, post, and respond to they find you more credible and will remember you. Keep in mind however, consistency doesn’t necessarily mean every single thing you post on Instagram needs to be on Facebook, some difference In posts keeps things interesting. Design is something I have touched on in previous posts, the key features in design consistency are color scheme, font choice, and having a constant logo. When you keep these the same online and offline it helps the customer relate your product with you personally, it makes your name better known, and it helps your brand.

Reputation is heavily influenced by previous experiences people have had with you. It can be your best selling point or your worst hindrance, depending on how well you work with people. The best thing someone can do to help your personal brand is give you, and you specifically, a good review. Your business can get all the good reviews in the world and that does say a lot about you; but when someone personally associates them self with not only your business, but you specifically, it adds a little something extra. For example if you are looking to work with me to grow your business and you read a review about coffeefueled.net that says “the blogs produced are top notch, and the social media management is the best around”, you’ll most likely be very impressed. But if you are going to be working with me face to face you will probably like reading a review that states something like this a lot more “Bethany is personable, dedicated, and serious about her line of work; she will spend as much time as needed to make sure you succeed.” Both types of reviews are necessary, but for personal branding the second really makes customers more inclined to work with you over someone else.

Appearance and Actions go hand in hand, these two final pieces of Personal Branding are crucial. Potential clients and customers will constantly be around you, you never know who, or what your next lead will be. I am constantly surprised by the business I get when I least expect it. But what this has taught me to expect is be prepared, for anything and everything. The fact that your customers surround you every day means you need to remember to represent the presence you want your personal brand to take on. Keep your appearance and actions in public in line with that philosophy you are striving for, and be consistent. If you want to be seen as professional, then dress that way. If you can’t dress professional all the time, at least dress professional most of the time. Like earlier stated you never know when an opportunity will come knocking. You also need to align your actions with your appearance.

Keep in mind that your personal brand is constantly being developed; while you’re professionally representing yourself, everything you do effects your brand. Actions can be good or bad… when it comes to actions you always want to be remembered as the cool headed, calm, and patient person. It’s hard to come back from big personal branding mistakes, like getting excessively angry in public, or simply being rude.

So now finally… Relevance, Popularity, and Necessity. By now you can probably see how Personal Branding fits every single one. It is relevant because it is highly important and new to today’s way of business. It’s extremely popular, as more and more people are branding themselves either alongside their business or separate altogether. More than anything it is necessary; it is very difficult to be successful without the prior explained Pre-Exposure, Consistency, Reputation, Appearance and Actions.