An introduction to Personal Branding

You maybe have heard of this term through the web, but are still wondering what it really means? This article is made for you! Today, I will walk you through a quick presentation of the personal branding main concepts with an overview of the global principles, the history & the way it works.

First of all, Personal Branding is a process which identifies and promotes your own brand, to find the levers which can allow an individual to use his identity to manage his career and projects.

Its aim: assert your talents, strong points, added value and difference. That is why it is important to dare! Dare to highlight everything that makes you “an individual like no other” in order to realize your ambition and be visible on your market.

It’s doubtlessly a process which requires reflection, commitment and perseverance!

We can sum up personal branding with a simple diagram: “The Personal Branding Triangle”.

1. Personal Branding history

Personal branding is as old as Humanity, as human beings always had the desire to highlight their skills and achievements.  However, its actual form, as a way to promote your own brand, first appeared in the States 15 years ago.

I created a timeline to sum up quickly the personal branding history and the integration of the process in the actual social networks. You can access this interactive timeline by clicking here:

2. Why is it important to develop your personal brand?

Like big companies are promoting their Brand, employees, executives, entrepreneurs and consultants need to do the same with themselves, thanks to the emergence of new communication tools.

Personal branding has become essential to anybody who wants to promote a professional project, an expertise and to develop a reputation.

Internet created new needs, especially the one of being visible.

Even if there is no real correlation between internet and personal branding, it is essential to control your own image on the web before internet does it. As Robin Fisher Roffer says: “If you don’t brand yourself, someone else will“.

3. Four steps to optimize your own brand

Internet is a global public place. Well used, it can be really efficient to promote your identity and personal brand. What are the main steps for an optimized personal branding?

  1. Take stock on your objectives: clarify your project by defining what you want to realize in your life, your aim, your values, your passions and needs. Then study your market and targets.
  2. Reveal your identity: build your “brand profile” by using your difference, style and universe.
  3. Define your communication strategy: set up strategies which will have a positive impact on the environment.
  4. Reach your objectives: it’s about action and perseverance to make things possible.


To put it in a nutshell, a successful personal brand has to be:

-   Different: it’s important to highlight the skills which will differentiate yourself from people with similar qualifications.

-   Authentic: it has to reflect your identity, qualities, values and expertise.

-   Understandable: easy comprehension of the aims of the project,

-   Constant: based on strong and authentic rules, no changes,

-   Consistent: there has to be a pertinence between your objectives and your personal brand. It has to follow the established communication plan.

-   Radiant: good visibility and reputation towards your target (customers, recruiters)

-   Connected: importance of social networks to spread your own brand through the web.

-   Up to date: you have to follow the trends and make the necessary improvements to update and optimize your own brand.

 

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