What is Personal Branding?
Personal branding is YOUR brand. What do we mean by that? Well, when you think of any of the big brands, like Nike or Apple, we not only think of a logo and their product but we also automatically think of their values. For Nike, it is always “just doing it” and conquering fears and challenges full-on, while Apple’s brand might make you think of class and elegance.
Well, a personal brand is like a brand, except it’s yours. Keep in mind; it’s not just a logo or a professional photo of you, your personal brand is also your story and your values. By having a personal brand and making that known, you’re putting out a consistent image of yourself to everyone, that as soon as they know you or learn from you on any of your social media outlets, they know who you are and what you stand for.
Why is Personal Branding important?
In today’s increasingly digital and competitive world, everyone is online. We can get to know people pretty well without ever meeting them in person. Personal branding is important to get you to stand out to others, and can also help you attract your tribe! Having a personal brand is especially important if you’re a freelancer or an online business owner. If you don’t have a brand with a clear story and values, how will like-minded people ever find you and want to buy your product or service?
Whether your goals are to attract more customers for your online arts and crafts shop or to gain followers in your travel blog niche, you will have to present yourself consistently. If you are trying to be a travel writer who writes about the indie music scene in different cities, how will you attract committed readers who are interested in your writing if you end up oversharing on other aspects of your life like the food your eating and the new puppy you’re raising?
That’s not to say you can’t have a personal Instagram showcasing the different areas of your life even if you are solely music travel writer, but you will need to figure out how you want to present yourself and who you want to be engaging with constantly.
Why Freelancers Need a Personal Brand
As a freelancer, you’ll be finding yourself constantly hustling to find clients and looking for business. Having a personal brand can help you distinguish yourself from other freelancers. Think about it, if a client was looking at ten different freelance copywriter websites, how would they know who to go with? You need to tell your story and show your voice (make it your brand voice)! This way you can find clients who resonate with you and want to stay with you because your personal brand or story sticks out to them.
Having a personal brand can not only attract clients, but it can also help you build authentic, long-term relationships. Once clients, customers, followers are invested in your story and in working with you, you will start to build a strong community, which can lead to consistent business and more referrals. You will no longer have to worry about where your next project is going to come or having to work for strangers on Upwork on business topics you don’t feel excited about.
Start Working On Your Personal Brand
Like everything else in life, building a personal brand is not a “once it’s built, it’s done” process. Your personal brand is always changing and evolving, just like you will be. You will have to make sure that how you are presenting yourself to the public is consistent, but don’t be scared to change your brand radically, especially if you think it’s best for you. Build a personal brand that feels right to you now, keep it consistent, and be open to it changing and growing as you also grow and change.
Some first steps are to have a personal website, blog, and social media updated. These will be the primary ways your client find you, so you want to make sure they are presentable and have a consistent brand throughout. Once you start gaining traction, your personal brand can grow into Facebook communities, weekly e-mail newsletters, and more.