It has been used thousands of times, the quote above. But truth is, Coco Chanel was one of the first ladies to brand herself in such a way that the whole world still talks about her, 50 years after her death. She knew exactly how to create a personal brand out of herself – from her perfume and haircut to her wardrobe and public statements. Nothing was left to coincidence. While you don’t have to copy her (you can’t, that’s the whole point of personal branding – it’s PERSONAL), you can definitely learn a thing or two from her. Starting with; “…one must always be different”. And how can you be different? Simply by being yourself. That’s unique enough.
If you are your own brand (bloggers, freelancers and entrepreneurs are!), then you need to start branding yourself – and better sooner than later. But I know how massive a task it appears to be; where do you start? How will you ever get noticed in a world where everyone seem to constantly brand themselves through online media? Isn’t it a waste of time? No, not even close. When you stop comparing yourself to others and start being yourself and thereby cultivating your own voice, magic will happen!
I’ve spend several years building my brand – you’re currently reading it – so I know what it takes. I didn’t reach my goal yet, perhaps I never will, cause Personal Branding doesn’t have an end result. It’s a constant development and adjustment to who you are and what you have to offer. But let’s begin with building a strong foundation.
“Your personal brand is how you appear to the world”
1. Accept who you really are (and be authentic!)
They key to build a personal brand is authenticity. As simple as it may sound, being authentic is something most people find very difficult in a world, where we all strive to be more. But why try to be someone else, when everyone else is already taken? There’s only one you, and if you have something to share, it’ll most likely resonate with a lot of people out there. Your brand should always be a reflection of who you are, so – who are you? What do you stand for? What inspires you? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Invest time in getting to know yourself. I’ve been practicing meditation and mindfulness (and still do!) to fully meet myself, but do whatever works for you. Go on holiday alone, reflect, write. It’s always encouraged to take off your mask – and stop being afraid showing the world who you really are, cause that’s what will engage them in the first place!
2. Train your public performance/speaking skills
If you’re trying to build your own brand, you’ll definitely need good communication skills! Not only will you have to pitch yourself on a regular basis, you’ll also want people to believe in you and what you stand for. Practice on open stages (if you’re lucky enough to get the chance!), attend networking events and use every opportunity to improve your verbal skills and techniques. Be confident with what you’re talking about and stand out from the crowd.
3. Create engaging content (be the expert!)
I can’t say it enough; if you want to break through in a certain niche or business, make yourself an advocate of it! Know what you’re talking about and become the expert through well-written and engaging content (can be both blog posts, articles, videos etc.). Participating in interviews is also a good idea. Building a portfolio takes time, so have patience. Still, it’ll all be worth it in the end.
4. Create an online presence (and maintain it!)
Needless to say, online presence is everything these days. Unless you plan to run a business in a small community where mouth-to-mouth marketing is the best and only option (and nothing’s wrong with that, but it doesn’t really apply here) – then get online and create yourself a kick a** website, blog, social media channels and whatever. Make sure your social media profiles are up to date, appear professional (that means removing awkward high school photos!) and use top quality photos whenever possible. I’d recommend hiring a professional photographer to get started. Oh, and start Googling yourself from time to time. Not in vain, but out of pure interest in how potential clients might perceive you 🙂
5. Stay up-to-date (never stop learning!)
You’re never too old to learn – especially if you work with online/digital media. Things move faster than ever, so staying up to date is crucial for your personal brand. Growing as a business literally means learning, expanding horizons and adding new skills to your portfolio. Share your personal stories, stay curious and open-minded and make yourself relatable to other people.
.Are you struggling with creating your personal brand? Do you need motivation, tips and advice? Then send me an email on email@example.com or check out www.regitsececillie.com. My passion is to help other freelancers, bloggers and entrepreneurs find their own unique voice and create magic 🙂