It can be a great deal of work to build a brand from scratch. Fortunately, you can break down the process of creating your brand into simple, digestible tasks, like most things. Breathe, place one foot in front of the other, and you will be right where you want to be before you know it. Here’s how to create a brand.
Traits of brand building
Your personal brand is one thing –it’s what you put out there to the world– but a good brand also must have a persona. Ask yourself this, if your brand were a person, what would he or she look like? How would it act? Your brand’s persona will shine through in everything you do, so it’s important to figure these things out from the start.
Many top brands have struggled with trust throughout the years. Just look at Walmart. Sure, they’ve always delivered on their low-price promise, but they never told us about the corners that were cut in order to do so. If you want to gain trust, transparency is a good policy.
If you’re not passionate about what you do, you’re in the wrong business. By the same line of thought, brands that aren’t driven by passion tend to lack focus and thus fall short of greatness.
Things don’t always go as planned. You know this from your own life (don’t we all?), and it’s no less true with a brand. Think about Blockbuster Video, a company that will soon be a distant memory. Their business model made sense when the company was built. But it died when other companies found better solutions to the problem they previously solved. Could they have recovered? But it would have required more of a shift away from the business model that the company was built on – and although they surely have their reasons – the company wasn’t flexible enough to make such fast moves.
Tips on how to create a brand
Identify and differentiate
If you have experience in business or marketing, then you would know that building a solid, long-lasting brand begins with market research. Personal branding isn’t any different, except that right now, you are the business in question.
Be an active listener. Listen to the market and see what skills are in vogue or in demand. Identify the people who are doing what you want to do and study them. See how they are branding themselves. Determine the things that they lack and the things that you can do better than what they do.
Research market and scope out the competition
It’s good to think outside of the box. Research and follow how other companies run their business. Seek out their best and worst practices, so you can adapt them for your future initiatives. Make sure that you put your own spin on their strategy, so you aren’t stealing their ideas.
Be present offline
Advertise your social media in your stores, at your workplace, and out in the community. Encourage others to like you on Facebook or follow you on Twitter. Always include the most important news or promotions as a way to entice customers and make your presence known.
Building your brand / Making your mark
Have you ever wondered if potential employers have Googled you before they invite you for that all-important job interview? Well, quit wondering – because in most cases, the answer is yes.
And it doesn’t stop there—more and more recruiters nowadays use their Facebook walls and other social media channels such as Twitter to actively recruit candidates and to source and build their networks and talent pipelines at the same time. Whether you’re actively looking for work or you’re just open to broadening your horizons and want to branch out to a new career path, it’s very important to cultivate your personal brand online.
It’s more than just being active on Facebook or spamming people that you randomly follow on Twitter with tweets or messages to check out your YouTube gaming channel or your blog. In order to truly stand out from everyone else and attract potential employers (or big-ticket collaborations with big-name partners), you need to build, as well as maintain, a very appealing personal brand that is consistent across all social platforms and the web.
Just keep learning while creating your brand
After attaining a high school or college degree, learning doesn’t stop there. Keep growing as a person, and make sure that your online persona and brand grow with you. True learning happens when you’re committed to improving and honing your skills and listening to advise and critique while not losing sight of yourself and just continuing to get better and better as you go on through the online and offline world.
When you create a brand, you just don’t create a logo—it’s far more than that. You create a presence, which is important, especially in this competitive digital age. In the wet cement that is the Internet, it’s important to leave your footprint and leave a lasting impression that makes people understand that your brand is worth trusting and that you have quality content and unique marketing strategies that will do it for you.
Optimize your brand
When you create your own brand, it’s akin to creating your own mark and releasing it to the Internet. It’s as much a part of you as your website is. Now, a more relevant question would be: how can you create an impact online with your brand?
Optimizing your social profile
So, of course, you want recruiters and potential employers to find you—and in a positive light. You have to be your own digital GPS because the Internet is a deep, dark place. Having the right keywords on your social profiles will not only get you sitting high up on the search engine rankings but will also help generate better leads. Keep your keyword use specific; target specific targets of interest. Populate your headlines, job descriptions, skill sections, and summaries of each of your social profiles with your chosen keywords.
Tell a great story
There’s a saying that goes, “Content is King,” and establishing the credibility of a brand is no exception to this rule. You want potential customers to understand that your brand has a vision and will not accept anything less than 100%. Carving out a strong voice is critical in helping to build a community of advocates who share in this vision and will also cement the claims about your personal brand. If you’re in the world of marketing, for example, you may want to consider creating a blog or even a video blog (called a vlog) where they can critique ads from the fashion industry and demonstrates ways on how they can be improved. That is one way of someone sharing to the world about their passion for effective advertising, at the same time building a reputation of being an expert in that specific space. While you work hard to represent and promote your personal brand online, don’t forget that it’s equally important to represent your brand offline, too.
Branding while depositing income
Don’t forget that there’s money to be made in having a full-time blog. Publish articles, create videos and focus on creating content that matters to you. Your audience can always sense when you’re sincere and when you aren’t, so it’s best to be true to yourself, and your brand will flourish. Once you have a sizable following, you can apply for Google AdSense, which works on a cost-per-click basis. The longer your reader stays on your website, the better, and the more they will be encouraged to click, earning you revenue.
Make creative noise
It’s not enough to continuously push out creative content. When you’re in marketing, as well as in the creative industry, that’s where personal branding really shines. It’s all about presenting yourself and your skills in a fresh, original way on your very own personal platform. Make yourself and your brand so useful that people will remember you. Befriending social media and not forcing it to work with you is extremely important. You can get so much exposure and collaborate with nearly anyone in the world, thanks to the Internet. Utilize the power of technology – instead of business cards; you can bring your creative portfolio around in your Apple or Android device. It saves on paper and ensures that there is always a copy of your work available online—eliminating the fear of losing a copy of your hard work.
Don’t be afraid to take risks
When meeting with people for the first time, ensure that your confidence in your brand shows through. Emphasize strengths and turn your weaknesses into little strengths, or “charm points.” If you find that the current way you brand and represent yourself isn’t getting as much attention as you’d want, try another method. Don’t be afraid to fail; just get up and try again. Take calculated and mindful risks, and treat each failure as an experience.
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