In a sea of marketers, how do you stand out from the crowd?
It’s all about your personal brand.
A marketer’s job is to build the brand of their clients and showcase what makes them unique. The same principle applies to building your brand. As you showcase your unique talents with a cohesive brand, you can build a strong network and gain countless career opportunities.
Some of the world’s best entrepreneurs have built successful companies largely because of their personal brands. People know what Elon Musk, Bethenny Frankel and Tyra Banks represent and are willing to support their venture because they back the person behind it. These people have built strong, innovative companies. They don’t just market their products, they market themselves.
A personal brand has never been more important. As more people change careers, launch companies and look to upskill, having a strong presence and message is a competitive advantage.
Everyone has a personal brand whether they realize it or not. The key to success is to take control of your brand and proactively and intentionally craft it into exactly what you want it to be. Your brand is what you stand for, how others perceive you and your strengths and weaknesses. No matter if you are just getting started in your career or have been established for years, everyone can benefit from updating their personal brand. In this rapidly evolving world of work, a strong personal brand can future-proof your career and be the difference between getting career opportunities and staying stagnant.
Building your personal brand comes down to the key principles:
1 . Consistency
Start by defining your area of expertise or what you want to be known for. Peloton instructor, model and host Ally Love established her brand by focusing on empowering women and building healthy, balanced lives. She shares that messages constantly and is an extension of her company Love Squad. When people see Ally in their feeds, they know exactly the type of positive message she will share.
Your focus can be a niche within marketing, such as social media messaging or working with a certain type of client, such as finance or non-profit. The key is to be consistent. People should think of you when they think of your topic. If you’re all over the place, people won’t know what you stand for or what you have to offer. My niche is customer experience, so when people think of customer experience, they think of me. Narrowing down your scope gives your brand direction and guidance.
2 . Frequency
After you’ve nailed down your area of expertise, talk about it frequently. Create content and share it across multiple channels. Leverage the power of social media to share articles, podcasts, videos, photos and more. Talk about your topic to your colleagues and within industry groups. If you want to be remembered for a certain area of expertise, you need to be on people’s minds regularly, not just once a month. As you share content and ideas frequently, be sure not to overdo it and spam people. Even as you share frequently, always aim for quality content.
One of the best personal brands comes from Elon Musk. Love him or hate him, there’s no denying the power of his brand. Everyone knows about Musk, what he stands for and what he’s doing. And a large part of that comes from his frequency. He is a master at staying in the limelight and sharing his message. Musk is a fixture on Twitter and also regularly appears in interviews and articles. Because he shares his message frequently, he can generate attention and stay at the top of people’s minds.
3 . Visibility
If a marketer shares a message but nobody sees it, does it count? Consistency and frequency don’t matter if you aren’t visible. An entrepreneur I admire is Bethenny Frankel. She started as a reality TV star but has pivoted to become a successful businesswoman with her Skinnygirl brand. Frankel takes every opportunity to collaborate and share her message about female empowerment. She showcases her bold and authentic personality as she speaks at events, writes books, appears on podcasts and TV shows and posts on social media. She builds her brand as she connects with other people and helps lift their brands.
As you build your network and brand, make connections with other marketers and thought leaders. Contribute to blogs and magazines, collaborate on a project, guest host a podcast and speak at industry events. When your message is visible, people will think of you when they need someone for a particular task or topic. My brand took off when I started giving keynote speeches. It was nerve-racking at first to be so visible, but it put me in front of amazing audiences and did wonders to strengthen my network and share my message.
Your personal brand is your currency for career success. No matter where you are, start now to strengthen your brand. Actively and intentionally building your personal brand will set you apart and put you on a strong path for the rest of your career.