The Importance of Personal Branding

Networking is a crucial aspect in the makeup of an entrepreneur, however, starting to network before starting to build a personal brand can be counter-productive. So what is personal branding? Well, the simple answer is that personal branding is your reputation and how your associates & colleagues perceive you. Of course, there is a more convoluted answer that we’re going to delve deeper into here, but that’s the general gist of it. Building a successful personal brand could be the differentiating factor in setting you apart from the rest of the competition. Why should people look to you instead of the thousands of other candidates in your field? You need to ask yourself this question and then try to answer it within the building blocks of your personal brand. The Networking Clubs is going to let you in on some top tips and trade secrets to help build your personal brand and get you on the path to networking like a pro whilst discussing why a personal brand will be beneficial to you. Let’s get one thing straight off the bat, building a personal brand is a lifelong project and is something that has to be built upon year after year. That means there is no time like the present to get started..

Be yourself – The easiest and best thing you will ever do whilst building a personal brand is being authentic. No one can invest in you permanently if you are not being genuine, as they would just be investing in the idea of someone to find out later down the line that it is just that, an idea, a mask.  “Be yourself, everyone else is taken.” – Oscar Wilde. A simple but impactful statement made in the 19th century, but it couldn’t be more relevant in today’s age of social media. People imitate without even realising it when they see what they deem as a role model on their Facebook or Twitter feed, don’t follow the crowd if that is not who are you. Be different, stay in your lane and this will work to your benefit later down the line. Monica Lin, the marketing director of Popular Demand, said that “People can see right through a disingenuous act.” If you are copying a brand, a person or an idea, people find out quicker than you’d think. So not only is it risky, it’s also just not necessary, believe that your personality is enough to pave a new way in your field that other people will want to imitate.

Social Media – As mentioned previously, social media is the way of life nowadays, it is very difficult to build a personal brand without a presence on social media. So how do you stand out from the crowd in a pool of millions of social media accounts? Well, firstly, our previous tip is the initial step in creating an online brand, make sure your social media pages are exactly that, yours. They need to represent what you think, what you are and how you feel. Once you are confident with being yourself online, try to establish niche groups on the relevant social media platforms. Niche groups gives a new starter the opportunity to kindle new relationships and connections that have the potential of staying with you for your entire journey. It is also a good way to build confidence and gives you chance to find your way in less mainstream groups. Keep your brand voice consistent throughout all of your platforms and posts, it may take some trial and error, but that’s okay, that’s what life is all about. Sticking in them niche groups initially gives you a good area to conduct those trial and error experiments.

Community is key – Having a large following is great, however, if that following isn’t a community, it doesn’t mean all that much. A community is somewhere that people can communicate safely and confidently, where people help each other and make each other better. That is why it is so crucial to engage with your community, respond to comments, speak to people in your brand voice whilst keeping it personal. Build acquaintances and then develop them into friendships, keep people close to you so they want to stay with you throughout your journey. Then when your following starts to grow, you’ll know that the people on your journey are following you for you, for who you are and what your represent. Delve into those niche Facebook and LinkedIn groups, meet people face-to-face to establish real relationships and give your followers a face & voice to your brand.

Ultimately, a personal brand is going to be the difference between an individual thinking of you when an opportunity arises or thinking of someone else. If you make sure that you follow a strategy, communicate with your followers and most importantly, be yourself; your personal brand will start to be established in no time. As mentioned, it isn’t a job that can be done in a few days or weeks, a personal brand is something that is built throughout your whole life and is affected by every move you make publicly. Stay up to date with The Networking Clubs to receive more tips and tricks, the latest news and more!