When building a personal brand, it's easy to fall into the trap of following the common narrative - post frequently on social media, have a professional headshot, and so on. But the truth is, building a personal brand is much more than just putting yourself out there.
One of the most misunderstood practices in building a personal brand is that it's all about creating a false persona. But the truth is, it's about adding value to your audience, providing them with valuable insights, and improving their lives. It's about building a reputation for being trustworthy, dependable, and knowledgeable.
Building a personal brand is not only for entrepreneurs or those in creative fields. A personal brand can benefit anyone, regardless of their industry. A personal brand can open doors to new opportunities, increase your impact, and even increase your earning potential.
So, what are 3 practical skills to develop a strong personal brand?
Develop Your Communication Skills:
Whether you're speaking in front of a room of people or writing a blog post, the ability to communicate your ideas effectively is essential in building a personal brand. Here are two that separate the good from the great.
Empathy: This is the ability to connect to the motivations and fears common to the human experience. Your ability to understand and relate to the emotions and experiences of others. It is a powerful tool for building relationships and an authentic brand focused on adding value to your audience.
Adaptability: This is the ability to adapt your message based on the feedback you receive and the context of the situation. Who is your audience? what is their native language? How do you speak their language? Is your goal detailed expert content or simplifying complexity in a way that a 3rd grader can understand? Adapting your strategy to your specific audience will help you dial in your specific personal brand.
Learn To Be Authentic:
Authenticity is key when building a personal brand. People are burnt out on imposter gurus and can spot inauthenticity a mile away. Whatever your experience, you have a unique story that can encourage and educate an audience. While it's true that authenticity starts with being true to who you are, it's also about being true to your audience and your industry. This means being vulnerable, showing your flaws and imperfections, acknowledging challenges and setbacks, and being willing to share your struggles with your audience. Here are two skills that you can develop to improve your authenticity:
Emotional intelligence: The challenge for many experts is to go beyond the tactical and address the emotional hurdles their audience may have. Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others. Developing your emotional intelligence will help you connect with your audience on a deeper level and be more vulnerable in your communication.
Self-awareness: The problem with most experts is they are unconsciously competent and lack the self-awareness to articulate what truly contributed to their results. Self-awareness is the ability to understand how your own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors impact others. Developing self-awareness will help you understand what makes you unique so that you can share life lessons from a depth of understanding.
The common narrative is that consistency means repeatedly saying the same thing in the same way. But true consistency is about being true to yourself, your values, and your message while balancing being adaptable and responsive to the needs of your audience. Consistency is key when building a personal brand. Whether it's in your content, your messaging, or your overall approach, consistency helps to build trust and credibility with your audience.
Reinforce What Matters: It's not just about posting the same type of content on the same schedule. Consistency is about developing a clear, consistent message aligned with your brand and values. It's about being authentic to yourself and communicating that message in a way that resonates with your audience.
Realistic Expectations: Another common misconception is that consistency means you should always be available and respond to every message or comment. But the truth is, it's important to set boundaries and prioritize your time. You don't have to be available 24/7, but you should be consistent in your availability and communicate it clearly to your audience.
Building a personal brand is not about managing perception by flexing, self-promotion, or following the common narrative. It's about providing value to your audience, sharing what you have learned, and building a reputation for being trustworthy, consistent, and knowledgeable. Be sure to follow me for more strategies and tips on building an authentic brand strategy that increases your impact. #personalbranding #authenticity #communication #consistency #valueadding #expertise #thoughtleader #careeropportunities #differentiation #identitychallenge