In the year 1918, there were close to One Billion people on Earth. In the year 2018, it’s North of Seven Billion.
It’s a crowded world where every industry is ridiculously competitive. It doesn’t matter if you are in enterprise sales or you are an artist trying to find your big break on Youtube. There are other humans who want to take your place.
This is why you need a way to stand out from the rest of the crowd. The way to do it is through Personal Branding.
So what is Personal Branding?
Personal Branding is the pursuit of showcasing and building your personal reputation in front of the world that benefits you mostly from an economic standpoint.
- Employees in companies do it to get the attention of their seniors and to outgun their colleagues.
- Artists do it, to stand out and make their next album a big hit.
- Even sports people use it to increase their brand value
Improving your personal brand can make you a breakout success and bring you a lot of economic benefits.
There are many ways to build a personal brand.
Using social media channels like Youtube, Instagram, Quora
Speaking at events
Collaborating with influencers and so on
Why should you get on the bandwagon
Visibility is money
What is the difference between Gordon Ramsay and the chef of a popular restaurant near your place?
The food may be similar, the service might also be on the same lines. But it’s a guarantee that Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant has 10x the popularity and revenue compared to your neighbourhood restaurant.
Gordon Ramsay is famous. Fame and visibility equal money. The most visible celebrities are the ones who make the most money and this can all be attributed to personal branding.
Famous or infamous is good news – Donald Trump Example
The greatest personal branding in the recent past was done by Donald Trump. Over the years, he has created a brand around him and established himself as a strong businessman who has built a billion dollar company.
His foray into Television always kept him in the limelight and he branded himself more like a strong businessman.
During the general elections, the media were relentless in making him look like a villain. His antics and comments were all for the world to see. After all the negative buzz, Trump still won, purely because of all the free media and branding he got.
A small difference can go a long way
One of the greatest personal branding triumphs is by the ex-basketball star Dennis Rodman. You might now know him for his famous basketball diplomacy with North Korea.
But prior to this, Dennis Rodman has always been a personal branding genius.
In the early days of his career, Dennis Rodman was just another basketball player with nothing special about him except his abilities. But abilities only don’t get you very far. To stand out from the crowd, Rodman started dyeing his hair in various shades of pink, blue and other wacky colours.
He created a rebellious persona and this brought him all the attention. He started attending talk shows and started appearing in television ads. His change in personal style made him an instant star that brought him all the attention.
Personal Branding is an asset that pays overtime
Whatever efforts that you take from a personal standpoint will hold you in good stead for years to come. Youtube videos gather views over time, good quality content gets shared over time. Followers are built over time.
So if a person takes time in building their personal brand, the results aren’t temporary. It’s sure to impact them positively in the future.
How to do personal branding
Truthfully, personal branding might seem a little awkward to do. Especially for people who are introverted. What do you talk about? What information do you share?
This is something that can be tricky for many users and we are going to help you out with some pointers and case studies.
Personal branding for work is very underrated. Not a lot of people do it and a lot of people think it’s not necessary. Why? Because they think they already have the job.
But the truth of the matter is, one needs to create newer and better opportunities all the time.
A few years back, Linkedin was considered a dead social site that was only swarmed by jobless people looking for jobs. With smart changes, Linkedin has become a professional site with a strong community presence.
Who is it for? CEO’s, Startup Founders, Employees, Young Professionals
Creating a personal brand on Linkedin
Share your experiences
Even though it’s a professional social site, Linkedin has a lot of space for personal stories. In fact, they are the ones that attract a lot of readers. More honest your experiences, better it is to connect with an audience.
Interact with other professionals
Building a personal brand is all about ‘give and take’. If you want your content to perform well, you need to share, comment on other people’s content. You can’t build a personal brand all alone.
Case Studies of Personal Branding
One of the best case studies from Linkedin from a personal branding perspective is the CEO of Nearbuy, Ankur Warikoo.
He started off having a normal profile with minimum to basic content about his business and then he ramped up his personal branding journey by adding personal stories about his employees that resonated with all the readers.
He then started a video series called Warikoo(His second name) Wednesday’s where he doled out his experiences of running a business and gave potent career advice.
He moved on to high-quality video production and improving the quality of his content and he now sits at millions of views and over 1,500+ likes on his content on a regular basis.
Building a personal brand to showcase your art, business, skill is something people have started doing.
Instagram, after being purchased by Facebook has become the social media channel to beat. It performs better than Snapchat and Facebook from an advertising, engagement standpoint. 60% of Instagram’s users are in the 18 to 29 age bracket.
That number goes up to 90% if you increase the age bracket to people in their 40’s. This means Instagram’s audience is predominantly young and are millennials.
Who is it for? : Fashion bloggers, Music Artists, Models, Small and personal companies
Creating a personal brand on Instagram
Figure out what value you want to add to their life
As most users in Instagram are young, they love memes, they love funny content that they can share with their friends. If you aren’t a celebrity yet, the best way to engage with your audience is by going the funny route or the inspirational route.
If you are a musician and all you are doing is promoting your music, people won’t engage with you much. You’ll need to be more creative, make funny content, make your videos share-worthy and showcase a personality that people would want to hang out with.
Create regular content
Instagram is a channel where most users are power users and go through their feed within a day. This means you’ll need to keep creating content regularly to be in front of your audience. Gone for a week? Then out of sight, out of mind.
Gary Vaynerchuk is now a huge influencer and a celebrity, but that wasn’t the case before. Gary Vaynerchuk runs a media agency and a winery.
His style of building a personal brand is to be brutally honest and be inspirational. He got popular by promoting inspiring and thoughtful messages every day.
Then he attended, events and seminars and shot videos of people asking him questions and him answering them. He became an influencer and an authority.
He wrote a couple of books and now is one of the most sought-after people in the media business.
He posts about 2 to 3 pieces of content every day on Instagram that includes inspiring quotes, inspiring videos where he doles out advice and a little bit of promotion of his company.
Books on Personal Branding
If this content has convinced you about the benefits of personal branding, then here are a few book recommendations in the personal branding space.
Crushing it by Gary Vaynerchuk
Although it’s a book from 2009, Gary Vaynerchuk’s book ‘Crushing It’ has some timeless principles that he hopes to imbibe in his readers. He believes a strong personal brand is very important to succeed in this truly noisy world.
I hope you see the impact and benefit of personal branding and in this day and age it’s become like water. Must need to survive in the world. The first step to personal branding is to put your ideas out there in the world. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 10-second video or an Instagram post or a piece of content on a blog.
Put your thoughts out there and build your personal brand.