Personal Branding: Stand out!
For a lot of people, they are the face of their business. This is often the same for micro and small businesses as it is for large companies. Business is still about people, despite the increasing virtual aspect of a lot of marketing and networking. This means that impressions of people can also be how people (target markets) will perceive the company and the brand.In a virtual space, the way in which a person comes across also impacts upon perceptions of the company overall. Largely impressions are given through tone of voice, language, views expressed and even interaction and engagement skills.
In an increasingly virtual world and without the cues we use in everyday interactions such as voice, presentation and body language, we are searching for more and more clues online as to the nature of a company and increasingly the authenticity of people.All of which point to point to one great big need in business to be aware and proactive of personal branding!
Personal branding is rising in importance because of social technologies but I would argue it has always been crucial, there are simply more tools to make use of it now. Personal branding is how you stand out from your competition and how you, or your company, are perceived.It is said that the 3 elements of personal branding are:
- Value Proposition: What do you stand for?
- Differentiation: What makes you stand out?
- Marketability: What makes you compelling?
I would argue that these are the fundamentals of all marketing. But, I believe that the peripheral elements are sometimes the ones we forget. A few of these points are summarised here:Presentation: Think about how you present yourself in person and online. For example if your brand is young and funky, present yourself in the same way; old and frumpy is maybe one to avoid in this instance. Avoid mixed messages with this too.
Language: If you are tech savvy, it is ok to use techie terms. If your personal brand is streetwise, use words and language which reflect this.
Tone: You can be engaging or aloof, friendly or matter of fact. Whichever way you decide to ‘tone’ yourself, make sure it is consistent and appropriate for your target market. One word of caution, in a virtual space, it is always better to generate conversation to build relationships. Think about how you will do this.
Channels: Think about which channels your personal brand will use. This will differ with your brand and your target. This includes your face to face channels too, such as the networking events you choose to go to.
YOU! Above all, you are your brand so your story, your values, your talents, your interests. Don’t be afraid to share these!Your personal brand should be targeted, as any brand. So make sure all of these clues let you target market know you and what you stand for and more importantly … understand and be drawn to you!If you have any questions, please ask us on Facebook and Twitter using #GJMarketingThis is a snapshot and my opinion on personal branding but it is something which is fascinating and very important so look out for more articles and ‘how to guides’ coming up!