Many people are surprised when I explain that I did not consciously develop any strategy to start creating my personal brand. In fact, I started working on my personal brand almost without intending to do so, back in 2006. By then I had multiple niche and authority sites that were producing a great income, so I had no interest in strengthening my personal brand.
In 2013 I launched this blog. I had no idea that this blog would be the catalyst for many of my current projects, or that my niche and authority sites would make my personal brand what it is now.
I did not know how I was going to earn money with this blog. I did not know at that time because I had no intention of monetizing it. All I wanted to do was document my process online.
I remember before deciding to offer my services on this blog I would get contacted for consulting work and would turn it down. Everything was going well and I did not want to get involved in other peoples projects. But my personal brand through the blog and Facebook groups was growing and becoming increasingly popular, and demand for my services was increasing. I realized that I was wasting good opportunities, so from that point on I decided not pass up the opportunity to do business. I decided to turn to my talents and I began to offer my services. I’m glad because my life has changed drastically and I have made great friends and business partners.
This undertaking changed my life. Creating a blog and working my personal brand have been without doubt the best decisions I’ve ever made.
WHAT IS PERSONAL BRANDING?
I would first like to define “branding”. Wikipedia defines it as “the footprint we leave on people” It is how others perceive you.
Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, says that your personal brand is what people say about you when you’re not around .
That is the part of personal branding that we cannot control. It’s not what you say you are, it’s what others perceive you as.
THE AGE OF GOOGLE
I always say that we live in the age of Google. In this new era, the successful person is going to be the person that has more visibility.
You can be the best in the world at your job, but if you fail to reach the people who can hire you, you’re useless.
If you are a professional who wants to find work or look to specialize in a particular sector, you will need to work your personal brand.
I think branding today is a bit more complicated than a few years ago, because the market is saturated with professionals. Every day it’s more necessary – and difficult – to stand out against the competition.
Don’t worry, I won’t tell you that today it’s impossible to highlight your personal brand. However, you should know you need two things: a huge effort and a lot of patience.
And above all, what will make you stand out in this crowded market is specialization.
Generic sales or bait-and-hook tactics no longer work: there is a lot of everything on the market already. However, finding what makes you unique and specialized in something is the key to success for your personal brand.
THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL BRAND
Patience will be your best ally.
The personal brand is not built overnight. It is a distance race that takes time to complete. It is a long distance race that never stops running.
I do not like to talk about lengths of time in creating a personal brand but in my point of view it is very difficult to construct it in less than a year and a half or 2 years if you start completely from 0.
There are always cases where personal brands have grown rapidly but it is not typical. There are also cases where people who work for years on their personal brand and get no results.
It is not easy
There are no shortcuts to the top. This needs to be made very clear. If it were easy to create a personal brand, everyone would! You must work your personal brand and you must work it successfully.
If you work your personal brand with a blog as was my case, you’ll need a lot of discipline.There are statistics that say that 95% of bloggers abandon their blogs in less than a year, and lack of motivation is the major cause of abandonment.
We have said that patience is a key point to developing your brand, so if you’re one of those people who expect short-term results, you’re going to be disappointed.
You might think that without the blog, you also you can work to build your personal brand, but you have to know that although there have been successes, there have been very few cases.
Without consistency there is no reward
You have to be very constant. Random, hobby-level work is useless. In my case, until I started to be consistent with my blog I did not see good results.
When I first started posting articles on my blog I did them whenever I wanted, no matter what day it was, or how long it had been since the last post had published. I realized that both readers and Google like to see that there are some regular posts on your blog.
At the time when I decided to write at least one article a week I started noticing growth. When I decided to publish every day (except for weekends), I noticed a big difference in how the world saw my blog.
Planning is the key
Mark objectives , define a strategy and plan to get on a schedule. That strategy is the best you can do.
As I said at the beginning of this article, I did not have a strategy with forming my personal brand simply because I knew it was going to develop itself, given enough time.
But when I saw the enormous potential in my blog’s branding, I knew I had to really take seriously what I was doing and start a plan.
Your passion will mark your way
You’ve heard a thousand times, but I can assure you that passion is a good guide that should mark your way.
When lack of motivation hits you, when the results do not arrive when you want and you want to throw in the towel, passion for what you do is the only thing that allows you to continue. Therefore, it is very important to do what you really like.
I know many cases where people who had passion for a subject have managed to monetize and fully live off of it.
ADVANTAGES OF A PERSONAL BRAND
Anyone can work your personal brand.
I would say this is increasingly becoming mandatory. Additionally achieving this is often synonymous with employment and financial freedom.
It does not require great resources or a great investment.
You start working and it is available to anyone. You can start working your blog, your personal domain, create a logo and create an account at different social profiles without spending too much.
There are opportunities for market differentiation.
There are still some areas in which professionals still are not working their personal brands, which makes this an opportunity for professionals who do want to stand out.
Opportunity to monetize in different ways.
Finding work, catapulting your projects, offering your services, and selling products through training or lecturing are some of the ways you can monetize your personal brand.
The personal brand is flexible, evolving with you because it is not static.
Often some people ask me what is better: working a professional career or working under the brand of their personal companies. I always say it depends on the case, but individual personal branding is ideal. It also allows us to introduce new themes and ideas because it evolves with us.
STEPS TO DEFINE YOUR PERSONAL BRAND
Definition and differentiation
At this point you should ask yourself some questions to find your definition and determine what sets you apart from other market professionals:
- What makes you different from other professionals?
- What are your values?
- What are you really passionate about?
- What are your personal references?
- What are you going to offer the market?
- What’s your story?
Strategy and objectives
Why you do what you do – and what you want to achieve – is a fundamental part in making personal brand:
- Why do you want to develop your personal brand?
- Where do you want to be in a few years?
- Who is your personal brand?
- What are the goals you pursue creating your personal mark?
- What brand territories you wish to associate?
- What is the message that transmits your personal brand?
- What will be the tone of your personal brand?
Visibility and Action Plan
Without a plan of action you will not achieve anything. Determine what you want to do and how you are going to do it.
- What are the tools you use?
- What elements do you need?
- How will you measure your results?
- What channels you’ll use for your personal brand?
- What blog are you going to use and what social networks?
- What else do you need?
- What will your logo look like? What are the colors that define you, what the font will you always use?
- When will you execute each action?
- What are the deadlines that make you achieve your goals?
- Who do you need to connect with?
FINAL TIPS FOR YOUR PERSONAL BRAND
Finally I want to give some recommendations that I wish I would have known when I started.
Constantly form yourself.
You are your best investment project. Separate a portion of your monthly income to train yourself. Whether it’s paying for courses, paying for a mentor, or by buying books, never stop training you. It is very important to start this today, the world we live in makes information obsolete in a very short time.
Do plenty of networking
The quality of your relationships will define your success. As Patt Flynn has said in many of his interview, we are the result of the 5 people with whom we interact the most. Expanding your circle of friends, networking circles, and seeking to connect with others in your industry will all help you in your strategy.
Try to generate a lot of value
Generating value is the only way to stand out and be remembered. There is a quote by Albert Einstein that says “Try not to become a man of success but a man of value.” Generating content and sharing real value makes people perceive you as a source of reliable and authoritative information, and makes your personal brand valuable.
Do not obsess with the results of other professionals
It’s not worth obsessing about what others are doing or what they have achieved behind the scenes. The success they have achieved probably took a lot of work that did not come overnight. You should focus on finding your own way, make sure you’re doing things right, and don’t waste time looking around at others. What others have achieved in 2 years – maybe 3 – you might achieve in one year and a half. But you should not obsess about this. Above all, enjoy your journey and process.
Hard work, hard work and a little more hard work
I know no other way to achieve success. Do not look for neither easy nor quick results because they do not exist. Usually good things are the slowest to arrive. Work hard and never take your eyes off your goal; that’s the only way to go.
You still have time to start working your personal brand, it’s never too late. It is a great tool you have at your fingertips and I suggest you not waste it.
You saw the many advantages of this and why it is important to start now. I was lucky to start at a good time and you can see that things have not gone bad.
Are you already working on your personal brand? I like to know what you’re doing and how you’re doing. Please leave and questions or comments in the section below.