In the age of social media where anyone and everyone can have a presence online, it’s more important than ever to create a positive, memorable impression on others. Especially for those who are still early on in their career or preparing to enter the workforce, your personal branding can be the deciding factor for your future success.
A personal brand is essentially how you want others to see you. This includes elements such as what you stand for, the values that you hold, and your general image and vibe.
Why is it so important to have a personal brand?
1. Building trust and credibility
A personal brand general involves developing a consistent presence for yourself, both online and in real life. This is vital to create trust and credibility between yourself and others, as it creates a sense of authenticity for your personality. When people understand who you are, and that image is consistent across your platforms and in real life, they’re more likely to respect and trust you.
2. Connect with peers and audiences
Creating a personal brand allows you to build stronger connections with your peers and your audience. Establishing yourself as an authority figure in your field will be immensely beneficial to your future growth in your career, while also providing your audience with a reason they should look towards you.
3. Stand out from the crowd
Having a strong personal brand will set you apart from others, and give others a reason to remember you in the future. This is especially relevant with the advancement of AI, at a time where being unique is essential to being heard and known.
This isn’t only the case for entrepreneurs though! Employers are increasingly using social media to screen candidates during their hiring process, and having a good personal brand will not only make you more memorable, but can also highlight many of your strengths and values.
What are some examples of personal branding?
Some traditional examples of personal branding include Oprah Winfrey, known for her talk show, philanthropy, and other ventures, and Bill Nye, who has established himself as a science educator.
But with the younger generation, many are marketing themselves in more fun and unique ways.
An example of this is @nikitadumptruck on TikTok and Instagram, who calls herself a “professor at bimbo university”. Her content often involves deciphering confusing topics and explaining it in a simpler way “for the girls”, as she puts it. Some recent topics include explaining the debt ceiling, what a 401k is, and what happened with the Trump indictment. She attracts audiences to her brand through her unique and funny way of explaining current events, combined with her consistent image across her platforms.
Another is @dieworkwear on Twitter, known as the “menswear guy” on the platform, and a good example of creating a trustworthy brand while still remaining anonymous. He has taken his interest in menswear and tailoring and built his brand around being a source of knowledge in the field, amassing an audience that trusts him and his opinions due to the consistency of his brand. While his tweets range from funny memes to critiquing the outfits of top politicians across the globe, they revolve around the theme of menswear.
So whether you’re in a corporate job, are an authority figure in a field, or have a business you want to build, having a strong personal brand will help you gain opportunities and boost your career.
How can you improve your personal brand?
1. Determine your focus
While it’s tempting to want your personal brand to encapsulate the entirety of your values and your life, it’s best to narrow down to an area of focus. This way, it’s easier for others to remember who you are, while also helping you stand out from the crowd.
2. Be authentic
A personal brand is all about you and how you present yourself, and authenticity is an essential factor! There’s nothing that will hurt your credibility any more than pretending to be someone you’re not. When building your personal brand, make sure you stay true to yourself and your values.
3. Stay consistent
Building your personal brand across social media platforms as well as your personal website is very beneficial in creating a consistent image for yourself. But your personal brand isn’t limited solely to your online presence! It also extends to your interactions with others in the real world. Being consistent both in real life and online will ensure that others recognise that your character is true, and not just an online persona.
Consistency also refers to the visual identity or personality of your personal brand. Creating this identity will help you become more memorable and visible, and be a unique factor that others can associate with you. This identity can be anything from a recognisable logo and colour scheme, to a catchphrase or motto that you use frequently.