What is a Personal Brand?
The simplest definition is this: “Your brand is what people think and say about you. It is the values that are associated with you and what you do or provide.” A personal brand is more about how you make the work that you create recognizably yours. You can use color, type, written tone, and many more visual and written elements. These can all help you form a complete brand that reflects you. When you promote yourself you have to focus on being persistent with your brand values all the way in your storytelling.
If you think about brand values you should be actually be thinking about:
- three words that you want to be associated with you and the work that you produce.
- three words that you would like to be associated with your visual style.
- three words that you want people to associate with the experience of working with you.
Personal branding is very important if you want your career to grow and be successful. You have to think about the fact that you are not the only one out. There are a lot of people that are doing exactly what you are doing. And your brand should tell a story about you, your value and the work you produce in a way that will catch the eye of the clients so that they will choose you. You have to make your brand unique in order to attract attention in a sea of search results. Maybe you are not that much better than the other freelancers, but it really matters how you sell yourself. It’s true that your skills make your clients happy, but branding makes the difference.
Some simple steps you should follow when managing your personal brand:
- You have to be clear about what image you want to project.
- You have to share a simple message if you don’t want to confuse people about who you are and what you do.
- You have to make sure your brand message is consistent across all platforms.
- You have to back up any broad statements with objective proof. That means you should show numbers, dates, etc. of what you have done to back up your claim.
- You have to keep it brief. That means you have to state your value proposition in 10 words or less. Otherwise, you run the risk of being forgettable.
The first step in your branding process is how you name yourself. You have to choose a business name that tells people your story in a hasty way. The more unusual is the name, the bigger are the chances to be remembered.
You can use your name, but you must develop a short tagline or motto to fill prospects on your specialty. This must sum up your skills into eight or fewer words. This way, you can use it for your Twitter bio. A full-length bio, with 100-200 words should be on the “about” page of your website. This one is best for Facebook and LinkedIn profile too.
The second and very important step is what logo will you choose. We can easily say that the logo is the foundation of your visual identity. An effective logo should be simple, memorable, timeless, versatile and appropriate. In order to have real success with it, you should ask for help from a freelance logo designer. Next, you have to decide and pick your signature typography, the design elements, and the color scheme.
Social media is an important part in the process of personal branding. It’s the best place to communicate your unique selling proposition(USP) and to showcase your brand voice. If you don’t have a logo, you may want to focus on your profile picture. This should be a shot of your face, followed by the business name. Profile consistency assures potential clients that they’ve found the right person.
You should keep in mind that the strengths and weaknesses that you experience personally will be the strengths and weaknesses of your brand. You must embrace the good qualities that you already have and highlight those in your business branding. Your vision, brand essence and mission statement should simply tie from who you are.