Hello! In this article, we will talk about personal branding.
The personal brand is increasingly penetrating into all areas of our lives. According to Western experts and Russian marketing specialists, it will take another couple of decades, and everyone will have to think about it. In this article I will talk about what a personal brand is, how to work with it and what this work can lead to.
There is no clear, concise and generally accepted definition of a personal brand. Experts in this field disagree on the wording, but they say the same thing in meaning:
A brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.
A personal brand is when you are recommended by those who were not your client.
A personal brand is a way to make money from an image.
In simple terms, a personal brand is what those who do not know you intimately say about you. This is the opinion of unfamiliar and strangers, which they formed based on information about you. It is an information field around your persona that dictates to others what they need to think about you, your work, and your life.
A personal brand is a tool for selling your own knowledge, skills and experience. A tool that does not require constant participation, which does not take additional resources from you. And more importantly, he is unobtrusive. This is native advertising , which works almost without your participation.
And the personal brand is one of the most important global trends for the coming decades. For almost every person, he will become what moves him forward.
The world practice has a very good example of a competent personal brand - Steve Jobs. A man who created a stir around himself. He could sell products simply by his name. And it brought him personally and his company huge profits. Steve went beyond the usual manager.
In Russian practice, people of this level have not yet been. But there are those who competently work with their personal brand. I will name three: Ksenia Sobchak, Oleg Tinkov, Artemy Lebedev. Let's briefly review each.
Ksenia Sobchakgood in that he knows how to rebuild in time. At one time, it was beneficial for her in the role of a rich, narrow-minded blonde, who captivates with her scandalousness and appearance. But as soon as society slightly changed course, she immediately became a liberal journalist. Sobchak competently and flexibly works with society, forcing them to talk about themselves, love, hate and admire.
Oleg Tinkovwell understood how a personal brand helps a business. He always launched projects, made money on them, and then calmly sold them. And each time it was easier to do, because people knew who Tinkov was. And in a business environment, the ability to make money is one of the most important. And investors went to him, workers go to him, entrepreneurs admire him.
Artemy Lebedevmanaged to make it so that at the expense of his name any client who comes to the agency will pay a lot and get even more. And he earns himself without taking anything from the company. His name is associated with design. He is truly an expert in this. And now, when they come to his company and order a logo, it's far from the quality. It's all about the name, advertising, fame. Made by Lebedev - informational occasion.
These three people are people who work properly with a personal brand, but in different directions. Sobchak has a flexible position, Tinkov bribes with earnings on his behalf, and Lebedev gives his clients the opportunity to earn on his behalf.
There are three categories of people who need to take care of their personal brand:
- Freelancers .
- Employees in high positions who would like to develop.
Businessmen. Businessmen most of all need a personal brand. For them, fame in their circles, expertise and experience are direct opportunities for earning. If you have a developed personal brand, you will be able to work with large investors, enter into profitable contracts, and your customers will know about your product simply because you made it.
The business owner is often associated with the company. And her future depends on his words and deeds. A vivid example is Elon Musk and his cant on the radio. The very next day after the businessman's act, Tesla's shares fell by 10%.
Freelancers. These are employees who depend on what others say about them. A personal brand in the professional community gives fame beyond it. Plus, these are direct bonuses from colleagues. The most banal example: someone can’t cope with the load, and when the customer asks him “and who could you advise me”, they advise the person they trust. And trust is a consequence of personal positioning.
For freelancers, a personal brand is an opportunity to get customers in a high price category. Businessmen are gradually coming to the conclusion that it is not decisions that are important, but people who can suggest these solutions and implement them. TOP-1 in a niche can earn 100 thousand rubles for an hourly consultation. But not the fact that it works better than others.
Workers. Not every ordinary worker needs a brand. It is suitable only for those professionals who either occupy a leadership position, or those who want to show themselves. With the first category, everything is simple. Even local leaders depend on what is said about them. Their career, success at work, success in life depends on the opinions of other people. With those who want to show themselves, things are a little more complicated. They have a more global task: to show themselves as a specialist. And due to this, start earning more, grow, get higher positions and new knowledge.
Any work in a team is also based on a personal brand. If at work they think of you that you are a good specialist and it is pleasant to work with you, you can always earn more just because of this. And if they think of you in a negative way, then with a high degree of probability you will not have a chance to receive more.
Now let's talk about the pros and cons of a personal brand. Everyone who talks about the fact that everyone needs a personal brand, and gives any arguments, forgets about its disadvantages. Let's talk openly about what is positive and what is negative in working on our own mentions.
- A personal brand is a long-term endeavor. If you work correctly with your personal brand, it will turn out that even if you stop or slow down at one moment, everyone will know you as a specialist.
- A personal brand allows you to create the right environment around you. The higher you move up the career and social ladder, the more your environment changes. And personal promotion allows you to always be one step above those who do not have their own brand. And due to this, there will be people around who know and can do more, not to mention values and extra motivation .
- A personal brand makes you stand out. In Russia, this is noticeable. You are not just another businessman, freelancer or employee. You have a name, people talk about you, and you have a history behind your shoulders.
- A personal brand evokes associations. And this is important. Are you looking for a good targetologist? You will remember the one everyone talks about and everyone recommends. And not just another nameless specialist. Building a personal brand will bring enormous benefits to anyone who interacts with people and sells products and services. Especially now, when the most demanded profession is a money-making assistant.
But there are also disadvantages to a personal brand that are worth mentioning:
- It is very easy to damage a personal brand. And the more public a person is, the more carefully he needs to choose his words. Careless words and actions lead to the fact that public opinion can change, and it will be difficult to fix it.
- A personal brand can be influenced from outside. This is a consequence of the first shortcoming. Not only your actions can harm, but also other people's words about you. That is why you need to carefully monitor the negative and respond to it as correctly as possible.
- Constant publicity and close attention. At the local level and within the same niche, this is not so noticeable. But when a person goes beyond these limits, thousands of people immediately pay attention to him. And not for everyone it goes painlessly, just look at modern bloggers. A personal brand is certainly an important thing in modern society. Now specific specialists receive more than their knowledge and skills are worth. And everything goes to the fact that this trend will only gain momentum. What people you don't know say about you is your money, fame and opportunity.
To build a brand, you need to clearly follow a number of principles:
- Start thinking of yourself as a brand. Identify strengths and weaknesses, in which area you can demonstrate expertise, how you can develop. But we must not forget that a person is a person, and a product is a product.
- Keep track of what is being said about you. A personal brand is not something you try to build around yourself. This is what they think, say and write about you. Control all information about you, react to it.
- Create a platform for collecting traffic. It can be a personal website , blog or social network. It is better to combine them, but at the initial stage, one thing is enough.
- Create a story around the brand. People love stories. Success stories through failure stories. You need to figure out how to beat your life path, and make it a kind of "fairy tale".
These are the principles of building a personal brand from the founder and CEO of Marketing Zen Group, Shama Hyder.
Let's simulate the situation: you are a simple freelancer who started designing. Nobody knows about you, you do not have special knowledge, skills and opportunities to compete with other specialists. What should be done in such a situation?
Look at those who are in the TOP in your specialty. It's simple. They are mentioned everywhere, you think "design" and immediately remember their names. They have their own websites, blogs, channels, interviews, case studies, and maybe even some courses. Your task is to collect all the useful content that you can reach.
In any niche, if you know little and have not yet formed the necessary base, you need to collect practical knowledge. The bigger, the better.
Now your task is to start working with all the knowledge gained. Get the first cases, get burned, understand what works, what doesn't, and in what situations. All that knowledge that you have received is simply useless if taken for granted. It's like with popular cases. You read them, but you won't repeat them. Just because you don't know why each step was taken.
At this stage, your task is to find a complete strategy by which you can work in your niche. This is a sound plan of action for your work with all the "why", "when" and "why".
This is where getting to know your professional community begins. You need to fit into it if you didn't during the learning phase. You can help someone, explain, show by example. Explain on the fingers, as you understand yourself.
This is the most important step. This is where you can start comparing yourself to others and see what level you are at. If you did everything right, then you can start full-fledged work on the brand.
This is direct work on the brand. You need to create materials and show your expertise. The materials should be useful, and the indicators of expertise should impress the average user. Your task is to hook potential customers and colleagues who are close to the TOP.
If you did everything right, then at this stage you begin to gain popularity at a tremendous pace. You are quoted, your approaches are adopted. You receive invitations to conferences as a speaker, people from the TOP find out about you and begin to consider you a direct competitor .
After you have worked on a brand, it should start working for you. It can be both banal advertising publications and getting clients or assistants.
You can directly monetize your knowledge through the infobusiness . If you are interested in this area, then you can sell your knowledge and teach others. It is very important to give out the very practical knowledge that you have received yourself. And do it with a minimum of water.
You can reduce the amount of material, you can experiment with its quality and talk about more general things. You should have formed a personal view of the niche, its features and work. At this stage, you will either become a super-expensive designer or assemble a team and increase your earnings.
The “maintaining a personal brand” phase enters the business. Now you do not need to make the most capacious, accessible and useful materials for everyone. You can start talking about a niche, about approaches to work and in every possible way show everyone that you have already outgrown the level of an ordinary performer. You are one level up. On a par with those who were once recognized as the best.
The process of building a personal brand from scratch is very long. It may drag on for years. But only such a systematic approach gives results. If you decide to skip the stage of obtaining information and developing your own strategy, then you will suffer the fate of typical information businessmen: a lot of water, attempts to create an image and fame from nothing and 0 good. These leave the market after a few years, poor and exhausted.
In conclusion, I would like to talk about social networks as the best platforms for developing a personal brand. The advantage of social networks is undeniable: you directly interact with your audience, you can create the necessary idea about yourself and your level of expertise by combining photos, videos and text.
Consider three popular social networks: Vkontakte, Facebook and Instagram.
Vkontakte and Facebook are similar. And this is not only the design, buttons, but also the content itself. An important role is played by the combination of text, photo and video content. A personal brand in these social networks is most often promoted through communities. A group or a public page is created, materials are published in it.
Brand promotion on VK and Fb is more focused on creating a personal brand through expert content. It allows you to take a better position in the eyes of customers, partners and customers.
An important task when promoting in these two networks is to create interesting and expert content. And this applies not only to the material in your group. It is also about social interactions both in personal messages and in popular professional communities, where you can act as an expert and show that you have knowledge in a certain area.
Vkontakte and Facebook provide an ideal opportunity to monitor what is written about you. This is done through viewing mentions. A very simple but effective tool. And do not forget that if someone reposts you, show that you noticed him. A simple like on the post and avatar will be enough.
A personal brand on Instagram is fundamentally different from VK and Fb. First of all, photo content decides here, and only secondly - text content. Promotion of a personal brand occurs through a personal page. You need to use photos, stories and comments to create the appearance of a good life and confirm your level of expertise.
The main idea of promoting a personal brand on Instagram is to make sure that your photos are shots from the film reel of a dream life.
It is for this that the “illusion of dynamics” is created. When a person makes one photo session, he processes everything and puts it in the right sequence. To make people think that he lives like this all the time. Although in reality it may be that it was once, and the rest of the time he eats doshirak and is looking for someone to borrow from in order to pay for the next photo session.
Social media makes it easy to promote your personal brand. The main thing is not to fall for the tricks of the information business, where packaging is much more important than a quality product. You need not only to show your success, but also to confirm it with knowledge, skills and earnings.
We recommend reading: Making money on social networks - 7 ways for beginners and where to start .
A personal brand is what people say about you while you are not around. It is also a great tool for selling your knowledge, skills and experience. If you develop your brand, you can earn much more. Now is the time when a particular specialist is valued more than what he can give. And you need to use it.