As a recent Human Capitalist post smartly put it, personal branding is a lot more than updating a Wordpress blog every once and a while – it’s about authenticity, trust, and reputation, to start. Whether you think you’ve masterfully crafted your brand or you’re just getting started, Human Capitalist’s checklist for personal branding is a great reference to make sure you’re on the right track.
Defining Your Identity
No matter where you're at, take a step back to the drawing board and reassess your brand. Human Capitalist recommends asking yourself three questions: Who am I? What do I stand for? How am I different? Cook your answers down to a succinct and positive portrayal of yourself that represents your values and your abilities. Next, take a look at your own personal qualities and pick out the ones that can positively affect your brand.
This first step is essential to narrowing your brand – without doing so, it will be so broad and unfocused others will have trouble recognizing it. If you're having trouble defining your brand’s foundational characteristics and qualities, Tico and Tina have some great ideas about further questioning yourself and applying your analysis to your brand, or check out our own post on it.
Establishing An Audience
What’s the point of a brand if no one knows about it? Avoid this checklist’s common pitfall by marketing yourself once the brand takes shape. Build consistency across the board and try to incorporate your brand into all aspects of your life – this will help the brand stick. Use your personal branding statement with new acquaintances. Use it on business cards, your personal website, social media, and any content you create. Once it’s out there, make sure there is an audience to see it. Build networking into your schedule regularly – networking events are great opportunities to meet other professionals and create mutually beneficial connections. However, networking doesn’t have to be just in a formal setting. Let your family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers know about your brand what what you have to offer. You never know when someone might know someone.
Personal websites have become an essential in the world of branding because they allow you to lay your brand out for all to see, build an audience, and create content to keep them coming back for more. With so much networking and interacting taking place online, creating a digital launching pad for yourself is essential to directing your connections to the right place. If you haven’t already, create a website that reflects the ideology and personality of your brand. Claim a domain in your own name for consistency and visibility. Squarespace allows for you to expand on your brand, tell your narrative, and direct visitors to all your other outlets for maximum control of their online experience. And with a plethora of clear-cut and stunning templates, your website will make your brand stand to others. Keep visitors coming back through quality content – newsletters, blog posts, podcasts, tutorials, webisodes, updates, etc. This will help build your audience and solidify your brand. For some visual inspiration on branded websites that look great, check out Navid Moazzez’s list of some of the best.
A Foothold in the Community
The last item on Human Capitalist’s personal branding checklist is to establish your place amongst your audience, networking connections, and influencers. Your brand can benefit from other brands too – have you solidified your place in your field’s community yet? As we’ve said above, networking is key to establishing your brand and creating an audience. However, those connections become much more valuable if they build trust – once that is established, says Human Capitalist – influence becomes much greater. Build trust in your community of like-minded brands by reaching out to others, collaborating, gathering recommendations and testimonials, and leaving a legacy of great work, no matter what it is you do.