With growing competition in every aspect of the business world, the subject of branding has taken on a new meaning. It is no longer the ‘domain’ of companies but is branching out to encompass individuals too.  Personal branding is in. With the rise and rise of the digital age, almost everyone seems to have an ‘online’ presence – and the online population is getting younger. For individuals, especially those working independently, creating an ‘aura’ and a personal brand has now gained extreme importance.

To become a brand, think like one. Be known for ‘something’ – that is become an expert and let others know of your areas of expertise. Provide information and advice depending on what you would like your ‘personal brand’ to be known for. Keep it simple and humane – people tend to connect with ‘brands’ that they can relate to. A simple yet powerful personal brand is a great way to attract positive and ‘lucrative’ attention to your capabilities.  Ensure that your online presence stays updated, engaging, and interesting. The manner in which you portray yourself is how people will perceive you. Think of what would differentiate you in the crowd of similar services you offer – think of what about you and your prowess can stand out instantly.  Become ‘Google’ worthy – that is how I like to put it!

The first thing that companies do now is to create a website – the ‘face’ of their company. In the realm of personal branding too, getting yourself a personal website can get you ‘out there’ and make it easier for you to get ‘picked up and searched’ by the popular search engines. The best personal website is one that emphasizes what you offer, without being over complicated and without too many pages. Start out small – as your personal brand begins to get recognized, scaling is always an option.  A word of caution – do not create a personal website because everyone else is doing so. Ensure that you have something of value and interest to share and talk about. Remember to update your website regularly – that is the best way to grab the attention of the search engines.

Networking and associating with people and brands is essential. These ‘connections’ would act as accelerators and could put you down the path of personal branding success faster than you could do it alone. Reach out to those you believe can help build your brand and for whom you would have something to contribute.  Networking will help you to reinvent yourself and analyse your strengths and weaknesses in comparison to other talent in the market. The idea is to get better and stronger each day – almost the same way that a company’s brand aims to do. It is also a good idea to read up the inspirational stories of people – the kind whose companies are known because of them. The person is the brand – emulate them, without becoming a copycat.

When you have put your mind to becoming a brand – nothing and no one should stand in your way. Reinvent, evolve, and connect – your personal branding steps.

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