How to build a personal brand?
Be a startup. Be a brand.
Devdutt Pattanaik – a MBBS from Grant Medical College, Mumbai is a known TED speaker, mythologist and author. He writes regular columns for leading newspapers, magazines and digital publications. But he started his career in pharma and healthcare sector and went on to become the ‘Chief Belief Officer’ of Future Group. Today he has a huge fan following.
Kalyan Karmakar was a great market researcher from IMRB. Whenever he went out for office lunch, he would click pictures of dishes served and put it up on his blog. The Bengali researcher was a food enthusiast and started blogging about food and today he is a successful food blogger, columnist with a huge number of followers on his Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. He is often seen on food channels interviewing chefs and taking guests out on a food walk. He is also a published author.
Twinkle Khanna is less known for her acting but more for her humorous writing style. Today she regularly writes column across leading newspapers and magazines and has been the author of couple of bestsellers. She is being followed by her fans on Facebook and Twitter.
All these individual have created their personal brand. Most of them indulged themselves into their hobbies, cultivated them and finally plunged into it, dumping their mainstream career.
While building personal brand is not that easy, it is not that tough either. A strong brand helps your name to be associated with ideas, concepts and products. Before plunging into the exercise of building a personal brand, you should question yourself – How would you want to get recognized? What is it that you want to get associated with? How do you build your authority?
If you are trying to build a personal brand, here are some simple steps to follow:
We all must have engaged ourselves in a nine-six job, but what is it that you enjoy doing the most? Be yourself and cultivate your area of interest and passion. Create a great narrative around you and your area of interest. Don’t try to imitate others. Just be your authentic self and everything will fall in place.
Try and build as many relationships as possible with other thought leaders within your genre. Co create some event and let the whole world know about it. Find out people who contribute articles on same domain and collaborate with them. Leverage strong connection with your alumni of school, college and organisations you worked for. Start with a guest post in these forums.
Strengthen online presence
Digital presence has no boundaries. Create your own website, link it with your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Also make your own Youtube channel. Try and make your online presence stronger, use Google Ad words, SEO and SEM intelligently. Type in key words and see if search results associate your names with those key words or not. Use some unique hashtags too.
Be a thought leader or storyteller
This will increase both credibility and visibility as a brand. Use Linkedin to project yourself as an expert in your niche. Keep writing blogs and respond to queries on your domain. Likewise, you will be seen as an expert. Slowly and steadily capitalise opportunities to write expert columns in dailies and magazines. Adapt the technique of storytelling, as every audience would like to listen to a story.
However, there are certain nuances in creating a brand out of yourself. Be very honest to yourself, admit your short comings and weaknesses, that ways you will be more acceptable to larger audiences. Slowly you will be seen as an influencer within your niche.
Have you ever used specific strategies to build your personal brand? Do share your story.