You’ve probably heard the term Personal Brand being thrown around with increasing frequency in the last few years – but what is it and how do you build your own?
What is it and why should you care?
A personal brand boils down to what you are known for and how you are perceived. In our highly competitive world, a personal brand helps to differentiate you from the pack and communicate your value in a more effective, concise, and consistent manner.
This differentiation and resulting visibility crucially leads to new opportunities that elevate you closer to your goals and builds trust with those around you.
Your career is your business where one of the most important roles you have is as head marketer for your brand.
What makes up a personal brand
Personal brand should reflect YOU. You can break it down into four key components: Your strengths, unique selling point (USP), values, and vision. These are grounded by your purpose.
Let’s start identifying what makes up each of your brand components.
When I looked to build my personal brand and the HerHelloWorld platform, I went through this same exercise. To give you some ideas as you work through this, I have included my responses.
First, focus on what makes you great:
Your strengths are what you do well. Your brand is going to emphasize these strengths to others. Make your life easier by building a brand around things that you enjoy doing – you don’t want to trap yourself into building a brand around strengths that don’t spark joy.
To identify your strengths, reflect on these situations:
Things you are good at + why
Skills you fall back onto in challenging situations
Strengths others have recognized in you
Skills you use during successful projects
With those in mind, it’s time to select the key strengths that are going to provide you the most value. Ask yourself:
What strengths repeat themselves?
What strengths + skills will be most helpful to me personally, professionally, and others?
For an example, my key strengths are organization and planning, key-subject matter knowledge on the tech industry and building a career, leadership and decisiveness , and public speaking
Unique Selling Point
Your unique selling point is a term typically used in business to describe what differentiates your product, services, and experience from your competitors. It is what you offer that people won’t get elsewhere.
In the context of a personal brand, it is what makes you as an individual different. This can present itself as having a different background, a unique perspective, an uncommon strength or skill, a rare accomplishment, an approach to solving problems, etc.
Consider traits that are not commonly found in your industry.
If you are unsure of what unique value you have to offer – remember this:
“Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are” - Malcolm Forbes
Some examples of my USPs are:
Being a woman in tech (Unique perspective)
Moving from the USA to the UK to study and work (Different background)
Having strong people and professional/soft skills (Uncommon industry skill)
Working at a big tech company and winning awards for my industry work (Challenging accomplishment)
Next, it’s time to consider the things that matter to you.
Your values are what underpin who you are and what is truly important to you. For a personal brand, it is what you represent and stand for. Values evolve as we and the circumstance of our lives change. When it comes to identifying your values, often it is easier to consider different experiences that are impacted by your values.
Ask yourself why each experience was important and memorable so you can hone in on what value underpinned that feeling.
Some questions to get you started:
When are you the happiest?
When are you the proudest?
When are you most fulfilled?
For example, my core values are:
- Independence (in life, financially, etc)
- Continuous growth
Your vision is your mission or the larger goal you hope to achieve through your efforts. This is frequently the area where people need to do the most reflection. Your vision should drive the direction you take your life and career. I urge you to consider what you can do for others – it is when we give back and help others that we grow the most, find happiness, and ultimately reach our versions of success.
For you personally, professionally, and those around you:
What can you offer to the world?
What does a well-lived life mean to you?
What legacy do you want to leave behind?