Personal Branding Guide: What, Why & How of Building Your Digital Community Answered!

Personal branding guide: what, why, & how of building your digital community answered
Personal Branding Guide: Build your digital community

After countless debates over whether you should start or not, you’ve finally decided to build your personal brand. But you’re still overwhelmed with questions like: What is personal branding? How to build your personal brand? Why build your personal brand?

Personal branding refers to positioning yourself as a leader in your industry by showcasing your values, skills, expertise, and experiences to craft your unique digital identity.

It is like marketing but not your company or work. It’s about marketing yourself and being a part of a community so people know you for who you are, personally and professionally. Doing this will help you gain a competitive edge, create an impact in your community, and strengthen your network.

Okay! But how to create a personal brand? That’s exactly the question this guide will answer in the form of steps along with tips for you to further strengthen your brand.

how to create a personal brand
How to create a personal brand

What is Personal Branding?

A personal brand refers to your impression in your community based on the work you do, your achievements, values, skills, and profession. The entire process of building this perception based on what you do, and your beliefs in your personal and professional life is known as personal branding.

In simple terms, personal branding is the process of intentionally building your presence as a leading authority in your niche by showcasing your work, values, and skills.

what is personal branding
What is personal branding

You can do it by sharing images, videos, and text, where you’re talking about yourself and your experiences at large.

While this might sound easy, it requires a well-thought-through strategy, principles, and pillars to ensure you create a consistent brand online and offline.

Why Personal Branding?

Today, everything is digital, and if you don’t have a strong online presence, people won’t know you. An even more important thing is making them remember you for your very expertise.

You work in a highly-competitive environment and it’s easy for your network to get swayed by the next shiny ad they watch. That’s where your personal brand steps in. Once you build a credible brand over time, people will remember your name when they think of your service.

So even though you’re not getting instant customers, you can be sure that your personal brand will convert the cold lead into an active lead in due time – thanks to your strong digital identity!

3 reasons why leaders must create content on LinkedIn
Why personal branding for leaders

While most leaders and business owners don’t understand the importance of personal branding, here are a few benefits you just can’t miss:

  • More business: when your personal brand is stronger, people will trust you and your services more. Your business gets way more ‘quality’ visibility than it would get otherwise.
  • Thought leadership: people will know you as the expert leader in your industry that you actually are, in the offline world.
  • Brand/image building: build an impression of yourself in the professional world as the leader in your niche by constantly sharing your opinion on topics in the industry.
  • Creating an impact: enhance your influence and create an impact in your community.
  • Differentiate from the competitors: stand out among your competitors by building a unique brand and differentiating yourself from others.

Important Things to Know Before Building Your Personal Brand

Now that you know why personal branding is important, it’s crucial to understand the basic steps to build a strong foundation for your personal brand. Outlining a few content pillars that define you personally and professionally and deciding on a few different formats of content that you will share will help you get started.

Content Pillars

Content pillars refer to a set of subjects around your values, target audience, and expertise that define your personal brand. Creating a dedicated list of content pillars will serve as the foundation for establishing and maintaining a consistent online presence.

Defining content pillars helps you create targeted and cohesive content that resonates with your audience.

Defining content pillars for your personal brand

  • Determine your end goal: enhance your visibility, get partnership opportunities, rank better in search.
  • Identify your areas of expertise: skills, professional background, education, and experiences.
  • Enlist your set of values: the values you want your content to reflect – creativity, innovation, etc.
  • Understand your target audience: who you want to target – CEOs and leaders, recruiters, peers, etc.

Based on the criteria mentioned here, come up with a set of topics you want to create content around.

Type of Content

Personal branding is all about building your brand by showcasing your personal and professional experiences, stories, and opinion. So, when it comes to the medium and channels, there are no limits. A few different forms of content you can consider while building your brand include:

  • Social media posts: text, images, short videos, articles, etc.
  • Blogs and articles
  • Podcast

How to Build A Personal Brand – 7 Steps to Building A Personal Brand

In the current era, building a strong digital footprint is a necessity. If you’re not visible online, your peers, prospects, or even potential opportunities won’t be able to reach you.

So, here’s a sure-shot step-by-step process to help you build a personal brand:

  1. Understand Your End Goal
  2. Determine Your Niche
  3. Create A Content Strategy
  4. Network Actively
  5. Engage with your Community & Prospects
  6. Profile Optimization: Optimize your LinkedIn profile
  7. Create Insightful Posts
how to build a personal brand - step-by-step infographic
Steps to building a personal brand

Step 1: Understand your end goal

The very first to building your personal brand is understanding the purpose behind it. This will make sure you have a strong foundation and create a strategy accordingly.

A few questions to understand your end goal of building a personal brand:

  • Who do you want to target?
  • Why do you want to target them?
  • What do you want to achieve with a strong personal brand?

Step 2: Determine your niche

Next, make sure you determine the subjects and topics you want to build your personal brand around. While this step might seem more like defining your content pillars, as discussed earlier, it’s not the same.

Here, you want to be clear about:

  • The industry you want to build your personal brand in
  • The specific subject/category in that industry
  • The different topics in that category

Note: There may be more than one category that would include your profession, experiences, and values you believe in.

Step 3: Create a content strategy

Now that you have a broad idea of topics you wish to talk about, you want to narrow it down. Structure all your ideas into a clear content strategy.

For example, here’s a potential content strategy for a Chief Finance Officer in the UAE:

Industry: Finance; Fintech

Niche(s): Budgeting; Accounting; Forecasting

Personal topics of interest: Work ethics; UAE Economy; Leadership

Types of content: LinkedIn posts – articles, text, images

Frequency: 2-3 posts a week including 1 personal post

Content strategy template FREE
Content Strategy Template

Step 4: Build your network

People won’t know you until you make yourself known or at least visible enough for them to find you. That’s why building your network holds fundamental importance in strengthening your personal brand.

Social media is definitely the best way to expand your digital network. But it’s not as easy as it might seem.

  • Determine the set of people you want to target: ideal clients; peers; potential recruiters.
  • Identify the platforms your target audience is hanging in
  • Choose the platform while considering the kind of image you wish to build: professional; fun; or serious.

For job seekers,

  • Enlist your target companies
  • Connect with recruiters and hiring members from those companies

Actively connect with people you know offline, and the ones you’d like to know offline.

Step 5: Engage with your community

While connecting is the first step in building a network, engaging is crucial to maintain that network. You may have 50,000 followers but you may not be really connected with them, i.e., they wouldn’t know who you are, what you do, and what you offer.

They might just know you on the surface.

To make sure they know and remember you for the services you offer, for the industry you are in, you must regularly engage with your community.

Connect over DMs to talk about each other’s professions, and engage in comments to share each other’s points of view – that’s how your community will actually know you.

You might also like: 4 ways to engage with posts

Step 6: Optimize your profile

Building an optimized digital profile is really the foundation of building a strong digital brand. Irrespective of the platform(s) you’ve chosen, curating a profile that helps you rank for your position and the keywords associated with it is fundamental.

So how to optimize your profile?

  • Conduct in-depth research about the title you want to be known for
  • Determine the keywords and skills associated with that title
  • Use those keywords throughout your social media profiles, websites, and blogs

The core idea here is to use the right set of keywords naturally so you rank well for a specific role for users in that particular geolocation.

Step 7: Create content consistently

While you may have heard the word ‘consistency’ a lot, it holds true to its name (and fame). Being consistent can have a considerable impact on your visibility and personal brand.

Why? Because when you appear in front of your audience regularly, they’ll know you for the topic you’re talking about. So, the next time they think about your niche or your service, your name will automatically be at the top of their minds.

  • Publish 1 blog every week or 2 blogs a month
  • Publish 1-2 social media posts every week

Tip: Create a long-form guide, and convert it into multiple short blogs, YouTube and TikTok videos, and multiple social media posts.

Let us help you create authoritative content.

Personal Branding Tips to Stand Out

Now that you’re aware of the what, why, and how of personal brand statement and positioning, it’s time for some cherry on the cake. We are big on providing added value, so, here are a few tips on how you can get started with branding yourself:

  • Ideas to write about: articles on trending topics in your niche; social media posts on the articles you’ve written; use the same content for videos.
  • Write personal posts: along with industry-specific content, share the recent updates in your career and the events you’ve attended.
  • Consistency in message and niche: ensure the same tone of voice and message across all your profiles to maintain a consistent brand.
  • An authentic point of view: don’t shy away from expressing your candid point of view even if it’s not what the masses are saying.

Personal Branding Examples

No amount of knowledge is ever enough without the right set of examples. And so, here’s a list of personal branding examples with a diverse set of profiles that would definitely resonate with you!

Justin Welsh

Justin Welsh is the person who started personal branding in the first place. He started his online business while building in public, aka, sharing his progress with his community. With time, he built an amazingly strong brand on LinkedIn, and Twitter, and created a website to help other solopreneurs like him build and grow their internet businesses.

Justin Welsh
Justin Welsh

Neil Patel

Neil Patel is the name you’ll think of when you hear SEO (Search Engine Optimization). He has created a wide range of content including multiple blogs, YouTube videos, and social media posts around SEO, and continues to attract thousands of leads every day through his personal brand.

Neil Patel
Neil Patel

Ruben Hassid

Within a period of a few months, Ruben Hassid has successfully built an incredible personal brand, being rated as the top #2 LinkedIn Creator by Favikon. He loves everything AI and that’s what he helps his audience with – leveraging AI for efficiency.

Ruben Hassid
Ruben Hassid

Justine Hutteau

The Co-founder of Respire, Justine Hutteau has an incredible personal brand on LinkedIn and Instagram. She shares about her life, Respire’s products & updates, and also her point of view on different trending topics in the cosmetic industry.

Justine Hutteau
Justine Hutteau

Craft A Strong Personal Brand Identity with Talent-e

So, what is personal branding?

Essentially, it’s the efforts you put in to establish your brand identity as a known leader in your niche by sharing your expertise, skills, and authoritative point of view on industry-related topics.

When it comes to talking about the benefits of building a personal brand, a strong online presence, visibility, career advancement, and professional image building are just a few. A solid personal brand positioning makes the right work and collaboration opportunities walk up to you.

Build a strong professional image by maintaining authenticity, a consistent brand messaging, networking with the right people, and following a well-thought-through personal branding strategy.

That’s exactly where Talent-e comes in!

Talent-e is your sparring partner in crafting your digital identity through an authoritative editorial strategy customized to your profile. Take the 15-day FREE trial and see for yourself or chat with our Personal Branding Strategist today!

Build your personal brand and grow your digital community with Talent-e

Rashiqua Feroze

Rashiqua Feroze, an accomplished writer and personal branding strategist, excels in helping individuals carve their unique identities. With a keen eye for captivating content, she also specializes in crafting compelling strategies. When she's not immersed in her work, you'll find Rashiqua lost in the pages of romantic fiction or discovering new places.

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