How To Build Your Personal Brand

Personal branding has become a hot topic in the past few years and with the popularity of the internet and social media, being able to set yourself apart from everyone else is key. Whether you own a brick and mortar business or you're a creative like a writer/blogger developing your brand isn't something you want to overlook. I know many creatives who much rather focus on the "work" than work at creating their brand. The thing is your work, your messages, what you post online becomes a part of your "brand" whether you acknowledge it or not. Social media strategist Emmelie De La Cruz defines personal branding as "the packaging and management of your reputation. It's your message, personality, skills, accomplishments, and the return on investment that people get when they interact or work with you."

With that being said, being able to leverage your work, creativity, and experience can result in endless opportunities for you if you position yourself correctly. The best way to do that is by building your personal brand and showcasing your unique talents. Personal branding is about setting yourself apart from others in your field and creating a name for yourself that is synonymous with integrity and quality. Many believe that branding has to do with increasing their social media presence. While that may be partially true, the goal of building a personal brand shouldn’t be to attract more followers on Instagram and Twitter, but to become more marketable in your business and career. The goal is to convert those who are engaging with you whether in person or online into profitable interactions.

Creating a personal brand allows you to expand your vision by helping you identify and embrace your purpose while simultaneously living the life you always dreamed of. Personal branding is directly tied with living your purpose on purpose. In short, it's about tapping into your passions in a way that wasn’t possible before. Branding yourself gives you the freedom and confidence to trust yourself and the work you do. Truth is, competition is fierce and the number of entrepreneurs creating personal brands grows everyday. So whether you're fresh out of college trying to kick start your career, working as a consultant or freelancer, or taking the plunge into doing something you love, developing a personal brand is the first step.

Identify your niche market.

One of the very first things you need to do is identify your area(s) of expertise. Whether you're a social justice writer like Shaun King or a fashion icon like Kim Kardashian understanding what you're great at is the first step to developing your brand. It is what you're known for. Once you're clear on that then you build upon that. You utilize that area of expertise and your experiences to provide something of value to your customer base. You want to be the go to person for whatever need they are trying to fulfill.

Make yourself known.