If you’e ever asked yourself the question, “What is personal branding?” and wondered how to build your personal brand, then you’re in the right place. The term ‘Personal Branding’ was first used in 1997 by Tom Peters in his Fast Company article, The Brand Called You. Tom explains,
“Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.”
In this blog we’ll take a look at what personal branding is, why personal branding is important, how to personal brand yourself and how to find your unique selling proposition (USP). Jump in to build your personal brand strategy.
How to define personal brand? We all have a personal brand. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos famously defined a personal brand as ‘what people say about you when you are not in the room.’ A personal brand is something we use daily, before we meet someone, when we meet them and after each encounter. Given that your brand is continuously working on your behalf, it makes sense to devote some quality development time into crafting the brand called you.
One aspect of developing a personal brand that many people I work with find less than easy is establishing their Unique Selling Proposition or USP.
How to find your unique selling proposition or USP
How to define personal brand? It’s easily really and best summed up by Oscar Wilde
“Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.”
Oscar Wilde’s observation is a great starting place when establishing your USP. Your USP sets you apart from others, it is authentic and unique to you. Don’t be daunted by this stage of the personal branding process. Dedicate some serious thinking time now to what makes your brand distinctive and you’ll reap the benefits in the long-term. Look at examples of personal brand, start to notice the importance of personal brand, taking notice of brands you like and ones you don’t (thinking about what has switched you off). Start to reflect upon how to personal brand yourself.Now we’ll talk you through how to define your personal brand.
Follow these 5 Tips to Establish your USP:
1. How to build a personal brand
Start by taking a look at the personal brands of people you admire, they may be friends, colleagues or celebrities. Common to all of the individuals who inspire you will be a strong personal brand. Make a list of each person’s USP. What make their USP clear and distinctive? Is it value driven? Is it linked to detail or quality? Analyse, analyse, analyse and make note of everything you see that can help you to develop your own USP. Think about how define your personal brand.
2. How to personally brand yourself?
Ask others what advice/job/guidance they specifically come to you above all others for. Why do they place their trust in you to meet their needs, rather than ask someone else? What is so compelling about the way you operate? Understanding how others view you and your skills provides valuable USP information about what already makes you distinctive in the eyes of others.
3. What makes your heart sing?
Think back to events in life that have really ignited your passions and inspired you. When have you felt most satisfied and engaged? Look for connections between these moments to reveal an overall pattern that points to your true passions. The passions in your life are a great indicator of what makes you truly authentic and unique.
4. Establish your purpose.
Your purpose should be clear to you and to everyone who comes into contact with you and your personal brand. this is how to improve your personal brand and lift it above the ordinary. Establishing a clear purpose provides focus. Purpose is paramount to your USP. A strong focus is essential. We move towards that which we focus on and your personal brand is no exception. Purpose and focus provide a rudder for your personal brand.
5. Recognise and list your values
Ensure that they are reflected in your USP and personal brand. Values are pivotal to everything we do in life, they underpin the decisions we make and the activities we engage in. The combination of values that you hold speaks volumes about what makes what you do (and how you do it) unique. The Values in Action (VIA) Survey is a great place to start work on establishing the values that you hold dear.
Want to find out more about discovering your uniqueness?