Personal Branding: What it is and how to achieve your professional goals

In the increasingly digital era, professionals must do Personal Branding to reach and keep up with the world of work. But do you know what it is and how to achieve those much-desired professional goals?

Today, we talk about how to do personal branding and achieve your goals in 4 simple steps.

Are you wondering why personal branding is so important to get to the top of your career goals list? Well, because personal branding means strategically managing your professional image: what others perceive about you will make you choose you instead of someone else. Does it seem little to you?

Personal Branding: What it is and why it works

Assume that, regardless of whether you want to or not, you already own a personal brand. The question is whether this represents who you feel you are.

But before we even get to understand how to do personal branding, let’s try to understand what personal branding is.

When we talk about Personal branding, we refer to that complex of strategies implemented to promote oneself, skills and experiences, one’s career just like a brand. Personal branding is exploited in any marketing industry and is nothing more than a kind of personal marketing.

Doing personal branding is important for current professionals because only in this way can you effectively promote your brand and, therefore, your work and achieve your goals!

Any action you take affects your image in one way or another: meetings, CVs, social profiles, email communications, online/offline networking actions are all tools through which you validate or modify your personal brand.

Start by searching for your name on Google. Are you happy with the search results? Do these convey the image (professional/personal) of you that you would like to convey?

If the answer you gave yourself is no, all you have to do is “do personal branding.” Here are the 4 steps to do it.

The 4 steps to follow

Define your goals

Identifying the main objective of your personal marketing actions will allow you to develop a strategy that is truly in line with what you want to achieve.

Those to be achieved can be:

  • Personal goals: getting a promotion, expanding the business, finding a new job, etc.
  • Business objectives: improve the service, meet the expectations of investors or employees.

In this first step, you have to set up a strategy to identify or define your strengths, the ones that make you unique and different from your competitors, and effectively communicate 4 fundamental things:

  • what can you do
  • how can you do it
  • what benefits it brings
  • why others should choose you.

Identify the target you are targeting

Before carrying out any personal branding action, you need to clarify two important things to yourself:

  • What is the market you are targeting? So, you have to ask yourself who you want to reach, which market slice you want to follow you and know you as one of the best in the industry.
  • The second question to ask is always to try to understand what is important to them and the needs you want to give a concrete answer to.

The ultimate goal of any personal branding operation is to impress a perfect self-image in the minds of individuals and organizations!

Understand your personal brand

Promoting your professional image will not be possible if you do not first have a clear idea of who you are, your technical skills, personal skills, goals, and the impact you want to have on the outside world.

Reflect on yourself and the characteristics of an influencer/colleague you are inspired by. Try to identify the differences between you and the areas you need to work on to achieve your goals.

Set up an effective self-marketing plan

To make an excellent personal branding, start from the overall vision and the goal you want to achieve and then choose which channels to focus on to achieve it.

LinkedIn, CV, events, blogging are all suitable tools to support your personal branding activities. It is important to understand who these are aimed at and how important they are for your specific goals.

This, for example, is the self-marketing plan of an IT Project Manager :

It is an entirely indicative form; tools and priorities change from profile to profile.

As pointed out by this interesting Forbes article:

The concept of personal branding encompasses the ability to build your image and position yourself as a unique “product,” both within your current company and in the external job market. Take control of your brand and make sure customers, colleagues, or potential employers remember who you are and what you can do for them.

We need to start thinking of ourselves as brands. Let’s ask ourselves what we want to represent for our leads; once we have established, we will strengthen our brand and our communication strategy on social media. It’s important to understand that authenticity is key in the digital age, and custom branding can produce huge ROI whether you’re working with an organization or as a freelancer.

However, relevant results cannot be achieved except by applying a precise tactic aimed at medium-long term success. Personal branding activities cannot be improvised but should instead be planned as a gradual implementation strategy over time.

And it is for this reason that you will always have to consider the following.

Here’s what your leads want

Whether they are private customers or companies, find ways to increase the value for your leads by developing content in line with their needs.

As content marketing claims, valuable content is what helps readers solve their business problems. Carry out a preliminary analysis on the tastes and needs of your readers; once you have identified what these potential leads want to receive from your brand, you can be much more effective in positioning yourself on the market.

Achieve your goals by communicating daily

It is very important to activate specific daily communication activities concerning the area to which our target belongs. Share on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, etc., to communicate and make known the solutions you can offer.

Social media have changed the way we communicate with others and engage; make sharing/interaction activities daily rather than sporadic. Share, comment, and engage in discussions relevant to your field of expertise while never losing sight of the needs of your audience.

Become a storyteller

A strong brand depends on a great story of itself. In other words, what’s your story? To be successful, you have to lay bare your origins to create participation.

Tell who you are, where you come from, what your interests are, what you want to accomplish. In short, storytelling yourself is an excellent personal branding tool because the reader can understand who is behind your name and decide that they are looking for you.

Through LinkedIn or other social channels, personal branding online means planning and implementing a strategy capable of communicating all your strengths.

The watchword is to start communicating effectively and tell what you can do, how, and with what benefits. Only in this way can you explain why others should choose you. Otherwise, you will be perceived only as professionals to choose from among many others.

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