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When you think of companies like Tesla, Virgin and Microsoft, what’s the first thing that springs to mind? I’ll give you a hint — it’s probably not going to be their products. More often than not, it’s their founders; Elon Musk, Richard Branson and Bill Gates — unless of course, you’ve been living under a rock…
Despite being leaders in their respective industries, what these three companies have in common is that their founders are well-known public figures, with powerful personal brands. If any of them were to walk into any workplace in the world and ask for a job, there is no doubt that they’d all be hired within an instant, regardless if they knew a thing about the current business.
Now I’m in no way suggesting that you can have a personal brand without a business. Having a legitimate business is essential to make it in the cut-throat business environment of 2021. However, leveraging the power of human connection and interaction, a memorable personal brand can truly amplify your business.
In essence, personal brands are leaders in their respective fields, who are looked up to and admired. That being said, it’s never too early to begin building your personal brand. If you’re new to the world of personal branding, here are three important things to consider before going all in.
Value, value, value
When it comes to building a personal brand, it not only needs to be centered around you, but also how you can deliver value to people through your work. It’s all well and good to make content that is specific to the pain points of your audience, but where you really build trust with people is through giving them value, expecting nothing in return. As Gary Vee says: jab, jab, jab, right hook. In layman’s terms, value, value, value, then go for the sale
Be transparent and authentic
One thing that is lacking on social media is the amount of transparency and authenticity. It doesn’t take long to see people flexing their cars, lifestyle and revenue numbers, when half the time they’re rented, holidays and not profit. True leaders use their platforms to spread their message in a transparent and authentic manner. In a recent Newsweek article, Karolina Hobson stated: “The greatest leaders in my life have always led with full disclosure of their wins and losses and have never been afraid to show it all. I think being real and authentic is the greatest form of leadership.” I couldn’t agree more.
As the saying goes, clarity is power. When it comes to your personal brand, you need to have complete clarity. This includes both your niche, messaging and audience. If you’re talking about kittens in front of a bunch of software geeks, it’s likely your message will be falling on deaf ears. Before investing heavily into your personal brand, get clear on exactly what you’re trying to do, and you’ll find your feet and audience a lot faster.
If I was being blunt about this, I’d say don’t be boring. The truth is, there are millions of people out there trying to get the same message across as you. If you’re not entertaining people, chances are they won’t hang around for long. Come up with your own unique and entertaining way to influence, engage and inspire your audience.
If you can nail these four elements, you’re well on your way to building a memorable personal brand and staying relevant in 2022 and beyond.