"The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. "
- Lao Tzu
Branding can be referred to as the marketing and advertising of an individual, business or an organization for recognition and promotion. It can be a term, a logo or any feature that recognizes an individual’s goods or services distinct from others in the competition. The practice of branding is said to have begun in ancient Egypt wherein one person’s cattle was differentiated from the others by burning a unique symbol into the animal’s skin to prevent any theft. The term has been extended so as to promote the strategic values of a business and make the customer buy the product or service.
Self-branding, or personal branding, is a form of marketing that an individual creates to develop and maintain a reputation of his or her values and overall impression of the brand. In the book Be Your Own Brand, first published in 1999, marketers David McNally and Karl Speak wrote: “Your brand is a perception or emotion, maintained by somebody other than you, that describes the total experience of having a relationship with you.”
SO WHY IS SELF-BRANDING IMPORTANT? :-
1) Gets You Recognition
2) Generates New Consumers
3) Generates Trust in the Market
4) Increases Business Value
TIPS FOR SELF-BRANDING :-
1) Be confident and focused on your goal
Keeping your message focused for your target audience will make it that much easier to both create content around your personal brand and have others define you.
2) Be authentic and genuine
Millennial influencer and head of marketing at Popular Demand, Monica Lin, says “People can see right through a disingenuous act.” Due to transparency and awareness.
people can see through a fake act and call you a fraudster for it. This won’t happen if you make sure your brand is authentic and gives out a genuine message to the people.
3) Focus on a niche
Having a narrow focus makes it easier to get recognized if you consistently create content around one topic and spread awareness about it.
4) Identifying advertising media (like websites, social media, etc)
The advertising of a brand depends on the type of consumer a business is targeting. For example, a home baker should use social media as much as possible. On the other hand, a well established restaurant can target a city wide customer spectrum and advertise through social media as well as billboards, website ads, etc.
5) Let the brand tell a story
People trust in a business or organization when they feel a personal connection. For example, real estate agents who use their own image and brand in their work find that they make better personal connections with clients. No one wants to hear you shout about your brand into the social media void, so create a story around your brand that your audience can engage with. The use of self-branding is key to making and retaining deep connections with customers.
6) Create a positive impact by making valuable content
After developing your brand, you have left some impact on people and some reputation that has been created. Keeping a positive attitude and helping others grow by building a community is going to have a positive effect on your brand.
7) Be ready to fail
Last but not the least, failure is unavoidable and it comes in all forms even if you don’t want it. It is tough but it makes you aware of the possibilities of what can go wrong. It’s rightly said, “Failure is the best teacher”.