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An MBA is not enough: An Ultimate guide to build your Personal Brand

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Tell me what brand comes to your Mind when you hear words “Fried Chicken”?

Yeah, you guessed it right, It’s KFC.

Did you notice, how immediately KFC popped up in your head when you saw the words, ”Fried Chicken”?

It’s because the entire branding of KFC has been done on these two words. The Branding of KFC has been done so precisely that people now relate these words to the brand itself.

Companies have been doing branding for decades now but now the brand is not limited to companies anymore & has become more personal. This has given rise to a relatively new concept of “ Personal Branding”

What is Personal Branding?

Personal Brand? What is that?

Well, I have heard of brands like iPhone & Amazon but what’s Personal Brand?

I haven’t heard of it. Well, of course, you have.

Wouldn’t you say Shahrukh Khan or Priyanka Chopra is a Personal Brand?

Yes, right?

Generally, when we think of brands, Brands like iPhone, Amazon comes to our mind & It’s difficult to think of a brand as a Person.

Let’s understand what Wikipedia has to say about Brand. According to Wikipedia,

A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or other feature that distinguishes an organization or product from its rivals in the eyes of the customers.

The important thing to note in the above sentence is “distinguishes”. That means for a brand to exist, it must possess a unique identity, a feature that sets it apart from its competitors.

Now let’s look at what Personal brand means according to Wikipedia,

Personal branding is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands.[1] While previous self-help management techniques were about self-improvement, the personal branding concept suggests instead that success comes from self-packaging.

Wikipedia suggests that just as a business needs a solid product as well as marketing to succeed, so does the careers of individuals.

Today, to stand out you need a solid skillset plus marketing of your skills so that people notice you. It has become of a certain importance in recent past because lots of people today have similar credentials and clients and recruiters find it difficult to choose one candidate over another

In India, at different times, different standards have been made to define “You have made it big”.

Let’s just look at them for them in:

  1. During the 60s, when my dad was in his Schooling, only credentials that they required to get a job was a degree to differentiate themselves
  2. In 1980s having an Engineering Degree was great
  3. In 2000s, Engineering plus MBA was the sought out career path for everyone.
  4. Now, even MBA is also not enough,                                                                          Now Personal Brand is the new definition of “having made it big”

Let’s look at some new examples of Personal Brand:

  1. Would you say BB ki Vines starer Bhuvan Bam is a Brand?

Yes, right?

Let’s understand what his brand represents:

I believe, Bhuvan Bam represents a brand which is funny, witty, one man army who makes funny videos and is quite popular among the youth.

2. Let’s looks at Neil Patel:

What does Neil Patel’s brand represent?

I believe his brand represents Digital Marketing Expertise and an authority on the concept of Personal Branding.

Now that you’ve understood what Personal branding is, let’s look at why it’s so important

Why is Personal Branding Important?

1. Trust

When people keep seeing you & engaging with you, it builds trust over time and when you know that there are thousands of people who trust you, It becomes way easier to influence and get attention to your point of view.:

For example, a Few months back, Sunil Chettri(Captain, Indian Football Team) posted a video of himself requesting the audience to come and watch the game. After this, Virat Kohli( Captain, Indian Cricket Team)jumped on board requesting the audience to come & watch the game of Football.

Result: Audience came rushing in to watch their Heroes Play & That’s the Power of Personal Branding.

2. You Can Sell More

According to McKinsey research, strong brands have been appeared to beat their less unmistakable rivals by as much as 73%. In addition to boosting sales, compelling branding can also attract quality ability.

Today, sales is a buyer’s driven rather than the sales rep driven. People research & compare the products before making the decision to buy them.

So if you have taken care of your Personal brand reputation, People will find it easy to choose yours over your competitors.

For example, Imagine you’re in a new country and you’re feeling hungry. You see two options of Food Joints: 1. Mcdonalds 2. Local Food Joint

It’s more than obvious that you would choose Mcdonalds even though another food joint would have been better & healthier. It’s only & only because of the brand reputation of Mcdonalds that you made a decision to go there.

3. Better Positioning in the Market

When you’ve built your brand, than you’ve created our own sense of Identity in the market.It helps you to position yourself in the market in a different manner as compared to your competitors & you can create your blue ocean by your positioning in the market.

Let’s take a quiz of what brand comes to your mind with certain words:

  1. Fast Food – Mcdonalds
  2. Fried Chicken – KFC
  3. Bollywood Romantic Actor – Shahrukh Khan

Agree?

How to build a Personal Brand?

There are multiple ways in which you can build your brand but the important thing is to choose the platform and the medium according to your personality & niche.

1. Build a Blog

Blogging helps your audience to understand your thoughts on topics related to you niche. By providing good amount of value in your particular niche, you can help your audience grow. This will help them in trusting you for taking advices & you can solidify your position as an expert in your niche

2. Write a Book

Writing a book means you are developing a thought leadership in your niche. It will not only help in you developing your brand but also will help you in getting more offers.

Consider a situation in which you want to hire a person for developing your website and you have to make a call between two persons:

One with a 2 year of experience building websites and one with two year of experience building websites and he has written a book on building websites.

Isn’t the answer obvious?

3. Networking is the Key

Networking with right kind of people in your industry helps you get further credibility.

Attending offline events in your nearby locations can also help in improving your brand by building up personal connections with the right people in your niche.

4. Start a YouTube Channel around your Craft

Starting a YouTube channel around your niche is a great way of building your Personal Brand. YouTube lets people know you and understand you in a much better way.

The rich video content is far more authoritative than any other form of content.

If that’s not enough, an extra benefit that comes along with starting a YouTube channel is that you can make some money out of it.

5. Be a Social Media Rock star

Today when the Internet and social media penetration has become so huge, you can’t just avoid not being on the internet.

You have to be on Social Media if you want to grow otherwise you’ll just become obsolete.

Important thing to keep in mind is to choose the platform & medium that suits your personality and niche. Here are some of the most Popular Social Media Channels:

  1. Youtube: Great for people who are good with videos
  2. LinkedIn: Great for building your professional reputation and indulge with like minded corporate professionals. High quality branding
  3. Facebook: Facebook is the grand daddy of all the Social Networking Platform. With more than 1Bn people on the platform, it serves as a huge place to market yourself.
  4. Instagram: Famous among youths specially for girls, so if you want to build your brand around youth, girls or aesthetics, Instagram is your friend.
  5. Twitter: It’s a micro-blogging site which is quite candid and impactful since you’ll see all the major players building their brand on this platform. 
  6. Pinterest: Primarily for images and can tell a lot about you and your brand if used cautiously.

6. Be Yourself  because everyone else is taken

I can’t stress this enough to be yourself while doing all your personal branding because it’s visible when you’re faking it and when you’re not being yourself.

Personal Branding is all about being yourself and providing value to people while being originally you.

If you’re trying to copy someone, then it’s going to be very difficult to build your brand and you’ll just another person speaking about your niche.

7. Secure Speaking Gigs

Speaking gigs will add a whole new dimension to your personality and brand. Here you can share your story with the world in a more profound manner.Your story is going to set you apart from the competition.

Ultimately your brand is your identity & how you portray yourself will immensely define your Success & wealth.

Now what are you waiting for?

Build your story and go, share it with the world:)

 

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