By Sajith Ansar
Creating a strong personal brand for yourself not only makes you a natural leader, but it also opens doors to opportunities you never knew existed
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said, “We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.”
Once you have taken the decision to build your personal brand, you have taken steps to understand you are a brand, realised its importance and spent time and effort across platforms. You have built yourself a reputation and you are known for something specific- “He’s an expert salesman” or “She’s a fantastic speaker”. You have probably got social media accounts across platforms and have grown it organically.
How do you now take the momentum to the next level and switch gears letting the world know who you are and what you do? The question that millions of individuals ponder is how to increase the reach of your voice and how to effectively use your personal brand. Here are five simple approaches that can get you to amplify your voice and brand.
Focus your energy. Like every aspect of time management, there is a distinct Return On Effort (ROE). Time is not infinite, and the focus should be on mediums that give you the best-amplified result towards a clear objective. Random posts without a thread or logic in as many mediums is a sure fire way to get burnt out in the effort.
List clearly through trial and error which mediums have worked and which kind of articles, lectures, posts and ideas have had maximum interest and traction. Over time, focus on these instead of becoming an expert on everything. Find articles that your readers have enjoyed and post them again, share them to publications, post them across mediums. Use lectures or talks that have made a high impact or inspired people and find a new audience for the same.
It is never just online. It is important to realise that personal branding is never just an online process. It’s not what you share in the digital world; it is what you portray in meetings, in peer groups and new networks. List keywords indicating what you want to be known for and find ways to manifest this.
For example, if you are writing about innovation, you have to manifest this in everything you do. What you wear, the events you attend, the books you read and the people you seek out for inspiration.
Make a content bucket. To supercharge your personal brand and take it to the next level, its more practical to make a clear plan for a few months and plan titles and subjects you will write about. Based on the keywords and DNA you have chosen, it makes sense to clarify in advance what articles you will write, the causes you will champion. Making a calendar also makes you commit to continuity and not be sporadic in your efforts at building your personal brand.
Share failures, too. Across every interaction, it's often necessary to get off a high horse and spill your heart. Share your failures, what you learnt from them and how you moved on. Your listeners and readers are seeking inspiration and ideas, and they are best illustrated when you can let them in on your weaknesses and when they are part of that journey. Sharing these as stories connects more effectively than a lecture. Go ahead and open up, remember that the more you inspire, the greater your brand.
Create original content. The most important and simplest rule in personal branding is to be original and not imitate. If you aren't creating content that unique and a personality that stands apart, you are a: me too. Make sure you aren't copying or modifying what's already out there, ensure you have a unique voice and tone and share what's heartfelt and completely you!
Sajith Ansar is the CEO of Idea Spice, a branding company that helps home-grown brands compete with multinationals. Having worked with over 1,000 companies around the world, Idea Spice provides creative solutions for everything from positioning, to identity, to digital communication design, social marketing and programming.