th images menu user export search eye clock list list2 arrow-left untitled twitter facebook googleplus instagram cross photos entrep-logo-svg

The no. 1 secret to build your perfect personal brand

Figuring out what makes you ’you’ is a necessary first step to making your brand realistic and relatable.
By Ryan Erskine |

Personal branding

Some people absolutely hate the idea of personal branding because they think it feels fake or forced. But an effective personal brand should never feel forced by definition.

 

I am going to let you in on an insider secret: Brand building is actually a misnomer. You do not sit down and decide what you want your brand to be. In fact, that is completely the wrong way to go about it. The secret to building the perfect personal brand is this: You do not actually “build” a great personal brand, you “extract” it.

 

It may not be an easy or comfortable process, but figuring out what makes you “you” is a necessary first step to making your brand realistic and relatable.

 

The people who skip this step and jump immediately to packaging themselves are the ones who end up with forced brands that they cannot relate to and ditch soon.

 

Related: The Secret Ingredients to a Successful Branding Strategy

 

It is only once you have extracted your personal brand that you can package it for others in a compelling, memorable, and relatable way.

 

 

Extracting your personal brand

The first step to extracting your brand is being 100% sold on who you are and what you are looking to accomplish in the marketplace.

 

It is like marketing a company’s brand. Would you ever sit down to market a business when you are still unsure what the product is? Of course not. A company must first determine what benefit it offers and how it is different from the competition. In other words, it has to determine its unique value proposition.

 

 

Determining your unique value proposition

What is your unique value proposition?

 

Most people have not thought about this much before. That is good news for you because you are about to put yourself 10 steps ahead of the competition.

 

This process is very much like defining your own personal business plan. You need to first answer three main questions:

 

Who is your audience? Whose attention are you trying to get?

What problem or challenge do you solve for them?

How do you distinguish yourself from the competition?

 

Let us say you are a college graduate looking for your first full-time job in public relations (PR). Great, now it is time to dive a little deeper.

 

The target audience is obvious, right?

 

At least in the short term, you would want to reach the hiring departments at your favorite PR firms. But it is also worth thinking about your audience in the longer term. Will you want to appeal to other PR professionals, editors at publications, or other people looking to break into PR?

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

 

Next, what problem or challenge do you solve for your audience? Well for starters, you are going to solve the HR department’s challenge of finding their next awesome employee.

 

Taking it a step further, let us say you want to be a PR thought leader and act as a guide for others looking to break into the space. In that case, you will want to provide them with all the information they need to break into the industry and succeed.

 

Related: It's Not You, It's Your Story: Why Branding Matters

 

Lastly, what makes you unique? How do you stand out from the crowd?

 

Perhaps it is your incredible depth of experience despite your young age. Or maybe you have a fresh perspective, thanks to your academic background in a completely different field. Perhaps you are so good at throwing parties and organizing events that PR firms cannot afford to pass you up.

 

Packaging it all up

Once you have answered these questions honestly, you can finally move onto packaging your personal brand. This is the exciting part. Your answers will help inform how you will reach your audience, delight them, and keep them coming back for more. You will figure out what kind of personal website makes the most sense and what your call to action should be. You will decide which social media profiles to use and what kind of content strategy you will use.

 

These packaging decisions will definitely feel forced or fake if you have built up a brand without much thought or deep questioning. It is like building up a house of cards that is bound to collapse at the slightest breeze.

 

Related: 7 Guiding Principles for Branding Your Company With Content

 

But an effective personal brand is like a tree, with strong roots and branches that extend naturally from the trunk. And like a tree, your personal brand will grow and evolve over time as your goals change.

 

That is the beauty of extracting your personal brand, rather than building it. By getting to the core of your passions and your unique value proposition, you invest in a brand that is transparent, relatable, and sensible for the long haul. That is an investment in your future worth making.

 

*****

Copyright © 2016 Entrepreneur Media, Inc. All rights reserved.

This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editors.

 

Photo from Thinkstock

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Latest Articles

Why Making Others Feel Important Will Make You Happier and More Successful

Learning to improve your relationships with people will help improve your chances of success

byBrian Tracy | September 22, 2017 00:00:00

Why is Malacañang Censoring Key Data From Cabinet Members’ SALNs?

Information blackened out include officials’ cost of acquiring assets and location of properties

byPauline Macaraeg | September 21, 2017 19:00:00

How Did the Declaration of Martial Law in 1972 Affect the Economy?

A look at the impact of authoritarian rule on infrastructure, debt, GDP and inflation

byPauline Macaraeg | September 21, 2017 18:00:00

Will Megawide’s Proposed Train Project Bring Relief to Commuters Along Flood-Prone España?

Billion-dollar project will connect LRT-1 with MRT-7

byElyssa Christine Lopez | September 21, 2017 12:00:00

The Surprising Second Act for One of YouTube's Biggest Stars

Connor Franta has begun planning for a life after YouTube -- building a business that, one day, he...

byLaurie Sandell | September 21, 2017 09:00:00

The 4 Skills Needed to Make a Great Impression

Check out the research behind the first few seconds of meeting someone and how to make a great and...

byVanessa Van Edwards | September 21, 2017 07:00:00

The iPhone of Drones Is Being Built by This Teenager

With the millions he's raised, his flagship product might become one of the most game-changing...

byJesse Hyde | September 21, 2017 06:00:00

Pinoy Kids Need Not Worry: It's Business as Usual for Toys "R" Us

Local franchise holder assures all 34 standalone branches and 44 toy box outlets are open ahead of...

byElyssa Christine Lopez | September 20, 2017 18:00:00

How Much is the Typical Filipino’s Budget for Buying a House?

Real estate portal Property24 profiles the typical Filipino property buyer

byLorenzo Kyle Subido | September 20, 2017 10:00:00

(Video) Meet the Business Owner Who Caused a Z Movie-Like Stampede for the Php8 Zark’s Burgers

Why thousands of customers risked hurting themselves for a burger sandwich

byEntrepreneur Staff | September 20, 2017 10:00:00

What Has JAZA Got To Do With the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals?

Ayala Corp. chairman recognized as pioneer in crafting business strategy and operations around 17...

byElyssa Christine Lopez | September 20, 2017 09:00:00

The Luxuries People Can't Live Without (Infographic)

A recent study found that more people would give up Spotify for Netflix.

byRose Leadem | September 20, 2017 08:00:00