Love or hate the Kardashians, they are the epitome of effective personal branding. The entire family has risen to household name status and constantly dominates the headlines worldwide. It’s hard to believe that they weren’t always famous, but it’s true. So, how did they do it?

Personal branding.

Here’s everything you need to know about building your personal brand and establishing yourself as an authority in your field.

What is personal branding?

Personal branding is the crafting and maintenance of your own distinct image to a particular audience. It is not a false persona that one develops to further their own advancement. Personal branding allows you to use your own strengths and skills as a propellor to market yourself in a specific role.

Your distinct brand should be profitable for you. That means you should be able to take advantage of the numerous benefits that effective personal branding offers. For example, in your job search, your personal brand can set you apart from other candidates and improve your chances of getting the job.

It doesn’t stop there. Effective branding will help you to build credibility. Your audience will come to trust you on a variety of topics in your field, they’ll ask your advice and await your commentary. Credibility is invaluable.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that branding is only useful for major businesses or famous people. The truth is that personal branding can be used by anyone to promote and distinguish themselves from their competition.

The tools that are necessary for effective personal branding are available to anyone with a smartphone or access to the internet, which as of 2019, tops 4 billion people.

How to Create an Effective Personal Brand

You don’t need to be a billionaire or a marketing professional to create an effective personal brand. If you want to get started on crafting an effective personal brand that will distinguish you as a prominent figure in your field, here are the first steps you will need to take.

Find Your Niche

Do you know what you want to be known for?

Is it something that will make you stand out in a crowd?

What do you do and how do you do it better/differently than everyone else?

These are the questions that you’ll need to ask yourself when you are trying to find your niche. The niche that you choose will be the basis for the personal brand that you create. It should play to your strengths, skills, and interests. For example, if you are great at video games and want to be known for it, you might choose the gaming niche. It’s that simple.

Figure out what you want to be known for and then stand out.

Here’s what you need to remember. Your personal brand needs to be unique. There are going to be tons of people who are trying to do the exact same thing that you are, you need to have a signature something that makes your story or brand unique. Pick wisely, as this will be something that will follow you throughout your career.

It should go without saying, but your personal brand should also be credible. Do not bill yourself as an NBA fan, if you’ve never seen a game. You need to talk the talk and walk the walk. If you would like to break into a competitive niche, then you’re going to need to actually have expertise in that field. It’s the best way to successfully establish your credibility.

Find Your Audience

It’s rare that your audience will find you, especially if you are just starting out. You’re going to  have to roll up your sleeves and put in the work needed to build up your audience. You should start by:

  • Joining groups on social media related to your niche.
  • Research those within your niche who are prominent figures.
  • Follow a ton of people.

Your audience is going to do a bulk of marketing work for you. Their likes, comments, and shares will expand the scope of your reach exponentially. Once you target your audience you can move into figuring out how to become an authority within your niche.

Implement Your Strategy

Sometimes personal branding is accidental, for example, Steve Jobs and his distinct turtleneck sweaters. The man is synonymous with Apple and all of its success, but also for rocking a classic dad sweater and jeans. Without any real effort, the “Steve Jobs look” has become an iconic signature of the man himself.

Unfortunately, that’s not likely to happen to you. Personal branding should be deliberate, that’s where a good strategy comes in. Using tools like social media and the internet is one of the best methods to implement your personal branding strategy. Every marketer worth his salt knows Bill Gates’ famous quote “Content is king.”

Your content will help to reinforce your brand. You should be consistently putting out content that your audience can engage with. It will establish you as an expert in your field and show them that you care about what you do.

Maintain Your Personal Brand

Once you get started, don’t stop. Everything that you’ve done to successfully create an effective personal brand should continue once established.

However, you shouldn’t understand maintenance as meaning that you should continue doing the same exact things that you’ve been doing. You’ll need to track some kind of metric, such as social media engagement or SEO analytics, to determine whether or not you need to make a change.

If you see your engagement dip after posting the same old kind of content then don’t be afraid to switch it up. There are so many different forms of media at your disposal, don’t limit yourself to only one. That being said, there’s no guarantee that you will see success even if you do make a change.

You might need to try many different things before you find the thing that works for you. Anticipate the downs and relish in your successes. It’s all about balance and making sure you put in the work that’s necessary to maintain your personal brand.

Final Thoughts

Personal branding isn’t for everyone. You may not have the time or be willing to put in the effort that it takes to craft and maintain an effective personal brand. However, if you are in the very fortunate group that has the opportunity to shape how they are viewed within their niche, utilize the power for good. Whatever you do, personal branding should work to make a positive impact on your field and shape your legacy long after you’re gone.