Man uses iPad at his small business to develop his brand.
Maintaining a consistent personal brand will help you build name recognition with your followers and find new ones. — Getty Images / FG Trade

Building a strong personal brand will allow you to stand out from the competition, position yourself as an expert and make an impression on your customers and followers. If you’re new to building a personal brand, here are the six foundational elements to focus on.

[Read More: 10 Small Companies With Strong Brand Identities]

Authenticity

Authenticity is one of the most critical elements of branding, but it’s also one of the most difficult. That’s because, in the beginning, many aspects of sales and marketing can feel forced or contrived.

Being authentic simply means that you know who you are, what you value and who you’re looking to help. It’s what gives your brand and your business substance and makes you relatable to other people.

To ensure that you’re showing up authentically, take the time to define your goals and purpose. Focus on only sharing the things that you truly care about and always follow through on your promises.

Point of view

Part of developing a successful personal brand is having a point of view that helps you stand out. There are a lot of people creating content and trying to be heard, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of sounding just like everyone else.

The best way to amplify your message and set yourself apart is by having a unique point of view. Developing a point of view allows you to get in front of the right audience and make more of an impact.

Part of developing a unique point of view is being unapologetic about your opinions. When you develop a strong point of view that draws some people in, it will inevitably alienate others. Learn how to tune out the critics and stay focused on your core message.

Show up consistently

If there is one thing all successful brands have in common, it’s consistency. Maintaining a consistent personal brand will help you begin to build name recognition with your followers and avoid confusion.

You can help maintain a consistent image online by using the same profile picture and cover photo across all of your social media channels. You should also have a logo that’s designed specifically for your brand. It can also help to always dress in a certain style of clothing that your followers will easily identify.

However, images and logos are not enough; you also need to show up for your followers consistently. Showing up consistently means that you regularly use certain social media channels and your followers know when they’ll receive new content from you.

Don't forget that your personal brand is not just about you, it's about the connections you build online with others.

Storytelling

Storytelling has become somewhat of a buzzword, but it’s an important aspect of building a personal brand. That’s because people don’t buy from businesses; they buy from people they know, like and trust.

When you utilize storytelling in your marketing, it helps you build an emotional connection with your audience. Telling a story that resonates with your followers helps them understand who you are, and why you’re so passionate about your message.

Expertise

Being authentic and having a strong point of view may draw your followers to you, but it’s your expertise that will make them stick around. That’s why it’s a good idea to pick a specific niche and build your expertise in that area.

From there, you can share your expertise with your followers through your content. For instance, you can position yourself as an expert by starting a blog or podcast. You can also participate in Facebook groups or share your content on LinkedIn.

Your network

And finally, don’t forget that your personal brand is about more than just you. It’s also about the connections you build with other people. That’s why it’s a common point that your network determines your net worth.

The key to building a strong network is to focus on building relationships with people who can make a difference in your career. Always try to create win/win situations, and focus on giving more than you receive.

One of the best ways to connect with like-minded people is to start your own networking group. You can do this by setting up a LinkedIn group or scheduling in-person networking meetings. By leading your own group, you automatically set yourself up as a person of authority.

[Read More: How to Create a Successful Branding Strategy]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published June 12, 2020