Exceptional — 20 Top Personal Branding Strategies for 2020
T he Hard Truth — If You Do Not Become A BRAND Then You Become A Commodity! Regardless of age, title or gender, you must be the CEO of your own and your top priority is to be head marketer for the brand called YOU.
Self-branding is a very important strategy that you must consistently work towards creating a brand for yourself in the personal and professional worlds. It entails your goals, accomplishments, career growth, current endeavours, success stories, and any form of credibility that would contribute to future initiatives as a result.
The Internet has become the go-to source for information about everything and one’s online reputation outweighs nearly every other information source. Proactively, revamping your online presence, marketing your brand, countering negative views of your brand, and maintaining consistent communication are the mantras of 2020 & beyond.
Everybody generates a brand for themselves, but what differentiates is the focused effort from the accidental one that is controlling the narrative and stressing on positive traits by amplifying the message across the horizon. Here are some examples of famous people like Oprah Winfrey who built incredible personal brands through consistency, hard work and a long term focus.
20 Self-Branding Strategies for 2020
If you do not want your online brand to take on a life of its own and control the narrative, here are my top 20 Self-Branding Strategies for 2020.
1. Know Thyself First
Most people don’t know who they are — and what they want to be. There are so many who struggle with personal branding because they don’t understand themselves and their identity.
If you are ambiguous about your aspirations in life, there is no way you can define yourself and convey that to others. Thus, before trying to establish yourself, find a clear definition of yourself, your strengths, the keywords that define you, your vision & mission in life — Have a clear blueprint.
2. Test Yourself
After strategizing all your strengths or traits, test your skills with your circle online, offline and arrive at a credibility score. Then start working on improving your score over time.
3. Define your Target Audience
Define and understand your target audience which will help you choose the right medium.
4. Establish Presence
In today’s social media world, your online presence contributes 100% to your online reputation. You will be googled by friends, colleagues or potential customers, so make sure your online content talks about the real authentic YOU.
Remember this quote by Chris Anderson, Your brand isn’t what you say it is, it’s what Google says it is.
5. Upgrade your Social Media Approach
Social Media is no longer about posting photos of delicious food and fancy vacations; it has a deeper objective to project your personal brand and true skills across multiple platforms. And today Vlogging is one of the noticeable trends — speaking out would give you more credits than a brief ‘about me’ section.
6. Define your Expertise
Start by simply outlining your experience and brand on paper and use it as a roadmap to reflect it in the digital world! This will help you reflect on your core abilities, and how well you can steer them in your favor to expose yourself to the world.
Even if you don’t have any experience, you can start by knowing exactly what you want to do and begin educating yourself accordingly. Please remember to share with the world your progress; you will be amazed at how many people are going to be interested in what you share.
“Your personal brand is your professional reputation. Be Authentic, Be Bold, Be Creative, Be Unique, Be YOU. Build a brand that is different, well recognized that shows an innovative & competitive advantage. “
- Asokan Ashok, Chief Executive Officer, UnfoldLabs Inc
7. Share Knowledge
One of the most important aspects is to share knowledge with your network as much as you can and help everyone benefit from your unique expertise and experiences. Make sure the content you share is important and useful to your target audience.
8. Social Media is Two Way
Don’t build a one-way channel that broadcasts information only, one needs to have an engaging community, where you reach out to others in your field, and engage with their content in a meaningful way. You can do this through simple steps by liking or commenting on their posts that not only attracts more eyeballs but also gets recognized as an active person who provides value.
It is important to keep your social and other digital media profiles updated and synced up across platforms. Stay consistent on your messaging, optimize all your profiles and list out your original information.
Being consistent is more important than being brilliant. Consistency is not about posting on social media every day. It’s about unifying the brand look and messaging. It’s a myth that posts on different platforms must be different. However, the more consistent you are the easier it is to grow your following.
11. Get feedback from those who know you best — at work, at home, anywhere
The true measure of your brand is the reputation others hold have for you. Notice how they introduce you to others. Ask them what your top attributes and core strengths are. If they can easily tell you, then you’ve succeeded in branding yourself. Reputation management is key to your personal branding.
12. Be Social
Personal brands can’t be built without human interaction. If you have just begun to self-brand, then you should begin the day by responding to your followers. Take the time each day to interact. It can be just a tag or a share, yet that action requires a response.
Though networking is about marketing yourself, it’s also about giving others the chance to market themselves to you. Make sure that your networking efforts are beneficial to both you and the people you are networking. Focus more on giving and less on getting.
“Your personal brand is much more than how the outside world sees you. Your brand is an expression of your core values so maintaining alignment positions you as trustworthy and genuine. “
- Jeff Klaumann, Chief Operating Officer, Collective 54
14. Start Guest Blogging
Start small before you invest time/money in building your own blog/website. It helps you build credibility and confidence. Connect with local bloggers looking for contributions. If successful, approach bigger publications for guest posts.
15. Get Attention
Message anyone who has a good set of followers that are closer to your branding thoughts and add value to their conversations. Connect, message, add value, and in turn, you will get awareness/attention to your brand.
16. Step out of the spotlight
Though it sounds like a counter intuitive approach, it works. There is a downside to too much attention. It’s okay to step out of the spotlight every now and then to build yourself back up.
17. Leverage Question-Answer Platforms
Go live on as many question-answer platforms like Quora as possible. Start relevant sessions on the topics that you understand well and provide your ‘2 cents’ wherever possible. You would also want to focus on the pain points of your community. Relying on larger networks will also result in additional exposure. Try and be specific to the interactions than giving out vague or general information. Specificity on a well-guided topic of discussion provides pearls of wisdom for both, you and your audience. Engaging your audience is key.
18. Start a Podcast
Podcasting is another trend that is catching up fast. The good news is that there are plenty of verticals that don’t offer valuable podcasts yet. Start one and record a few shows upfront. Various mobile apps are available which will help you edit easily and cross-publish on multiple podcasting platforms
19. Write on Contradictory Topics
Some magazines and blogs love featuring contradictory opinions. Try to provide a unique perspective on topics that are plain straightforward. This will result in some link juice and traffic to your sources.
20. Always give something back to your Profession and Community
When you give back to others, not only will you gain the personal satisfaction that comes from doing it, but you’ll build your brand in ways that money can’t buy. People will remember the good you have done which will be a benefit to your personal brand.
“The goal in all relationships, business or personal, is the generation of real value for all parties. Whether you give or receive, the best relationships and most fulfilling interactions are fostered when all parties selflessly contribute to the greater good of the other party. “
- Pete DeNagy, Founder & Board of Director, Internet of Things America
Let your image consume people’s memories! Remember that Self-branding should be an ongoing process and your reputation will require management over time. This will become more imperative in the coming years, as we progress deeper into the age of technology.
Here are my ‘2 more cents’ for your self-branding strategy
- Be Authentic & Consistent about your Attributes & Qualities. Do not try to cover up your flaws, be open and be human.
- Do not go for shady overnight fixes.
- Put Loyalty to Yourself First.
- Keep checking on the Value of your Brand.
- Keep checking on what Motivates you regularly and What’s your personal definition of success? Write yourself a personal statement.
- Doing things is as important as how you do it.
I think we are officially beyond the days where personal and corporate profiles are kept separate. One needs to decide fast who you are and work constantly for it. I believe that if we nurture relationships, we can become a positive voice on the topics we are passionate about. And we earn the power to influence.
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This post was written by Asokan Ashok, the CEO of UnfoldLabs. Ashok is an expert in driving customer insights into thriving businesses and commercializing products for scale. As a leading strategist in the technology industry, he is great at recommending strategies to address technology & market trends. Highly analytical and an industry visionary, Ashok is a sought after global high-tech industry thought leader and trusted strategic advisor by companies.
Entrepreneur. Inventor. Product Ideation. Strategist. Visionary. Evangelist. Architect.