How To Create A Strong and Memorable Personal Brand
I recently wrote an article for Bosstrack based out of Miami talking about why it’s important to pay attention to your personal brand, whether you are an internal employee for someone else or an entrepreneur with a business brand they focus on most.
Now let’s address how you can shape and control the narrative of your personal brand.
First off, let me be clear that personal branding does NOT require you to be a 100% transparent and open book about your life. Just because we can share everything on social media, does not mean we should or need to do so.
Step 1: Determine your content pillars
We all know that when it comes to networking, it’s more effective when you can introduce someone with a fun fact (aka the “sticky message” for the marketing folks reading this). What do you want YOUR fact(s) to be?
Now take it a step further and think about four to five things (no more) that you want to be known for. It can be causes, hobbies, values, etc.
Keep these buckets on the larger side so you have options for the type of content that you are able to share within them.
My biggest hobby (as anyone who’s connected to my personal social media pages knows) is running. That is one pillar.
Then a cause I care a lot about is heart health. That’s another pillar. Each of these is wide enough to give me a variety of ways I can talk about it publicly, but not so wide that people wonder what the heck I stand for.
Think about your Instagram page. The first 5 Stories Highlights are your content pillars. Then as yourself these questions:
- Are they easy to remember?
- Are they consistent or a hodgepodge of random photos/videos?
- Do they really reflect what you want them to?
- If someone ONLY remembered you for one or two of those things, would you be happy with that?
If anything about them is currently off from the image you want to have, then it’s time to think about what you DO want to be remembered for and lock it in.
Step 2: Only share content related to your pillars.
Once you’ve determined the pillars, now you must stick to them like gum on a shoe. Whatever you share on your profile page, no matter the platform, must fit within one of those pillars.
Here’s what that could look like:
Running is one of my pillars. Within that hobby I can share a variety of content such as:
- Photos from races
- Thoughts on my training plans
- Scenes I see while out on a run
- The people I run with
- How running affect the rest of my life
- Lessons learned while running
- Why it’s fun/hard/important to me
- Food, supplements & hydration tactics I use to fuel runs
No matter how I am sharing this content (via social media, a blog, or simply side conversations at a networking event), I am sticking within my pillar of running and yet still giving variety from only showing a pic of me actually in the process of running.
Let’s say you want to be known as someone who is creative. Well, that’s a BIG pillar and therefore a lot of ways to showcase it, which could be great or terrible depending on how you approach decision-making.
Some ideas of how you can demonstrate creativity through your personal content marketing:
- Write an article or short story, publish it and share it on your social media
- Take pics/video of things/people you see in life that inspire you
- Use video/blogs to talk about how you find your inspiration
- Show what inspires you
- Share your creative pursuits, the beginning, in-progress and final product shots
Whether you’re creative with visuals or creative with words, the “creative person” pillar can come through in a variety of ways.
The 2 Keys to Personal Branding
Doing personal branding well though is really quite simple:
- Know what you want to stand for
- Share those things with the world (over and over and over and over – in many different ways)
The more you demonstrate what you want to be known for through sharing content as explained here the stickier that message becomes in the minds of others. They soon will start to associate you with only those things YOU choose to share with them and their minds have no more room to come up with other things on their own.
That’s how you control your personal brand message.