Ever Wondered what your Brand Image is?
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Have you ever found yourself mimicking the person you admire? Did that make you question whether you are just copying the person? I have been there, I drew inspiration (still do) from people I like but also question whether it was who I am. But here is the thing, there is a fine line between pulling inspiration from other people and being an imposter. Your inspiration has gone through your filter, projected with your own little twist on it.
Most people associate branding with businesses; however, personal branding is as important as business branding. What you put out on the internet is very hard to completely erase. That is why people say the internet never forgets.
Internet branding is a brand management technique that helps you position yourself via media as a brand in the marketplace. So the million-dollar question is, what brand do you want to put out? Will you take charge of your narrative or let others define your brand?
As you draw inspirations, here are 5 steps to stand out as a brand;
1. Assess your skills and competencies
Note down the projects you have had others help you with repeatedly and projects you can spend hours on without feeling overwhelmed or tired? This is how you discover your niche and close in on which career you want to break into. Get your family members, friends, and even co-workers to describe you. The more different aspects of your personality you become aware of, the more you get clarity on how to brand yourself.
2. Assess your strengths and weaknesses
Forecasting where you want to be in five or 10 years—and the attributes you want to be known for—can help you better determine what steps you need to take in order to get there. As you capitalize on your strengths, work on your weaknesses, as it becomes a determining quality in your unique value proposition. Understanding your skills can be an indicator of your strengths. Your weaknesses also form a foundation for opportunities you can work on.
3. Are you a creator, curator, or connector?
Determining between these 3 will help you find a framework for the day-to-day aspects of establishing your brand. You are a creator if you primarily create original content that meets the needs of your audience.
You’re a curator if the way you engage with your audience is primarily through sharing information, resources, and content with them that meets their needs. Simply put, collecting and curating information that is consistent with your message and adds value to your audience. A good example is podcasts. Now that Spotify is available in Kenya, you can get access to a range of podcasts.
You’re a connector if the way you add value to your audience is by bridging the gap between their needs and the person who can fulfill them. Connectors are more concerned with one-on-one relationships and figuring out how to solve an individual’s problem by connecting them to the right resource. A good example would be Jijali, who bridges the gap of unemployment by upskilling youths. So how do they do it? They provide unlimited mock interview sessions with mentors to guide trainees on interview preparation/performance, customizing CVs and developing a personal value proposition.
Which one of these sounds most like you? You might even feel like you’re a mix of all of these, which is great too. Use these three identities to understand how your brand will affect your audience.
4. Keep up with trends related to your desired industry.
As COVID hit, many people have been working from home which means companies and individuals will look for ways to adapt to the changes. Figure out which trends work for you and which platform brings in more engagement for you. Keeping a consistent flow on the content you share will give your audience something to rely on, ultimately keeping you top of their minds. Bear in mind that your digital body language also contributes to how people perceive you.
P.S Keep your brand consistent on all your platforms. Staying consistent across platforms further establishes your brand and gives you more content to share because you can repurpose it.
5. Reinvent your narrative
A strong narrative ties together the past, present, and future of your brand, it can be the bridge between industry and career changes. Now more than ever, people are reinventing themselves, changing their careers, or even breaking into new industries which is more of a reason for you to have a strong, ever-evolving personal brand.
Written by: Grace Mwarania
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