Having a great personal brand is a super asset for anyone in business. Entrepreneurs, consultants, and professionals all want to be recognized for their knowledge and expertise. Network and recognition in a particular industry can open privileged opportunities, makes it easier to win new business deals, and puts one in a favorable position to charge higher fees.
Nowadays, building a personal brand is the main goal of most business professionals – especially for those who work independently as freelancers, consultants, and contractors in the B2B sector.
In fact, personal brand building has become synonymous with various self-promotional activities such as advertising, gaining PR mentions, participating in featured interviews, having a YouTube channel, or just doing good old content on a blog.
Despite the tools are available for everyone, some fundamental qualities differentiate lazy personal brands from good ones. Relevance, substance, presentation, and consistency are among the most important ones. In this article, we will see what are the 8 essential tools and skills that are required to manage a successful personal brand.
- Self-evaluation skills
- Competitor analysis skills
- Brand positioning skills
- Basic photography and videography skills
- Analytical skills
- Writing skills
- Marketing communication skills
- Periodic brand audits
Before getting starting on your personal brand-building journey, you need to have a fairly good idea of yourself. A personal brand is a polished, clean image of your personality, emphasizing skills, qualities, and characteristics that are seen to be valuable by your target audience.
Whatever your qualities might be, and regardless of what your potential customers expect from a personality like you, make sure to stay true to yourself and remain authentic. Inauthentic personal brands look fake from a mile, and you will have serious difficulties keeping your desired image up.
Competitor analysis skills
Like it or not, when entering the marketplace, you will be competing with other online personalities for the authority status in the eyes of your target audiences.
Before getting out to the market, analyze your future competitors carefully. See what works for them, learn from their mistakes, and plan how you will beat them in their own game.
If you are serious about your personal branding success, it is a great idea to invest in auditing the personal brands of your competitors. Such an audit will reveal what people like and dislike about their personality, looks, values, content – and a lot more. These insights are extremely valuable to plan your market entry and to plan how to get better by knowing their strengths and weaknesses.
Brand positioning skills
A number of people competing for the attention of the same people sound stuffy, right? Positioning your brand different from other experts will help you to separate yourself from that competition and attract people who genuinely like your unique qualities.
Identify a 2-3 core differentiators that will set you apart from the rest.
This can be your style, tone of voice, work philosophy, and a lot more.
Showing up as an easy-going professional among a bunch of corporate dinosaurs will feel refreshing to your audience. If everyone talks about how to do Facebook Ads, then you should talk about how to do something else. If there are too many generic freelance social media managers on the market, then specialize in a certain market or niche and talk only about that.
Crafting your personal brand statement and positioning will require insights that you can get from auditing your competitors. Understanding what people like and dislike about them will give you clear indications regarding how to be better than them.
Photo and videography skills
The first thing people will see from your personal brand is your photo or a video. You can’t save on this one – professional production quality is a must.
Forget photos and videos taken on a phone. Unless you are Tai Lopez or another well-known fat cat, your audience will not welcome poor-quality photos and videos.
For the first few sets of photos, using a professional photographer is highly recommended. Make sure that your profile photos, social posts, and videos are in line with your personal branding guidelines, clearly communicating all the values and unique differentiators that your strategy specifies.
If you plan to post photos and videos frequently, it is a great idea to invest in a professional camera, a few lens, a tripod, and soft lights – so you will be able to do your own photoshoots. This will save you significant time and money, as well as guarantee total artistic freedom to bring your ideas to reality.
A basic photography course and video editing course will be enough to get you started.
There are many amazing free tools that you can use out of the box, such as iMovie for video editing, or Snapseed from Google for photo retouching.
Analytical thinking (synonym: logical thinking) is about breaking down problems logically, into small bites, and without emotions. People with strong analytical skills will find a well-thought-out solution in any situation, based on information and facts.
Analytical skills can be used to make informed decisions, at home and at work. This kind of problem-solving will become your secret sauce for a more successful life!
It is helpful to have a natural talent for analytical-logical thinking, but it is not mandatory. As the name suggests, analytical skills are skills and skills can be developed.
If you are planning your personal brand seriously, you will need to write a lot. Articles, pitches, presentations, emails, and all sorts of online content – you will need to write those until you can delegate it to someone.
Writing starts with good grammar. This is where Grammarly can help. With Grammarly, you can check embarrassing grammatical and stylistic errors from your written content.
Blog contents, updates, and case studies are the backbone of personal brand and marketing communications. To maximize the value of your work, you will want to take several SEO recommendations into consideration.
Your posts should be over 1,200 words, including keywords, search terms, references, and both internal and external links related to the given topic. You need to make sure that your articles are well structured and information-rich – enabling both humans and search engine crawlers to understand it easily.
Marketing communication skills
Lacking communication can ruin your life and career. Poor communication skills can have a very negative impact on your relationships, both personal and work-related.
Being able to express clearly what you want, and how you want will make your life a lot easier. Mumbly, unclear communication not only makes a poor first impression but will also make it difficult for people around you to find out what you want. When growing your brand, marketing communications are essential.
Assertiveness, clarity, and authenticity are the basics of quality communications. When it comes to marketing communications, your goals is to:
- Grab the attention of your audience
- Establish trust and credibility
- Engage your readers emotionally
- Provide evidence and credible references
- Speak in a specific language that is appreciated by your audience
- Use non-spammy call to actions
- Redefine your approach from time to time
Periodic brand audits
Auditing your personal brand is a great practice to get periodic reality checks about the state of your progress. A personal brand audit can reveal what people think about your personal brand, and you will be able to get insights that traditional web analytics and social media reports won’t be able to provide.
When auditing or evaluating your personal brand, please make sure that you get feedback from at least 1,000 different people. Making conclusions based on the opinion of one, or just a few people is very risky.
Our market research-based personal brand audit solution makes it easy and fast to get thousands of feedbacks on various aspects of your personal brand, which enables you to measure what aspects need attention – and what aspects are good enough already.