How to build your personal brand and stand out from the crowd

It’s highly competitive in the business world, but one sure-fire way to stand out from your competition is to showcase what makes you unique.

A personal brand is just as important as a business’ brand. Defined as a set of characteristics or qualities which shape you and set you apart, your personal brand is in essence your reputation. It’s what can define you as a leader in business or in your career.

When you have a strong personal brand, your opportunities expand. Others are attracted to those they admire or are inspired by. Building your personal brand helps carve out your niche as a thought leader and expert.

What are people saying about you?

Personal branding is how you market yourself to others. Your personal brand is what people say about you when you’re not around. It’s what you’re known for.

People are talking about you when you’re not in the room, whether you like it or not. So you need to be intentional about creating your brand, or others will create it for you.

What is your personal brand?

Think about how those closest to you, your customers and your work colleagues would describe you.

Do they describe you using the same words and phrases you would use to describe yourself? Do they see you as a leader? Be mindful of the experiences others have with you and ensure they match the impression you wish to set.

Positioning yourself as an expert and adding value consistently to those who follow you leads to credibility and trust. This trust in you personally flows over into trust for your business, so they go hand in hand.

If you invest time in building your personal brand it will help build your business, or career. When you share your knowledge freely you will be able to watch your opportunities expand.

Amplify your personal brand

Public relations can be the difference between being a well-recognised expert and thought leader in your niche and just wishing you were.

It’s all about the art of storytelling. Every person, brand and organisation has a story to tell and amazing stories deserve a good audience.

Stories can be personal stories, professional stories, stories that let people know who we are, what we stand for, what we do.

And when we start telling our stories, they start resonating with people. Those people start developing relationships with us and start influencing and amplifying your role as an expert and thought leader.

Every expert has so many stories to tell which will interest influencers and the media.

The trick is to identify your stories and then see them through the eyes of the editors, journalists and program directors. When packaged in a way that the media expect, you have a much better chance of getting the media coverage you need to promote yourself.

Anything from an innovation, new book, to a childhood memory has news potential if it’s packaged correctly. And it has absolutely no news value if it isn’t released to the media at all!

Social your brand

The online world gives you an amazing opportunity to brand yourself, and separate yourself from the crowd.

Build your personal brand on LinkedIn or Twitter by sharing interesting insights about your industry and watch your following grow and your fans become more loyal. Or start blogging about your area of expertise. Before long your reputation as a thought leader will precede you.

Speaking at key events, securing media coverage in the outlets your customers read and sharing your knowledge through writing a book are additional ways to establish yourself as a key influencer.

Continually investing in your personal brand will ensure you stand out from your competition. It is through elevating yourself above others in your industry that people will clamour to work with you. When managed well, your personal brand is an asset that can make all the difference to your business.

How to build your personal brand and stand out from the crowd
Catriona Pollard

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