Rajesh Soundararajan on LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/rajeshsound
Personal branding is the process of creating a unique identity that sets you apart from others in your field. It’s about developing a strong reputation and becoming known for your expertise, skills, and values.
Why Personal Branding
Personal branding is important for a number of reasons. It can help you:
- Attract new opportunities, such as job offers, speaking engagements, and consulting projects.
- Build relationships with potential clients and partners.
- Increase your visibility and credibility in your industry.
- Command higher fees for your services.
- Establish yourself as a thought leader in your field.
How to Build Your Personal Brand
There are a number of steps you can take to build your personal brand:
- Define your brand. What do you want to be known for? What are your unique strengths and values? What problems can you solve for others?
- Identify your target audience. Who are you trying to reach with your brand? What are their needs and interests?
- Create a content strategy. What kind of content will you create to share your expertise and insights with your target audience?
- Create a communication / channel strategy. Where will you publish your content? What groups and forums (online and physical) will you participate in to listen, learn and share with your target audience?
- Be consistent. It takes time and effort to build a strong personal brand. Be consistent in creating and sharing high-quality content, and in engaging with your audience on social media and other platforms.
Tips for Personal Branding
What you want to be known for
- Clarity on what you want to be known for.
- Clarity on target audience and progressively expand.
- Be credible by learning thoroughly on the subject and share your deeper insights that are not easily available. In this aspect, sharing authentic content, examples, and experiences is important.
- Understand that your credibility on the subject and topic is different. Being authentic is about yourself, and being credible is about your topic of conversation.
- Channels – Look for opportunities to share and communicate your ideas. Engage in forums, LinkedIn, have conversations on the subject with people online and in the physical world, add your own topics in such discussions, join interest groups.
- Consistency – Whatever you are doing, be very consistent. If there is one thing that sets you apart from 99% of others who are on a similar path, it’s your discipline to create your views, opinions, and conversations. Have a calendar and adhere to it strictly. It’s vital to post or participate in the platform so regularly that you might forget to breathe but not forget this activity. Start with a weekly routine, then increase the frequency as you become more comfortable.
- Make it personal and authentic. We are humans, have our own experiences, and are fallible. It’s not about being a hero who never falters but being an honest, authentic person who learns, cares, and shares. Over time, people will connect with your authenticity.
- Break the clutter. With so many people expressing similar ideas and thoughts, there’s no point reiterating the same things. Add your experiences, your unique insights, your personal touch. It may seem odd initially, but over time, both you and others will realize that you have a distinct pattern, style, and thought process that becomes your brand.
- Persist in your efforts. Building a brand is a marathon, not a sprint. It will take significant time, sometimes even 12-18 months of daily, consistent efforts. Achieving notable results, like getting a toned physique, requires persistence and commitment.
- Find moments of inspiration to evolve and refine your ideas. For some, long drives or traffic jams are opportunities, while for others, long walks, conversations, long-distance cycling, gym sessions, or even showers can be sources of inspiration. Once an idea is formed, develop it further, consider different angles, and make it comprehensive. Jot down complex thoughts as they come to you.
- Quality should always be a priority. If inspired by an idea, find fresh angles and perspectives.
(Power of) Connections
- Power of Connections – For instance, if you love driving and find parallels between driving on a highway and running a business, share those insights. Or if a skating instructor teaches you how to fall, relate that to the importance of learning from failures in life and business.
- Be creative and find new methods or perspectives, pushing your thinking boundaries.
- Always remain authentic; there’s no substitute for genuine content.
- Ensure your content is pertinent to the industry and target audience. Listening actively to others helps in achieving this.
- Your message should resonate with and appeal to the audience. Authenticity is crucial, but so is the manner of presentation.
- Ultimately, the goal might vary from person to person: be it money, power, fame, or simply the joy of influencing and connecting with others. Regardless of the motivation, building a personal brand is a long, fulfilling journey with its challenges and triumphs. It requires authenticity, continuous learning, adaptability, and perseverance.
How to Write
- Capture all thoughts, be it on paper, Google Keep, Siri, Apple Notes, or postcard-sized notes.
- Use mind maps to structure your ideas.
- Break extensive points into smaller articles.
- You might begin with one idea that expands into many or find that multiple ideas distill into a few core concepts.
- Make lists of your thoughts. Often, your mind might generate ideas faster than you can record them.
- When writing, stay focused on one main point or a cluster of related points.
- When writing for external readers, employ the rule of three.
- Craft compelling headlines. Consider using headline generators for assistance.
- Test your content and learn from feedback.
- Avoid using AI to write your thoughts. It lacks authenticity and personal touch. Moreover, some readers can instantly tell if an article is AI-generated.
- Define and stay true to your unique writing style. Embracing a contrarian viewpoint can also be beneficial
**Tips for Personal Branding**
**1. Defining Your Brand:**
– Clarity on what you want to be known for.
– Clarity on target audience and progressively expand.
**2. Credibility & Authenticity:**
– Be credible by learning thoroughly on the subject and share your deeper insights that are not easily available.
– Share authentic content, examples, and experiences.
– Understand that your credibility on the subject and topic is different from being authentic.
– Always remain authentic; there’s no substitute for genuine content.
**3. Content & Communication:**
– Channels: Look for opportunities to share and communicate your ideas, engage in forums, LinkedIn, have conversations on the subject with people online and in the physical world, and join interest groups.
– Add your own topics in discussions and comment on conversations consistently, adding value.
– Break the clutter: Add your experiences, unique insights, and personal touch to differentiate from common ideas.
**4. Consistency & Commitment:**
– Be consistent in all your activities and set yourself apart with discipline in expressing your views and opinions.
– Use a calendar for regular posts or participation, starting with a weekly routine and adjusting frequency as you get comfortable.
– Personal branding is a marathon, not a sprint. Dedicate significant time and effort.
**5. Personal Connection:**
– Make connections personal and authentic, understanding the human aspects of experiences and fallibility.
– Emphasize that it’s largely about what the world wants and not just about you.
**6. Quality & Relevance:**
– Always prioritize quality and strive for fresh angles and perspectives on familiar ideas.
– Ensure content is relevant to the industry and resonates with the target audience. Listen actively to remain pertinent.
**7. Creativity & Innovation:**
– Find inspiration in daily activities and events, such as long drives, conversations, or gym sessions. Refine ideas as they form and consider various perspectives.
– Be creative and find new methods or perspectives. Relate personal experiences, like driving or learning from an instructor, to broader lessons in life or business.
**8. Goal & Journey:**
– Understand the various motivations behind personal branding, whether it’s for monetary gains, influence, or connection. The journey is long, requiring authenticity, continuous learning, and adaptability.
**How to Write Effectively**
**1. Capturing Ideas:**
– Use various tools like paper, Google Keep, Siri, Apple Notes, or postcard-sized notes to capture thoughts.
**2. Structuring & Organizing:**
– Use mind maps.
– Break down extensive points into concise articles.
– List your thoughts, noting that ideas might come faster than you can record.
**3. Writing Techniques:**
– Focus on one main point or related points per piece.
**4. Authenticity & Feedback:**
– Avoid using AI for personal thoughts due to lack of authenticity.
– Engage in A/B testing and gather feedback to refine your content.
**5. Unique Voic