What is brand?
For most people, the first thought that comes to mind is an expensive Super Bowl commercial. Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Mercedes, those are the types of names that come to mind. Yes; they are big brands.
But what about Steve Jobs? What about that random Instagram influencer you like to check on every single day? Those are brands, too, but of a different kind: human brands.
The truth is, each and every one of us has their very own personal brand. Your Facebook cover photo is part of your brand. The tweets you write, the Instagram photos you share… everything is part of the puzzle that helps people create opinions about you.
Now that makes you think: “I should be more mindful about what I share.” You’re right! You should be more mindful.
Why Is the Human Brand Important?
Let’s say you’re applying for a new job. The hiring manager is going to check your online reputation. You know that for a fact. They will see how well you connect via LinkedIn. They will read some of your Facebook status updates. They will see your public photos.
If there’s a blog related to your name, they will want to see it for sure. If you’re influential on social media, they will be close to impressed.
They are practically checking out your personal brand.
When aiming towards career progress, the human brand is an essential aspect of the process. Hey; maybe you’re not doing this for a new job, but because you want to turn your personality into a career. Maybe you want to become an influential blogger, and your personal brand sets your way to success.
So you want to make it great!
How to Turn Yourself into a Brand
1. Be Human
This is an interesting phenomenon among Instagram influencers: they are very friendly and approachable when they start building their followership, but become too cool to notice average people when their accounts get big. They start acting like perfect human beings. You see their feeds full of dreamy photos of some of the most beautiful places on Earth. That’s because they travel, but it’s also because they pay professional photographers to take and edit their images.
That’s not how you want to develop a genuine human brand. You don’t want to turn yourself into a fake personality. You want to show what truly makes you unique.
People are driven by emotions. When you share something online, you do it because it awakened some kind of emotions in you. Whether it’s a photo of your dog, a lovely moment captured during a trip, or a moving post from Humans of New York, it needs to show your emotional side. It mustn’t be fake, since people will see right through your intentions.
2. Listen to Others
Listening is one of the most important human characteristics. When others speak, you want to listen.
Rachel Brathen, the famous Yoga Girl from Instagram, is one of the best examples of personal brands you could think of. Rachel was being criticized for cultural appropriation for a long time, but she managed to resist the talk. One controversial comment thread after another, and she finally decided to listen to people and acknowledge her mistake. That’s what humans do.
When you start developing your personal brand, you’ll be sharing tons of opinions on social media. You’ll gain both support and criticism. Be ready to listen to both sides and reconsider your approach when that’s a necessary thing to do.
3. Be a Great Storyteller
If you analyze people with great personal brands, such as Richard Branson for example, you’ll notice they have stories to tell. Stories are a great vehicle for people’s emotions. When you share something powerful from personal experience, people will relate to you. They will remember you and they will support your personal brand.
Tony Constance, a writer for BestEssays, says that writing skills are essential during the process of building a personal brand. “When you want people to recognize a brand behind your name, you have to give them a good foundation for it. Through each post on social media or on your blog, you’re taking your followers on a journey through your daily life.”
You can turn simple moments into great stories. Talk about the way your favorite book changed your life. Talk about a major realization that brought changes in your life. Talk about the way you chose your career. Turn your life into a story other people want to hear.
4. Interact with People
You’re not just going to start a blog, show up on social media and start sharing everything about yourself. The journey of building a personal brand is not a one-way process. You can’t show your human side unless you interact with other people.
Allow them to ask questions and answer them genuinely. Just as you want them to listen to your stories; you want to return the favor. In fact, you want to inspire them to tell their stories. Not just because you want to see your comment section full, but because that’s what a human would do.
5. Share Knowledge
People are not going to be interested in your personal brand just because you decided to create it. You’ll trigger their interest only if you’re special. That’s why you need to pick a niche and show you’re an expert in it.
If, for example, you travel a lot, you can choose traveling as the center of your branding campaign. But instead of sharing simple photographs, you want to do more: share your knowledge about those places. Remember: you want interaction. You want people to ask questions. They will do that only if they perceive you as someone who can answer.
Prove you know your stuff! You can do that through your blog, Instagram stories, Facebook posts, or even eBooks.
Everyone Needs a Personal Brand
The personal brand is the mark you create around yourself and your career. You can use it to work your way up the career ladder. You may also use it as a source of income. Or maybe you want to start a business and you want to prove you’re a good leader.
Whatever the case is, you’ll only benefit from a good personal brand. So it’s time to start thinking about turning yourself into a brand. This will be a brand just like any other, with the exception that it will be more human.
Alexandra Reay is an editor and professional writer at Book Review Service Australia. She is also a regular contributor to Best Dissertation. Alexandra is fond of horse-riding, reading and rock music. Alexandra keeps her spirit in writing fluent articles as well.