Personal Branding in Digital Freelancing

What is Personal Branding and Why Should You Care?

You’re already doing personal branding and you haven’t even noticed!

Have you ever googled yourself? Do you like your results? Your online presence is the first impression someone will have of you in this digital age and since you don’t get another chance at a first impression… It’s high time you controlled the narrative! Personal Branding will not only help you put forward the best version of yourself, but it will also build credibility for business opportunities. So WHAT IS PERSONAL BRANDING? Well, let’s find out!

What is personal branding?

In today’s crowded world where it can be hard to stand out, personal branding has become more integral than before. It is the process of presenting yourself to the world to create an online personality. It is how you want the world to perceive you. The beauty of a personal brand is that you can create your image however you like and can completely control your narrative. 

Personal branding is not a new concept. An earlier misconception was that it is only for celebrities but as I mentioned, a personal brand is nothing but an image you portray for others to perceive. We all do it in some form or the other in our day to day lives. How we present ourselves in a formal setting is different from how we behave among friends. An efficient person at work might be the laziest at home! Today, Personal branding on social media has become the new normal. With the rise in access to social media, platforms like Facebook, TikTok and Instagram have turned everyone into an influencer in their own right.

Personal Branding On Social Media
Personal Branding On Social Media: You are what you put out there

The easiest thing today is to create a profile and start sharing your story and giving value. By doing so, you are able to leverage the platform by directly engaging with a pre-existing customer base that Facebook or YouTube have spent years gathering. It is also the easiest way to make people aware of your existence and about the services/products you provide. For example, the ‘link in bio’ feature of Instagram works best to get people to see your website. Similarly, Marketplace on Facebook and WhatsApp Business Catalogues are a great way to showcase your products. It is, therefore, no wonder that personal branding on social media has taken the world by storm.

Why Personal Branding?

Personal branding helps you to connect with your audience right down to the minutest detail. It helps you to reach out and engage with your tribe which helps build trust significantly which in turn even gives you an influence! It’s no secret that a business driven by a personal brand is much easier to run as compared to a faceless business with no human interaction. 

Who you are might be a little different from what you showcase. It is up to you to decide what your intention behind creating your personal brand is. When you have clear goals and intentions, it will also enhance your personality by reflecting on your personal life. For example, if your personal branding strategy is to create a persona of a consistent person, it will help you become consistent in your real life too! 

People trust people, not logos. They trust visions and dreams, not logos and names. A relationship with your audience is what will help you build revenue, not traffic. Traffic is just a number but relationships are priceless. If you look at large companies like Apple, Tesla or Amazon, they made it big because people trust the men behind the logo. Steve Jobs, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have a huge following and now no matter what company they start, people will trust them enough to invest. This shows us that once you are the leader of a tribe, the tribe will take a momentum of its own and that is the importance of personal branding.

What is your Tribe?

Your tribe is your audience that amplifies your message. Whether it be in terms of commenting, sharing your posts, buying your products, etc. They vouch for you because they trust you implicitly. These people become your core and your core convince others to join your tribe and invest in you. Whether this investment is monetary or simply even giving you their time, this is the best kind of marketing that you could have. In other words, this is your word of mouth clientele. Your personal branding strategy should therefore be to build a tribe and not to have a large social media following. At the end of the day, Having 100 core members is much more powerful than having just 10,000 followers!

Personal Branding Master Plan
Personal Branding Master Plan
[Image Source: Digital Deepak]

5 Tips for Personal Branding

  1. Be clear on what you stand for and stand against! 

People will most definitely relate to what you stand for, but they will relate much better when there is a common thing that they hate! For example, ‘I hate littering’ has a much more powerful message as compared to ‘I love cleanliness’.

  1. Have a clear superpower in your niche 

There may be many people out there in your niche, but what makes you different? You have to assert your authority and your USP (Unique Selling Point).

  1. Have a clear and consistent storyline so that people can remember you. 

Everyone loves stories. This is because it helps connect on an emotional level and gives them an insight into who you truly are. Sharing your thoughts, ideas and beliefs will help engage with your audience. This is turn solidifies their trust in you and helps you position yourself as an expert in your niche.

  1. Have an insider term for your community.

This helps create a sense of belonging and to have an instant connection between members of your tribe. The most common example of this is alumni from schools. People from Modern School call themselves ‘Modernites’, similarly, people from DPS call themselves ‘Dipsites’. It doesn’t matter which branch but it creates an immediate interaction between all ‘Modernites’ or ‘Dipsites’. 

  1. Only teach what you have done, not what you have learnt. 

As mentioned earlier, you don’t want followers, you want a tribe. It is best to lead by example as it helps create authenticity and builds trust much faster. Your openness and transparency will be rewarded by people wanting to become your customers! As the saying goes, ‘your vibe attracts your tribe’. Showing the results you have achieved helps convert clients much faster.

How to do personal branding
How to do personal branding
[Image Source: Digital Deepak]

In the end, I would just like to say that no matter what your personal branding strategy is, it is important to remember is that creating your personal brand means being at the mercy of your audience judging who you are, what you say and what you do. You have to stand for something and live with a large vision. Some will love it, some will hate it and that’s perfectly fine because it’s their opinion.

There is no shortcut. You have to put yourself out there, be consistent and inspire by example!

Hope this inspires you to start your own personal brand, would love to know! Tell me which aspect you loved the most and drop in your Social Media handles below!

In the mean time, check out my personal brand @abstractbyaashna !

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