Career Change & Personal BrandingBlog

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An influencer is someone people see as an authority in a specific field or industry. Being one means you have the power to affect the way people make decisions.

To become an influencer, you have to go through the process of developing a “mark” – this reflects your identity and what you do. It is your means of expression, and will make your skills, personality, and morals known to people. These are things that you cannot fake, just as your own personal brand must be authentic and innate.

Having a personal brand is an integral part of becoming an influencer. It shows who you are, what you stand for, and what makes you stand out. It is this uniqueness that allows you to develop an influence and cause people to become attracted to the products and services you market.

Why It’s Important to Build Your Personal Brand

Contrary to what most people believe, a personal brand is not just for entrepreneurs who own a business. It is the secret ingredient that will allow you to shine.

When professionals build a personal brand that demands attention, they open doors for many opportunities. Visualizing their future and executing their visions will show them their way to achieving the following:

  • Better connections and clients

With your personal brand, potential clients will have a sense of confidence in what you can do for them. If they are targeting higher sales, for example, they can easily imagine the part you can play in bringing in more success into their company.

  • Better career opportunities

If you have already built a solid brand for yourself, potential employers will believe that you can add value to the team that they already have. In this competitive era, a personal brand could set you apart from everyone else vying for the opportunities you are eyeing.

A personal brand can give you better control over the progression of your career and can influence people in your workplace (or in your field) to have a positive perception of you. A convincing and persuasive personal brand will have a huge impact on how others rate your competence – how fitting you are for the job, how qualified you are for promotions, and how you can attract investments.

  • Recognition from their respective industry

Your personal brand will be a reflection of how unique you are. When you stand out among the crowd, it’s easy enough for people in your industry to recognize your influence. And with that recognition comes perks not available to anybody else – like having access to resources, connections and opportunities that other people do not have.

This is why no matter what point you may be in on your journey, it is important for you to have a personal brand.

How to Create Your Personal Brand

Your goal is to become an influencer. To pave the way towards achieving this objective, here are steps that you can take to create a strong and solid personal brand.

1. Discover your niche

Your niche is something that you are really interested in and very passionate about. It is a field of expertise where you can share something new and extraordinary. Your niche should be a showcase for your strengths. It is that one thing you are comfortable with, a place where you feel most at home.

Why focus on a single niche?

Well, you can become a jack of all trades. But influencers are masters of their field. Concentrating on a single niche allows you to grow to your full potential and strengthens your status as a master that people will listen to and respect.

2. Identify your audience

Your journey as an influencer will always begin with your audience. That is why it is important to know who they are. Be knowledgeable about their views, opinions, and standards.

How do you gain more knowledge about them?

Monitor their interests and see what they’re posting about on social media. Look at what kinds of questions they’re asking and what sort of products they are looking for. Find their pain points and know their stories. All this knowledge allows you to find an entry point, and shows you what kinds of solutions you can offer.

3. Build your platform

Having a personal brand means having all the necessary platforms that will allow you to connect with your audience. Websites, social media profiles – all these are platforms provide you with opportunities to display your personal brand. Here, consistency is key. Your branding has to be the common denominator that connects every platform you have. They will be your means to speak your mind and share what you have to say.

4. Know what makes you unique

To make an impact, you have to think about your distinctive qualities. Because every individual is created uniquely and functions differently, it is important that you know the very thing that makes you stand out. This is the very thing that gives you the edge over other people.

Ponder on the things that everybody says you rock at doing. It also wouldn’t hurt if you ask others what they think makes you unique to them.

5. Know your weaknesses

Just because they are weaknesses does not mean they will lead to your downfall. Think of them as opportunities to be better, areas that you can enhance and develop.

Being able to admit your weaknesses gives you even more leverage than your strengths. If you focus solely on your strengths and ignore your weaknesses, you remain stagnant. But when you acknowledge you weaknesses, it gives you the mindset that you can become even better than your current state.

6. Develop a content strategy

Your content is what makes you appealing to your audiences. It is what makes them follow you and see you as someone who can deliver value.

Four key things make your content strategy effective – relevance, consistency, credibility, and emotional appeal. Know what kind of information are valuable to your audiences. Be consistent in delivering valuable information. Make sure your information is accurate and maintains credibility.

As for emotional appeal, know that no matter how logical your rationales are, human emotions will always be more powerful. The way people make decisions often relies on their emotions. And once you pinpoint the specific emotions you can tap through your brand, it is easier to elicit a positive response.

Conclusion

The way you build your own personal brand can dictate your overall value. It doesn’t matter if you’re going after a top corporate position, or are trying to establish a name for yourself as an entrepreneur or a professional. With the kind of vivacity and thrill that you possess through your personal brand, people will be drawn to you and make it easier for you to reach success.

About Callum Mundine, Guest Contributor

Callum-MundineCallum Mundine is the head of digital marketing at Warble Media – a boutique website design company based in Dubbo, NSW, Australia. Follow Callum on Twitter.

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About Joseph Liu

Joseph Liu helps aspiring professionals relaunch their careers to do work that matters. As a keynote speaker, career & personal branding consultant, and host of the Career Relaunch podcast, his passion is helping people gain the clarity, confidence, and courage to pursue truly meaningful careers. Having gone through three major career changes himself, he now shares insights from building & relaunching global consumer brands to empower professionals and business owners to build & relaunch their personal brands.

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