Well-known business writer Tom Peters said “Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me, Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.”
No words could have been put together better to drive home the importance of branding. With the current innovations in technology and new ones on the way, building your brand today is so much easier. And aside from building your brand, you also need to work on making it stand out – something that is more important now due to the level of local and global competition.
Emerging from the Crowd
Here are 5 tips that can help your personal brand become more noticeable and well-known:
1. Know what you want.
Your strategies for making your personal brand stand out won’t work unless you do sufficient, proper planning. As such, the first step you need to take is to identify and set your goals and determine your target audience. Coming up with a list of expectations you have for your brand in a five-year period will help you with this. Keep in mind that as you keep improving various aspects of your business over a course of time, your brand will grow simultaneously as well.
2. Think about what makes you “you.”
A self-audit will help you figure out your key strengths, interests, and weaknesses. Think about the work and achievements that you’re most proud of, what excites you, and things you look forward to. You can also take note of the different industries or niches you are interested in and the functions and people you admire. When you know what you like and what you’re good at, your passions will be illuminated; this is an important pillar in personal branding. Don’t forget to think about where you want to be, so think long-term, too.
If you’re a budding entrepreneur, you may find a self-assessment test helpful.
3. Have and use the right photos.
Start by hiring a professional photographer to take high-quality headshots and photos of your products or services. Keep in mind that having a professional headshot is the only way to be taken seriously, no matter what your line of business or work may be. In terms of headshots, put some thought into the style your photos are shot in, the clothes you wear, and your facial expressions since these have an effect on other people’s perceptions of you.
Appealing, authentic photos of your products are equally important, too. If you are the owner of a restaurant, aside from having a portfolio of amazing images of your premises, there should be one for the food you serve, too. How can food photographers help with branding? These pros know how to make your dishes look really appealing and mouth-watering. As such, aside from using them as tools for branding, they can be great marketing materials.
4. Reach out to your target audience.
Use social media to reach out and make your brand more visible to existing and new, possible clientele. Having an account on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and other social media sites is a start; next, you have to be active. But this doesn’t mean simply posting a new status every day; you need to engage with them. Listen, speak to your audience, and learn from them every opportunity you get. Don’t forget to treat all your customers equally. When you do so, they will spread the good word about you and your brand, giving you that edge you need.
5. Join popular events.
When you participate in an important, well-known event, you gain better visibility among your customers and potential business collaborators. There are different types of events you can participate in: business conferences, exhibits, etc. You can even participate in events not related to your niche as a sponsor (if you’re based in Dubai or planning to visit sometime, we recommend keeping the most popular events in the UAE in mind). Whenever you attend various events, you will get an opportunity to communicate with new businesspeople. Another benefit of doing this is that the more contacts you make, the more people will notice you, which will result in better recognizability of your brand.
6. Let other people know your story.
Lastly, certain celebrities (think Richard Branson, Howard Schultz, and Oprah Winfrey) reached the peak of their popularity with the help of their success story. Consider following their path and publicizing your story and the rise and growth of your business online and on print (on newspaper, magazine, and other types of publication). Make sure it is the real story and not something your imagination conjured. With the right choice of words and tone, you will have an interesting narrative, one that can give people a look into the person behind the brand. Once people know you on a more personal level, you’ll have a higher chance of increasing your following.
Regardless of the industry, competition can be really tough today. With good branding strategies, you can make sure you stand out – in the right way.
Barry is the creative force behind Barry Morgan Photography, which is a corporate photography company based out of Dubai. Firmly believing you should love what you do, to do your best. Originally hailing from a background in advertising agencies, he now brings his business experience to create exceptional and effective marketing photography to help businesses achieve their goals.