The ABCs of Personal Branding
Personal branding isn’t a completely new technique, since many authors, politicians, and others have worked to create a “brand of one” for many years. However, becoming a “brand of one” is more important than ever for those who are a business of one. Most successful businesses are successful because they are memorable, and they are memorable because they have branded themselves in the minds of their niche audience.
For you to become the most successful web designer you possibly can be, it’s time to start thinking about the basics of personal branding. Here are just three things to think about when it comes to creating your own unique brand.
Authenticity: Uniquely You
The key to good branding is to be authentic. The best and most well-known brands are those that are recognized for what they are. With authentic branding, you know what to expect.
A good example of this is the clothing industry. The well-known brand GAP is noted for classically modern styles and high-quality clothing, and you know that’s what you’re going to get when you shop there. At some points in the recent past, GAP has tried to become too trendy and has sacrificed some of its quality in order to lower prices. As the company tried to become something it really wasn’t it lost many shoppers who were disappointed that they were no longer getting what they expected from the brand.
In many industries, it’s possible to simply create an image and stick with it over time. However, when it comes to design work, a part of who you really are is always going to come through in your creative work. So before you start your branding campaign, spend some time considering who you really are and how your work reflects that. Whether you believe in classic, simple designs or edgier options, build your brand around who you are and what your work is really like.
Authentic personal branding makes a difference because when you are authentic, your customers will sense it. You’ll reach out to the right niche and find your place within it, and you’ll also be more likely to have repeat experiences with certain customers, since they’ll come to know just what to expect from you.
Blogging: Social Media
Blogging isn’t the only social media tool out there that’s useful for personal branding, but it’s an important one. In a blog, you have the opportunity to carry out that A step of being authentic. You can represent your work, your life, and your personality in a blog in a new way that really allows potential customers to understand you. You would be absolutely remiss not to start a blog if you’re truly interested in personal branding for your web design business.
Of course, you also should connect with potential customers and your network through other social media tools, such as Facebook and Twitter. These tools make it possible for you to reach a large audience and to let them get a glimpse of your life and your work. Even updating your Facebook page a couple of times a day can make a difference in how memorable you are for potential clients and others in your industry.
Consistency: Keeping Up the Image
Branding is about nothing if not consistency. This is why when a major company does something as simple as redesigning a soup can or a cereal box, you always see the “New Look, Same Taste” label for the first few months that the new look is taking hold. Without those words, customers might be taken aback by the change and unsure of what to do about the difference in their favorite brand of breakfast cereal.
While consistency doesn’t necessarily mean you can never change or make tweaks to branding tools like a motto, a website, or a logo, it does mean that overall, your personal brand should remain consistent over time. This means using the same avatar on public forums, using the same company name over time, and designing a logo you really love so that you can stick with it.
This also means that you need to consistently provide high quality work. Providing excellent work time and again to every customer you deal with is the number one way to take personal branding to the next level. As you become known for your excellent work, you’ll get to cherry pick the web design jobs you want to take because so many people will be asking for your work.
These three ABCs are just the start of a personal branding campaign. It takes time and effort to become a “brand of one,” but if you provide consistent work and create a brand that’s in line with your values and creative aesthetic, you’ll go far.
The ABCs of Personal Branding was shared by Abigail Hall, social media advocate with the free credit card applications website, CreditDonkey. Don’t forget, with personal branding, your business and your work will be more recognizable, which will bring you many more customers in the future.