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Six Steps to Building Your Personal Brand

You’re already a brand.

Existence thrusts us into life’s varying scenarios and situations, expecting (and maybe exacting) reactions from us. Meanwhile, the world watches our reactions to these situations and builds a picture of what to expect from us when we find ourselves in similar situations in the future. What the world has constructed is a personality, the building blocks of what we might call our personal brand.

We can actually make a lot out of our personal brands if we don’t just allow our image to be shaped by whatever influence that we unconsciously expose ourselves to. It’s within our power to build a personality that is marketable, a self-image that attracts the sort of responses to us that we desire from others.

Companies build their brand. You can build yours too, one that defines who you are. Here are some steps you can take to creating a personal brand that you can be proud of.

1. Be yourself.

It doesn’t look like the most obvious advice to give a person who wants to create a personal brand. After all, we can assume that they’ve spent their lives being themselves- what else could they possibly be doing? But the key to building a personal brand that doesn’t have holes of contradiction in it is to stay true to you. Phony personalities beget phony brands, simple as that. Know what you’re passionate about, what you would rather not have with or around you, and what traits about yourself makes you stand out. Be confident about your choices- if they’re morally alright of course –and about your preferences, in matters mundane or crucial. If you remain set on your uniqueness, you’ll see your personality shine through even in a large crowd. The standout factor is good ground for you to build a personal brand upon.

2. Fashion your online presence to fit your desired model.

Be deliberate about your interaction with the online world- your social media posts, your profile on various platforms, and the general trail you leave behind on the internet. Be the helper or go-to person you aspire to be in the real world and online; actively build an online persona that corresponds to who you aim to be.

You may have a personal website for yourself as well. Not necessarily something complex; just a simple site with your bio and links to your social media pages. This is especially important if you’re walking a personal entrepreneurship/celebrity path.

Be confident about your choices.

3. Become an expert in your chosen career.

Read books, attend workshops, get skills and sharpen them. It’s all part of the process of building a personal image to be reckoned with. Strive to be the best you can possibly be in whatever field you choose to play in. If you show that you have something real to offer the world apart from a strong sense of loves and hates, you’ll be sought after as a must-have addition to teams and committees. This’ll further strengthen your brand.

4. Add value.

Contribute useful ideas to discussion forums. Use your skills to solve problems wherever you can. Meet situations and leave them better than what they were at your first encounter with them- if you can.

5. Have a personal story that people can relate to and appreciate.

Companies have a startup narrative about why and how they were set up. Individuals have personal life stories as well, but in most cases, they’re not properly documented, let alone fashioned into forms that society would want to consume. This isn’t about creating false impressions; it’s about having a story of one’s personal and career formation written in such a way that parts which strike a chord with people are highlighted and emphasized upon.

6. Get yourself out there.

The public stage is it for personal brands. It’s where your products and projects get examined and rated. Give yourself the chance to be heard and recognized for who you are and what you do. Attend events where things that are related to what you’re into are discussed, and make an input in whatever way you can. Contribute to discussions with intelligent submissions and suggestions. Be a problem solver.

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Ikenna Nwachukwu

Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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