All of the books, blogs, and workshops on personal brand design can be boiled down into a simple framework & I call the 3U’s of personal branding. Advice on branding may use different words, or emphasize one element over the other, but the most successful brands have some aspect of all three.
Key Elements of Personal Branding
Personal branding is unavoidable. As others interact with you, they’ll automatically form mental associations that connect you with certain labels, often within the first few seconds. You can’t avoid being labeled, and other people can’t avoid labeling you. It happens automatically because our brains are wired to recognize patterns and form associations. The labels people attach to you become part of your personal brand.
Here are 3 key elements of personal branding. Lets study them,
As Jerry Garcia said, “You do not merely want to be considered just the best of the best. You want to be considered the only ones who do what you do.”
Designing a personal brand that highlights your rare, one-of-a-kind abilities makes you stand out from the crowd. Being good at what you do, mixed in with a go-getter attitude and brazen networking used to be all you needed to get noticed and be considered for that great gig in your field. Now you need a brand that’s absolutely unique if you want your card, or resume, or portfolio to get a second look.
Sure, the middle of the road professionals in business will still find work. They’ll just have to fight for every inch of opportunity out there, and they’ll have to settle for low pay and boring work.
A strong personal brand is focused on serving others.
It sounds backwards, but the quickest way to make your dreams come true is to be useful for other people’s dreams. Your brand has to make it obvious to people how you can help their lives, their project, and even their brand. No matter whether you are an entrepreneur or an employee, you must ‘be useful’. It’s much easier to gain trust from a manager or colleague when they know their own goals will be forwarded when working with you.
So, make your brand about the impact you can have on others. You’ll find that you won’t need to be concerned with self-promotion. A strong, useful brand empowers your network to spread your story for you.
Nothing connects people to your brand like your personal story. Adding your personality to your brand is what gets people to connect with you, to like you. Checkout What’s your brand?
As the saying goes, “All things being equal, people do business with people they like. All things not being equal, people still do business with people they like.” Even as you make your brand useful and unique, you have to avoid making yourself sound like a company, a common mistake for creative people who design their brands for the first time.
Even big faceless companies nowadays try to appear human in their branding. Your advantage as a solo professional is that you don’t have to pretend to be a fascinating human being. You already fit the description.