Creating a Personal Brand

My recent opportunity of creating the personal brand of an individual has been an exciting experience. In the process, I got to know so many facets of the individual and turned into a story teller with the ultimate objective of making that person into a ‘brand’.

Personal branding is crucial. Building personal brand is as important as building a company’s brand. People want to hear the story behind the founders — the failures, struggles and the success. It is important to be seen and be known. The more visible and accessible an individual makes himself, the stronger their personal brand.

There are certain norms to follow while creating a personal brand. It is crucial to create a person as a source of information. The concerned person should be the one whom media outlets and journalists contact when they need expert advice or information on a popular topic or breaking news. Basically, turning them into thought leaders for their respective industries.

We, as communicators and creators of the personal brand, need to write articles, develop content of all kinds and promote the person on various industry forums to put across his/her views on various happenings in the industry. We are expected to write a narrative about and around the individual with a view to create a consistent buzz around and about them.

Social media plays an important role. We must share relevant news and information about the person on social platform. This helps in building their following and attracts more people towards the person.

Refrain from using social media as only a marketing channel. People like to see the personal side of the individual — what they do in their free time, their favourite restaurants, their hobbies and interests, etc.

Personal brand must be used on a personal-level on social networks to flare popularity. The online self is used as a marketing and promotional tool to brand an individual as a type of person; success on the virtual platforms then transforms online social value to real rewards in the offline world.

The individual should be encouraged to involve himself in philanthropic activities, and contributing towards the society. It could be anything from donating money to a charity or volunteering for a cause. Such deeds can benefit a personal brand. It is good to highlight the charitable deeds on personal website and even issue press notes to generate positive attention.

The personal brand can be developed into a trusted source by putting out high-quality, thought-provoking content relating to the specific industry.

Creating a personal brand is essentially the ongoing process of establishing an image or impression in the mind of others about an individual. Personal brand often does involve the application of one’s name to various products.

The focus of creating a personal brand must be “self-packaging,”, and it is more about self-promotion rather than true self-expression. Self-promotion is deliberately intentional in all aspects because the individual is purposely shaping their image. Self-expression can even be a by-product of promotion.

We must understand that personal brand is basically glorifying certain positive characteristics of an individual. To a great extent, it is like traditional branding of products and companies. The only difference is to put individuals in place of products, in which their efforts to appear more human are subverted.

The narrative that is created to build an individual brand, must be authentic and sound pleasant and delightful to the audience. Of course, the bottomline is to highlight positive traits and to create a positive and supreme aura around the individual but it should be kept as close to their actual personality, as possible.

Ritu Bararia
Ritu is a Corporate Communications leader, Mentor, Author, Public Relations Evangelist, Thought leader, Advisor. She has nearly two decades of working experience having spearheaded Communications, PR and Corporate Affairs with corporate brands such as Kingfisher Airlines, The Park Hotels, Bird Group.

She quit her corporate career in the beginning of 2018 to try her hand at various related things within communications space. She turned into a published author in 2020 with her maiden book ‘Little Joys of Communication’.

Currently Ritu is Senior Director at SCoRe and, Executive Director Communicators Guild – India (CGI).

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