September 25, 2017

Personal Branding: Marketing the Individual

Personal Branding: Marketing the individual

about me handwritten on blackboard

Personal branding has never been more relevant. In order to get recognized, you need to catch the eye. That much has always been true – but in the past, it wasn’t always as simple. Gone are the days when journalists took the bulk of decisions on who and what should be in the news, and how it should be reported.

Thanks to digitalization, everyone has the ability to market themselves through various channels. This applies for stars and celebrities as much as for politicians, executives, freelancers and anybody else whose expert knowledge means they have something to say. However, this doesn’t mean that classic media can be neglected. For personal branding, the mix is key – as well as the right strategy, of course.

Building your own brand

The competition is fierce. So what can you do to stand out from the crowd? As the term ‘personal branding’ suggests, it’s about marketing an individual’s personality, competencies and services: essentially, everything that makes a person an expert in their field. Obviously, everyone can make vague claims about themselves, but can they do so in detail and stand up to scrutiny?

Anyone who decides to use self-marketing should sit down – before they get started – and ask themselves some fundamental questions. Who am I? What can I do? What do I have to say? Who is my target group? These questions define the core of a personal brand and thereby help to develop consistent and credible branding. But that’s not enough. The most difficult part of personal branding is yet to come: communicating with the outside world. What should I say, and where and when do I say it? What do I want to achieve? What channels are most suitable? How often should I post things, and how should I do it? Can I manage all that alone?

Strategic personal branding

“Once you’ve lost your reputation, you’ve nothing left to lose.” That might apply to a few people in the public sphere, but shouldn’t be the intention of personal branding. Instead, the focus is on building a credible, positive image – one that creates trust with your desired target group. You can achieve this through targeted reputation management.

Call on external assistance

Just as you’re an expert in your field, there are specialists – like us – who are well-versed in reputation management, branding and content generation, as well as analogue and digital platforms. We know how an individual brand works in a given context. Strategic personal branding requires professional guidance and support. Let us use our expertise to help you.

Together, we can define your individual brand and determine what you can hope to achieve. We will research your target group, develop measures and define your channels for external communication. That’s the theory, anyway. But we’re also on hand to help you with the practical side.

If you want, we can produce all of your content, or support you in doing so. The same goes for communication channels: no matter whether on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn etc or your own blog, we will organize the set-up and keep it updated. What’s more, as PR professionals, we can serve as your reliable representative in press and PR matters.

A final piece of advice

You should be aware of one thing: there’s no such thing as “a little” personal branding. If you decide to go ahead, you need to put everything into it. Show yourself to be authentic, credible and honest; don’t put on an act. It’s not about who you want to be, but rather who you are and what you can do.

And, crucially: set aside enough time. Personal branding also means staying on the ball. It’s the only way you’ll make sure your target group takes you seriously.

By Andrea Melzer

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