In the age of enhanced access to information called the World Wide Web, the playing field of reaching a wider audience has definitely shifted. And with it comes a dog eat dog environment where everyone is out there for the same set of customers.
So how do you set yourself apart in a terrain where everybody can be anything? One of the best ways is to be unique. Be yourself. That’s the one thing that only you can be. This is what we call: Personal Branding. Nothing complicated, really. But what is it?
Let us dissect the term itself:
Personal, as defined by Google, is belonging to a particular person rather than to anyone else or done or made by a particular person, involving the actual presence or action of a particular individual. And Branding: The aim is to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.
In a nutshell, making your name the first thing people go for when they need a particular product or service.
We are at a stage of human evolution where everyone can be anything and personal branding emphasizes on setting yourself apart from the crowd. Your personality is an extension of the job that you do that is why how you present yourself to your customers is just as important as nailing it. You set an impression and make it last to gain retention.
Nowadays, the first thing that people do when looking for a particular service is to look it up online. Which means having a website that is remarkable as well as memorable would have to be paramount in branding.
Keep it Real
This would probably be the golden rule of personal branding. This is where you start to build a reputation and edge over competition. Highlighting your professionalism and assets would be the first step in attracting potential clients and customers. Giving them a picture of what you are good at would make them comfortable in trusting you with their business.
Just as it is hard to fake a personality, so is it as hard to fake a personal brand. You would only gather bad reps for setting a standard that you cannot keep up with and maintain. Your brand should mirror your beliefs, your strengths, as well as your weaknesses. Yes, it is vital to be honest about your weaknesses because, upfront, it lets people know that you are human and will set expectations during and after the transaction. Being straightforward about the areas you might need extra help on makes you human and build better connections between you and you customer.
And it does not stop there. It is a lifetime commitment of growth personality wise. First, you introduce yourself to the world, then you build relationships. After that, you have to continually be abreast about what people are saying about you and the work that you do in order to figure out if there is a need to make a little change in how you present yourself, the things that you do, in addition to the way you do things.
Be Like a Skirt
When creating a website, make sure that the content is like, as Winston Churchill would put it, a skirt: long enough to cover the subject, short enough to be interesting.
Who are you? What do you do? How is it relevant to my needs? How do you do it differently? How would such difference equal to an exceptional experience in choosing to use your product?
Use familiar words within your niche that are easy to understand and remember. Should you need to use jargon, have a simple explanation of what it is, at least. When your consumers understand what you are trying to say it means you understand what you are doing.
It is a well-known fact that humans are visual. I myself only understood Physics concepts when drawn out. And it also interesting to note that one of the reasons that social media is increasingly popular could be the fact that it allows us to share ideas through photographs and videos.
Use relevant snapshots of you, you working, and your works. Inserting some behind the scenes shots would also make you interesting and human which would make it more comfortable for audience to reach out to you initially and during the process.
All this while making sure not to oversaturate it. Use coherent colors that represent a certain emotion you think people should feel or a value they would remember while looking around your web space. Think of the skirt.
And to give you a visual about what I am talking about, here is a sample layout:
There are a million and one ways to make everyone know that you are out there. Making them remember you is another challenge. After all, first impressions do last and you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression!