Many entrepreneurs, politicians and thought leaders take their personal branding seriously. In a world that is largely webbed together like ours, however, no one is too young to have an identifiable personal brand – not even students. More so, all successful people have personal brands that suit their purposes. But before we get into the nitty-gritty of creating a personal brands, what exactly is a personal branding?
Personal branding is how you present yourself online and offline. If you goggle your name, what pieces of information come up? What images would you see? Personal branding is like your trade mark, the impression of yourself that you create in the minds of others. Many of the online articles about personal branding relate to how individuals indirectly promote their businesses through their personality. But in this write-up, we take a slightly different direction; we take a look at personal branding for student entrepreneurs who want their small businesses to thrive.
So, haven defined personal branding, if you really care about the image you are sending out there and how it would impact your business, your career and your future pursuits, here are 5 things you need to know about personal branding.
1 Define your personal image.
First of all you, you need to get your personal image defined. What do you want to be known for? A fashion enthusiast? A blogger? A graphic artist? A web developer? You would have to build your image around what you want people to know you as. If for example you love to be a fashion designer, you may become a fashion enthusiast thereby making your interest in fashion pronounced. In that case, you have to dress the part and voice your interest through your content on all the social mediums. Once you know your values, passions and what you stand for, it’s time to start living it.
2 Be visible and accessible
You cannot build a personal brand in the corner of your room. You need to be visible and accessible. Thanks to social media, it is easier now than ever before for people to be seen and accessed. As a student entrepreneur, you could be in the comfort of your hostel and your YouTube channel gets to as far as continents away. That’s the power of social media. You probably have a Facebook account already and maybe an IG account as your window to the world. Remember, your personal accounts on social media is not the same as your business pages. You directly sell your good and services on your business page while your personal page is about your personal life. However, you could indirectly sell your good and services through your personal page. For example, if you are into food business, you could create an IG page or a YouTube channel where people get to know you as a foodie. By giving food recipes and tips on healthy living, you establish yourself as an authority in the food industry and occasionally, you could tell your followers who now trust you, to order their favorite meals, directing them to your business page.
3 Show the real you on social media
When creating a personal brand, as a student, avoid being fake on social media – or anywhere else. A lot of young people find it difficult to resist the temptation to portray themselves as who they are not. The earlier you portray your real self the better. Try to use your real name or abbreviations that are not too awkward and make sure to portray yourself as human. It’s not bad if you let your followers know one or two books you are presently reading if that’s in line with what you want people to know you for. For your profile pictures, use your personal, well edited – but not overly edited- profile image, ensure you use the same picture on ALL your social media. Avoid funny details on your profile such as unofficial email addresses I.e. firstname.lastname@example.org. Instead, use more official email addresses like BukkyFashola@yahoo.com. Avoid being tagged in erotic images or questionable videos and post that could soil your image as this could pose serious threat to your images and your business in the future.
4 Share Your Knowledge.
People never get tired of learning new and exciting things from trusted people. As a student, you are learning a lot of things presently. To build your personal brand, it is important that you share your knowledge with others. Be a source of information about the industry you operate in – as in your business. When you learn amazing new things, share with your audience. These will establish you as the go to person for useful information. You on the other hand are building your brand and enhancing your image. By sharing valuable information with your followers, they get to see you as someone who adds value to them, and it would be easier for you to occasionally talk to them about your products and services.
5 Engage your audience
Over the years, you would attract some followers on social media. You need to continue to engage them so as to build your personal brand. You do not want to appear as a snub, so take your time to reply comments politely and share good contents that are in line with your industry or your goals and objectives. Quotes, images, videos and other contents that would attract and interest your audience would keep them glued to you. Soon, you would be known by a lot of people for what you represent and before you know it, it would be easy for you to market your product or services to them. If you have enough following, you could even become an influencer that other brands would leverage for their produducts.
If you follow these tips, no doubt you would create a unique identifiable personal brand, you would also promote your business brand and in no time, you would start making those extra currencies and most importantly, you would become a voice to recon among your peers.