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When starting a company that’s ‘just you’, constructing a personal brand is fundamental to becoming successful.
As soon as your name is linked to a brand, your actions become the actions of that brand – everything you do reflects on your brand.
Personal branding is about representing your professional persona, being the person you want your audience to see.
In this article, we’re going to use sporting personalities as an example of creating a personal brand, as Ed has worked with a few sportspeople in the past.
In the world of sports, standing out and developing your personal brand is necessary to stand out from the rest in a highly competitive environment.
Not only do you need to be unique, but you also need to prove your results to attract sponsors, teams, and events, and to be that inspirational role model to your audience.
So how do you create a successful personal brand?
Read on, and we’ll tell you everything you need to know.
Be a hero
Before you even start to build your personal brand, you need to know how you could be perceived by those who look up to you, and by your audience.
In the world of sports, it doesn’t matter at what stage of your sporting career you are, your talent alone means that you are in a position of influence.
In other industries, take the approach that you are in a position of influence, even if you don’t feel as though you are.
Your confidence in yourself is, ultimately, how you build your personal brand.
Take time to find out you target audience, know what they like about you - why they follow you - and use those findings to further develop your personal brand.
You can also use the influence that you gather to do some good for a cause you believe in.
Be seen by your followers doing charity work, give something back.
Not only will you be genuinely doing some good, but you will also be seen as a ‘hero’.
Et voilá! You have fans that last a lifetime.
Get the results
Your results are you achieving your goals, be they winning a race or benching 150lbs.
A personal brand differs from a business brand in that your results are your way of promoting yourself.
Of course, not every personal brand is a sports personality, so here’s a list of potential results that you can aim for and showcase to promote your personal brand:
Win an award in your industry
Create a website
Secure a new client
Hiring new staff
Positive customer feedback
Reach a certain number of social media followers
Speak at an industry event
So set yourself these personal brand goals, get the results, and shout about them!
Working with collaborators
Athletes have created some of the most influential brands around today, and have become some of the most followed people on social media, with other brands are using this popularity to boost their own.
Social media is a big part of creating and presenting your personal brand, and is worth considering even for those without businesses of their own.
93% of employers now check social media before the interview process, and for sponsors of sporting brands, this is one of their primary focuses.
For sporting brands deciding which sporting personalities to collaborate with, they have to make sure that the sportsperson’s online personal brand matches their own brand values.
When talking to former athletes, they always warn of people or business that approached them to use their brand for their own promotions.
Don’t promote anything that you don’t believe in.
On social media and the internet, everything you post can be seen, saved and has the potential to destroy your brand, or even your career.
But it also has the potential to boost your personal brand to dizzying heights.
As with anything worth doing, there’s always a risk, so be sure to consider the consequences of what you’re posting, and how you’re presenting your personal brand.
Building your social media profile
To build your social media profile for your personal brand, the key is communication.
Make regular, relevant comments on other profiles and articles - not just meaningless ‘nice profile’ comments with a load of fire emojis.
Make yourself known as an authority in your industry, and use social media as another platform to learn.
Post regularly, as well. For those that struggle with this (I hear you!), there are lots of scheduling platforms that you can use.
Set aside time to create your schedule for the next week or month, and go from there.
Stand out and be yourself
You have a unique story of your own personal brand.
It’s so tempting to copy what other famous brands are doing, but this won’t make you stand out, and will mean that your personal brand will stagnate and not grow.
Remember that this is your own personal brand: inject your own personality to your brand, and don’t be afraid to be honest.
Your brand doesn’t stop when you aren’t actively doing your job, running your business, or winning a race - with today's personal branding and social media influencing, your brand continues to grow, even when you aren’t actively working.
Just like a business brand, your personal brand has its own USPs (unique selling points), making you an individual.
Use your USPs to build your personal brand, and see each day as an opportunity to grow your brand.
A good analogy is with sports training: even when people can’t see you, you’ll be training and making yourself stronger, faster, better.
Then you see the results.
Throughout this article, we’ve shown some example of images of clients that Heffers Design have helped with their own sporting brands.
We want to hear about your tips for growing personal brands - put them in the comments below!