I gave a talk at the International Women's Day event at Women Tech Makers Ajah, Lagos and I've decided to turn that talk into a blog post that everyone can access. Personal Branding is a term we have probably come across a few times and even know what it is all about and how it ties to building a career. In this article, I'll be sharing the benefits of building a brand, why it is important and some tips to get you started on that journey.
What is Personal Branding
Personal Branding is the process of developing a "mark" that is created around your name or your career. You use this "mark" to express and communicate your skills, personality, and values.
Why Building A Brand Is Important
The idea of personal branding in this case for developers is not to cumulate a number of followers on social media or the social status attached to it. But rather it is a way to grow in your career and also create a niche for yourself. So why is it important to build a brand for yourself?
- Career Advancement: This is one of the most reason why I think building a brand is worthwhile because you end up taking your career to the next level. When you have a brand, you tend to do less convincing because now your brand speaks for you. In a case where you're looking to switch Jobs or take a new role, I've found that having a brand for yourself makes that process a tad bit stressful.
- Purpose: Every single person has a purpose that they are working towards achieving and this might be that you want to become a better teacher or it can be that you love animations and sharing your work with others gives you a sense of accomplishment whatever your purpose is, cultivating that and making it a brand for yourself will eventually make you achieve your goal.
- Self Awareness: At the end of the day, you want to be recognized for the great work you're doing right, building a brand around your name will make this even easier because people around you will start to recognize your work and get acquainted with your brand and this eventually gives you the self-awareness you need and make you feel like people are interested in your work and value you offer.
I love this quote by Chris Ducker take a minute to think about it before moving on.
Your personal brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room, remember that - Chris Ducker
How To Build Your Brand?
Now that we have established the fact that creating a brand for yourself is the best way to go both for your personal and career goals. Let's take a look at the ways you can build your brand.
- Create Your Persona: A Persona is an aspect of one's character that is presented to or perceived by others. Building a persona or bio should be a step towards building your brand. Create a unique bio for yourself that defines who you are, the work you're doing and why people should be interested in you.
- Be Yourself: Faking it till you make it is not the drill here. I'll like to advise you to be yourself no matter what your plans are, Do You! Never feel the need to pretend to be what you are not just to attract attention because, in the end, that is you living a lie. Find out what works best for you and stick to it.
- Share Your Knowledge: I cannot overemphasize this enough, share the knowledge you have by either blogging about it, making video tutorials or mentoring others. I think it is a win-win situation here because you still learn from doing these things and also impact other people lives.
- Build Your Platform: You will need to build a platform for yourself where you can safely share your work and promote your brand. By creating a personal portfolio or a blog you'll be on the right path to making your work known to others and you can also leverage the power of social media to help you with this.
12 Month Strategy
I found this while doing research on this topic, The 12 Month Strategy is basically you spacing out the steps you want to take in building a brand for yourself into 12 steps which you can take on one step every month. This is a flexible strategy where you can pick to do whatever you want to at any point and even decide to space into 6 months anything that works for you is great.
Benefits of Owning A Brand
We have seen how to build your brand and sustain it, Now let's take a look at some benefits of owning a brand.
- Increase Your Network Building a brand for yourself often requires you interact with other people in the same industry as you and by so doing you get to create a network of individuals that will play a significant role in your career and also make an impact in your brand so this should not be taken for granted.
- Job Opportunities: I often think this is one of the benefits of having a personal brand because your brand can bring about different opportunities including great job offers as far as you're creating value and making an impact, people will want to work with you.
- Influence: Finally, I think this benefit will come without a doubt when you build a brand for yourself you are indefinitely creating a voice for yourself in the community and that is because of the valuable impact you're making.
Tips To Apply When Building A Brand
- Stay Consistent
- Create Valued Content
- Join or Build Communities
- Share Your Work
- Create a Space For Yourself
I hope you take out one or two tips from this article, let me know if there are other tips you have tried that helped you by reaching out to me on twitter @lauragift21
Here's a link to the slides for my talk.