Building a personal brand requires a lot of work early on, with results coming in later. Sometimes it can take years for the results to show, while at times it can become an overnight success. With artists, musicians, CEOs and fintech leaders building personal brands based on trust and community, it takes a lot of work and content to create value in the noise.
Giving the right message
The strategy to creating a remarkable personal brand needs constant attention and care. Letâ€™s look at the legendary personal branding guru Sir Richard Branson (CEO of Virgin Group). He works around the clock, but has a great time surfing, lounging and launching companies. People love him, not because heâ€™s rich or boastful, but because heâ€™s built a personal brand based on trust and genuineness.
Thatâ€™s the key takeaway here. When you have a persona that youâ€™re building up in the market, you need to define it to reflect key aspects that you consider paramount. If you think that business and money are the number 1 aspect to life, then your personal brand should reflect that. If you consider the true essence of your brand as giving-back, then thatâ€™s what your message should be. It should be a singular message and scalable to a particular community. Thatâ€™s how you build over 13 million followers on LinkedIn, like Sir Branson has.
â€śCompetition is important as it encourages innovation, change and positive disruption - all of which improve the market and ultimately benefit customers. Nearly every one of our Virgin business have started in an industry which was ripe for disruption,â€ť Sir Branson believes.
While itâ€™s clear that having a personal brand is better than not having one, the strategy must be overarching towards the personal goals of the persona and their business accomplishments
Elon Musk, CEO Tesla, is another â€śbest practiceâ€ť for building a great personal brand. Elonâ€™s gone through massive failures in his life, biggest ones among them being the 2008 crash that almost slashed Tesla down to 0. Now, Teslaâ€™s made him a multi-billionaire and someone who the youth looks up to quite admirably.
Elon has always been candid, and open about his thoughts about starting a business, and growing a community.
â€śBecause, when you first start a company, there's lots of optimism. And things are great. Happiness at first is high. And then you encounter all sorts of issues--and happiness will steadily decline. Then, you'll go through a whole world of hurt. And, eventually, if you succeed--and in most cases you will not succeed ... And Tesla almost didn't succeed. It came very close to failure. If you succeed, then after a long time, you will finally get back to happiness.â€ť
Elon compares starting companies to the reality of the daunting task ahead. This differentiates his opinion from others who may want to focus on the passion-side of things, or those that want the youth to explore their hidden talents, etc. The genuine and frank nature of Elon makes him transparent enough to become appealing. Heâ€™s become famous across the internet for his â€śeccentricâ€ť thoughts on the â€śmultiverse theoremâ€ť as well, giving him more than 16 Million followers on Twitter.
In its essence, a personal brand focus on three things:
What your message is all about, and how it resonates with the people consuming that message. It could be about tech stocks, or building real estate, or even about consulting, but it should be a message that is coherent and remarkable. The community you are targeting must engage with your message from a scale perspective, and follow you to consume more of that information.
What action are you taking on the basis of that message? What action can make you famous in your community. Are you championing a message or cause, or are you not acting on your words? In the world of personal brand building, people want to see action as much as they want to consume the message.
Do your words and actions rally a community? If it does then youâ€™re all set to building a personal brand. If you are consistent enough on a long-term basis then these 3 actions will coalesce into one cohesive message that becomes scalable. When a community is engaged, nothing can take that away from a personal brand.
A personal brand is one that transcends space and time. You can remember a certain quote or message from a person, even if theyâ€™re not pop culture icons, because of how it impacted your life. A personal brand if built strategically, can have great powers beyond the life and reach of the entrepreneur themselves.