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Things to Know Before You Build Your Personal Brand


Asked about personal brand role models many people will naturally think about big names: conference speakers, mentors, celebrities, actors, singers, journalists.

But before you think that building your own personal brand isn’t for you, I want you to realise that all those people you thought about in the first place, also had encountered their own beginnings. And however those first attempts feel, whether they last longer or not, you should know it’s just an initial phase of the whole process and with time, you’ll feel less and less hesitant and awkward.

Daring to take this journey is for everyone, and your path doesn’t have to lead to (or through) the traditional media and red carpets. Everyone has a right to want something different — that’s why throughout the whole process you should remember about your own goals.

Building your personal brand is like working on a relationship but with yourself.

Therefore, if you feel you’re under pressure to be something someone else wants you to be— believe me — it probably won’t lead you to anything authentic. There’s a risk that in a few months you may catch yourself implementing someone else’s vision, chasing the goals you’ve never wanted to achieve and meeting expectations that have never been set up by you. You probably don’t want that to happen. So how to avoid such a situation?

Whether you’re working for an organisation, or running your own business, there are a few things you should know before you even start building your personal brand.

My natural reaction to changes is understanding all the ‘WHY’s’ standing behind the whole idea and so, defining motivations has always been a crucial thing in the processes of building all the brands with my clients. Some of them were quite obvious to find, the others not that much.

Here’s a list of gains and reasons why working on Personal Brand is worth an effort:

1/ Your brand is space where you can fully use your potential and talents to grow. It’s a huge boost for your self-development and to be honest — doing things you really love may boost your confidence, too!

2/You can make yourself visible on the job market:

  • as a specialist
  • as an ambassador of your own field of interest

3/ You can become more interesting than others in your industry, who don’t work on their brands. Just because you’ll use your communication channels.

4/ You can build a business interest based on your skills, talents and knowledge.

5/ You can build your network and meet amazing people on your path.

6/ You can become a conference speaker not only in your city, but also in the whole world. At the same time you can meet specialists and enthusiasts with whom you can share your experiences.

7/ You can become an ambassador of the company you work for and make it a more authentic workplace. It’s a crucial thing for the companies to have brand ambassadors among the employees. Gains?

  • Employer branding
  • Business development gains — bigger trust among potential clients
  • Company’s recognition

 

If some of the motivations listed above sound familiar, that’s great. You’re on a right path. You should remember that at the beginning there’s a lot of things to define and plenty of questions to answer. If you’ve never found an hour to work on them, well, it’s a good moment. Otherwise, every time you’ll have some space to work on your brand, those questions may haunt you and track you down. So my advice is: take a sheet of paper (like right now), make yourself a cup of tea, sit comfortably and think about the answers to the questions below.

A list of questions to start working on your brand:

  • How would you like to describe yourself? What is your goal? How do you want to be seen?
  • What are your favourite skills that can be used to reach your personal branding goal?
  • Do you have a network of people who support you?
  • Does your workplace support you at building your personal brand?
  • Who are the people you want to reach? What’s their focus?
  • What experiences could you share with your audience?

If those questions seem obvious — great, it means you’ve been there. If they’re scary, try to take a breath and discover the answers.

Try, experiment, check, modify, try again. Talk to people who are going to be your audience, ask what’s that they’re missing, what motivates them. Talk to your employer, figure out the company goals, ask yourself whether those goals are aligned to yours. Maybe there are some ways your workplace can support your growth?

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Rita Pater
Rita is a communication strategist of brands, places and events. At Project: People she builds marketing strategies and works with organisations, designing their processes and initiatives supporting company culture development. For a few years her field of exploration is focused on leadership in businesses related to the sector of new technologies. Author of #changeisfemale interviews - a series of portraits of change leaders in new technologies and business. Founder of the mentoring group for women in IT (Table Talks inspired by Lean In Circle) and Founding Partner at Leaders Hive - a mentoring club for leaders. She claims that the best investment you can make is an investment in yourself, which is why she travels a lot and also constantly explores topics related to psychology, coaching and psychotherapy.

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