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Creating a personal brand can be a quite challenging task and one of the easiest ways to get lost in the process is to not know how or where to start. It is worth mentioning that a personal brand is of help to every professional in the digital world.

Hence we at Chicago 42 share the 11 most important tips for you to start creating your own personal engaging, unique, and inviting personal brand.

1. Have a focus.

Keeping your message focused for your target demographic will make it that much easier to both create content around your personal brand and have others define you.

2. Be a Subject Matter Expert in your targeted niche.

We recommend you to garner a reputation of being an expert (subject matter expert), and a source of reference, in the niche field you are targeting when initially building your personal brand.

3. Be genuine.

People can see right through a disingenuous act. The more obviously a brand is a copycat, the more the audience will be disenchanted with it. You have to demonstrate consistency across your communication, gravitas, and appearance. It is not uncommon to see how some Social Media personalities lose their influence when their audience (followers) finds out that their life is not consistent with the message they pretend to communicate publicly. Don’t ever underestimate how tiny inconsistencies can derail personal brand effectiveness and destroy a reputation.

4. Tell a story.

If your personal brand isn’t telling a story, you’ve already lost half of your potential audience. The most effective personal branding strategies these days are designed with the intention of building a true narrative. Remember that single character monologues are boring in Tinseltown, and even more boring for your personal brand, hence you have to create a story around your brand that your audience can engage with. One of the best ways to tell that story is through written content followed by any visual engagement material like pictures or video.

5. Be consistent.

Being consistent is very similar to having a narrow focus. It is much easier to get recognized for one topic if you consistently create content and brand voice around it. Ensure that your personal brand promise stays consistent, both online and offline. Regardless of whether you are creating a wild, incredibly out-there fun brand, or one that’s a bit more on the conservative (corporate) side consistency is key.

6. Be ready to fail.

You will never achieve the best branding until you fail a couple times while pushing past your comfort zone. Failure is tough, and all of us generally want to avoid it, that is human nature. However to have a personal brand that rises above the rest you need to learn from your failures. The very best brands always come from repeated trial and error, mistakes and failures and not from instant perfection.

7. Create a positive impact.

After you’ve developed your personal brand over a period of time, there are generally two ways to continue to build your brand:

Remember you are your brand, no matter what your current job is, what project you happen to be working on, or whatever the priority happens to always keep in mind the impact you leave on others. Remember all we have is our own reputation and that is our brand.

Sharing some of your knowledge and experience will help to grow your brand in the long run.

8. Follow a successful example.

People interested in personal branding need to start marketing themselves like the celebrities and influential people that they look up to every day. The success often comes from studying trends and popular individuals on different social media platforms and then implementing them with a twist. It is worth mentioning that this should be followed with a creative dissection of digital analytics to establish what your niche trend can be.

9. Live your brand.

As mentioned before, one of the ways you can make building a personal brand difficult on yourself is to separate your brand from your personal life. While certainly doable, it’s easier when initially creating a personal brand to have your actual lifestyle and brand be one and the same.

Your personal brand should follow you everywhere you go. It needs to be an authentic manifestation of who you are and amplify what you believe. With this in mind, your personal brand is not only a reflection of a series of job functions like marketing, finance, or creative but also ideals like giving back thoughtful leadership, or mentorship. Don’t thwart your efforts by living a double life since this can be exposed at any time destroying your personal brand and your reputation as well. Always remember that all we have in our life is our good name and the reputation we garner!

10. Let others tell your story.

The best PR comes by word of mouth! Creating a personal brand in the public sphere is no exception to this rule; remember that personal branding is the story people tell about you when you are not present.

11. Leave a legacy.

Once you’ve built your personal brand with a reputation and community behind it, the next step is to think about the legacy that you’ll leave behind. What are the keywords and actions that you want to be known for? Building a personal brand is much bigger than building a business. The only exit strategy is legacy.

A personal brand is a lifelong project that constantly evolves and changes. Even the experts who build or enhance the biggest brands in the business know that there are no hard-set rules for creating a personal brand.

But these general guidelines help provide first steps, especially if you’re starting a new brand or rebranding. Creating the right personal brand will not only help you be known in your field and consistently land work but it could be the difference between “Who are you?” and “Thank you for being here” in your career.

If you want to learn more about how to create and build your personal brand please stay tuned and subscribe to our newsletter to know more about our coming seminar on personal branding.

By Abraham Zavala-Quiñones & Helena Osorio-Zavala
@AZQMX (Twitter & IG)
@helenabosorio (IG)