#HOWTO: Brand Yourself

24 Jul 2017 - 09:30


Written by Dominique Jacobs


Being your own brand is a thing and it’s an idea more people need to get familiar with. In our hyper-interconnected age, personal branding is more than mere self-promotion and goes far beyond just ego. Labour is a commodity and people are the product/ service. More and more, businesses are looking at the online presence of their potential employers before employing someone. Businesses want to know what you can do before they work with you. This shows not only a person’s capabilities but also speaks to what type of person they are.

You need to be getting yourself out there – in a good way. No one wants a liability.

Know your brand. Make sure that who you are online, is who you are in real life. Uphold your integrity online and offline. When having meetings with potential clients or investors, having knowledge and a well-rounded understanding of what your brand is and what it can do for the other person is extremely beneficial. Body language is important in personal branding – it is very telling of how much you’re invested in your brand/ business and how much you believe in it.

An audience can see inauthenticity. Being ‘real’ is extremely important to an audience. Everything you say or do becomes part of your brand. Having a personal brand is part of an experience. Think about it. Why do you watch YouTubers’ videos or read blog posts or watch someone’s Insta-story? These people offer a narrative that’s aspirational but also attainable; they take you to places & events and you, as the viewer, get to share the journey.

Set goals for yourself. Assess where you are right now and figure out where you want to be and what you need to do to get there. Make sure they are clearly defined and not just broad outlines. The more specific you are with your goal-setting, the more focused your actions towards achieving those goals will be.

You should be positioned as brand that is different and unique to your competitors while still being the correct choice for your clients. Margaret Zhang says that Instagram is the best way to do that. Images give a visual representation of your brand and bring it to life. UCT Radio has always been unsure of what we wanted to do with our Instagram and this year, our Social Media Team dedicated a great deal of their efforts into deciphering this dilemma that still spoke to our brand identity ( Consider what you’re posting, does it reflect you in the way you would like?

Social media is an important tool to use in personal branding. Don’t underestimate its power. Companies understand this so much more than in the past and are creating job positions specifically for social media within their businesses. Being active and engaged on your social media platforms can make one person just as powerful and influential as big businesses – just look at YouTubers. Make your engagement with your audience personal. Persuade people to become a part of your audience. Encourage them to follow you on Twitter, like you on Facebook, subscribe to your YouTube channel, join your blog’s mailing list or follow you on Instagram or Snapchat. Be proactive in managing your brand!

Here are a few questions you should be asking yourself:

  1. What’s your market niche?
  2. What is the message that your brand conveys?
  3. What are your goals? Are they clearly defined?
    • What are your objectives for achieving this?
    • How far are you from your goal?
    • What do you need to change in order to achieve your goals?
  4. How can you grow your brand?
  5. Are your followers faithful?
    • If not, how can you change this?

Key points to remember:

  1. Use social media. Post regularly
  2. Build and engage with your community & audience
  3. Build your credibility
  4. Nurture your following
  5. Believe in your brand
  6. Personalise your message