Every now and then you hear the crazy valuations of startups (which have becomes brands), but how often do you think of the valuations of your own professional brand called “YOU”? Every big brand (company) constitutes of people with different set of expertise, but it's actually the combined team effort of individual people (YOU) which makes that brand standout.
In today’s world, everyone has an online presence – be it to stay connected with friends/family, to express yourself, or to be visible to recruiters to get discovered. So what is it that differentiates you from the crowd of many similar other online profiles? It's your own brand value that makes you take a lead from others.
The consumer world is driven by Brands. Your laptop, watch, shirt, mobile, etc., all are from the brands which ultimately stand out from the crowd. These are the brand names that comes to your mind whenever you think of a product these companies make. Every good company wants to associate themselves with people having higher brand value in specific skillsets, whether it is software development, marketing, sales, etc.
Startup and entrepreneurs needs to stand out from the crowd to be a leader, and become visible to the world as a brand. In order for you to stand out from the crowd, you need to start projecting yourself amongst the decision makers in your area of expertise. Nobody will tell the world that you are an expert in a particular topic, you have to do it yourself.
A brand in simple words is your promise to deliver on expectations no matter what. You as a brand is a promise that you make to anyone who believes in you or your product. People stick to a brand because of the trust it has build upon them. Customers spends their time and money on a brand. A brand resides more in the minds of people than as any tangible entity. It’s more about what customers think when they hear of a brand’s name, that is, what (and of whom) do people think of when they hear of a particular skillset. Do they think of you? This is what differentiates you from your competitors.
Everyone holds a brand value of oneself. We represent our own professional brand. For example, if you are an employee at a company and decide to move from company A to company B, you carry your brand along with you. You represent your own brand. Therefore, your focus should be always on making the brand YOU bigger, more valuable and more visible to the world.
How to determine if you (as a professional) are considered a brand? Ask yourself, what is it that YOU offers that others in your area of work do not? Here are few questions you can ask yourself to know that:
If your answer to above points is Yes, then you are already a brand. Then comes another quick question set, you can ask yourself.
If your answer is No, you need to market/sell yourself in order to be known in your professional community. In this Internet age, your presence is not limited just within a region you are located, but across the globe. So if you are really good at certain skills, you can be hired by anyone from any other part of the world.
In this age of social media, it is not hard to bring across to the world the knowledge which you have already acquired. This could be achieved in various ways. Some of them are:
Building your own brand is something you earn by investing your time into improving your skills. Nobody can ever take this away from your identity. This is what will separate you from others and make you stand out as a brand. You need to make people (your prospective employer or investor) aware of your skill sets. You also need to know how to market yourself.
Once you become a brand in your professional field, the world will come seeking you. Therefore, building your OWN brand is something that you should invest your time and focus into from today. Be a brand in your field and the world would want you!
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)