What’s the difference between branding and personal branding? As Bernadette Jiwa of The Story of Telling explains, “‘Personal branding’ is simply how we market ourselves to others, we do it subconsciously every day in the way we dress, speak and act.” The same is true for companies – branding is the way companies market themselves to others in the way they “dress” (like with a logo or website), ”speak” (like in marketing communications), and “act” (like in public relations).
A great example Jiwa gives is regarding the graphic designer David Airey. As she explains, a Google search for the term “graphic designer” turns up over 25 million organic results and Airey is one of the first. If you think about it, through personal branding, designer Airey has made is name virtually synonymous with the general term “graphic designer” – an impressive feat! Just imagine the number of graphic designers and graphic design agencies all across the web that come up in those 25 million results.
After a discussion with Airey, Jiwa composed a list of ways in which he accomplished developing his personal brand. Though geared toward personal branding, many of these strategies could be tweaked to apply to companies as well:
- Invest time in creating a reputation – define who you are and what you stand for with an online presence.
- Decide how you would like to be perceived in your niche and set goals to achieve.
- Leverage your online platforms – communicate your abilities/services/products and showcase your expertise.
- Build a community and connections around your work using social media.
- Evolve your brand as your reputation grows.
- Openly display your work, ethics and authenticity across all marketing platforms.
- Give your audience a place to stay up to date, interact, and acquire and share knowledge.
- Do great work!