Your brand is undeniably one of the most valuable aspects of your business. A great personal brand creates credibility, consistency, and solidifies your position in the market. But how can we create a brand? And more importantly, how can we create one that not only conveys us authentically, but also draws in an audience?

Here are four tips to help you cultivate your own personal brand.

1. Develop Your Self-Awareness

Eric Feng went from being an unknown local trainer in Singapore to a celebrated global speaker, all thanks to social media. Prior to COVID-19, Eric was traveling the world at an unprecedented rate. While traveling, he taught salespeople and entrepreneurs how to use social media to attract paying customers without running ads.

How did he do it? According to Eric, the core of personal branding is self-awareness. You have to know what makes your biggest fans rush to do business with you, and you only. Once you do, double down on those attributes and you will attract more super fans who celebrate you for who you are.

Here’s what you can do right now. Talk to your best clients. Ask them why they chose to do business with you specifically. Look for the common attributes or actions you took that made them fall in love with you in the first place. Identify five, and then focus your efforts on these five attributes!

2. Strengthen Your Online Presence

Yeo Shi Yuan is a corporate legal counsel, chartered secretary, GRC professional, and global business partner with diverse experience providing legal advice, risk mitigation, and exposure minimization strategies to regional and global organizations.

Shi Yuan discovered the importance of personal branding when he started posting more actively on his LinkedIn and Instagram profiles. He projected his persona online, sharing moments and stories from his life and offering his perspectives on current events. He got to interact with people from all walks of life, from those who shared similar life experiences like being bullied at school, to those in his profession who could relate with the struggles he faced as a corporate lawyer. These struggles ranged from stress management to mental health challenges. Keeping his personal brand and online presence updated allowed him to not only become more aware of how he was being perceived, but also provided him with the motivation and support necessary to overcome his challenges.

3. Connect to Your Audience

Sara Blakely is the founder of SPANX, a wildly successful intimate apparel company. Since founding her company, she’s been named the world’s youngest, self-made billionaire by Forbes and one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People. From the very start, SPANX has focused heavily on their central mission: helping women feel great about themselves and their potential.

Blakely notes that being able to constantly define and also redefine your idea of the demographic you’re targeting is absolutely key. SPANX started as a company that focused on compression, but in recent years, their focus has shifted. Society has embraced athleisure, and yoga pants and leggings have become the norm. Rather than letting this push shapewear out of business, Blakely is connecting with her audience in a different way. Many women just want a bit of added comfort, and SPANX can offer that. Instead of describing the product as something that completely changes your shape, SPANX now describes it as a tool to complement your curves and smooth out bumps. This is something the modern woman can relate to and desire. The world is constantly changing, and as a business, you must be ready to adapt, check in with your audience, and reconnect.

4. Networking

When most of us think of Barbara Corcoran, we think of power. We think of raw success, confidence, and unparalleled drive. But Corcoran wasn’t always this successful. When she was growing up, dyslexia prevented her from doing well in school. She graduated from high school with straight D’s, barely made it through college, and had run through 20 jobs by the time she turned 23. But after she quit that 20th job, she borrowed $1000 and started The Corcoran Group, one of the best-known brands in the brokerage business. From there, Barbara has become an internationally-known businesswoman, speaker, author, and television personality.

One of Barbara’s secrets is networking— something that comes in many shapes and sizes. To network, interpersonal skills are key. Every relationship you care about needs time to develop. Stay engaged with the people that matter. To meet them, be open to many types of networking functions. Show interest in others, and be aware that networking should involve some kind of mutual benefit. And most importantly, be yourself, authenticity creates connection.

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