Why Personal Branding is Important for your Career and How to Use it for your Career Growth

Personal branding is a marketing process in which you position yourself as a thought leader, grow credibility and be seen as an expert in what you are doing. It is the investment you make in yourself to let others know that you exist. It helps your target audience become aware of your existence and your uniqueness. In short, you become an asset yourself.

Dan Schwabel defines personal branding the best:

Personal branding is all about how we market ourselves to others.

The secret of every successful individual is, how they brand themselves.

Personal branding is the secret to immediately make yourself stand out in an increasingly chaotic and noisy environment. It is the most important tool for freelancers, independent professionals and entrepreneurs to market themselves. In addition, Peter Montoya, the noted branding guru, notes that personal branding has powerful benefits for corporate employees.

Why do you need personal branding?

To grab and sustain the attention of your target audience. You have multiple competitors and rivals.

People are saturated with information, and employers are saturated with CVs. You need to stand out from the rest.

  • Your voice can easily by drowned by multiple other voices. Build your unique voice.
  • You can be easily ignored if you don’t prove that you are special.  
  • Personal branding makes you more recognizable and approachable because people remember easily what is unique.
  • Building credibility fetches you high ticket clients
  • Quickly convert your expertise into money
  • Thought leadership triples your salary or profits
  • To get high returns with minimal investment
  • Attain long term benefits such as philanthropy and community leadership

Please note: Personal branding can’t operate with the same approach for everyone. It needs to be tailor-made for the individual and his station in life.

How you brand yourself depends on where in life’s journey you are

You are a living breathing human being who accumulates experience and age. Your career or entrepreneurial journey resembles that of a stream which cascades into a mighty river before joining the sea. Your personal branding must reflect this journey. The way you should brand yourself when you are a fresher out of college will be different from how you market yourself as a top level manager with 20+ years of experience.

  • As a fresher, you often start as a stream, accumulating knowledge, skills, and wealth along the way.
  • Soon enough, you begin to mature, and start to share your skills and knowledge with others, all the while accumulating more followers and other leaders' knowledge. This is when you resemble a mighty river. You are now a thought leader who is able to channel others' ideas and skills, and make it your own, before sharing them with the world.
  • From a thought leader, you will eventually mature into a senior level manager or executive. This is when you will have built a reservoir of knowledge, skills and expertise. From this reservoir, you can immediately give away what is asked for, for a fee or for free.
  • Finally, at the zenith of your career development, you can become a formidable philanthropist, mentor or leader, often resembling the deep sea.

Your career is about to take off. How do you make your presence felt, and be seen? (Experience: 0 – 5 years)

Don't aim for the moon. Aim for the stars

At this stage, you are either looking for your first job, or have just been employed by a startup. Either way, you need to stand out and get a better job to climb up the ladder. Unfortunately, freshers are dime a dozen, and so are new startups.

  • Don’t appear like a freelancer who is desperate for his first client. Show the world that you are established already.
  • Don’t be just another CV that will be tossed into the bin.
  • Get the promotion that your senior in college has been eyeing on.
  • Bag the client that your established rival will kill to get.
  • Invest in your future so that you can grow much bigger ten years down the lane.


Why do you need personal branding?

Let us say you have just graduated from college, or have a few years of experience. You frhave just started out as a stream. You know you have the skills, talent, and the drive. But here is the thing. People are only attracted to those who have experience.

Should you be dejected and disappointed? No! Use personal branding to   

Display your uniqueness and your talents

Stand out from the large number of youngsters who graduate from our colleges, or move into cities for work.

Prove to your audience that you are the real deal.



As a fresher or rookie, what can you achieve via personal branding?

Personal branding is very important for freshers because they need to stand out from thousands of job-seekers. As competition is tough, you will need to do that little extra to grab your hiring manager’s attention. Personal branding helps you to:

  • Show the world that you are not like other youngsters. You are skilled, experienced, and driven.
  • Get the job you have been dying to get, in half the time it would have taken otherwise
  • Climb up the career ladder and get the promotion your classmate has been eyeing
  • Get shortlisted automatically, without you having to approach companies
  • Get more calls and interview requests from top companies
  • Have the upper hand in salary negotiations


How to build a personal brand when your current situation is like this:

  • You are short on cash
  • You have skills and talent to prove
  • You don’t have an audience
  • You need credibility
  • You need to fine-tune yourself as a brand


Here is how to kickstart your personal branding right away:

To begin with, start with your savings. If you don’t have any savings, start small. Or get a small time gig. Even an unrelated part-time job can help you fund your initial investment in personal branding. Most importantly, start small. Don’t spend tons of money at this stage on your personal branding.

Identify your skills and invest a part of your budget in certifications that are easily recognizable. If you have unique talents, get a credible authority and agency to certify you.

Create an online presence. Invest in a web domain, a hosting account, and start becoming active on social media. Write about what you are good at, and encourage your audience to subscribe to your newsletter. Save these contacts. You will need them soon.

Get your seniors and established leaders to endorse you. This could be on LinkedIn or on your website. It could even be references provided by your more successful peers to their contacts. Building contacts and establishing credibility in the shadow of your seniors and successful peers is crucial.

Get an image makeover, and invest in your soft skills. This is also the right time to get active on YouTube, where you can make your presence felt by talking about your expertise. Now is not the time to be humble or modest!


How an inexperienced graphic designer became the Design Head at a popular startup

Anu’s Problem:

Anu Rao, a graphic designer from Bangalore, found it hard to get her first big time project. Though she had the skills to prove and was talented in logo designing, she just couldn't find a job or a client. Everyone thought she was just another person.


What did she do?

She started with a free WordPress blog, where she blogged about color psychology in terms of logo designing. She cleverly used all color-related hashtags and keywords to create content and social engagement. Soon enough, she had a decent number of followers on Twitter and Instagram.


How did this help her?

Her efforts paid off, when a local design agency requested her to join their team as a Design Head via a Twitter DM. She landed this job because she focused on a personal skill she had, which others didn't: knowledge about color psychology.


Anu invested in building her personal online presence, became active on social media, and showcased her unique knowledge and skills. This helped her get an attractive job without even attending an interview. Can you still afford to waste your time and money on cab rides to multiple companies, and returning home without getting a decent job offer? Be like Anu, and invest in personal branding to get the job you want quickly, and effortlessly!

So, you have a few years of experience. Are you branding yourself to leadership? (5 years to 10 years)

Avoid being outpaced by juniors. Leaders never become complacent. 

OK, so you probably have a few years of experience at your job. Or maybe, you have a decent number of clients that allow you to work from home and still go out sometimes. But have you noticed that your career growth has plateaued? If you don’t act now, you will be replaced by youngsters who are far more digitally savvy than you are.

Don’t be complacent and become self-satisfied with what you have. Life has a lot more to offer than what you have now. You certainly don’t need that fresher who joined today to boss over you tomorrow. You are supposed to be a leader already!
  • Don't let your career remain stagnant
  • Don't become satisfied with mediocrity
  • Aim for the stars because now is the right time
  • Snatch high-paying clients so that your future is completely secure
  • Don’t let your juniors race ahead of you

Now is not the time to be part of the race. It's time to lead the race!

Why you need personal branding when you have a few years of experience

At this stage, people usually become satisfied with what they have. Unfortunately, if you are one of them, you are missing out on reaching for the stars. The stream you started as should now have become a full-bodied river. Your savings and profits should have been invested in the right place. Unfortunately, you are stuck in a rut, and nothing seems to be moving or progressing. This is why you need personal branding:

  • Your juniors make you anxious and fearful
  • You are not taken seriously by your seniors despite your experience and skills
  • Your job is taking you nowhere, and you are still where you were 5 years ago
  • You feel like you are stuck in a rut
  • You are unhappy, dissatisfied and disappointed with your career

What can you achieve with the help of personal branding?

As a mid-level executive or a professional with a few years of experience, you will have built a solid base of knowledge, skills and honed your talents. However, all your talents and experience will not help if you remain complacent with what you have. People need to know that you exist, and that you are a leader. Personal branding at this stage will help you

  • Show the world that you have thought leadership in your domain
  • Get the promotion you have waited for years to get
  • Get selected at rival companies for 2X or 3X the salary you get now
  • Get yourself an image makeover that clearly says: “I am a leader”
  • Use your experience to become the go-to resource person in your domain. Make people contact you when they need help
  • Prepare yourself for a future of consulting business, high-ticket coaching and solid leadership

How to build a personal brand at this juncture

Here are the assumptions we make of people at this juncture

  • You have an acceptable source of income
  • You are skilled in niche areas
  • You already have an online presence
  • Your career is not progressing to the next level
  • You worry about your future

Here is what you need to do to establish your personal brand at this juncture:

While it may not be true of everyone, you probably have some savings now. Invest this in your personal branding. This could mean hiring an agency to engage your audience, getting that much-needed image makeover, and identify your unique marketable skills.

Once you have identified your marketable niche skills, create content. This could be videos for YouTube, Podcasts for iTunes or professionally created eBooks and Whitepapers. The trick is to create all your content yourself, but get it edited, designed and published by professionals. Don’t appear like a fresher. Even that little comma or the color of your tie matters.

Your online presence should now be put to work. Identify and segment your audience into various personas, and create content based on buyer persona. For every buyer persona, you should be the ultimate go-to person.

Tap the love your clients and employers shower on you. Ask them to spread the word and subscribe to your channel or Podcast, or to your newsletter. Give away your knowledge for free, especially to those your clients and employees refer. These are your future high-paying clients.

Never say no to help anyone, but make sure you are using that to build your brand. If you help someone, ask them to review you, or give you a heads-up when a senior position opens up in their company. Indulge in reciprocal behavior and establish yourself as a leader.

How Ramesh got out of a rut, and landed a big break

Ramesh’s Problem:

Ramesh Kumar, employed with a big MNC as a senior IT manager, was a senior manager only in name. His juniors received better pay checks, and the top-level management simply didn’t care for his career progression. His earnings had plateaued and the job was getting monotonous.

Solution:

Ramesh invested some of his savings in creating an online presence, and started to publish eBooks on developing Fintech applications. His eBooks were widely shared by app developers and coders. He started a PodCast that helped other coders to build apps for banks securely.

Benefits:

A rival IT company contacted him with a job offer that was that paid him 147% more than what he was earning. The company recognized that he is a leader in his area. What’s more, part of the job description was to help other financial companies focus on Fintech app security. Ramesh got the break he desperately needed!

Though employed at an MNC with a stable job, Ramesh was unhappy with the monotony and lack of recognition. Just by investing in personal branding and publishing eBooks on his special interests, he was able to quickly land up with a better paying, and more exciting job. He is now recognized as a leader in his domain. Do what Ramesh did, and invest in personal branding. Show the world that you are a leader that should be taken seriously!

Don't become cynical about your career. There are opportunities you didn't know existed! (10-20 years)

Life opens opportunities you didn't know exist. All you need to do is look in a different direction. 

Let's face it. There's only so much you can do when you work for a company. The career growth plateaus and even when you are in a top position, you may not progress further. Now is the time to leverage your personal branding to start a high-paying consulting business. You no longer have to work to earn, and can instead be paid for your advice. All the knowledge, skills, and talent you have acquired resembles a reservoir. The mighty river you once were, has now created a reservoir of skills and knowledge from which you can give away to those who need it.

  • Don't become cynical about career growth
  • Discover opportunities you didn't know existed
  • Offer paid consulting services to top-notch clients
  • Get other leaders to seek your advice
  • Enjoy your hard-earned success and celebrity-status

Why personal branding is important at this stage

I won't be surprised if you tell me that despite having a top job, you still have debts to pay. You still have medical expenses of family and relatives. And of course, an elite club membership always feels good, especially after working so hard for so many years.

Personal branding will help you fund all your dreams

You can discover dreams and opportunities you didn't know existed.

It is now time to brand yourself as a consultant whose time is money.

Leaders from different domains will now approach you for advise and solutions, and pay you handsomely for that.

You no longer have to work or wait for someone to appreciate your hard work

What can you achieve with the help of personal branding?

Personal branding at this stage can immediately ready you for a consulting business. You no longer have to wait every month for a fixed amount of money. You can make many times more than that simply by advising leaders from other domains. Most importantly, you will be invited to networking events and conferences, where you might get to speak about your skills. Imagine. Do you want an admiring audience at a plush event to look up to you, or you want to continue managing your team in a company, under stress and deadlines?

  • Get invited to speak at plush events and conferences
  • Start a consulting business for leaders from other domains
  • Make multiple times of money you currently take home as salary
  • Avoid the stress of a having to manage a team and watching your career progress nowhere
  • Get ready to start your life as a philanthropist or high-ticket coach

How to build a personal brand at this juncture

If you think you are a reservoir of knowledge and experience, this is probably your current condition

  • You have enough money but you still need more
  • You are an expert in your area but your job doesn’t let you progress
  • You have a fan following but your career is going nowhere
  • Leaders look up to you but it’s not converting to money making opportunities
  • You are the real deal when it comes to your domain but you feel stuck

Take your personal branding to the next level. Become a celebrity of sorts.

Money is a huge concern even at this stage. To achieve all your material dreams and success, start a consulting business to offer solutions and advises to leaders from other domains.   

Don’t limit yourself to a top level job at your current company. Write an actual book about your expertise, and get it published by a publishing house. Choose your speaking opportunities carefully. Don’t be visible everywhere. Those days are long gone!

Use your fan following to build your network further. Consider opportunities overseas to take your consulting business further. Internationalize your outlook, and offer solutions that work globally.

Use your celebrity status and authority to guide leaders in other areas, so that there is a positive improvement in all spheres of industry.

Enjoy your authority, status and power. It always feels good to know that you have arrived. Get the elite club membership you wanted, or that expensive car you always dreamed of. It is part of your personal brand!

How Maria put her leadership skills to use

Maria’s Dilemma:

Maria, an established investment manager, was not happy. She couldn’t indulge in luxuries like she had planned to, when she was younger. Moreover, she felt her company could no longer provide her career progression because she already held the top job. 

Solution:

Maria realised that to fund her indulgences and to do justice to her deep knowledge, she had to think radically. She used her extensive knowledge in the area of wealth management and investment to publish books with an established publisher. She launched a consulting company to help others invest wisely. 

Benefits:

Her books established her as a thought leader, and her consulting company saw way more clients than she could have hoped her. She now makes a 7 figure income easily, and has hope for tomorrow. 

Though Maria earned a decent sum of money, she still couldn't spend on life's little luxuries. As her company provided no other opportunities for growth, she realised she had to take in the reins herself. She launched a consulting company and used her book to brand herself as an acclaimed author. This helped her consulting business to kick-off. Do you want to follow the footsteps of Maria or remain stuck in a company where there is no progression?

Have you reached the zenith of career development? Probably there is more! (20 plus years of experience)

Don't stop at success ever. There is always more. 

You have arrived at a station in life where most people can never reach. You are not just a leader or celebrity. You are the epitome of success and accomplishment in your domain. Yet, your company doesn’t think so. If they find someone younger who will lead for less, they will hire them. Do you want to vest your entire life’s efforts and achievements in the hands of someone else? Or would you like to take lead and help yourself?

Now is the time to mentor, inspire, and help create leaders of tomorrow. Start high ticket coaching and mentoring. You can even indulge in philanthropy!

You embody success and accomplishment, but you’ve reached a dead-end

You are not able to fight for the causes you believe in, because philanthropy needs money

You wish to give back to the society that made you and create better leaders for tomorrow

Why personal branding is important at this stage

Most people already recognize you, and you are a leader and celebrity in your domain. However, you are limited by the company you lead, and you are not able to reach achieve self-actualization. At this stage, personal branding establishes you as a philanthropist, mentor, and leader and opens opportunities for high-ticket coaching and mentoring. 

  • Personal branding allows you to truly achieve self-actualization
  • Establish yourself as a philanthropist worthy of respect
  • Be invited as chief guest or as a speaker at prestigious events
  • Help lead the leaders of tomorrow
  • Put your experience and wisdom to good use

What can you achieve with personal branding at this stage?

If you have read about Abraham Maslow's theory of hierarchy of needs, he puts it this way. We all have basic physiological needs such as air, water, shelter, clothing, etc. Next, we need safety. This could be job safety, personal security and other similar factors. Next comes love and belonging, which can be achieved in your personal life. The fourth and fifth needs are esteem and self-actualization. 

Personal branding will help you achieve high self-esteem. It will also help you achieve self-actualization. 

  • You will make full use of all your talents, experience and wisdom at this stage. 
  • Experience the thrill of creating leaders of tomorrow 
  • Imagine the joy of changing the world for the better
  • Learn to experience the satisfaction of achieving everything that you ever could have

How to build a personal brand when you have succeeded in life and career

You may have some of the common qualities of people in this stage:

  • You embody success and accomplishment
  •   People admire you and your causes
  • You want to create leaders of tomorrow
  • You want to give back to the society
  • You want to watch the world improve

Use your influence and wisdom to brand yourself 

You have achieved most material things but humans needs do not end. Use high-ticket coaching to create the capital you need for your expenses. Mentoring and consulting solutions can be offered alongside as well. 

Choose causes carefully that aligns with your interests and personality. If you have strongly felt about a certain cause, and you wish to make a difference, now is the time. Identify organizations that work for your cause, and make a philanthropic list.

Philanthropy does not have to come from your pocket. You just need to use your influence and position to make more wealth that can be diverted towards the causes you care. In fact, philanthropic activities are powerful ingredients of a personal branding initiative. 

Use the wealth you generate by speaking, coaching and mentoring to improve the world around you. It could be a cause you care about or multiple causes that you strongly feel about. Launch events and get written about in local media. Public relations work wonders for one’s personal branding. 

It is truly a time for personal fulfillment and self-actualization. Use personal branding initiatives to feel good about yourself. Inspire yourself by inspiring others!

When career progression wasn’t everything Preetham wanted

Preetham’s Problem:

Preetham, a successful lawyer, always felt very strongly about child laborers. He used to contribute to various NGOs such as CRY. Yet, he didn’t feel satisfied. He wanted to get his hands dirty and do a lot more. Unfortunately, though he earned enough money for himself and his family, he couldn’t donate more or invest time in his pet projects. 

Solution:

He hired a personal branding agency to help him identify organizations that worked hard for the cause of child laborers. He raised funds for them using his authority. He also raised funds by engaging in high-ticket coaching and speaking. He started to represent victims of child abuse, and offered free legal services to them. Soon enough, he became a well respected children’s rights lawyer. 

Benefits:

He started to offer his legal services for free, and trained other lawyers about child abuse, the legal issues, etc. This gave him joy, and made him come into direct contact with child laborers and others. Not only did he become a philanthropist overnight, he also started to get top-notch clients who were impressed by his good work. In other words, his philanthropy made him richer!

Preetham embodied success and accomplishment in his community. He used his position to help child laborers, and became a philanthropist. This helped him not only generate more wealth, but also become a respected individual in society.

10 rules to make sure your personal branding is a success

No matter what your station in life is, start personal branding now. The more you delay, the farther your goals shall slide away. To make personal branding a success, follow these 10 golden rules. 

Start soon

Personal branding works best when you start early. Here is the secret: if you start when you are a fresher, you will probably reach the level of a philanthropist in half the time others will. Don't postpone your success.

Set aside a personal branding budget

Personal branding costs money. The trick is to start small, and build it up as you get successful.

Get an image makeover

Appearances matter, and people expect successful people to look in a certain manner. Hire a stylist and a soft skills professional to get you the image makeover you need.

Use technology

Technology makes it easy for everyone to brand themselves and have an audience. Use it smartly.

Hire professionals

When you brand yourself, appearing professional is part of the exercise. You can't do this without professional help. Get your content written, pictures edited, and photos taken by professionals.

Acquire new skills

Never stop learning, as your peers and juniors are probably already on their way to branding themselves.

Be humble

Personal branding will bring you success. However, don't become proud and arrogant when you are successful. The moment that happens, your branding will fail.

Don't spread yourself thin

Do not try to be everything. Identify your niche skills and customize your personal branding around these areas.

Identify causes

You can start philanthropy even at the stage of a fresher. Identify causes that matter to you, and start donating or doing something good. This will pay you back handsomely.

Never stop branding yourself

Personal branding is not a one-time exercise. You need to continuously invest in it and engage in it.



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Why Personal Branding is Important for your Career and How to Use it for your Career Growth

Personal branding is a marketing process in which you position yourself as a thought leader, grow credibility and be seen as an expert in what you are doing. It is the investment you make in yourself to let others know that you exist. It helps your target audience become aware of your existence and your uniqueness. In short, you become an asset yourself.

Dan Schwabel defines personal branding the best:

Personal branding is all about how we market ourselves to others.

The secret of every successful individual is, how they brand themselves.

Personal branding is the secret to immediately make yourself stand out in an increasingly chaotic and noisy environment. It is the most important tool for freelancers, independent professionals and entrepreneurs to market themselves. In addition, Peter Montoya, the noted branding guru, notes that personal branding has powerful benefits for corporate employees.

Why do you need personal branding?

To grab and sustain the attention of your target audience. You have multiple competitors and rivals.

People are saturated with information, and employers are saturated with CVs. You need to stand out from the rest.

  • Your voice can easily by drowned by multiple other voices. Build your unique voice.
  • You can be easily ignored if you don’t prove that you are special.  
  • Personal branding makes you more recognizable and approachable because people remember easily what is unique.
  • Building credibility fetches you high ticket clients
  • Quickly convert your expertise into money
  • Thought leadership triples your salary or profits
  • To get high returns with minimal investment
  • Attain long term benefits such as philanthropy and community leadership

Please note: Personal branding can’t operate with the same approach for everyone. It needs to be tailor-made for the individual and his station in life.

How you brand yourself depends on where in life’s journey you are

You are a living breathing human being who accumulates experience and age. Your career or entrepreneurial journey resembles that of a stream which cascades into a mighty river before joining the sea. Your personal branding must reflect this journey. The way you should brand yourself when you are a fresher out of college will be different from how you market yourself as a top level manager with 20+ years of experience.

  • As a fresher, you often start as a stream, accumulating knowledge, skills, and wealth along the way.
  • Soon enough, you begin to mature, and start to share your skills and knowledge with others, all the while accumulating more followers and other leaders' knowledge. This is when you resemble a mighty river. You are now a thought leader who is able to channel others' ideas and skills, and make it your own, before sharing them with the world.
  • From a thought leader, you will eventually mature into a senior level manager or executive. This is when you will have built a reservoir of knowledge, skills and expertise. From this reservoir, you can immediately give away what is asked for, for a fee or for free.
  • Finally, at the zenith of your career development, you can become a formidable philanthropist, mentor or leader, often resembling the deep sea.

Your career is about to take off. How do you make your presence felt, and be seen? (Experience: 0 – 5 years)

Don't aim for the moon. Aim for the stars

At this stage, you are either looking for your first job, or have just been employed by a startup. Either way, you need to stand out and get a better job to climb up the ladder. Unfortunately, freshers are dime a dozen, and so are new startups.

  • Don’t appear like a freelancer who is desperate for his first client. Show the world that you are established already.
  • Don’t be just another CV that will be tossed into the bin.
  • Get the promotion that your senior in college has been eyeing on.
  • Bag the client that your established rival will kill to get.
  • Invest in your future so that you can grow much bigger ten years down the lane.


Why do you need personal branding?

Let us say you have just graduated from college, or have a few years of experience. You frhave just started out as a stream. You know you have the skills, talent, and the drive. But here is the thing. People are only attracted to those who have experience.

Should you be dejected and disappointed? No! Use personal branding to   

Display your uniqueness and your talents

Stand out from the large number of youngsters who graduate from our colleges, or move into cities for work.

Prove to your audience that you are the real deal.



As a fresher or rookie, what can you achieve via personal branding?

Personal branding is very important for freshers because they need to stand out from thousands of job-seekers. As competition is tough, you will need to do that little extra to grab your hiring manager’s attention. Personal branding helps you to:

  • Show the world that you are not like other youngsters. You are skilled, experienced, and driven.
  • Get the job you have been dying to get, in half the time it would have taken otherwise
  • Climb up the career ladder and get the promotion your classmate has been eyeing
  • Get shortlisted automatically, without you having to approach companies
  • Get more calls and interview requests from top companies
  • Have the upper hand in salary negotiations


How to build a personal brand when your current situation is like this:

  • You are short on cash
  • You have skills and talent to prove
  • You don’t have an audience
  • You need credibility
  • You need to fine-tune yourself as a brand


Here is how to kickstart your personal branding right away:

To begin with, start with your savings. If you don’t have any savings, start small. Or get a small time gig. Even an unrelated part-time job can help you fund your initial investment in personal branding. Most importantly, start small. Don’t spend tons of money at this stage on your personal branding.

Identify your skills and invest a part of your budget in certifications that are easily recognizable. If you have unique talents, get a credible authority and agency to certify you.

Create an online presence. Invest in a web domain, a hosting account, and start becoming active on social media. Write about what you are good at, and encourage your audience to subscribe to your newsletter. Save these contacts. You will need them soon.

Get your seniors and established leaders to endorse you. This could be on LinkedIn or on your website. It could even be references provided by your more successful peers to their contacts. Building contacts and establishing credibility in the shadow of your seniors and successful peers is crucial.

Get an image makeover, and invest in your soft skills. This is also the right time to get active on YouTube, where you can make your presence felt by talking about your expertise. Now is not the time to be humble or modest!


How an inexperienced graphic designer became the Design Head at a popular startup

Anu’s Problem:

Anu Rao, a graphic designer from Bangalore, found it hard to get her first big time project. Though she had the skills to prove and was talented in logo designing, she just couldn't find a job or a client. Everyone thought she was just another person.


What did she do?

She started with a free WordPress blog, where she blogged about color psychology in terms of logo designing. She cleverly used all color-related hashtags and keywords to create content and social engagement. Soon enough, she had a decent number of followers on Twitter and Instagram.


How did this help her?

Her efforts paid off, when a local design agency requested her to join their team as a Design Head via a Twitter DM. She landed this job because she focused on a personal skill she had, which others didn't: knowledge about color psychology.


Anu invested in building her personal online presence, became active on social media, and showcased her unique knowledge and skills. This helped her get an attractive job without even attending an interview. Can you still afford to waste your time and money on cab rides to multiple companies, and returning home without getting a decent job offer? Be like Anu, and invest in personal branding to get the job you want quickly, and effortlessly!

So, you have a few years of experience. Are you branding yourself to leadership? (5 years to 10 years)

Avoid being outpaced by juniors. Leaders never become complacent. 

OK, so you probably have a few years of experience at your job. Or maybe, you have a decent number of clients that allow you to work from home and still go out sometimes. But have you noticed that your career growth has plateaued? If you don’t act now, you will be replaced by youngsters who are far more digitally savvy than you are.

Don’t be complacent and become self-satisfied with what you have. Life has a lot more to offer than what you have now. You certainly don’t need that fresher who joined today to boss over you tomorrow. You are supposed to be a leader already!
  • Don't let your career remain stagnant
  • Don't become satisfied with mediocrity
  • Aim for the stars because now is the right time
  • Snatch high-paying clients so that your future is completely secure
  • Don’t let your juniors race ahead of you

Now is not the time to be part of the race. It's time to lead the race!

Why you need personal branding when you have a few years of experience

At this stage, people usually become satisfied with what they have. Unfortunately, if you are one of them, you are missing out on reaching for the stars. The stream you started as should now have become a full-bodied river. Your savings and profits should have been invested in the right place. Unfortunately, you are stuck in a rut, and nothing seems to be moving or progressing. This is why you need personal branding:

  • Your juniors make you anxious and fearful
  • You are not taken seriously by your seniors despite your experience and skills
  • Your job is taking you nowhere, and you are still where you were 5 years ago
  • You feel like you are stuck in a rut
  • You are unhappy, dissatisfied and disappointed with your career

What can you achieve with the help of personal branding?

As a mid-level executive or a professional with a few years of experience, you will have built a solid base of knowledge, skills and honed your talents. However, all your talents and experience will not help if you remain complacent with what you have. People need to know that you exist, and that you are a leader. Personal branding at this stage will help you

  • Show the world that you have thought leadership in your domain
  • Get the promotion you have waited for years to get
  • Get selected at rival companies for 2X or 3X the salary you get now
  • Get yourself an image makeover that clearly says: “I am a leader”
  • Use your experience to become the go-to resource person in your domain. Make people contact you when they need help
  • Prepare yourself for a future of consulting business, high-ticket coaching and solid leadership

How to build a personal brand at this juncture

Here are the assumptions we make of people at this juncture

  • You have an acceptable source of income
  • You are skilled in niche areas
  • You already have an online presence
  • Your career is not progressing to the next level
  • You worry about your future

Here is what you need to do to establish your personal brand at this juncture:

While it may not be true of everyone, you probably have some savings now. Invest this in your personal branding. This could mean hiring an agency to engage your audience, getting that much-needed image makeover, and identify your unique marketable skills.

Once you have identified your marketable niche skills, create content. This could be videos for YouTube, Podcasts for iTunes or professionally created eBooks and Whitepapers. The trick is to create all your content yourself, but get it edited, designed and published by professionals. Don’t appear like a fresher. Even that little comma or the color of your tie matters.

Your online presence should now be put to work. Identify and segment your audience into various personas, and create content based on buyer persona. For every buyer persona, you should be the ultimate go-to person.

Tap the love your clients and employers shower on you. Ask them to spread the word and subscribe to your channel or Podcast, or to your newsletter. Give away your knowledge for free, especially to those your clients and employees refer. These are your future high-paying clients.

Never say no to help anyone, but make sure you are using that to build your brand. If you help someone, ask them to review you, or give you a heads-up when a senior position opens up in their company. Indulge in reciprocal behavior and establish yourself as a leader.

How Ramesh got out of a rut, and landed a big break

Ramesh’s Problem:

Ramesh Kumar, employed with a big MNC as a senior IT manager, was a senior manager only in name. His juniors received better pay checks, and the top-level management simply didn’t care for his career progression. His earnings had plateaued and the job was getting monotonous.

Solution:

Ramesh invested some of his savings in creating an online presence, and started to publish eBooks on developing Fintech applications. His eBooks were widely shared by app developers and coders. He started a PodCast that helped other coders to build apps for banks securely.

Benefits:

A rival IT company contacted him with a job offer that was that paid him 147% more than what he was earning. The company recognized that he is a leader in his area. What’s more, part of the job description was to help other financial companies focus on Fintech app security. Ramesh got the break he desperately needed!

Though employed at an MNC with a stable job, Ramesh was unhappy with the monotony and lack of recognition. Just by investing in personal branding and publishing eBooks on his special interests, he was able to quickly land up with a better paying, and more exciting job. He is now recognized as a leader in his domain. Do what Ramesh did, and invest in personal branding. Show the world that you are a leader that should be taken seriously!

Don't become cynical about your career. There are opportunities you didn't know existed! (10-20 years)

Life opens opportunities you didn't know exist. All you need to do is look in a different direction. 

Let's face it. There's only so much you can do when you work for a company. The career growth plateaus and even when you are in a top position, you may not progress further. Now is the time to leverage your personal branding to start a high-paying consulting business. You no longer have to work to earn, and can instead be paid for your advice. All the knowledge, skills, and talent you have acquired resembles a reservoir. The mighty river you once were, has now created a reservoir of skills and knowledge from which you can give away to those who need it.

  • Don't become cynical about career growth
  • Discover opportunities you didn't know existed
  • Offer paid consulting services to top-notch clients
  • Get other leaders to seek your advice
  • Enjoy your hard-earned success and celebrity-status

Why personal branding is important at this stage

I won't be surprised if you tell me that despite having a top job, you still have debts to pay. You still have medical expenses of family and relatives. And of course, an elite club membership always feels good, especially after working so hard for so many years.

Personal branding will help you fund all your dreams

You can discover dreams and opportunities you didn't know existed.

It is now time to brand yourself as a consultant whose time is money.

Leaders from different domains will now approach you for advise and solutions, and pay you handsomely for that.

You no longer have to work or wait for someone to appreciate your hard work

What can you achieve with the help of personal branding?

Personal branding at this stage can immediately ready you for a consulting business. You no longer have to wait every month for a fixed amount of money. You can make many times more than that simply by advising leaders from other domains. Most importantly, you will be invited to networking events and conferences, where you might get to speak about your skills. Imagine. Do you want an admiring audience at a plush event to look up to you, or you want to continue managing your team in a company, under stress and deadlines?

  • Get invited to speak at plush events and conferences
  • Start a consulting business for leaders from other domains
  • Make multiple times of money you currently take home as salary
  • Avoid the stress of a having to manage a team and watching your career progress nowhere
  • Get ready to start your life as a philanthropist or high-ticket coach

How to build a personal brand at this juncture

If you think you are a reservoir of knowledge and experience, this is probably your current condition

  • You have enough money but you still need more
  • You are an expert in your area but your job doesn’t let you progress
  • You have a fan following but your career is going nowhere
  • Leaders look up to you but it’s not converting to money making opportunities
  • You are the real deal when it comes to your domain but you feel stuck

Take your personal branding to the next level. Become a celebrity of sorts.

Money is a huge concern even at this stage. To achieve all your material dreams and success, start a consulting business to offer solutions and advises to leaders from other domains.   

Don’t limit yourself to a top level job at your current company. Write an actual book about your expertise, and get it published by a publishing house. Choose your speaking opportunities carefully. Don’t be visible everywhere. Those days are long gone!

Use your fan following to build your network further. Consider opportunities overseas to take your consulting business further. Internationalize your outlook, and offer solutions that work globally.

Use your celebrity status and authority to guide leaders in other areas, so that there is a positive improvement in all spheres of industry.

Enjoy your authority, status and power. It always feels good to know that you have arrived. Get the elite club membership you wanted, or that expensive car you always dreamed of. It is part of your personal brand!

How Maria put her leadership skills to use

Maria’s Dilemma:

Maria, an established investment manager, was not happy. She couldn’t indulge in luxuries like she had planned to, when she was younger. Moreover, she felt her company could no longer provide her career progression because she already held the top job. 

Solution:

Maria realised that to fund her indulgences and to do justice to her deep knowledge, she had to think radically. She used her extensive knowledge in the area of wealth management and investment to publish books with an established publisher. She launched a consulting company to help others invest wisely. 

Benefits:

Her books established her as a thought leader, and her consulting company saw way more clients than she could have hoped her. She now makes a 7 figure income easily, and has hope for tomorrow. 

Though Maria earned a decent sum of money, she still couldn't spend on life's little luxuries. As her company provided no other opportunities for growth, she realised she had to take in the reins herself. She launched a consulting company and used her book to brand herself as an acclaimed author. This helped her consulting business to kick-off. Do you want to follow the footsteps of Maria or remain stuck in a company where there is no progression?

Have you reached the zenith of career development? Probably there is more! (20 plus years of experience)

Don't stop at success ever. There is always more. 

You have arrived at a station in life where most people can never reach. You are not just a leader or celebrity. You are the epitome of success and accomplishment in your domain. Yet, your company doesn’t think so. If they find someone younger who will lead for less, they will hire them. Do you want to vest your entire life’s efforts and achievements in the hands of someone else? Or would you like to take lead and help yourself?

Now is the time to mentor, inspire, and help create leaders of tomorrow. Start high ticket coaching and mentoring. You can even indulge in philanthropy!

You embody success and accomplishment, but you’ve reached a dead-end

You are not able to fight for the causes you believe in, because philanthropy needs money

You wish to give back to the society that made you and create better leaders for tomorrow

Why personal branding is important at this stage

Most people already recognize you, and you are a leader and celebrity in your domain. However, you are limited by the company you lead, and you are not able to reach achieve self-actualization. At this stage, personal branding establishes you as a philanthropist, mentor, and leader and opens opportunities for high-ticket coaching and mentoring. 

  • Personal branding allows you to truly achieve self-actualization
  • Establish yourself as a philanthropist worthy of respect
  • Be invited as chief guest or as a speaker at prestigious events
  • Help lead the leaders of tomorrow
  • Put your experience and wisdom to good use

What can you achieve with personal branding at this stage?

If you have read about Abraham Maslow's theory of hierarchy of needs, he puts it this way. We all have basic physiological needs such as air, water, shelter, clothing, etc. Next, we need safety. This could be job safety, personal security and other similar factors. Next comes love and belonging, which can be achieved in your personal life. The fourth and fifth needs are esteem and self-actualization. 

Personal branding will help you achieve high self-esteem. It will also help you achieve self-actualization. 

  • You will make full use of all your talents, experience and wisdom at this stage. 
  • Experience the thrill of creating leaders of tomorrow 
  • Imagine the joy of changing the world for the better
  • Learn to experience the satisfaction of achieving everything that you ever could have

How to build a personal brand when you have succeeded in life and career

You may have some of the common qualities of people in this stage:

  • You embody success and accomplishment
  •   People admire you and your causes
  • You want to create leaders of tomorrow
  • You want to give back to the society
  • You want to watch the world improve

Use your influence and wisdom to brand yourself 

You have achieved most material things but humans needs do not end. Use high-ticket coaching to create the capital you need for your expenses. Mentoring and consulting solutions can be offered alongside as well. 

Choose causes carefully that aligns with your interests and personality. If you have strongly felt about a certain cause, and you wish to make a difference, now is the time. Identify organizations that work for your cause, and make a philanthropic list.

Philanthropy does not have to come from your pocket. You just need to use your influence and position to make more wealth that can be diverted towards the causes you care. In fact, philanthropic activities are powerful ingredients of a personal branding initiative. 

Use the wealth you generate by speaking, coaching and mentoring to improve the world around you. It could be a cause you care about or multiple causes that you strongly feel about. Launch events and get written about in local media. Public relations work wonders for one’s personal branding. 

It is truly a time for personal fulfillment and self-actualization. Use personal branding initiatives to feel good about yourself. Inspire yourself by inspiring others!

When career progression wasn’t everything Preetham wanted

Preetham’s Problem:

Preetham, a successful lawyer, always felt very strongly about child laborers. He used to contribute to various NGOs such as CRY. Yet, he didn’t feel satisfied. He wanted to get his hands dirty and do a lot more. Unfortunately, though he earned enough money for himself and his family, he couldn’t donate more or invest time in his pet projects. 

Solution:

He hired a personal branding agency to help him identify organizations that worked hard for the cause of child laborers. He raised funds for them using his authority. He also raised funds by engaging in high-ticket coaching and speaking. He started to represent victims of child abuse, and offered free legal services to them. Soon enough, he became a well respected children’s rights lawyer. 

Benefits:

He started to offer his legal services for free, and trained other lawyers about child abuse, the legal issues, etc. This gave him joy, and made him come into direct contact with child laborers and others. Not only did he become a philanthropist overnight, he also started to get top-notch clients who were impressed by his good work. In other words, his philanthropy made him richer!

Preetham embodied success and accomplishment in his community. He used his position to help child laborers, and became a philanthropist. This helped him not only generate more wealth, but also become a respected individual in society.

10 rules to make sure your personal branding is a success

No matter what your station in life is, start personal branding now. The more you delay, the farther your goals shall slide away. To make personal branding a success, follow these 10 golden rules. 

Start soon

Personal branding works best when you start early. Here is the secret: if you start when you are a fresher, you will probably reach the level of a philanthropist in half the time others will. Don't postpone your success.

Set aside a personal branding budget

Personal branding costs money. The trick is to start small, and build it up as you get successful.

Get an image makeover

Appearances matter, and people expect successful people to look in a certain manner. Hire a stylist and a soft skills professional to get you the image makeover you need.

Use technology

Technology makes it easy for everyone to brand themselves and have an audience. Use it smartly.

Hire professionals

When you brand yourself, appearing professional is part of the exercise. You can't do this without professional help. Get your content written, pictures edited, and photos taken by professionals.

Acquire new skills

Never stop learning, as your peers and juniors are probably already on their way to branding themselves.

Be humble

Personal branding will bring you success. However, don't become proud and arrogant when you are successful. The moment that happens, your branding will fail.

Don't spread yourself thin

Do not try to be everything. Identify your niche skills and customize your personal branding around these areas.

Identify causes

You can start philanthropy even at the stage of a fresher. Identify causes that matter to you, and start donating or doing something good. This will pay you back handsomely.

Never stop branding yourself

Personal branding is not a one-time exercise. You need to continuously invest in it and engage in it.



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