What is Personal Branding?
Personal branding is the process of marketing experts in specific niches and their careers as brands. Every decision has to be well calculated as the branding process is continuous. The main goal is to maintain the desired perception, reputation, and impression.
Are you looking to grow your business and gain more opportunities? Then you need a personal branding strategy. If you look at all the successful individuals and businesses, you will see that they have one thing in common; they have meticulously built their brand over time.
Moreover, if you run a business, you will need to have a separate business and corporate branding strategy. With that said personal branding cuts across all areas of business. For this reason, we have researched the various ways of building your brand.
Why Personal Branding Is Important Today?
The modern business era is enshrined in human interactions. People trust people, and customers are looking for brands they can trust to solve their needs. Moreover, they are willing to work with people they can vouch for in their circle of influence.
The bottom line is that if your personal branding is strong, you will always have people recommending you to potential partners and customers. Besides this, claiming to be the best is more powerful when it comes from someone else other than you or your relatives.
Here are more reasons why personal branding is more important today than ever before:
Digital Marketing in Singapore Has Changed
The digital marketing landscape is based on trust and customers are fed up with the greed associated with established companies. Moreover, the millennial generation is changing how business transactions are handled and we are seeing people spending their money on brands they can trust to have a positive impact in their communities. This is one of the crucial things you need to understand to help improve brand awareness.
Source: Natasha Courtney-Smith
The Economy Is Changing
There is an increase in the number of people craving the flexibility of running a business. This is seen as a means to escape the rules and restrictions of established companies and corporate entites. Today, marketing and branding are all about getting in early and catching the wave before it crashes.
For this reason, you must build a personal brand before the market explodes and everyone else joins you. Moreover, since not everyone can be a business owner, employees also need to improve on their personal branding.
Many will fail, but those that are willing to get on online personal branding will have an easier time. When the wave finally explodes, a robust personal branding strategy is the best way to beat the competition.
A Great Way to Stand Out
If you Google your competitors, the chances are that you will have much in common. This includes similar websites, designs, images, and a generic about us section. The same case applies to social media accounts.
Most of you in the same industry probably have something great to offer potential clients, but the difference comes in how you communicate with the customer. For this reason, personal branding needs to be your number one priority.
It will not be easy, and it requires GRIT and consistency. For starters, you will need to master how to use social media and how to engage your target audience to show your capabilities and increase brand awareness.
Instant Gratification Consumers
Technology has made life easier and more convenient. We can get products and services in the comfort of our homes or offices, and it is the new normal. All these transactions are done online and information is the number one currency.
This has created a society of consumers who know what they want and prefer businesses or people who will provide quality products and services in the shortest time possible. Location is becoming irrelevant, and since your customers are on their smartphones, you need to enhance your personal branding strategy to ward off the competition and improve brand awareness and engagement.
Understand the Power of Visual Content
While a majority of brands today employ aggressive marketing tactics, consumers have grown accustomed to blocking it out. This is one of the reasons why most brands do not understand why they are recording low ROI on their advertising campaigns.
Instead, you should be focused on being personal and engaging. Allow your customers to see you, to know you, and with every opportunity you get, talk to them like your friends. When it comes to social media, a post without visual content is like a blur. Moreover, an amateur photo will make you look sloppy and that you do not care about your online image.
The bottom line is that visual content is a crucial part of a personal branding strategy today. You will be able to communicate your ideas and promote your products with more efficiency and thus improve brand awareness.
Benefits of Developing a Personal Brand
A strong personal brand attracts clients, opportunities, job offers, and so much more. Personal branding shows people that you are the best solution to their problem. The benefits of personal branding include:
Higher Perceived Value
As you grow your brand, people will start attaching to it on an emotional level. The people you interact with will connect with your brand on a deeper level allowing you more opportunities to sell more.
You will be 100% Authentic
Brand awareness campaigns work best for brands that show 100% authenticity. Brands ought to be built on goals, passions, skills, and values. All these attributes tend to come from your quest to find fulfilment and meaning in life.
With a developed personal brand, you will not have to put on a fake persona to interact and convert people. Personal branding revolves around being genuine and being authentic will make life easier. On the other hand, you will have a better chance of success since you will be taking advantage of your talents and to get ahead in life.
When you get personal branding right, you will be able to attract like-minded people. This is one of the ways that you will know your ideal target audience. Customers and employers will be able to connect with you on a higher level since they understand what you do and why you do it.
Similarly, your brand will help you avert opportunities that do not fit with your life’s purpose. This means that you will not get opportunities that will distract you from your mission.
These are the top benefits of developing a personal brand. The bottom line is that you will be able to attract the right people to your brand, whether personal or corporate.
Personal Branding vs. Corporate Branding
When it comes to branding, the main dilemma is whether to focus on branding your business or yourself. Most people mull over whether they should promote their name or that of the organisation. Moreover, they wonder how they can separate personal branding from corporate branding, or how they can merge the two.
Which Type of Branding Fits Best?
You do not need to pick between the two, because, you will need both to attain success. Since you are the one that created the brand, there will come a time when you will need to let the brand have a life of its own. For instance, if you have a product or service, you are the best person to sell the brand. This is a phenomenon known as ‘personal plus corporate branding.’
When choosing between focusing on personal and corporate branding, the key is to know which brand will connect best with the target demographic. Think about what potential clients would like to see and what resonates with them.
You should also think about the type of brand you are looking to achieve. If you have a B2C company, you are bound to speak to one person with a focus on being personal, friendly, with a sense of community. B2B companies, on the other hand, often speak on plural terms and will use the company’s voice over a particular person’s voice.
You need to be strategic if you and your employee’s brands is to boost your corporate brand. Here are several tips to help you avoid a conflict of interest:
Set Practical and Easy-to-Follow Guidelines
You must protect your corporate brand, especially if it is a publicly listed company from people in the company disclosing confidential or proprietary information. However, you should not use this as a reason to go overboard with restrictions on the flow of information.
This is crucial, especially with social media policies. You should post your employee social media guidelines on your website to ensure that there is transparency both internally and externally. In case of a problem, you will have an easier time referencing the guidelines when addressing the problem.
Pros and Cons of Having a Personal Brand
Personal brands are flexible since they typically use the business owner’s name to brand the business. If you change your business offering, you can easily adapt the business branding without changing the name of the business.
Moreover, if you have taken the time to associate your brand with what you do, your target demographic will find it easier to associate you to your niche, especially for one-person industries such as artists, speakers, and a strong personal brand will boost your business and attract more prospects.
On the other hand, you will have to associate your brand with that of your company. You can do this by creating content and appending your name in all areas that potential clients will engage with the brand.
It is also much more difficult to sell a personally branded business. While you must build a personal brand in the early stages of your business, you must build a business brand instead of a personal brand. However, you need to know which one will have more leverage in helping you increase brand awareness.
When Business Branding Is a Better Option
Corporate branding takes a lot of upfront work to build since you must create a brand name from the blue. Business branding requires that you think through your business plan, and when it comes to building a business brand, you will need to think about your ideal target demographic and what you will offer them.
Moreover, business branding allows you to position your business right from the introduction until the deal is closed. You should look for words that illustrate what your business offers and complement it with a tagline that builds excitement around the brand.
Business brands are also easier to sell when your interests have changed or you are about to retire. The bottom line here is that if a business is under a personal brand and the person is no longer there to represent it, the chances are that it will not be worth much.
With that said, corporate branding also comes with its share of disadvantages. Top on the list is that it is much harder to build and the brand will not be as flexible when interest change.
However, is there a middle ground between corporate and personal branding in Singapore? For starters, you could focus on corporate branding and then reach out to other entrepreneurs in your niche to help you with brand awareness.
After this, you can create content in your niche to appear in interviews, and personally work to spread the word about your business. All these activities will establish you as an authoritative figure and this will help in your personal branding.
Golden Rules of Personal Branding
Creating a personal brand is not only daunting, but the easiest way to get lost is being clueless on where to start. Think of all the successful people you know today, they first had to go through several lifestyle iterations before they could define who they are today.
The main goal of growing your brand is to stand out whether you are applying for a job, or starting a new business. Even the experts dealing with personal building in Singapore know that there are no hard-set rules for building a personal brand.
However, with these golden rules, you will be able to have a clear picture of what you need to do to create and sustain a personal and corporate brand.
Have a Focus
A majority of the people are trying to be everything to everyone. This is one of the biggest mistakes you can do when trying to build a brand. According to Klickly’s founder and CEO, Cooper Harris, you ought to decide on what your key message should be and stick to it.
However, since you will face different circumstances, you need to evolve the message with where you are in life. Keeping your message focused on the target audience will make it much easier for you to create the content around your personal and corporate brand.
Adam Smiley Poswolsky, author of the bestselling book, The Breakthrough Speaker, says that you should focus on a specific a niche within your niche. This is because the most successful brands are very specific in what they do.
The bottom line is that you need to have a strong message backed up by consistent content to a niche topic to leave a lasting impression on your target audience. The narrower and focused your brand is, the easier it is for people to remember who you are and what you do and this contributes to increased brand awareness.
The easiest way that you can build your corporate or personal brand is to be authentic and genuine. Most brands underestimate people’s ability to see through disingenuous acts. If it is obvious that your brand is a copy of another, your target audience will not respect nor want to be associated with you.
Personal branding ought to be a daily affair where you create content and reach out to your audience. CoinState founder, Justin Wu, says that you need to be a master of your industry, skillset, or craft before you start on personal branding. Your reputation will become crucial in helping you build a genuine brand, for yourself and your business.
Tell a Story
The most effective personal branding strategy today is one that tells a story. Single character monologues are will not do much for your brand awareness campaign. Moreover, nobody wants to spend their time listening or reading a monologue about your brand on social media.
The only option is to build a story around your brand that the intended audience can engage with daily. You can tell your story via written or video content.
Consistency goes hand in hand with having a narrow focus since it is much easier to be recognised for a single topic when you consistently build content around it. You ought to be consistent both online and offline.
According to Fyiona Yong, a millennial leadership coach, tiny inconsistencies can derail the effectiveness of your personal branding in Singapore. Moreover, you need to have a unique area that the target demographic will associate with and know it is you. Whether you are creating a conservative or wild, contemporary brand, consistency is the key to a successful personal branding strategy.
Be Prepared to Fail
Failure can be tough, and no one wants to imagine that their efforts will fall through the cracks. However, successful personal branding is tied to failure. This way, when success comes around, you will know the pitfalls to avoid in the future.
Timothy Hoang, CEO of Stories By Tim, Inc. says that you will never hack personal branding until you experience failure a couple of times while you push past your comfort zone. All the successful brands have weathered through mistakes, trials, and errors, as well as failures and not from instant perfection.
Create a Positive Impact
After you have consistently grown your personal or corporate brand over time, there are two ways that you can keep growing; hop over others and burn bridges, or build a community around it.
According to Jacob Shwirtz, the head of social partnerships at WeWork says that, whatever you do, remember that the impact you have on the people around you will shape your reputation and that should be the centre of your brand awareness campaign.
You can do this by cultivating and maintaining a positive impact as well as helping others to healthily grow your brand in the long-term.
Get a Mentor
If you are seriously interested in personal branding in Singapore, then you need to learn how to market your brand from the people and mentors you look up to. You need to study trends, and popular personalities in your niche and implement your strategy with a personal twist.
You also need to creatively dissect social metrics then work on establishing the next big trend, and this is where mentors come into play. To find the best mentor, you need to pay attention to a variety of social media platforms not focusing on a single platform, as well as to attend in-person networking events.
Live Your Brand
One of the ways that you can fail at building a personal brand is by separating your personal life from that of your brand. While it is possible, it is much easier when starting to craft your brand around your lifestyle.
According to Tim Salau, founder of Mentors and Mentees advises that your brand should follow you everywhere. It needs to be an authentic manifestation of who you are and amplify what you believe. This helps your brand to not only be a reflection of your job functions, but also ideas such as mentorship, leadership, and creating an impact in the community around you.
Allow Other People Tell Your Story
Creating a personal brand in the public domain is pegged on word of mouth. According to Shopify Plus editor-in-chief, Aaron Orendorff, personal branding is the story other people tell about you when you are not around them.
Moreover, all you have in your life is your name and the reputation tied to it. For this reason, you need to work hard at creating a positive impact. The people you have had a positive impact on will not hesitate to tell their circle of influence about you.
Focus On Leaving a Legacy
Once you have created a powerful personal brand with a reputation to back it up, then you should think about the legacy you are leaving behind. Think about the keywords that you will be known for, long after you are not able to do what you do.
According to Blake Jamieson, an artist at Blake Jamieson LLC, building a personal brand extends beyond building a successful business from the ground up. The only way that your brand can outlive you is by building a legacy. Your brand should be a lifelong project that and goes through changes as it constantly evolves.
How to Pick the Right Agency for Personal Branding in Singapore
Personal branding in Singapore is not a walk in the pack, and you will most likely need someone to help you. The main reason why you should get a personal branding expert is to help you see the bigger picture. Moreover, they might have worked with individuals and businesses in your industry.
Here are fool proof ways that you can pick the right personal branding expert for you:
Dissect Their Brand
The first thing when looking for a personal branding expert is to look at and examine their brand. The expert ought to be of repeatable standing in their industry niche. Moreover, they need to be authoritative figures on personal as well as corporate circles.
- Start by browsing their website and look for the following:
- Social sharing buttons on their blog
- Email opt-ins that are engaging but not overwhelming
- Thought leadership on matters that they care about
- Multiple social buttons that connect to various platforms
The right agency doing personal branding in Singapore ought to hold itself to the standards that you would hire them for at all times. If they have inconsistencies in their brand, the chances are that they will deliver similar results on your personal branding campaign.
Personal branding in Singapore is not an easy thing to achieve and you will need an experienced personal branding professional to create yours. There is a lot of work that goes into it such as content creation, PR, advertising, marketing and so much more.
A newbie will hardly have the skills and connections to help you in personal and business branding. For this reason, always ask for references, especially in your area of expertise.
Businesses today need to have a robust online presence to help others achieve brand awareness. Be sure to scour the agency’s social media pages, website, and blogs for clues that will help you pick the right personal or corporate branding expert.
Do They Connect the Goals to Your ROI
The number of likes on your Facebook or Instagram posts got does not matter when fielding pitches from a personal and business branding expert. While social media is important for personal branding in Singapore, you cannot cash in on these metrics, and you will be wasting your time and money with an agency or expert that promises more likes and followers.
Other red flags you need to look out for include:
- Get more post engagements
- Get millions of views
- Increase your followers by 200%
- Create viral content
- Get your articles published on authority websites such as Forbes, Business Insider, the New York times and more
A personal branding expert with their salt understands that social media can be used to achieve your personal and corporate branding goals, and not that they should be the goal. They will use social media and other online platforms to help you work towards the goal, which is to create and enhance your personal or corporate brand.
With that said, you should go for an agency that offers you a direct path to ROI. They will offer things like:
- Get hired for an SGD 10,000 speech
- Land 10 new clients by the third quarter
- Increase search queries involving your name by 30%
- Add 200 people to your volunteer base
The bottom line is that the agency should give you complete visibility of your goals with regard to ROI.
Overview of the Personal Branding Packages in Singapore
Personal branding agencies and experts have their way of computing how much they will charge for the branding services. However, the average cost for the personal branding services ranges between SGD 200 and SGD 3000.
The difference in costs depends on the areas covered, the complexity, and the experience of the personal branding expert in Singapore. The reputation of the agency will also come into play in determining how much you will pay.
Fortunately, personal branding in Singapore comes in three packages – basic, standard, and enterprise, which are suitable for businesses and individuals of different sizes.
The tables below the type of services covered in branding packages.
Keyword optimization for content creation
Title and Meta tag optimization
Image and link optimization
Daily page management
Facebook search performance analysis
Link analysis and building
Images and videos
Social media management
Questions to Ask a Branding Expert before Hiring
Unless you are heel bent on undertaking the branding task yourself, you need to ask the right questions to qualify agencies and experts offering corporate and personal branding in Singapore. The process can take anywhere between one day to a week or more. Here are the questions you need to ask potential branding experts to improve your brand awareness:
What Does Branding Signify To You?
A brand is not a logo nor is it the marketing materials. A brand is an idea or a business entity that represents the face value of a business and the people behind it. A personal or corporate branding company in Singapore must ensure to tell a compelling story about your brand.
They should create a story based on your mission, vision, and facts and present the story using a variety of marketing channels. How the professional answers this question will dictate whether you should continue with the interview.
How Do You Ensure My Brand Stands Out From The Competition?
You must look into what product and service offerings will differentiate you from the competition. However, these should not be the main things that differentiate you from the competition.
The ideal personal branding agency ought to look into how that can help you leverage the target audience’s association with the service or product.
What Level Of ROI Can I Expect?
The ROI depends on your goals, and the agency or expert ought to help you in creating the goals based on your mission and vision. You will also need to have analyses and estimations to help you gauge how you can accomplish and improve on brand awareness.
Is The Agency A Right Fit For Your Brand?
Hardly will you get a firm offering corporate and personal branding in Singapore that will explicitly share their plan with you on how they carry out their operations. However, you need to have a clue about how their methodologies work, how they think and how they execute them.
From the initial meeting, you will have a hunch as to whether your relationship is headed in the right direction and whether the agency is the right fit for your brand.
Brand awareness causes problems for both businesses and individuals. We have seen companies establish whole departments that specialise in corporate branding while individuals spend thousands of dollars on personal branding. We hope that the above tips will help you in going about personal branding in Singapore and also help in picking the right branding agency in Singapore.
Get in touch with us for more tips on how to do personal branding in Singapore. We will work smart to ensure that you send the right message to your target audience. Call us on +65 6789 9852.