A personal brand and why you need one

What is a personal brand?

A personal brand is a platform on which a person markets themself and their career as a brand. As with normal branding, it’s all about crafting and maintaining a good reputation.

Just like normal branding, personal branding starts with your purpose. What do you stand for? What matters to you? That is the core of a personal brand. Thereafter, you find ways to communicate the answers to these questions visually.

Who needs a personal brand?

You already have your own personal brand, now you need to communicate it, that’s if you think you need to make your personal brand more known. So who needs to do that?

Anyone can build their own brand, but the fields in which personal branding stands out are freelancing, online content creating, and any other form of being self-employed.

HKLM has done a lot of personal branding, including Tanzanian entrepreneur, Patrick E. Ngowi, and Nigerian entrepreneur, Dr Mike Adenuga Jr.

Personal brand logo for Dr Mike Adenuga Jr Personal branding logo for Patrick E. Ngowi

If you’re a freelancer in any capacity (design, writing, consulting), your entire career is built on client relationships, your reputation, and your previous work. Brand comes into all of these. You need to look at your relationships with clients and your previous work and ensure that it’s in line with your purpose. When they are, you have a strong reputation on which you can build your brand.

This part of personal branding can be tricky to grapple with, so you may need the help of a branding agency, like HKLM.

How to achieve a personal brand

Personal branding is an ongoing process. First, you need to get your work in line with your core values, then you can look at communicating those values externally, more specifically, visually. It’s here that you’ll need a designer’s help. You need to think about colour, fonts, shapes, and even the tone and style of your copy.

Once you have these setup, you can start rolling out a specially-designed Curriculum Vitae, business cards, and a unique, on-brand website. Each of these need to be thoughtfully put together and designed to show off your talents, your previous work, and your overall vibe.

It’s also helpful to develop your social media to match everything else. Try and go for the same handle on as many platforms as possible, and keep it linked to your website. You want to go for the same overall look and feel as your CV, business cards, and website.

A personal brand is just as complex as a corporate brand. It needs to be well thought out and expertly executed. You need to take the time to strategise and find the best ways of communicating who you are.

If you want to succeed, you don’t have a choice.

Jessica Evans is a final-year Journalism and Media Studies student at Rhodes University. While she has experience in lifestyle and science writing, she has developed an interest in branding, HKLM’s speciality. She joined HKLM for a week and diverted her writing and editing skills towards a beat totally new to her. Jessica hopes to gain experience as a copywriter and to build her knowledge of the world of brands.

Jessica Evans

Jessica Evans is a final-year Journalism and Media Studies student at Rhodes University. While she has experience in lifestyle and science writing, she has developed an interest in branding, HKLM’s speciality. She joined HKLM for a week and diverted her writing and editing skills towards a beat totally new to her. Jessica hopes to gain experience as a copywriter and to build her knowledge of the world of brands.

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