If I told you to imagine a person on stage wearing a pair of jeans and a black turtleneck, who would you picture? Of course, your answer is Steve Jobs! 

In Apple, two men, or should I say two Steves, worked hard to make the company succeed.  These were Steve Jobs, who was a trailblazing visionary, and another shy genius who made that vision work, Steve Wozniak. 

What made Steve Jobs a powerful and intimidating entrepreneur who managed to turn Apple into a powerhouse of a brand and shine as a name more than Steve Wozniak? 

The answer is personal branding. 

When it comes to business, entrepreneurs know how prominent the “personal” in personal branding is! It is beyond promoting yourself or pointing out your work. It influences business and career paths, adding tremendous value and significant advantages. Just take a look at the life that Steve Jobs had.

Now, there’s no personal brand building textbook, but we’ve prepared answers to every question you have about the topic.

What is personal branding?

Personal branding is the practice of individuals marketing themselves and their careers as brands. Branding yourself means making yourself recognized and communicating via all avenues what your personal values are and what you stand for, with total clarity and consistency. 

A lot of effort goes into branding yourself; crafting an interesting website, creating an attractive portfolio and preparing on-the-go pitches. These things are considered routine for people who have self-interest like celebrities, influencers and even the coworkers who boast about themselves nonstop during any break. 

The trap that people sometimes fall into is following a trend or joining the entrepreneurial and business landscape with irrelevant content. There is no room for an additional clueless face in the crowd. But don’t let that force you into creating meaningless posts. 

Why is personal branding important?

 It allows everyone to define a well-built persona that:

  • Showcases attributes of your best self
  • Demonstrates values through actions
  • Stands out from competition and peers
  • Solidifies your niche
  • Hoists social proof 
  • Establishes a “tribe” that stands on the same ground of values

Furthermore, it is important to know that personal branding varies from one person to another: starting from what you wear or how you conduct yourself in a conversation to how you communicate online. 

If you’re not controlling any of that then you’re missing out. 

How to start building your personal brand?

Before you start building a concept for your personal branding journey, you need to draw a map with a few values:

Define your worth

It’s not that common to find someone who knows his or her worth and value. This value varies based on many factors including the community, location, education and more.

Based on whether you’re hard-selling your values and worth, you may find yourself drained of all energy. It’s great to be a star performer with the best work and abilities, but it’s a win-win if you try to use what you have at the right time. 

  •  What you should be doing

It’s easy to get rid of the energy drainage. Just rethink the way you view your career and the place you’re promoting yourself. 

Think of yourself as an asset: how valuable am I? What benefits do I bring? How can I make myself credible?

Then ask for feedback. Get to know how people see you and how you and your personal brand influence others.

  • Bear in mind

Boldly own your opinion on a key attribute. Craft integrity, trust, and a sophisticated message to state as your brand’s worth. 

Exercise: Do a SWOT analysis from time to time to specifically know what you need to define.

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Competing too soon or too late

Time is such a substantial factor for anyone’s personal branding. Either you’re rushing everything and presenting yourself too soon or forgetting to set a pace and finding yourself way behind. 

Of course, there’s competition, but rushing isn’t the best way to move forward.

You may be thinking that there is only too soon or too late when actually there is somewhere in between where development is.

It’s all about timing not competing. There’s no such thing as “the right time.” It’s okay to start self-branding whenever you feel the need to.

  • What you should be doing 

You should follow your own pace. Whether it’s a short or long-term goal, you should be the leader of your own road. Give yourself enough time to learn, experience, make mistakes and grow. For instance, if you’re an entrepreneur who’s building a startup, it’s normal to find your growth going a little slow. It takes time to develop and evolve into something bigger. 

Timing is tricky, especially when you’re growing a brand name. You want your brand name to convey experience and knowledge equally, without having to compromise one or the other.

  • Bear in mind

Opportunities, opportunities, opportunities! 

You may have heard of someone who had an ‘aha! moment.’ It might look like that person was hit with a real burst of luck, but it’s not that simple. The real magic comes from trying over and over again before one pays off. If you’re faced with an opportunity, take it and make the best of it. One of those opportunities is bound to strike lucky.

Exercise: Businesses regularly use analysis tools. One of which is AB testing. This is helpful when applied to personal branding as well. Be authentic about who you are, how you tell your story, what your attributes and qualities are. Learn from bigger brands. Focus on the distinctive. 

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Going Being Online

Living in 2019, everyone is online!

Online vs. offline. It seems quite easy when it’s really quite the opposite. You can’t appeal to everyone. But if you stretch yourself thin trying to accommodate everyone, you may just end up losing your brand identity.

Your online presence differs from your offline presence. This can create a problem with consistency, especially if you’re trying to influence others and build a brand that will make you sought after by recruiters. Regarding online, those who care about having good portfolios, websites or even LinkedIn or WordPress accounts and consider them as branding assets are right! 

11 hours! A recent study proved that we spend an average of 11 hours listening, reading, watching and engaging on social media platforms. That gives being online a huge advantage for those seeking to build a community and add value.

  • What you should be doing 

Online

Social media platforms are white canvases just waiting to be colored however you like. Just make sure that the brand identity you’re creating reflects who you are.

 

The About page is like the first impression. It tells a lot about the brand’s long-term vision and what content a person aims to spread. A great model for that is Mohamed Elsherif, Director of Research and VAS Department at Crowd Analyzer. His Facebook About page isn’t a blank space. He filled every section with information that tells his story. 

When building a personal brand, be mindful of aesthetics. Ask yourself how you can create an identity that stands out with images and content that people instantly associate with you. That’s what Mohamed Elsherif is doing on his informative website. The articles on his websites tackle the latest business and marketing trends. What we found amusing is that he brings up topics regarding common mistakes, all written in a friendly tone, which captivates his audience and further emphasizes his personal brand.

Apply for jobs at Crowd Analyzer Now on WUZZUF.net

 

Your About page tells your story. But is there an About page when it comes to being offline?

Offline

Even though digital availability is dominant at the moment, offline expansion is essential too. 

we sat with our very own brilliant Front-End Engineer Team Leader Mohamed Abuelwafa who, despite his job title, has a wider reach offline than online. 

In 2017, Abuelwafa and his business partners, Abdelrahman Rifai and Mohamed Shaban, started the EgyptJS community in a small room at WUZZUF Talent Center. Twenty-five people attended to discuss the obstacles they have as “techies.”

Ever since this small meetup, Abuelwafa no longer needed to brand himself online. His educational value and the networking skills he brought to the table helped create his brand. He became associated with the EgyptJS community and has now established a large audience offline. 

“Being online is definitely very handy but it doesn’t fit me when it comes to branding myself. I believe that contributing in the JS community gave me the real opportunity to influence people to talk about what challenges them the most as techies and how sitting behind laptops and PCs coding and enhancing our products with sleepless eyes is inspiring on so many levels. Being in the EgyptJS community gave me enough exposure to be able to mentor and network faster and foster a lot of skills in everyone including myself,” said Abuelwafa.

He indicated that the more people-centered you are, the more it reflects on your brand positively. A strong aesthetic brand will make people pay attention to. But to make them keep paying attention, one needs to keep the good work that meets the expectations of the audience.

” Think about it this way: WUZZUF’s users trust WUZZUF’s products. To ensure the continuity of that trust, WUZZUF needs to continue developing a useful product. This is the core of personal branding too; it’s not enough to develop a brand that seems sleek and attractive on the surface (online). That inviting surface is only there to get people interested in the real value you have: the experience and the quality you can offer.”  said, Abuelwafa.

Join our team and apply for jobs at WUZZUF now!

  • Bear in mind

Create a special relationship model and polish it! Put your best work out there and show potential. Use platforms that will demonstrate that you’ve got the substance to back up your claims. 

Exercise:  Establish a strong platform/community online and prepare a social media strategy that helps you stay ubiquitous. Present a familiar brand face when attending events, approach people offline and have a consistent theme to what you’re doing online.

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Create an audience

You don’t gain the audience; you create the audience.

Let’s admit that building a brand for yourself means you have to offer something to those who are following you, whether it’s a service, a product, or entertainment material.

We’ve all been in that situation where we pitched or suggested an idea that didn’t get the reaction we were hoping for. We then might have wondered “Was it the way I said it or was it the idea?” However, a more important factor we might not have recognized is the person on the receiving end.

Investing energy in pitching to the wrong community drains your excitement. The result is that you won’t be able to repeat your pitch to the right community. This makes you lose a lot of opportunities.

Now, I’m sure you thought about the times when you have felt like you didn’t belong.

  • What you should be doing

Define your brand and your audience.

Your target audience will vary depending on how you plan to use your personal brand. As an example, if you’re an entrepreneur interested in using your personal brand to develop more business, you’ll target your future customers.

Develop a statement of questions:

  • Who do you want to target?
  • What is your point of view?
  • What category do you want to participate in?
  • What distinctive benefits do you bring to your target audience?
  • How do you stand out from the competition?

 

  • Bear in mind

Save your efforts and energy for the right audience in order to have that impact you’re hoping for.

Overall, remember, self-branding is about expressing your authentic self and creating the direction of your life. To find the right audience, you need to define your needs, values, strengths, interests, mission, vision, and unique personality traits.

Exercise: Write down your needs, values, strengths, interests and that will make you settle and narrow your niche.

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Are you telling your story the right way?

Storytelling? Yes, everyone has a story to tell.

We love storytelling. So much so that we can sometimes get caught up in the telling and lose sight of the story. At the end of the day, the core of the story is the content or information we provide. The content world is already extremely crowded and fiercely competitive. So if we aren’t ready to offer something unique, then why bother with telling a story in the first place?

Storytelling is a huge part of your About page. But with an attractive narrative, your personal brand’s story is like a showman doing his best not to lose people’s interest. However, there are some common mistakes that make your story fail:

  • There’s no start, peak, or endpoint; three components you must have in your story.
  • You’re saying “I” too much or not enough. You have to own your story and be proud. Not saying it enough might give a weak impression and saying it too much gives an egoistic one.
  • You’re not the solution to your story. You own your narrative and you have to wear different hats that resemble your own traits.
  • You’re looking at other people’s stories and getting too impressed.
  • There are no emotional triggers.
  • What you should be doing

While your personal brand needs to be cohesive, it doesn’t need to be boring. Use your social media platforms as venues for showing off a unique narrative. Show that you’re a creative thinker with potential. 

A story is a story. Invest effort in it and it will trigger the audience to follow you and accept your influence.

 

  • Bear in mind

Remember, at the heart of every story, there’s a relationship, not a transaction. It’s a relationship you build a bridge for; a relationship between you and your target audience. If you want to honor that relationship, you can’t just write a fake one and slap the “storytelling” label on it. If you are able to give your audience an exciting story, you can guarantee they will be back for more. If that doesn’t encourage you to go on a journey of self-branding, I don’t know what will.

Exercise: Narrate and test your story as much as possible. Don’t assume that the audience knows the backstory.

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Start now!

This is the fastest age the world has seen. It is now easier yet equally harder to stand out. It’s easier for your voice to be heard worldwide but harder to compete on that scale. 

You don’t need another push! Shake off all the worries you have about personal branding, because the more you work on your personal brand, the more people will want to work for you or headhunt you. 

Have you ever given personal branding a try? Share with us your experience in the comments.

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