Personal Branding Strategy -book summary by Cynthia Johnson

Do you have any personal interests/goals/brand that you are working on and thinking on how to build the personal brand and get the eye-balls of the targeted audiences? In the book of <Platform> from Cynthia Johnson,  an entrepreneur, marketing professional, author and keynote speaker.

She shares her guide to help us to realise the “why-to” , how to and the practical tactics and case study in building personal branding. Here I am sharing some key learning from her book, and hope it can benefit your personal branding. 

Personal branding is no longer a concept that is far beyond us. It is a tool that we need to embrace and define our own directions and value to others. When we cultivate our own public persona , it should be technical, creative, spiritual and scientific and it is much easier than we thought.

Personal Branding
Personal Branding

For traditional branding, it needs people to define their messages and bring forward, and we need to create a culture around the product. How we are different from brands is we need to be our own self out loud, we define our value proposition and steer the direction when needed.  We need to think for ourselves and our ideas will become the base value of our brand. When we cultivate our brand, we need to learn how to define our own metrics for success. If we want to stand out, we need to show the most authentic self and passionate about it. Find out what we don’t like and dare to say NO to them.Think for ourselves instead of others give us the control and dare to ask when needed. The whole idea is we must improve ourselves before we can influence, assist and bring value and meaning to someone’s life.

The personal branding is about storytelling. As our footprint exists in the digital world, people will search us before or after knowing us, so our online presences need to be controlled properly such as avoid leaving any negative marks that would affect our personal branding. Fix and clean up the unbroken ,ugly sides of us in the digital world especially social media until we feel enough. 

Four important element in Personal Branding
Four important element in Personal Branding

The four important elements that go into building a personal brand is personal proof , social proof ,association and recognition. 

Start with personal proof, it  includes education, experience, credentials, achievement and so on. Our confident metrics can tie to our personal proof somewhere. However, some questions need to ask deeply within ourselves like what is the purpose and how it can help in our personal branding. In this book, the author Cynthia Johnson mentioned that personal proof can come from asking and hearing the key person in the profession that we are considering at the time. 

Social proof can be like followers, referrals, references, engagement, years of experience and so on. For association is a credible proof  for our expertise and our network such as which companies and people we worked with, connections in linkedin, companies, organization, non profits or boards that we worked before. 

For example, we can volunteer our unique skill to association to bring the values and help both parties achieve the same goal. The last important elements would be the recognition like awards, top percentile and so on that can bring value to our personal brand.

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    Build up the Personal Branding
    Build up the Personal Branding

    Create our own personal brand message and guide everything we do. The brand statement encompassing our personal values also encapsulates our holistic view. We need to craft our story before others define one for us. We can start to build and maintain the online assets such as get a domain name, build a website and attract the types of opportunities that we want.  Upgrading ourselves like speech-writing or anything we want to improve for the personal proof if needed.

    Don’t forget we also can bring our offline experiences online and benefit our digital brand such as check in social media, tagging in an event to outreach more people. When we build our digital brand, we need to avoid the potential harmful posts that can create a bad image on us. Double check and be cautions on the source. Understanding how people actually perceive us is important as it involves the people who we know perceive us, the way we perceive ourselves and how our way of online presence is perceived. We can find out by doing the test offline, online and ask around to find out the answer. One of the examples of online tests mentioned in the book is https://discovermyprofile.com/tests.

    strategy in personal branding
    strategy in personal branding

    Knowing how to play the game in the digital world such as understanding how the algorithms work. Algorithms actually are defined clearly with a loop of inputs, output and the end, once complete the cycle, it would repeat the loop again. Each of our actions in social media would bring the algorithm impact as the “input” of the algorithm. By understanding the logic in the algorithm, we can try reverse engineering methods to gain more impressions and reach out to the group we intend to influence on. The author Cynthia Johnson mentioned the growth-hacker strategy that is very interesting and fun to know in the digital world’s game. Networking is everything when we talk about personal brands. However, we need to understand that that is a three way conversation involving us, the person that we are communicating with and the machine. Here is the four important advices that can enhance our social media profiles and optimize them for our networking:

    1. Always include email and what we can be reached for
    2. Don’t post all the time and prevent garbage content.
    3. Avoid overusing hashtags
    4. Treat everyone as they really matter to us. 

    Learn to always stay top of mind for our recruiters or the collaboration that we want to work with. Spend time in groups, write articles and connect with people. The brand eventually will get more work and recognition. Remember that from the network, it is very important that how they perceive us and know about us. 

    Personal branding strategy
    Personal branding strategy

    Our personal brand needs a strategy to grow, don’t be afraid of the changes we need to make and be focused, don’t sit back and watch less-experienced people take our seats. Here is a few advice from the author Cynthia Johnson which is we need to break through the boundaries of familiarity, resistance from people who don’t love you, able to handle the pressure of haters, believe we can make things possible!

    The journey of personal branding is not easy, but with the guide from this book. Hopefully it gives you some insights and keeps going to spread your value to others.

    Find out more about the book & author here.

    For chinese article about this book, you can find out from here.

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