Your personal brand should be a true and accurate reflection of you – your personality, your style, your values and your knowledge. When thinking of building your personal brand, you should also take into consideration what your target market is looking for, and how you are the perfect brand to fulfill their desires.

Notice the word “personal” in personal branding. It’s all about who you are and what you can do for your prospects. This emphasis is crucial to your ultimate success. Your audience wants to know who you are and what you bring to the table. They want to know and trust YOU. If you are getting into a business just for the sake of money, you will find it very difficult to build a personal brand and to find success in the business world.

There is a unique challenge to building a personal brand online. In the world of the Internet, you are a great unknown to your audience, and they don’t have the luxury of meeting you and looking you in the eye. There is often immediate distrust of anyone new online, and you need to break through that to be successful. You must, in essence prove to your prospects that you are trustworthy and can help them achieve their goals and aspirations.

There are 4 crucial elements to building your personal brand online:

  1. Define “YOU”. That may sound simple enough, but most people have some trouble really defining who they are. Think about what your values are, what your must-haves are and what you are willing to negotiate on. What do you love to do? What are you passionate about? If you could earn a living doing anything your heart desires, what would it be?
  2. Define your area of expertise that will solve a problem that is important to your prospects. You must be able to shine if you are to build trust with your target market. Today’s pace of change in every field of expertise is much faster than it used to be. Get used to the idea that continuing education will be part of your life. You must be able to show your audience that you are always one jump ahead of what’s happening. If you truly love what you do, this should be fun!
  3. Consider your target market. Who is it that benefits most from what you have to offer? Think about this carefully, and you’ll save yourself a lot of wasted time, effort and money. Do the research. Make some phone calls. Get your friends and family involved for feedback. There may be markets that you had not even considered.
  4. Develop your message. It can be as short as a pithy tagline or as long as a technical white paper. But make sure that your message to market addresses a particular problem or concern that keeps your prospects up at night. When you become a problem solver, you become a leader to be followed.

When you’ve accomplished these 4 elements of building your personal brand online, you will essentially make yourself indispensable to your target market. Do this, and it’s game over. You’ll have followers for life.