Building a personal brand can be the first big step you take toward being a successful entrepreneur, in any chosen field.
Viraj Kalra, who is a trainer and coach for over 20 years did coaching, consulting training, etc for the first 10 years. But for the most part, he led an advertising agency that included communications, PR, and more. The question he addresses is – how do you ensure that your personal brand is stronger, shines brighter, and is better-known credibly in your ecosystems and communities?
To achieve this, the first thing you need is the right design. If you have this, you can achieve big goals in short periods. In the case of Viraj, having a personal brand by design helped him grow from the bottom 2, i.e., from a small town to the top 20.
How can one build a personal brand?
Viraj recommends a 4-dimensional brand framework that can help you build a personal brand. This includes:
- Self-awareness – “The more aware you are, the stronger your personal brand will be”
- Social awareness
- Universal awareness
- Action awareness
The fact is that whether you are aware of it or not, you are in the process of building a personal brand. It is always better to do this consciously. Consciously participating in action requires being aware of all four dimensions.
Self-awareness is the self-confidence you get after a lot of reflection. It is this very confidence that will help you decide the direction you want to go in, and remain committed to it.
Viraj was once faced with the dilemma of choosing between being a trainer or a motivational speaker and choosing between a B-2-B business or a B-2-C business. But he picked his side and stuck to it.
It is important to choose who your target audience is, which media to communicate with them on, and the side that you want to pursue. This may be a tiring process, but it is equally rewarding. You can do this by finding the customer range that you are catering to and the range of who you want to be known as.
There are two parts to any brand – what you think it is and what others think of your brand. “Others” may include anybody from your customers and employees to your investors. Knowing what others think of your brand is integral to building a personal brand. If you miss out on this, there is a blind spot.
The title of “blind spot” is quite literal – you do not notice it until somebody points it out for you. The sooner you identify the blind spots and make the required small adjustments, the sooner you find success.
The ones with universal awareness are the ones that go beyond leaps and bounds. What is universal awareness?
In simple terms, universal awareness is the ability to keep track of how the world is working and not just how one’s business is working. Viraj and his company had to make difficult choices when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Although they lost clients initially, they realized that there are still a lot of skills to learn to accustom employees to the “new normal” – the work from home schedule. For this, they began training their clients for free.
By keeping track of the recent trends in the world, they gained 2000 days of fresh business.
You must always have confidence in your positioning, but keep making adjustments to it based on the recent trends around the world.
The top 1% in the world are the ones that are not only aware but also take appropriate action.
“An entrepreneur is a person who jumps from the top of a cliff and builds his/her wings on the way down.”
That is the power of taking action. That is the true essence of being an entrepreneur.
“New clients call us, we don’t call them. This has happened from the day I started taking social media seriously.”
With the help of social media, Viraj was able to build a stronger, bigger community. For different brands, taking action may mean different things. Nevertheless, gathering all kinds of knowledge without taking action about it may not be effective.
Building a community is not something that you can do overnight. Building a community and generating a sense of credibility with them both take time. The best way to go about this process is to take feedback from your stakeholders and act on it.
Building a personal brand is not a linear process – it is a cycle. You need to keep doing it constantly. Personal brands are built consciously, with feedback and awareness. Many of the most prominent, successful figures in history have followed at least a few aspects of this framework.
Now is your chance – not to follow in their footsteps, but to make the framework your own.
Viraj Kalra talks about how one can strengthen their personal brand and popularize it. He says that one can build a personal brand using a 4-dimensional framework as discussed in the earlier segment.
While creating a personal brand takes a lot of time and effort, the benefits are huge if done effectively. Personal brands enable you to cultivate a network of experts who recognize your value and consider you first when new opportunities occur.
Personal brands enable you to cultivate a network of experts who recognize your value and consider you first when new opportunities arise. A personal brand can help you generate business, advance your profession, find a mentor, or eliminate the need to look for work. It takes time to establish yourself as the go-to, recognized authority in your field.
To get to the top, you’ll have to put in a lot of time and effort, but it’ll be one of the best investments you can make.
Of course, not at first. To gradually breakthrough in your sector, you must commit time, money, and effort. You’ll need to look the part, produce content at a rapid rate, and meet new individuals on a regular basis. Finding a mentor might help you avoid making many of the same mistakes that others have made.
Lastly, if you put in the effort, you can establish yourself as a recognized authority in your field.
Kindly drop your valuable comments in the comment section and let us know how Viraj Kalra’s take on building a personal brand has helped you in building your own solid personal branding framework.
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