If you don’t know the term, you may already be using it without knowing it. It is a technique that we consciously or unconsciously apply in our relations with individuals, a technique accentuated by the democratization of the Internet in the early 2000s.
The expression first appeared under the pen of Tom Peters in the 1990s in the United States. It took about ten years for William Arruda to popularize the expression and define its codes in his books “The brand called You” and “The Personal Branding Phenomenon” which I urge you to consult.
To put it simply, personal branding is a way of promoting your image and skills through the marketing and advertising techniques generally used for a brand.
Today, almost everyone uses personal branding, especially in the professional world where image and the need for differentiation are essential to stand out in an increasingly competitive job market.
Today, the media coverage of politicians is more and more important and the trend is not about to be reversed. Their private lives are almost as watched as their political opinions, no false steps are allowed. It is in this context of total transparency and over-mediatization that Personal branding plays its role.
Some politicians (or women of course) have understood this well and have built their Personal branding in a meticulous way, no element of their identity is left to chance. For this to work, Personal branding must follow some specific rules borrowed from traditional marketing, which we will introduce to you.
The first task is to define his DNA.” What are my values?” My convictions? “My role in society? “, “Who am I?”” or at least “What person do I want to be?” so many questions that it will be necessary for a political man (or woman again) to answer in order to find his identity. It goes without saying that DNA must be consistent with the political ideals of the party you represent! Once DNA is defined, it will be impossible to change and it will become the common thread throughout the campaign, and perhaps even throughout your career. Hence the crucial importance of this stage: identity must not be found on a sudden impulse in a few minutes.
In addition to the personal introspection carried out in the previous step, ask those around you, in fact it is essential to know how others perceive us. This rule applies as much in real life as on Google.
The e-reputation is a point that we do not necessarily think about. Just look at the first pages of Google when you enter your first and last name in the search bar and ask yourself this simple question: “Is it bad for my image?”. Especially as more and more journalists and citizens are and will continue to google you.
Next, make sure your comments are always consistent throughout the campaign. In the manner of a classic communication campaign, the tone and editorial line of the candidate must always be in accordance with his own DNA. At each of the interventions, the common thread must be followed. The opposite would discredit your word in future interventions. Don’t try to be appreciated by everyone, on the contrary you have to defend your ideas by taking a stand, even if it means displeasing some people. It is better to be elected for what one is than for what one made believe to be during a whole campaign and even before…
Self-confidence goes hand in hand with the previous step: if you don’t believe your ideas, who will believe them? Your conviction must be flawless, just like Donald Trump who allows himself to utter countless more or less dubious “ideas” without blinking for a second. And yet, without even adhering to it, we almost want to believe it.
As during the construction of a site, we define the graphic charter. Here it will be a question of finding a visual differentiating element, your personal touch. The most classic way is to find a recognizable way to dress (without being too extravagant), it can be a simple detail of your outfit that you can highlight, but this can also involve the way you comb your hair (Cf Donald Trump). To that, add a slogan, an impacting signature, and you will have your distinctive signs that will not resemble those of any other politician.
Finally, federate a community, find supporters who will help you carry your message! To convince and be credible, other people must follow you, believe in you, they will be your opinion relays and will ardently defend all your ideas. To form a community, this involves creating a blog, developing its presence on social networks (preferably Facebook and Twitter) and creating and relaying interesting, rich and varied content in line with your words. You will thus be able to exchange and why not set up various strategies with your most fervent members!
Personal branding is what others remember about you and say about you when you’re not around!