Your personal brand – the “you” that everyone else sees and understands – is the most important product you will ever sell. Your personal brand is the person people think you are and affects how well you accomplish your job and maintain professional relationships. It can even have a tremendous impact on your potential employment prospects as well.
It is therefore extremely important that you place considerable effort in building your personal brand in a manner that helps you succeed.
Here are a few great tips to ensure that you are making your personal brand better every single day.
Building a personal brand can help you attract new clients for your business, find partners, or simply get your name out there. But it won’t do any good unless you’re accessible and easy to find.
The best way to ensure others can find you is to establish a professional online presence (your personal social media accounts won’t cut it!) It’s easier and cheaper than ever to create your own website, and it only takes a few minutes to build a site that features all of your biggest accomplishments. You can also create professional social media accounts to further publicize your personal brand, giving potential business partners and clients more opportunities to find and interact with you.
Unless you have the energy and the personal resources to invest in publicity flacks, agents, and personal representatives, the only you that you can sell is, well, you. Do not pretend to be someone or something else; it takes too much effort and it rarely works.
Instead, ensure your efforts at establishing a personal brand merely provide a clear picture to outsiders of who and what you actually are. So make sure you understand yourself and what you believe in. Then, find a multitude of ways (some are discussed below) to effectively share that with an external audience.
A critical component of your personal brand is the value that you add through interactions – personally, in business, and in other professional settings. Whatever you produce – online content, articles, a physical product, or honest, hard work – should provide clear, consistent, and, hopefully, unique value to the audience you are cultivating.
No matter how altruistic you are or you believe other people are, remember this: everything is transactional, people want to get some tangible benefit from everything they do, including when interacting with other people. Ensure your personal brand gives the people what they want.
Identify Your Strengths
You won’t be able to please everyone, so the best you can do is identify what you’re really good at and then direct your focus toward that. Maybe you’re great building businesses from the ground up, perhaps you’re more interested in forming relationships with clients, or maybe you’re the best person you know at social media marketing.
Whatever your strengths are, play them up. Become a thought leader. The best way to do that is to showcase your experiences and prove to others that you know what you’re talking about. Add testimonials to your website. Provide examples of your work. Focus on keeping clients happy so that they’ll recommend you to others.
Be a Thought Leader Part 1 – Writing
Part of having an authentic voice and adding value is making sure that you are reaching as wide an audience as possible. One of the best ways to do this is by writing. Strive to gain recognition by publishing thoughtful or thought-provoking articles that help advance discussions in your particular field. If possible, try to maximize exposure by publishing in places that garner respect in your particular field.
Consider establishing a blog that you regularly update, and provide less formal content to your audience. Seek out a good editor before putting anything online so it’s perfect.
Be a Thought Leader Part 1 – Public Engagements
One of the best ways to let people hear your authentic voice is to actually speak to them! Attempt to speak publicly in your field as frequently as you are able. Consider, for example, being a keynote speaker at a conference or forum in your particular field.
You should also be willing to be a primary source for academic research in your field. The goal should be to garner more potential engagements each time you participate.
Don’t Forget About the Details
Your personal brand should mirror your own personality and be cohesive across all your different channels. Just like a corporate brand needs to establish a tone and personality.
For example, if you want to give off a fun, humorous vibe, don’t create a website that’s dull and boring. Similarly, if your website is fun and exciting, your social media profiles should be as well. Creating a similar theme across all your platforms will strengthen your brand and make everything more cohesive.
Never Stand Still
Nearly every brand is dynamic. Many of those that have stood the test of time have had to make significant changes along the way. Your personal brand has to operate in the same way.
If people are less interested in what you have to say or less willing to seek you out for engagement. Consider reinventing yourself a bit. Learn new skills, change your presentation around, and take a look at what your peer competitors are doing. Consider if some changes are in order, and make them.
Your personal brand is the most important brand you’ll ever have to build. It has the power to affect everything else in your career. A strong personal brand can open doors to new opportunities. It can also establish you as a leader and expert in your industry. A poor brand will cause people to keep their distance.
Fortunately, creating a personal brand doesn’t have to be difficult.