Personal Branding is really powerful for you and your small business. Branding is really about your reputation and, in some ways, is about reputation building and reputation management.
Grab your note pad and let’s get started!
1 Look at your personal brand as an investment. Your personal brand has the potential to last a long time. While the projects you’re working on might end, your personal brand will persist and add value to each new project you create. People will follow your brand from project to project if they feel connected to it. When launching new projects, your personal brand has the potential to guarantee you never have to start from scratch again.
2 Set goals for your public image. Because your personal brand is built from the thoughts and words and reactions of other people, it’s shaped by how you present yourself publicly. This is something that you have control over. You can decide how you would like people to see you and then work on publicly being that image. Consider your goals for the brand. If you want to sell an expensive course in watercolor painting you’ll need to be seen as someone with the authority to teach others on the topic. If you want to get work for high-end design clients you’ll need to be seen as a runaway talent with a professional attitude.
Two useful springboard questions are:
- How would you like potential customers/clients to think of you?
- How can you publicly ‘be’ that brand? This question is an important one, but a tricky one. Your personal brand is composed of your public actions and output in three main areas:
What you’re ‘about’. Think about the key ideas you would want people to associate with you. Seth Godin is about telling stories, being remarkable. Marie Smith is about building your Facebook success. Mike Dooley is about inspiration, law of attraction, creative visualization and teaching that thoughts become things.
Expertise. Every good brand involves the notion of expertise. Nike brands itself as an expert in creating quality and fashionable sportswear. Even if you’re not interested in marketing your advice, you need to create the perception that you are very good at what you do.
Your style: This is not so much what you communicate about yourself, but rather, how you do it. Are you enthusiastic, witty, confident and crusading? Your style of delivery should be as unique as any other aspect of your personal brand.
3 Start a writing a blog and create a website that is all you. It doesn’t matter if it’s not your first priority because it gives people a place to develop a stronger connection with you. Here are some content guidelines:
- Include a mini-bio at the end of each post, put time and effort into your About page and use it to paint a picture of your ideal personal brand. People will only remember a few things about you, so focus on telling the story that contributes most to your brand.
- Use your personal story as the basis for your expertise.
4 Create vision board to strengthen your brand and business. A vision board is a physical and visual object that expresses the things you want or the changes that you want to bring to your life. The traditional vision board can be on a piece of paper or a poster board. A creative vision board can be pinned to a private or public board on Pinterest, quickly created with written words and affirmations (without any pictures), painted on art paper, or displayed on a wall or blackboard…the possibilities are endless.
5 Try to position yourself as the best without over-stretching or over-exposing yourself. If people hear your name enough they will check you out (maybe not the first, second or third time, but they will). Participate in social media. Help your projects become well known by writing great content, publish e-books to Amazon, speaking, creating events, videos, being a featured guest of internet radio shows and more. Create your own events, teleseminars, webinars…you get the idea!
6 Keep your brand fresh. No matter how good your content is, you’ll risk seeming stale and repetitive if you don’t continue adding new elements to your brand. You can’t ride one idea forever. Keep adding new layers to what you represent.
7 Continue learning and updating your knowledge. If you were an ‘expert’ two years ago but have since stopped learning and challenging yourself, you’re not an expert anymore.
8 Don’t just agree with other people you admire. In doing so, you’re building their personal brand, not yours. Focus on topics where you have something new to say or some more value to add.
9 Get people talking. Think about your personal brand each time you interact with someone – or don’t interact with someone. What impression are you leaving them with? If you don’t want to spend time responding to social media then hire an expert to handle this for you.
Try to build relationships with the right people online and offline.
Build name recognition with influencers. In this instance an influencer is any person with an audience that you want to reach. Comment on their writing, keep track of them on social media, help them when they ask for it. Not only do you have a lot to learn but soon you will also have a lot to give. And hopefully, some of these contacts will become your new brand advocates!
Soon, you will become and invaluable go-to person and leader/artist/creator in your field…no matter how small your field is!
Make An Impression.
Image Credit: ©olly2