Creating your personal brand – I want to share a personal branding process, so that if you have never done this before, you can begin to think about how you would like to present yourself to the online world and position yourself for success!
With the rise of social technologies, personal branding is within reach. For large companies, there is certainly no hiding anymore. Transparency and authenticity are the only ways to thrive in the new digital era. This is true for you and me too, as many individuals can now have as much online presence as most start-ups and small-mid sized companies.
Social media tools have levelled the playing field. So how do you take advantage of this to really promote yourself and any products or services you would like to get out there?
Creating your personal brand
1. Finding your brand
Putting time in to really consider what you are passionate about. Many ultra successful business owners have been quoted saying that it is much more fun to build a business around something you love.
This is not as easy as it might sound though. Many people do not immediately have an idea of what they can really get behind with real enthusiasm. Sometimes it is not always obvious, sometimes we need to have a good think and take some time to discover what we really love in life, what we really care about.
It’s about deciding what you want to do for the rest of your life, setting some goals and developing a plan. I’d recommend spending a bit of time really deciding what it is that you do (that you mainly offer) and who it is that you serve with that offer.
Once you have decided on something you love, your domain, your niche, that you can focus on, you should find that working on it does not feel so much like work but like an exciting project. 80% of effort should be focused in this one area in the early stages. Get good at one thing. There is always time to diversify later.
Once you know what you want to focus on, it’s time to get some details on paper and online. You should develop a Personal Branding Toolkit, which will help in creating your personal brand and consist of elements used to highlight your brand and let people see what you are all about. Some of these can be:
Your business card-Whether you have an online business, an offline business, are a dentist, a corporate CEO or a student, a business (or contact) card is essential if you want to make a good first impression and create a perception of you and what you offer. People can sometimes come back to you years later, just because they have kept your card.
Use good quality card. Don’t scrimp here-first impressions are extremely important. Spend time on the design. Colourful or straightforward? Logo or not? It’s up to you but it must be relevant to what you are offering.
As a minimum it should contain 2 or 3 ways to contact you. If you have an online business, then your website address should be prominent. After all, you would presumably want people to check out your website as a next step.
Blog/Website-If you are creating a brand of “you” online then you should own a yourname.com or a website that aligns with your name in some fashion. Depending on who you are, how much time you have and if you can accept a little criticism (and maybe some praise!), it’s a good idea to start a blog.
Those who blog will have a stronger asset than those who don’t because blogs rank higher in search engines and lend more to your expertise and interest areas, over time. Some of the best coaching on the web on blog writing and making money from it can be found here.
Social Networking Profiles-Twitter, Facebook and Linked-In to name just a few, all allow you to create your own personal advertising. Done in the right way, you can meet new people and grow a (business) network in much the same way as you would a new circle of friends. Social media can be an amazing tool for making new contacts, interacting and sharing information.
However, it is very easy to approach promotion on social media in a bad way. You have to decide when business interaction is appropriate and with whom. The important thing to remember about social media is the “social” part and it may be worth thinking about keeping your business and strictly social profile separate and inviting existing friends to friend you on your business profile. Also, you have to think about how all these profiles affect the perception of “you”. Social networking sites are great for audience engagement, but is that engagement benefiting your brand?
On the positive side, there are over a billion social networking profiles out there! That is a MASSIVE potential reach and so time should be taken to learn how to tap into these marketing Goliaths. In future posts, I’m going to look at how you can link blogging to various social media to bolster the brand of you and get more eyes on your pages.
In the meantime, have a look here for some of the best training I have found around creating your personal brand and marketing yourself to create an income online. Enter your name and e.mail here to receive free reports on how you can make a great living using social networking and blogging to create your own brand of you.
To Your Success!