Logos are what people remember when they think of branding, and who could blame them? But building a brand is so much more than that. People connect with people, not logos. The individuals behind the brand are one of the most important assets to a company.
Building a personal brand has so many benefits: it improves your credibility, showcases your expertise, helps you stand out and most importantly, it can help you (or your company) to win business.
Go ahead and create your brand with these seven personal branding tips.
1. What do you want to be known for?
This is an important question, as it will focus you as you create your brand. What is the one thing that you want people to know you for? Identifying your unique selling point will provide you with a direction. Once you’ve identified this, you can begin to become an expert in your field.
2. Create your brand persona
To build your brand identity you will need to ask yourself a few questions. Think about your story: where have you come from, what have you overcome and where are you going? Identify your goals, both personal and professional, as having these in sight will help you to make decisions that will help you achieve them.
Identify what features of your personality people are attracted to and include these. Don’t be afraid to show your passion for your industry or job. People are drawn to passionate individuals.
A strong identity can create a strong reputation.
3. Develop your online presence
Personal branding is easier today than it ever has been thanks to the Internet. To build your personal brand you will need a strong online presence. Own your own domain name and build a website highlighting your expertise. Set up social media profiles that are relevant to you and manage them, as any brand would.
Your social media profiles should have a professional photo. This will help improve your credibility. You will need to be active on your profiles. There’s nothing worse for your brand than a neglected profile. Try to have a nice balance of professional and personal and posts, especially on Facebook and Twitter. A 60:40 split will do.
You can even build your brand by posting regularly on Linkedin Pulse or guest posting on authority websites.
4. Stand out from the crowd
Standing out from the crowd is one of the keys to your personal brand. Dare to be different and it will stand you in good stead. Say things that others won’t say (within reason). Use this to create a position of strength. Create unique business cards or think of quirky ways you can build your brand, for example in your email signature or auto-reply message.
5. Build your reputation
Begin to create a position of authority by blogging about your speciality. Become a thought leader in your industry by taking on public speaking engagements at relevant conferences, or by seeking out interview opportunities. Nothing will build your authority quicker than being seen in authoritative places.
Communicate with people in everyday life and online. Building (and maintaining) your reputation will take the greatest amount of work but will be most beneficial to you in the long run.
6. Be consistent
A strong brand is a consistent brand. Doing what you say you will or exceeding expectations on a consistent basis will delight your audience. Using a consistent design across your website, social media and business cards will strengthen your brand, as will consistently adding value to your audience. Every blog, social media post or presentation should have a clear purpose.
7. Evolve your brand
Finally, evaluate your brand regularly to see how you could improve and stay relevant to your audience. Revisit the questions in the first point and see if anything has changed. Evolving your brand will keep it strong in the long term.
Is there anything to add? Let us know! Have questions on building your brand? Get in touch!