Personal branding could be hard for people and why not? You have to think about yourself as an object and that too as an asset.
If you are a brand, it communicates your value not only to the potential employers but to everyone. It is crucial today for establishing yourself as a leader, career advancement, and personal development.
What is personal branding?
Personal branding is essentially what people seek you out for and what you are known for. If you are ‘go-to’ person for digital marketing solutions, then your personal brand is all about digital marketing strategies, tactics, etc even if that is not a part of your job.
Why is personal branding for you?
Your personal brand communicates your value to the world. This opens up many doors of opportunity for you. You don’t have to hunt for jobs even in the recession. People will come to you for your advice and services.
How can I build myself as a brand?
Much of the personal branding today is done via online presence. This means you have to leverage your social media accounts in order to brand yourself. Well, by this we don’t mean your pictures on Instagram will ‘represent’ you.
Also, you have to be patient enough. Developing a strong personal brand will not show results overnight.
It is a step-wise process which you have to follow in order to brand yourself. Some of them are utilizing social media to the fullest, understanding your competition, practicing your writing, and having a professional purpose.
Here we will discuss top 10 steps that will help you strategize building your personal brand in the best possible way:
1. Look like a professional
The start of ‘the professional you’ begins with your new professional image. Dressing sharply, smiling, and squinching makes you more influential, competent, and likable.
Also, brands try to be consistent with their usernames, punch lines, logos, and colors so that you can recognize the brand like Twitter, Facebook, etc. Not saying it’s not ok with putting different pictures of your face with different usernames all over the internet. However, having a slightly different version of your picture has its own advantages. It helps to keep the branding as consistent as possible. The elements in personal online branding include usernames, profile pictures, taglines, primary colors, about me text, elevator pitch, and website URLs.
2. To-do list for establishing yourself as a brand
Get yourself a professional photographer. You need to have a professional picture with different backdrops. Set this as your profile picture across all professional communication channels. Remember to have 2-3 versions of your profile picture with no major difference. The main objective is that people should instantly recognize you from your picture.
3. Ever thought of getting a nickname for you?
Create a nickname for yourself. Oh btw, not casual ones. You should have nicknames which are related to your industry. Also, make sure it is not generic. You have to come up with a unique name which is consistent to your usernames/handles.
Create a long and short pitch for yourself. You have to create a description of yourself that can be communicated in 30-90 seconds. If someone asks who you are and what’s your specialty, you shouldn’t be thinking and fumbling. You can also put this description about yourself in the author bio if you are publishing an article anywhere.
4. Be visible online
You are being searched somewhere by someone. Therefore, it is essential to use your real name online and optimize your social media platforms accordingly for easy discovery.
5. What’s your professional purpose?
Ask yourself… why did you get out of the bed today? What helps you be better at what you do? Identifying a professional purpose is definitely better than a paycheck.
6. Be a good listener & practice empathy
In order to have a comprehensive and all rounded personal brand, it is important to maintain the balance between what you know and what is there for you to learn as well as understand.
7. Dedicate your time to writing
After specializing in a certain area, it is important to share your learning and experience in a format that can be easily shared with others. It has to go via a refining process before you can share it with the audience. This is the reason you need to start training yourself for that.
8. How can you train for that?
Taking down notes is the best way to get started with. These notes will represent a mixture of your ideas, thoughts, and learning. Doesn’t matter if these thoughts and ideas are small or in-depth, but it is essential to write them down somewhere.
9. Re-work on your digital presence
In order to brand yourself online, digital channels will be your primary tool. The primary blog will be the most important and central channel. For instance, have a blog where you can publish the best content and thereby, attract a huge audience. The other channels will be Facebook, Twitter, and your secondary blog etc. which will drive traffic to your primary channel.
Also, you can collect email subscribers from your primary channel and whenever you publish new content, you can get your subscribers notified and drive traffic to your blog. After publishing something new to your blog, you should update all your social media channels. This helps in bringing traffic to your blog.
10. Analyze your competition
Devote time to observe and analyze the competitors in your niche. Try to analyze their strategies and see what makes them successful.
11. Design socially
There are a number of things done by experts on a subject. However, the most common things done by various experts across industries are writing, speaking, training, and helping. Therefore, going by reverse engineering, you could be perceived as an expert if you write, speak, train and help.
On the basis of how good you are in your field and in marketing yourself, you will get offers for speaking, training, and helping organizations. Helping involves both being a full-time employee and consultancy. The idea is to practice this frequently so that your demand rises exponentially.
12. Speak up about your experience
We all have something to say about our experiences. Why not share it with your audience? Start weaving a professional success story and you will see a lot of people idolizing you!
13. Discover, Learn, Think & Share
If a person is recognized by his knowledge in any particular stream, then it means that he has achieved an expertise in that field. Getting a recognition of “guy who keeps sharing digital marketing stuff” from everyone who meets you in any event shows that you are updated about what’s happening in your field. One should make a habit of keeping a track of all the news, blogs, articles, videos, tweets and updates related to their stream and share it with a majority of the people through social media platforms and your followers.
This is what is called as making a branding sense. Keeping yourself updated alone is not sufficient, sharing anything that is new and interesting with others helps to develop your image in mind of other’s that you are an expert of this field. This results in increasing the number of followers which can lead to expanding the domain of your secondary blogs. Large traffic on your blogs ultimately leads to making your brand prosperous.
Further, adding your own views and opinion makes it look more likely and gives an impression to others that you have achieved a lot in your field of work. A few but constructive words say 50-100, at the end of the shared link aids in fetching attraction. Only posting the links continuously is an impersonation of being a robot.
14. Create a distinction between primary and secondary blog
A primary article is your main source of attraction. A fully fletched, detailed, descriptive and a complete article or blog always fetches maximum crowd. If you have written a hundred articles but none of them succeeds to occupy the interest of the reader throughout the blog, then, unfortunately, you are lacking somewhere in your approach of writing a primary blog.
A primary blog is the one which is meant to be creative, unique and complete in all aspects. They should be given the information in depth and should be well researched. If you have some to share or give your opinion, then it should be projected on your secondary blogs. In fact, secondary blogs can also be used as a promotion of your primary blogs.
Suppose if someone has written a very unique and valuable blog, then fragments of the same can be promoted through their secondary blogs periodically.
What this will do is that who so ever looking for some similar content would read a fragment of the same on the blog and then would automatically be attracted to read the full article on the primary blog.
15. Public ‘Wow’ articles on your primary blog
Your main or primary blog should have only exceptional articles. This means, your primary blog should have articles that are well-researched, in-depth, and worth linking back to from the inter-webs. Also, they should be original, unique, and worth reading. If you don’t solve the purpose of the reader, why will they come to you?
According to Google Algorithm also, long and in-depth articles are given preferences and gain more traffic than the shorter ones. The content of these blogs should be valuable so that each article should have its own worthwhile promotions.
16. Promote yourself aggressively
- The methods discussed above are pocket-friendly and doesn’t cost much. However, once you start generating some income from branding yourself, here are some tips to market yourself to next level by reinvesting some part of the profits.
- Design a banner and retarget people with tools such as AdRoll.com. For instance, if people are visiting your training page, retarget them with your training offer or if someone visits your hire me page and downloads the resume, retarget them.
- It is valuable to create an online training program and promote it via affiliate partners. For instance, you can charge a one time fee for your course and then offer some commission for anyone who promotes it.
- Another great tip is to write an ebook and promote it at an affiliate commission of 77-100%. For instance, the cost of your ebook is Rs 299. For this, you can offer Rs. 250-299 commission for anyone who promotes it on their website or channel. Since ebooks are digitally downloadable, you don’t have to incur any costs. This will surely get some serious followers and readers to your blog who will check out your programs too.
- It is essential to hire a virtual assistant as a manager for your personal brand who can send emails to several event organizers, organizations, and universities to inform them about your expertise and services for training.
- Get yourself a premium SMS service, collect phone numbers of people while collecting their contact address or email IDs and notify them whenever you publish a new blog post.
- Rather than using free email subscriptions services such as Feedburner, use GetResponse, Aweber or MailChimp in order to manage your email subscribers.
- You can create a forum within your blog and make it a platform for sharing ideas, experiences, doubts, etc on the subject of your specialization. You can also invite other experts in your field to participate in the forum.
- Try some new kind of content. For instance, review books on your blog. The authors of these books are likely to link to your reviews. Also, it showcases that you have read those books.
- Have you heard of infographics success rate? They generally create a lot of buzz. So, hire designers who can create infographics of your top content and publish them.
The points discussed above are just a handful of the tricks that could be used to promote your personal brand. There are hundreds of ways in which you can promote yourself and make your brand bigger.
By the end of this post, you learn a lot of ideas about personal branding. Which of these personal branding methods are you curious to try?
Do you have anything to add? We would be glad to know your views.
Image Credits: marketingprofs.com, www.cartoonsbyjim.com