As an entrepreneur and CEO of your company, you get a lot of traction but have you ever thought of building and leveraging your personal brand?
Personal branding, according to PersonalBrand.com, can be defined as:
“The conscious and intentional effort to create and influence public perception of an individual by positioning them as an authority in their industry, elevating their credibility, and differentiating themselves from the competition, to ultimately advance their career, increase their circle of influence, and have a larger impact.”
Here’s what you need to realize if you want to be wiser than many other business leaders and influencers. Branding is not a once-off task, but a continuous process.
It may start with having a personal brand design, but then you need to:
– Present this to your audience
– Get people to notice it
– Make consumers used to seeing it, which leads to trust
– Ensure it becomes the preferred brand in your niche
How exactly do you do that? We’ll share strategies below but you can’t simply pick one or all of them. It’s important to note your methods must suit your style and your goals.
Each strategy will have a certain outcome, speak to a unique audience, and build a particular aspect of your public reputation. With personal branding you have an added challenge: The strategy must suit you personally, not simply your company.
Your first step: Determine which aspect you need the most help managing what others know about you and think about your personal brand. Now pick your strategies accordingly.
This is a strategy everyone can try, even before you attempt one of the approaches below. If you want your strategy to seem clear, professional, and powerful, you must know exactly what you want to communicate.
This strategy requires you to consider:
– Which values you want to communicate through your personal brand
– The value you believe you add to your industry, community, or online network
– The personality and tone you want others to know about you
– What your brand identity must look like, including your logo, visuals, and other branding aspects
Without knowing what you want to market about yourself and your brand, your campaign may seem random, disorganized, or even send mixed messages. Because trust is an essential aspect of being a recognized, popular brand you can’t allow your audience to doubt anything about you.
Throughout using other methods and strategies you must now ensure that the ads, communication, and imagery will portray the aspects mentioned above.
It goes without saying that personal branding in the modern era requires online activity. But it’s not only about BEING online, but optimizing all the tools available to you:
– Are you writing blogs to showcase your expertise?
– Do your various platforms connect with each other, such as adding social media, forums, listings, websites, etc.?
– Are you sharing your opinion instead of simply sharing news stories (which could be fake news)?
Perfecting an online social media strategy for your personal brand will impact a large audience in a short span of time because people are online 24/7. You may also want to consider what kind of personal brand presence you want to have for the online audience, and offline as well.
Without an audience, you’ll have no word of mouth about your brand, so this is a strategy many require. But how good are you at networking? Guess what, it’s not only about telling others about yourself. Some networking events organized by Eventbrite, local community networking groups, and during Covid-19 online networking summits work are ideal for you to get your personal brand heard.
But don’t just go and scream your personal brand out just yet. People want to be heard too. A simple adjustment of listening to others and realizing what they need from you is much more effective than simply communicating your own ideas. Taking time to engage with your audience in this way will have them coming back for more and bringing others along.
The reason you’re not getting the traction you want could be because your audience isn’t sure what you’re about. When your Facebook page and LinkedIn profile don’t correspond, they won’t know which aspect of you to trust. And as mentioned before, trust is essential in the branding process.
Look at all aspects of your personal brand and ensure they’re similar in tone, message, visuals and even which audience they’re created for. Each one will be unique because your LinkedIn audience has a different reason for viewing your page than your Instagram network or someone downloading your eBook; But your brand must still be instantly recognizable no matter the scenario.
Once again, this strategy is important no matter which tactics you pick. Future success isn’t guaranteed simply because you made a few fans today. You need to maintain your impact and hopefully grow it throughout.
An essential part of maintenance is protection. You know how easily a celebrity’s reputation can become tainted by a single negative news headline. It’s no different for in the case of business personal branding.
To maintain and protect your personal brand, regularly use this strategy:
– Auditing your online presence so you can delete or handle negative comments
– Always act in accordance with your personal values you want to be known for
– Handle conflict (in person or online) instead of avoiding it
No matter which specific strategy you need at the moment, make sure these features apply as they increase impact and ensure ROI:
Which of these strategies do you think will make your personal branding more effective? A small change can have a huge impact, so getting started today and putting in a few extra hours will be worth it.
If you have any tips for others or a question about creating your personal brand identity, leave a comment below. We can all learn from each other.