Let’s talk about personal branding. You’ve heard of it, but have you really realized the importance of it and why it’s so critical for you as a leader? To put it bluntly, a memorable personal brand can be a game-changer for your business.
Your personal brand and the professional brand of your company are closely intertwined; your personal brand is your reputation, and people do business with people they trust and like. If people don’t trust you, it’s almost guaranteed they won’t do business with your company. You see, branding is all about how someone feels in the moment when they interact with you or the company.
In today’s hyper-competitive world, it’s more important than ever to differentiate yourself by building a personal brand and being intentional about it. Why? Because your personal brand will be defined, either by intention or accident. Everything you say and do, how you dress, and what you value defines you as a person and as a professional. This holds true whether you’re a solo practitioner, the owner/founder of a company, or an employee.
At this point, you might be wondering how you can intentionally build your personal brand. Before we dive into that, you must know that the best strategy for building your personal brand is to be 100% “you”. Not whom you want to be, not whom you think your clients want to be, but 100% “you”. Authenticity is the key to personal branding.
So, what are some ways you can intentionally build your personal brand?
Create educational, informative, and interesting content. A great way to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry is to create content. Long articles, short articles, blog posts, thought “snippets” for social media, podcasts, videos (or vlogs) – creating a robust content strategy that incorporates different types of media is the first step.
Distribute your content. Now that you have content, what will you do with it? Social media sites are one way to distribute your content. Which social media sites you need a presence on depends on what industry you are in. But the best sites to distribute written content on are LinkedIn and Facebook. YouTube, obviously, should be in the mix if you plan to create videos (which don’t have to be professionally shot, by the way). Instagram is tops for visual content.
A website is another way to get your content out there. Do you have a personal website? It’s something you need to think about. Do you own the domain for your own name? If you don’t, you should – even if you don’t plan to create a personal website anytime soon.
A blog via your company website is another way to distribute your content, or perhaps an email newsletter would be a good fit.
Get noticed. There’s an incredible opportunity to build your brand right now through social media. At the moment, those very reasonably priced opportunities are found mostly through LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. Buying ads and utilizing features like Facebook Live and Instagram TV are a few features of social media that surprisingly few leaders and businesses are taking advantage of but are extremely popular with social media users right now.
We’ve only scratched the surface of personal branding, but hopefully this gets you thinking about your personal brand and how you might intentionally build it. It is worth noting that we do not recommend you start building your personal brand haphazardly. Building your personal brand should happen strategically and methodically, with a plan in place as to how you will go about it. Consistency is key as well! Everyone’s path will be a bit different because each person is unique. But the results will be the same: developing your personal brand will help you in your business success.