Your personal brand is becoming increasingly important as web trends are more and more driven by social networking platforms. It’s no longer enough to rely on your website to share your message with the world. Other people are sharing things about you, videos of you, articles written by you day in and day out. There’s no way to really know who’s being exposed to you and your work.
Think of your personal brand as the most important investment you’ll make in your business. You need to put time, money and energy into this investment and continue to keep it up to date.
If you take the time to invest in yourself, you will ultimately have easier access to referral partners, clients will seek you out, joint venture partners will come to you and in general, your business life will flow with much more grace and ease.
Here’s how to build your personal brand.
Clarifying Your Brand
Before “publishing” your brand to the world, you first need to get clear on what exactly your brand means to you.
- What unique value do you bring to the table? This should be something that you alone can provide. It can be a unique twist on something already existing, or it could be something completely brand new.
- What problems can you solve better than anyone else? Specialising is essential to differentiate yourself. For example It’s better to specialise in “selling to IT companies” than to specialize in “sales.”
- What are you deeply passionate about? Pick a topic that you could talk about and never run of things to say. Clients and business associates can instantly sense passion or lack of passion in your voice.
Conveying Your Personal Brand
Once your personal brand is established for yourself, the next step is to convey it to the world.
Step one is to express your brand in a clear and concise way. What you do and who you are should all fit into one clear sentence.
For example, “I help inventors sell their inventions to investors” is a great pitch. Another example is my own, “I help women entrepreneurs charge what they’re worth and get it”. What you do should fit in a short, easy-to-convey sentence.
This makes it easy to remember who you are. If they know someone who can use your services, it will pop into mind immediately. If you take too long to explain what you actually do, they may not actually remember or be able to tell others what you do next time it comes up.
Once your branding and messaging are clear, put it in everything. Put your branding on your business cards, on your website, on your stationery, on anything that’s associated with you. Make YouTube videos, post articles about the subject – even give talks, podcasts and speeches, whenever you can.
The secret to growing a strong personal brand is to first come up with a crystal clear value proposition, then refine it into an easy-to-convey idea and finally to push that brand into the world in every conceivable channel.