10 Tips for Personal Branding Success
Whether you think you do or not, you have a Personal Brand. Your brand is created over time by your words, your actions, your values, your personality and your experience. Some people will say that creating a Personal Brand can take years of hard work. I'd argue that your brand is what it is, the hard work is getting people to notice and recognise your brand.
You're probably questioning the value of developing your Personal Brand, but it can be very beneficial in both life and work. As you undoubtedly know, you build trustworthiness not through your words, but through your actions - so who you are is defined by what you do. But people need to be able to see, experience and understand your brand.
The important part about creating and promoting your brand is that it must be authentic. Whilst some people might say you need to "fake it 'til you make it" - fakers normally get found out!
Your personal brand tells the world who you are and is becoming increasingly important in a content saturated digital world for advancing your career, getting a new job, winning new business or creating your own business.
A Personal Brand is not simply a promotion of a persona that you would like people to perceive as you. It needs to be an authentic representation of you, not simply a brand. If you can't back up the brand promise then it is simply false advertising.
So if we accept that you already have a Personal Brand, what you need to do is help get people to notice it. This isn’t always that easy and it will require effort and focus by you. To help you out we've compiled Ten Tips for Personal Branding Success.
1. Believe in Yourself
Short and simple - if you don't believe in yourself, don't expect anyone else to believe in you.
So pep talk time. You have skills, knowledge and capabilities that are valuable. Don't ever underestimate what you can do and what you can achieve.
If you aren't sure, conduct your own review of yourself and then tap into your mentors and close friends to find out why they believe in you, and where they see your strengths.
Believe in yourself and others will believe in you.
Nobody likes a faker and no-one ever liked being duped or lied to.
Be true to yourself, stick to your values and be honest. Pretending you are something you are not, or being dishonest in your interactions with people will create a brand - a NEGATIVE one.
Most of us know someone who we don't feel we can trust because we know of a misdemeanour, misrepresentation or some white lie they have told to get their way.
Those actions can irreparably damage your brand - honesty is always the best policy.
3. Stand Out
Standing out from the crowd can be a little challenging if you are a closet introvert like me. But standing out doesn't mean standing on the table screaming out "look at me".
Everyone is unique, and everyone has interesting stories and their own style. Make yours one that shows who you are.
It can be clothing, your interests, your sense of humour. For example, I run ultra marathons and I often get introduced as that guy that does stupid runs. It's a point of difference and reference point to be remembered by.
Likewise, try to inject some personality into your on-line profile so you don't look just like every other profile!
4. Don’t Be Shy
When a new project or a committee is being created that looks really interesting do you put yourself forward asking how you can be involved, or wait in the background hoping to be asked?
In today's business world you need to be prepared to hustle and push yourself forward. Being a wallflower will not get you noticed and will suggest you don't care; aren't interested; or not a go getter.
So don't be shy, if there is something happening in your work or community that you want to be involved with, put your hand up - what's the worst that can happen?
5. Get Published
If you are an expert in your field or know that you have knowledge and insights that other could benefit from hearing, why not get published?
Now I'm not necessarily suggesting you need to write the equivalent of Tolstoy's "War and Peace" (but if you want to write a book - why not??). But you could write articles for an industry publication.
This is a great way to get your brand out there and demonstrate you are a leader in your field. It also creates avenues to network and connect with other industry leaders. Most publishers are always looking for good content and open to a chat.
6. Be Social
Whether you like social media or not, it is a powerhouse of content and engagement. Being active on social does not mean you need to post all the time and about everything.
Focus on your brand, your interests and engage on social to generate conversation and connections with people. Obviously LinkedIn is the leading business tool, but you can also leverage Twitter, Facebook and Instagram -- it all depends on your content and your community.
Stay true to your brand and stick to key subjects to reinforce your brand. Avoid getting in public spats or negative comments without being constructive - taking cheap shots at others is not going to help your brand.
7. Speak At Conferences
For many speaking to a large crowd or a conference is a daunting and scary proposition. But it is a brilliant way to develop your brand.
It is a perfect way to showcase your brand, your skills and knowledge. Stepping outside your comfort zone and presenting is also a terrific way for you to grow as a person.
Don't Panic! You can develop your skills at groups such as Toastmasters and other forums to hone your skills before you hit the speaker circuit.
And the more you do it, the better you become.
8. Create a Blog
Blogging is a great way to share your brand with the world. Your blog doesn't just need to be just about work stuff. It can be your special interest - something that tells people a little more about you.
Not only will you develop your creative and communication skills, you will create a window into your brand and your values.
You also get to showcase your knowledge and skills and people will get to know your personality through your words.
Give it a go, it - there are many channels such as Medium, LinkedIn and others to post if you don't want to host your own blog.
Some people will suggest networking is a waste of time - they're far too busy to be "networking". More fool them!
Successful executives network. I have found that committing between 3-5 hours a week networking pays huge dividends in building profile, brand, knowledge and business.
Networking is also a key way of getting your brand noticed. By connecting to people in a way that is not selling, promoting or hustling creates credibility. You get to help people, and people will be keen to help you.
You network will also help spread the work about you and your brand!
10. Don’t Hide
You might be the best person in your field of expertise and more knowledgeable than lots of people you know who seem to get more exposure. If you hide those skills away, nobody will know you have them.
If it is hard to find you online either by your name, profile, experience or a website that promotes your expertise, you don't exist.
Make sure your super powers and expertise are included in your online profiles, your blog page and your bio.
Remember, don't be shy!
I hope you find these tips helpful in developing your Personal Brand.
The important part for you is identifying how you can create a more focused personal brand to support you in achieving your goals.
Your brand is critically important for building your reputation and opening up new opportunities. It may need you to be a little uncomfortable by talking about yourself and being prepared to promote your brand. You need to get over the discomfort and recognise that promoting your brand is part and parcel of progressing your career.
You don't need to be arrogant, pushy or over the top in your promotion. Considerate, focused and authentic is what will work best.
So do you need to promote your brand? If you don't, who else will? And let's face it... who know you better than you??
Good luck with creating your Personal Brand and if you have any questions, drop us an email - we're here to help ;-)