We all have personal brands because we're always being judged based on first impressions and we always have to sell ourselves in various life situations, including pitching to venture capitalists and influencing management to let us take on the next big project. Personal branding can be a major differentiator for you and allow you to gain opportunities that you wouldn't have received otherwise. Here are ten tips for building a powerful personal brand.
There are thousands of marketing and probably a million social media blogs, which means you'll get lost if you position yourself the same way. The best way to stand out is to choose a niche that isn't saturated and where you have a lot of value to contribute. If you're passionate about that niche, then you'll be willing to work hard enough to become the leading voice or expert on that topic. A niche is how you position your brand in the flooding marketplace known as the Internet. By choosing the right niche, people will find you, you'll get hired for jobs and have many other opportunities.
Be the real you.
The greatest differentiator you have is your own unique personality. If you try and copy someone else, then you won't stand out nor will you have much self-respect. Make sure you present yourself as authentic, natural, and transparent, so people know they are talking with a human, and not a robot. Oprah, Trump, and Madonna are who they are, and people cling to that and appreciate it. If you want to grow your fan base, or simply want to succeed in an interview, be yourself.
When it comes to online brand building, claiming your domain name has become a necessity. Your goal is to claim the top ten results for your full name in Google and domain names always rank really high (yourname.com). Go to Godaddy.com or another hosting service to get your name before someone else does. If .com isn't available, then try .net, and then .org. If nothing is available, then use your middle initial or brand yourself relative to a topic of your choosing or a nickname.
You can't succeed without the help of other people. Brand building is supported by a strong network because marketing exists through other people. You should treat your life like one giant networking event and recognize that you're already well networked. You have friends, families, teachers, managers, and acquaintances that you've met throughout your life. If you draw upon these contacts and try and help them out, then they will do the same for you. Over time, this strategy will boost your brand and get you to where you want to be.
You're going to need a lot of passion to blog because posting every day is impossible unless you do. You need to be dedicated and for me, that even meant publishing a few posts while on a cruise ship last January. Your readers aren't stupid people. They know if you're just trying to make money and get attention or if you're truly passionate about the content you produce.
Even if you built it, they probably won't come. You need to actively market your blog or website, in order to gain new readership and be found. There are several ways to do this including: commenting on other blogs, guest posting on blogs, writing article for online sources, speaking at events, starting an email newsletter, creating a LinkedIn group, joining networking events in your field, etc. Anyone can write a blog entry, but not everyone can take that blog entry and pass it around the world through various marketing channels.
After getting involved online or if you're already a well known brand, you'll want to constantly see what people are saying about you. Tools, such as Google alerts and Twitter search, will allow you to get a pulse for your brand name online and allow you to intercept both positive and negative results for your name. For negative results, you can prevent 'virtual forest fires' before they spread and for positive results, you can use them as endorsements for your brand.
Link everything together.
After you've signed up for all of your social networks, it's important to link all of them together by playing a link to your accounts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc). This way, all of your sites will rank higher for your name and people will be able to follow your digital trail to uncover more information about your brand.
Don't count on becoming best friends with a hundred people you met online. Try and meet people outside of your digital world, so that you can further relationships. Also, your brand online and offline has to be consistent, so if you come off differently offline, you won't be taken seriously. When going for an interview, you can print many of the documents and websites or blogs you have and bring them with you.
If you really want to succeed at building a powerful brand, then creating a community of people that are passionate about what you're doing is vital. You want brand ambassadors to spread positive word-of-mouth messages and to recruit other people to be apart of your community, without you having to work twice as hard. The more you can focus on bringing new people into your world, the better.