As the web trends more and more towards social networking, your personal brand is becoming increasingly more important. 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. You might not see payoff right away either.
But pay off it will, and when it does it’ll be worth it. You’ll have easier access to jobs, clients will seek you out, partners will come to you and in general your business life will flow much more nicely.
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 is to yourself first.
- 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? Specializing often helps. It’s better to specialize in “selling to IT companies” than to specialize in “sales.”
- What are you deeply passionate about? Pick a topic that you could talk about for hours and hours and hours. Clients and business associates can sense passion or lack of passion in your voice in an instant.
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 “I help authors make more money from their books.” 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 service, it’ll pop into mind immediately. If you took two minutes to get to what you actually do, they may not actually remember what you talked about next time it comes up.
Once your branding and messaging is 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 and speeches if 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.