In 2017, everybody knows that branding is important.
You know how a brand can resonate with a consumer and drive key purchasing decisions. You also know that strong brands can endure harsh economic climates
You know that businesses need brands, but do you know how to brand yourself?
Why you need to brand yourself
Right now your personal brand is almost as important as your businesses brand.
Branding yourself can help you achieve clout in your chosen profession, and could mean the difference between getting your next job or landing a big contract.
The truth is that branding yourself and branding a company or product doesn’t have to be that different. If you follow these simple tips, you’ll have a strong brand for yourself in no time.
Be an expert
Do you want to be the best accountant in your town? Then you need to be up to date on the latest accounting tools and practices.
Are you striving to be the most desirable candidate for your next marketing job? If so, recruiters and employers should be able to sense your deep industry knowledge as soon as they look at your portfolio.
If you want to build your brand, you have to make yourself an authority in your business or industry.
Remember, if you’re going to talk a big game you need to be able to back it up!
If you don’t feel like you have that expert-level knowledge yet, there are simple ways to fix that.
Attend a few industry related meetup groups in your area so you can learn about what other professionals in your field are talking about. Or take a few online classes to brush up on your skills.
Consider your persona
Are you the industry expert that spent decades honing their craft? Are you the brash newcomer that always seems to be able to predict the latest trends? Will you always be smiling in profile pictures surrounded with others, or will your pictures be serious selfies?
Before you brand yourself, you need to decide who you are. An easy way to do this is to take time to build your persona.
Think about if you have a wry sense of humor or if you’re always going to be the straight shooter. Take time to consider what your personal brand has to bring to the table and what sets you apart from the rest.
Keep a big network
If you’re going to brand yourself people need to know that your personal brand exists. The easiest way to spread awareness of your personal brand is to have a large network of people.
Networking is an essential part of professional development, and if you have the right contacts news of your personal brand will spread like wildfire!
The easiest way to network is to go to professional conferences and events, but that isn’t the only way to do it.
Look around Facebook and Twitter for mentions of industry related meetups and happy hours. Also, make sure that your LinkedIn and other professional profiles are up to date. And always be sure to have a business card and a story handy when you’re out.
An easy way to brand yourself is to ensure that you’re always in front of your audience.
If you want to be visible, try to give more talks. This can be as big as being a keynote speaker at a conference or casually doing a Q&A session for a professional group.
Don’t feel like you’re ready to do public speaking? You don’t need to physically be in front of an audience to talk.
Livestream a quick five-minute video about a hot topic people are talking about on Facebook. Participate in a Twitter chat or even host one of your own.
It all ties into making yourself an expert in your field. When more people hear and see you out in the world, your personal brand will start to grow.
Don’t go for shock and awe
There’s an old saying that some people swear by: “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.”
That may be a popular phrase, but that couldn’t be further from the truth when you’re branding yourself.
Some people pay attention to others that do and say outrageous and attention-grabbing things. But people who do that are a dime a dozen, especially in the internet age.
Don’t try to get people’s attention by being the wildest or most entertaining person in the room. Build your brand with mutual respect and knowledge.
Remember, having someone’s attention isn’t the same thing as having their respect.
If you’re going to be anybody in this world, you might as well be yourself.
When you brand yourself, don’t try to copy someone (even if they’re your personal hero). It’s okay to try to emulate traits in other successful people, but above all your brand needs to reflect the real you.
Think about what makes you different and own it.
Don’t be late
When you brand yourself, timing is everything. Whether that means always showing up on time to a meeting or staying on top of the latest trends, you need to be on time.
Currency is everything when it comes to branding. If you’re going to be an authority in your industry or business you need to know about what’s going on.
Make yourself known as someone that always knows about the latest trends in your industry. Start your day by looking at industry news and utilize social media to stay on top of things.
Write your heart out
Marketers that prioritize blogging are 13 times more likely to see positive ROI. If marketers can achieve that, imagine what personal branding could do for you.
Just like public speaking, frequent publishing can help establish your personal brand.
Start your own blog on your website, write a lot of Facebook notes, or start a Tumblr. It doesn’t matter what platform you use, just make sure that you’re publishing.
While you’re at it, don’t just stick to platforms that you own. If you want to brand yourself you need to be published on other websites and publications.
We just covered a lot of information on how to brand yourself. Do you still have some questions? Contact us so we can talk more about how to build your brand!