You might be a business owner, a blogger, or an entrepreneur – but did you know you’re also a personal brand? You are. Even if your company isn’t “Your Name”, even if your services aren’t talking about yourself, even if you didn’t set out to be one… you are.
Taking control of that knowledge and managing how others see you is developing your personal brand and making it work for you. You might be thinking, “But I don’t want to be a brand!” Well, in short, too bad. If you are on social media or in any way ‘searchable’ on the web, then you already are a brand. The next best thing to do would be to develop your brand in a way that best represents you (or whatever you want to represent). Here are ways to develop your own personal brand.
CONSIDER YOURSELF A BRAND
First and foremost – get in the right mindset. You have to believe that you are a brand, and determine what your purpose and goals are. You honestly can’t move past this point in developing your brand until you have a purpose, or a ‘why.’ Maybe you have a hobby blog that you want people to take more seriously – so you need to use your personal brand to establish authority and expertise. Or maybe you want to speak at a conference for your niche, and you need to develop your personal brand to be more recognizable and popular.
Whatever your mission is – figure that out first.
In figuring out your ‘why’ you should also start to develop an idea of ‘who.’ Who benefits from your brand? Who is targeted by your brand? Why would someone care about your brand? Answering these questions will only make your personal brand more defined, which in turn will make it easier to successful accomplish your goals.
DEVELOP A STRATEGY
Once you know why you are a personal brand and who you are trying to reach – how are you going to accomplish that? This is your strategy – and you definitely need to have one of those, too. Going in blind may lead to results, but maybe not as quickly, and definitely not ensuring ‘good’ results.
Developing a strategy is multi-faceted, as there are lots of avenues that need to be developed. You should have an overall goal – a certain income, or milestone, or something measureable – and use that as the end game for all your different strategies. So, if your big goal is to launch an e-course, you can develop a blog strategy, a website strategy, a social media strategy, and a visual strategy to get you to that e-course.
A successful personal brand is one that has a mission and has clearly defined paths to getting there. Having these paths will force you to create a cohesive experience, because everything will align in an effort to reach your overall goal.
Your strategy per medium can be different – maybe your blog is to show you as the expert and gain authority, while your social media strategy is to find viewers and subscribers. That’s totally fine, and expected. The thing is – these two different strategies will still feel cohesive, as long as how you are going about accomplishing them is done through the lens of accomplishing your overall goal.
AFFILIATE WITH OTHERS
This is something that seems strange, when you are thinking about a personal brand – but it is actually SO important. If you went outside and yelled “I’m [so and so] and I LOVE [whatever is you do]” would anyone care? Nope. They might think you are crazy but they wouldn’t care. BUT, if someone said to his or her friend, “Oh, do you know [so and so], they are so good at [whatever you do]” you know who would care? Everyone. The Internet is totally the same. You need others, who are more influential to their peers, to tell their peers about you. And then said-peers will check you out, see you are amazing, and you will be more and more successful.
When networking with people, the goal would be to find people with similar audiences – so that their peers would actually like whatever it is you are about. Having a food blogger say you are awesome to their food blog readers, when you have a personal brand that’s been developed because you want to promote your web design business – might not be similar audiences and therefore pointless to promote to them. So keep that in mind when you are interacting and growing business relationships!
Overall, there’s a million ways to develop your personal brand, but I think by figuring out some of the “back end” stuff and developing a strategy and relationships built on those goals, you will be well on your way to being the best personal brand you can be!