How to Build and Grow Your Personal Brand
BY: RICHARD BERTCH ON SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2019
Your “personal brand” is your “online reputation.” Whether you are a job seeker or self-employed at your own small business, your online brand is the first thing a potential employer or customer sees when they search your name. You will want to control that information. In fact, you cannot afford not to do.
Below are three simple steps to help you create and manage your personal brand on the Internet.
Step 1: Define your brand
A strong and lasting personal brand clearly defines who you are, what you do, an what makes you different from your competition. In order to begin defining your brand, first write down your industry, your personal strengths and what you love about your job.
Next, incorporate the likable aspects of your personality. If you are highly organized, hard-working and have a great sense of humor, then tell people this is why others like to work with you.
Lastly, define what goods or services you offer. Emphasize what differentiates you from your competitors.
Once you have settled on these points, you can easily nail down your personal brand. Limit yourself to a single sentence, such as: A highly organized, local remodeling contractor with a great sense of humor and over fifteen years of experience in remodeling kitchens and bathrooms. Stay away from clichés and jargons.
Memorize your definition so you can pitch yourself at networking events or introduce yourself briefly in social settings. .
Step 2: Communicate your personal brand
Once your brand is defined, you must communicate it in person and online.
First, create a brand name. This could be your name or, if there are others with the same name, your name plus a career direction.
Obtain a personal website, and use your brand name as the domain name. A .com domain is preferable, but if it is not available, you can get a .co or a country extension such as .co.uk if you’re based in the UK.
Once you have your domain name, build a website and use it as an online portfolio. List your skills and expertise, and maybe add recommendations from past colleagues or clients. Update these regularly. You can also periodically add new content, link your Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) profiles, and give your contact details.
Promote your personal brand through Social Media. Post regularly. Share stories related to your personal brand and add your thoughts and opinions.
Drive traffic to your website by providing a link in your Social Media posts. Posting across all your Social Media networks can be time-consuming, so use tools such as Buffer to automatically cross-post to your Social Media accounts.
If you have written a new blog post or a whitepaper, promote it through Social Media. Feature this content on your website. Comment on other blogs by introducing new ideas and giving your opinions, and then link to your website posts to build your reputation within your industry. Make sure your comments and posts are real and authentic.
Lastly, make sure to maintain design and content consistency across all your online and offline profiles
Step 3: Maintain your brand
Once you have defined, developed and promoted your personal brand, work to keep it fresh and relevant to your target market. Network online and offline to meet new people and remind existing connections of your services. Continue to educate yourself in your field, especially if you are in a fast-changing industry.
Comment on blogs and Social Media of influencers in your industry. Maybe offer to guest blog. Building this type of relationship is slow, but it could eventually elevate your position as an industry expert and strengthen your brand.
Lastly, always respond to emails, tweets and comments. If you are overwhelmed, tell people that a reply can take a few days, so they are not disappointed when you do not respond immediately.
Building a strong personal brand is vital in letting employers and customers know who you are and what you stand for. A positive brand, like a strong reputation, can follow you throughout your career. If you follow the simple steps above, you will be well on your way to building a strong personal brand.