You know the importance of promoting your company to develop a solid base of loyal followers. But how much time and effort do you dedicate to building your personal brand? You do have one. It’s what people associate you with; it’s why your personal and professional network seeks you out for information. And you do need an individual brand. People don’t buy from faceless companies: They buy from people.
Here’s how to establish a unique personality, voice and standard that your audience comes to recognize.
- Identify Your Personal Brand: There’s a lot to what makes you you, but not all of it is relevant to your brand. In the business world, you should be focusing on what you want to be known for and what you excel at doing. What unique strengths do you possess that you want to share with the world? This step requires reflection into understanding yourself, knowing your motivations and identifying your message.
- Find Your Voice: Once you know what you want to say, you must find the best way to communicate the message. Authenticity and personality are the keys to Step #2. Your target audience knows a fake when they see or hear it, so anything inconsistent with your voice will drive them away.
A good example of a personality that has found his ideal personal voice is Adam Lisagor. His first foray into promotions came when he was marketing an app he created. The product demo video – featuring Lisagor, looking like he just rolled out of bed – appealed to many Silicon Valley startups. He was sincere and simple in communicating his message to consumers, which dealt with pretty high-tech concepts. Tech companies wanted him to do the same for their own products and solutions.
The concept caught on, contributing to Lisagor’s personal brand. “I want to be very direct, honest and sincere about the message,” he says. Recently, he’s become a recognizable face on TV ads for companies wanting to evoke simple clarity in promoting their sometimes-complicated offerings.
- Create Engaging Content: You’ve identified your brand message and know how you want to say it, so now it’s time to start showing off your expertise. Write blog posts on best practices, add how-to guides to your website and draft ebooks on trending topics. If you have the resources, create video content to engage your target audience and demonstrate your skills. Statistics show that 65% of viewers watch at least three-quarters of a video and 75% of business executives watch industry-related video once a week or more.
- Get Gigs: Do your brand building in person by arranging speaking and presentation appearances at industry conventions and conferences. Plan to do a few every month to get yourself in front of audiences that want to hear what you have to say. It’s a good idea to have a few case studies under your belt as well: Audiences love a good story and these provide real life scenarios they can relate to.
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- Promote Yourself Online: Even if you’ve got great content, your audience needs to see it to be successful at brand building. You should maintain multiple social media profiles as channels to distribute your blogs, SlideShares, whitepapers and podcasts. Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are your go-to resources, but you might also consider Instagram and Pinterest – depending on your target audience. Always remember that it takes 5-7 “touches” before you make an impression and impact your brand.
- Network – Online & in the Real World: Connections with colleagues, influencers and industry thought leaders are essential to building your personal brand. Engage with them at convention mixers and participate in the conversations they’re having on social media. Take advantage of every opportunity to spread your brand message.
- Be a Perpetual Student: In order to remain relevant, you must be current. Things change quickly in the internet age and what’s trending today may be old news tomorrow. Including dated material in your message takes away from your position as a thought leader. Stay current and avoid being discredited by consuming all you can about the topics upon which you hold yourself out as a subject matter expert.
TAKEAWAY: Are you ready to get started? I’d love to hear how things are coming along. Is there anything else you’d add to this list. Please let me know in the comments. And please remember, people don’t buy from faceless companies: They buy from people. #H2H