By now I’m positive that you are sick of hearing just how important “a brand” is for your business. But what about the importance of your own personal brand? In a swirling sea of digital information, you need to stand out in the crowd as an expert in your industry.
When you build a strong personal brand, you can then leverage that strength to attract customers to your business simply by being yourself and allowing your expertise and knowledge to shine through.
Although, be warned, just like anything else worth getting this too requires some diligence and know-how. It isn’t something likely to happen overnight and does in fact require a good deal amount of time and effort.
Here are some tips to get you started on the path to successful personal branding:
Blog, blog, blog – Just Do It
So many of us, myself included, often procrastinate when it comes to putting ourselves out there. That old adage “Nothing risked, nothing gained,” often comes to mind when I’m counseling new solo or entrepreneurs. Unless you are willing to put yourself out there, you will never know if there could have been something further gained from the experience.
One of the very first pieces of advice that I always offer is to “just do it!” Sit down, write out a list of your top five qualities as they relate to your business and then draft your first blog post out of one of them. Then do it again, and again, and again….
Commit to blogging at least 3 times a week for the first year. To get your feet wet, start with a personal blog or even a sub-domain on your business’s website. By doing this, week by week, you will eventually find and gain your own personal voice. One that hopefully others will want to follow.
Build a Social Media Following
For as much as some of us seem to loathe the age of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (just to name a few), time warp your brain back twenty years into the past. Now try and imagine (or relive) just how hard it was to contact a CEO of a large company. Now, though a simple line of text via Facebook or Tweet on Twitter will open up a public line of communication.
Social media should be used as a leverage to grow not only your business, but your personal brand. It is a gigantic stage to showcase your knowledge and your products and services, while also being able to network with others in your industry.
Create Valuable Content
While blogging is a fantastic way to put your personal brand out there, not everyone has the time (or attention span) to read 700-1000 words of information. You can avoid losing traction with this time deficient society by creating content in other formats and across various platforms.
- Vlog – Video content seems to be where it is at, mainly because it can be easily consumed across the board on most devices. This gives your audience the visuals that will help to put your written voice to an actual human face.
- Live feeds – Several platforms are ramping up their live feed offerings, including Facebook which now allows live streaming feeds. The feeds can then be saved and watched at another time by your viewers.
- Infographics – Visual content works well, since it’s easily digested. You have the ability of taking a complex topic and breaking it down visually so that it both captures the viewer’s attention and effectively delivers your message without the need for paragraphs of text.
- Podcasts – Yes, you read that right. They are still a viable way to put your business as well as your personal brand out there. The format is both portable and convenient considering the listener can listen during their downtime (commuting to work, exercising, etc).