You know that it’s important for you to have a strong personal brand to succeed, but how do you go about establishing a brand? Personal branding is a long-term strategy that can pay off down the road, but you do have to start out somewhere. Here are eight useful ideas on how to creatively set yourself apart.
Running a blog can be the best way to brand yourself online. It not only allows you to share your expertise, but it also shows your personality and gets all of your fans involved. These are essential ingredients for branding yourself, and a blog allows you to accomplish all of these in one fell swoop.
Take some time to sit down and write out a short sentence or a simple phrase that communicates exactly what you do and how you benefit people. This is what you call a tagline in the marketing world. For example, if you are an expert in search marketing, you might write something like “I get your website to the top of Google”. This tagline serves two purposes: it tells what you do and it emphasizes the benefits.
Like a business logo, a brand photo instantly identifies who you are. It gives people a positive first impression, which might be the only impression that they get. Make sure that you look good in the picture and that you’re smiling if you want to convey a friendly image. Be consistent with your photo, using it everywhere that you go online. You might consider creating a few different versions; for example, a professional photograph for LinkedIn, and a more casual photograph for Facebook.
Get involved and begin hosting regular events in your industry. Events show people that you’re passionate about your profession, and it’s a great way to get them involved directly in your brand. Events are also an essential networking tool. Podcasts and Webinars also offer a way to network online without hitting the pavement.
Find opportunities in your area to speak in front of groups. Becoming a recognized speaker can boost your credibility and immediately presents you as an authority in your industry. Similar to hosting events, it also gives you a chance to network with others in your industry. Think you’re a terrible public speaker? Most of us are terrible in the beginning. It takes that first step to get out there and put yourself in the public eye to gain the experience and confidence you need.
Even if it doesn’t offer a lucrative stream of income, mentoring and coaching amateurs in your field can really help strengthen your authority. Not only does it establish you as an expert, but it also reinforces your skills and hones your experience by forcing you to become a real expert.
Infographics are an extremely popular way to communicate a lot of information in one easy to share package. A personal infographic is like a visual resume. There are many tools available to help create infographics, so you don’t have to worry about spending big bucks on a designer to accomplish this.
Stories are the backbone of branding and sales alike. Getting someone engaged on an intellectual level is one thing – but getting them engaged on an emotional level is what gets the sale. Don’t be afraid to tell your story. Try to write your story down, share it with others, refine it and remove the unnecessary details. Don’t embellish or be insincere, but try to focus on how your past has led you to where you are, and people will connect on a deeper level with someone they can sympathize with emotionally.
Along the way, keep in mind that the purpose of branding yourself is to set yourself apart. Stop trying to replicate what everyone else is doing, and focus on what everyone isn’t doing. Let your personality shine through and be unapologetic about your passion.