Build a Professional Online Brand
The term personal branding was coined in the 1997 article, "The Brand Called You" by Tom Peters. Published in Fast Company, the article details how everyone carries a personal brand whether they do it deliberately or not. Instead of sleepwalking through your day, from the clothes you wear to the people you engage with, work to cultivate a personal brand and stand-out from your competition. Whether you're a business owner, an employee or a blogger, a personal brand can help you connect with others and leave a lasting impact. Get started by taking deliberate action. And if you need help, email us at Media Bakery and we can help you find some great images to get you started!
Get organized before you start attending networking conferences, setting up a blog or re-energizing your social media channels. Register a domain name for yourself and create a portfolio of your past projects, results achieved, and contact information. Give away a free white paper on an area of expertise or offer to connect with your readers on LinkedIn.
Next, investigate your current online identity by Googling yourself and checking out your social media profiles. Work to clear out references to your college partying days or compromising photos and lock down your profiles by beefing up the privacy settings. Increase your security and rethink how you approach social sharing. Post industry tips, updates and offer to help others instead of constantly posting about yourself and your company. For example, LifeLock’s Facebook page regularly features updates to their nearly 300,000 followers on the latest data breaches, how to protect yourself online and how to keep your kids safe in a digital world. The company's social media content is a testament to their commitment to help people, whether they are customers or not.
Once you’ve organized yourself, figure out how you want to be perceived. The idea is to still be relatable and authentic while developing the skills and reputation you want to be known for. Even entry-level employees can do this by charting out where you want to be in five years. A marketing assistant who wants to become a creative director can study the career trajectory and invest in classes like Photoshop, After Effects, copywriting and more. Working towards the position and person you want to become can help build your personal brand and redefine who you are in your industry. Don’t forget to include values in your reinvention process. For instance, someone who values environmentally-friendly products can align themselves with like-minded companies and absorb as much education and information as possible in the area.
Value Yourself & Others
Work on embracing your personal brand awareness after figuring out how to build your skills and what values you stand for. Your personal brand means little if you’re not embracing it in your everyday life. Knowing exactly who you are and what you want to achieve affords the opportunity to share those skills with others and command respect.
Part of your personal brand awareness is understanding how others perceive and interact with you. Take the time to appreciate the value others bring to the table. It will not only make you more likeable and respected, but can also help your personal brand. Understanding where your weaknesses lie and how others’ strengths can help you leads to cohesive collaboration and strong partnerships.
Bring value to everything you do from writing a report to creating a blog post. Brainstorm how you can solve someone's problems with your unique skill set and value system. Start a video series addressing these problems and share advanced tips and resources. Your audience and potential customers can't help but come back again and again to seek out answers. Providing value while finding solutions also deepens others' trust in you and your personal brand.
Stay Consistently Memorable
David Ogilvy of Ogilvy and Mather was known for being a remarkable salesman and outrageous boss who wore kilts to work. He told others to be memorable if you couldn't be brilliant. You don’t need to wear kilts to make a lasting impression. Focus on your skills, values and the quality you can offer others and stay consistent with how you present it. Offer to help your coworkers with a contract if you’re known for breaking down complex information and explaining it in a relatable way. Creative pros can give tips for making great explanation videos that increase their clients ROI. But it doesn’t hurt to dress the part and always look amazing to seal the deal on memorability. Kilts are optional.