What do you represent? What do you stand for? What ideas and notions pop up as soon as someone hears your name?
If you have been around for a while you have probably developed a personal brand. People recognise your name, what you are working on, what you offer and what you are about. That being said, your personal brand might be a little weak and disjointed.
If you don’t have a personal brand yet, or you have one and wish to make it stronger, this article will show you how to go about building one.
- Look at your personal brand as an investment. Your personal brand has the potential to last longer than your own lifespan. While the projects you are working on might get sold onwards or shut down, your personal brand will persist and (hopefully) add value to each new project you create. If you consider yourself to be in this particular game for the long-haul, whether it is an online business, art, or selling cars, a good personal brand is an invaluable investment. People will follow your brand from project to project if they feel connected to it. When launching new projects, your personal brand has the potential to guarantee you never have to start from scratch again.
- Run a blog or website that is all you. It doesn’t matter if it is not your first priority, or even your second priority, but it gives people a place to develop a stronger connection with you. (You might already be doing this!) Here are some content guidelines:
- Include a mini-bio at the end of each post, put time and effort into your About page and use it to paint a picture of your ideal personal brand. People will only remember a few things about you, so focus on telling the story that contributes most to your brand.
- Use your personal story as the basis for your expertise.
- Be ubiquitous without over-exposing yourself. If people hear your name enough they will check you out (maybe not the first, second or third time, but they will). Participate in social media.
- Help your projects become ubiquitous by writing viral content and guest-writing.
- Keep your brand fresh. No matter how good your content is, you will risk seeming stale and repetitive if you don’t continue adding new elements to your brand. You can’t ride one idea forever. Keep adding new layers to what you represent.
- Continue learning and updating your knowledge, especially if your expertise is based around the online world. The web changes drastically from month to month. If you were an ‘expert’ two years ago but have since stopped learning and challenging yourself, you’re not an expert anymore.
- Don’t just agree with other people you admire. In doing so, you are building their personal brand, not yours. Focus on topics where you have something new to say or some more value to add.
- Get people talking. Think about your personal brand each time you interact with someone – or don’t interact with someone. What impression are you leaving them with? If you don’t want to spend time responding to tweets and emails there is no reason why you can’t make this part of your personal brand so that people do not expect differently.