The great news is that using today's technology anyone can create their own brand. It takes dedication, consistency and work, but it can be done. Personal branding is important when it comes down to marketing yourself to others.
You can use personal branding in several ways:
- To build your own company as an entrepreneur or consultant
- To market yourself to a company and increase your value as a potential employee
- To build your own credibility for future ventures.
As a brand you increase your value to others, but only if you build your brand strategically so that others are able to to see that value.
Steps to Building Your Own Brand
Who are you? Where is your passion? What is it that you want your brand to represent? Brand discovery is really figure what you want to represent and not just want you want to represent today, but what is it that you want to represent for the rest of your life. Creating a personal branding statement can help you in this discovery process.
I will tell you that this is probably the hardest step and you may want to enlist help from friends, peers and coworkers.
Personal Brand Development and Strategy
With your personal branding statement it's time to start developing your brand. The great news is it's much easier that 5 years ago, because we are going to focus on the digital development of your brand.
Here is what you need:
- Your own domain - You will need to purchase some online real estate. This real estate will consists of your own domain, preferably your name or something that describes what you do. How can you create your brand if you don't own YourName.com?
- Blog - Create your own website with a blog. Post 2 to 3 blog posts per week. An active and effective blog means 2 to 3 posts per week around 500 to 700 words, discussing topics that surround your brand. Share those posts via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
- Twitter Account. Create a Twitter account complete with photo. Once again use your name or something that describes what you do. You will then want to follow those that would have interest in topics surrounding your brand. Engage and Interact - remember, don't just broadcast. Using Twitter use tools such as Twellow to find those that would be interest in the topics your brand represents, this will help to increase your following and attract them to your brand. I suggest trying to follow 5 to 10 per day.
- Facebook Profile. Create your own Facebook profile. In must contain a photo (preferably the same one you use on Twitter), work history, and experiences. Be sure and post relevant items to your Facebook page. This is a great place to let your personality show. Invite colleagues, peers and friends to join you on your Facebook profile. If you want to keep your Facebook profile private a Facebook page can be the solution.
- LinkedIn Profile - A LinkedIn profile is the digital version of your resume, portfolio and references. Don't be without one. Join groups that are of interests to your brand. Answer questions and be an active participant. Connect with those that would be interested in your cause or topic.
- Use Quora - A fairly new medium, but a great place to get to know those that would have interest in your brand. Invest time and answer questions. This will help in building your following and get your name out there. Quora is a great medium to show your expertise by answering questions.
You are creating your brand, so display a photo that is recognizable on all platforms. If you decide to have a logo created, don't forget to use that as well to help in building brand recognition.
Now that you have the tools it's time to start building. Remember this will take consistency and dedication, but you can do it.