Building Your Personal Brand
Recently, I went to lunch with a client concerned about his marketing efforts. Being in business for himself, he wanted to ensure he was doing all he could in terms of individual marketing efforts. When I asked what he does to promote himself online, his response was it wasn’t necessary because most of his clientele was over 50 and while social media strategy and blogging may be important in my industry, it definitely did not have an impact on his business.
Here’s why he’s wrong: The workforce will continually add younger generations, and the way we do business has shifted dramatically over the past 10 years. Whether I receive a referral for a babysitter or a referral for new business, the first thing I do is research that person or the company and gather all the information I need before I can make an informed decision. Isn’t that what you do? No matter what you’re looking for? And can’t you make an informed decision within 20 seconds of a Google search?
The value of your personal brand — and managing it — is a key component to generating leads for your business. Whether building your reputation or generating more revenue, everyone needs to focus on ‘Me, Inc.’
Tips for improving your personal brand
1. Deliver your primary speech, complete with who you are and what your strengths are. Just like a business pitch, be able to sell yourself in 30 seconds or less. Then share it with the World Wide Web (and optimize it, too).
2. Share your successes. If you just landed a big account, or sold some new service or technology, let your prospects, colleagues and clients know, whether through a company announcement, press release, social share or email campaign. Chances are your successes will help lead to other big wins.
3. Network, in the digital age. This is the single most important effort when building your personal brand. LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ and twitter — you’ve got to be active on all. Not only to build your profile and network with people you otherwise wouldn’t, but because social media sites also help boost your website ranking. If you’re not actively blogging or refreshing content on your site, you’re missing a huge window of opportunity to stay ahead of industry trends and have fresh content all the time when new sources find you. How lame is it for someone to find your website and cold call you only to discover your website is eight years old and in fact your business is different than what it appears?
4. Invest in you. The best thing you can do to build your credibility in your industry and among your peers is to generate and prove your value. Posting opinions on industry trends, sharing news/educational tips and continuously enhancing your online profiles only seeks to raise the level of interest others take in you. So take the time to do it right.
5. Promote yourself. If you’re such a knowledgeable expert, prove it by speaking at a conference or trade show or leading a webinar, presentation or other event that will build your reputation. By offering the program or the materials for free, you’re lending your expertise and providing prospects and clients a reason to come back for more.
For those interested in developing their personal brand, but need guidance, I recommend utilizing Brand Yourself, www.brandyourself.com. A free tool that makes recommendations to help boost your search results. Programs like Hootsuite allow you to facilitate social media posts for all platforms from one easy dashboard.
If you’d like more information on building your personal brand, contact me.