Personal branding is the relationships an individual has with the public – essentially personal public relations. How other feel about your personal brand determines whether or not they want to have a working relationship with you.
Effective relationships are built using communication. Personal branding (PB) is communicating your uniqueness, qualities, strengths, skills and passions.
It is also about your visual communication. Not only your business communication collateral such as stationery and websites, but how you appear through dress, style and personal presence.
Here are a dozen tips on how to make a positive impression and develop your personal brand in today’s competitive work place:
What are your personal characteristics and your passions? What sets you apart? Use the answers to develop a personal brand statement that is just for you – then use that as the basis for external communication.
Develop your personal brand statement into a short ad or commercial about you. When you meet people you should be able to say clearly what you do, how you do it differently and the benefit your work provides.
Develop a unique style suitable to your personality and work. Dress for the role you want, not necessarily the one you have. Balance your individual style with clothing that will appeal to those you are trying to impress.
Become a class act. Learn good business manners and social etiquette. Send hand written notes, return phone calls – it’s the little things that count.
Become an expert source for the media. Get known in your niche. Write articles for magazines and online newsletters. Speak for Rotary clubs and other organisations. Send out interesting media releases on your topic to journalists to help create word-of-mouth buzz.
Build your network by making new business contacts and staying in touch with them. Be selective with which networking groups you belong to. Choose those appropriate to you and your personal brand; those you can help and vice versa.
What position do you already own with your audience and what do you want to own? Is there a unique concept of idea you can hang your hat on? Where’s the creative element? Build your personal brand by being first with a new idea or by recognising a major trend in your field and moving to the head of it.
Lean to be a confident communicator. Join Toastmasters or hire a communications coach to ensure that your written and verbal skills are at their best. Strong communication and presentation skills are a must and being a proficient public speaker is a great way to help reinforce your personal brand.
Well there’s no such thing. We all make mistakes. You may have to try many ways to discover and reinforce your personal brand. If something is not working try something else.
We all want to be profitable but don’t forget to give something back. Giving your time, talent or money to charitable causes or industry associations can help build your personal brand. Find something you are passionate about or complements what you like to do and lend your support accordingly.
Work with the best, whether employees, contractors, consultants or partners. They will help build your brand reputation. Concentrate on what you do best by finding someone else to do the outsourceable elements of your job.
Develop a personal brand for yourself every year, and review it often. Include specific goals, strategies, action steps and a timetable.