People deal with people. If you want to stand out amongst the crowd then you need to identify and promote your own personal brand.
- Everyone has a brand – you just need to identify it. Compare yourself with others who do what you do. What makes you stand out? What differentiates you from others is your personal brand. That’s how you rise above the crowd and get noticed.
- Confirm that your brand matches how others would describe you. Make a list of your brand attributes and ask someone who knows you well to select the five that best describe you. Does their description match yours? If not, ask yourself what you can do to get your brand on course.
- Set a plan and think long term. Define clear goals for yourself based on the message you want to convey, who you want to influence, and where you want to connect with them online. These questions will guide you in selecting your online tools and brand-building activities.
- Don’t try to change who you are. People deal with people so remember that not everyone is your customer and you’re more likely to succeed if you identify associates and clients who have a similar approach or personality to yourself. So if you’re bubbly and passionate don’t try and be anything else. People are not just buying your knowledge, but want to know they can work well with you – culture is not to be underestimated.
- Watch what others are doing online for ideas you can use. Identify experts and leaders in your profession. Find these individuals online and analyse what tools and strategies they use to promote their brands.
- Not everyone needs to blog (or should). You don’t need to use every tool in the toolbox to establish an effective brand online. Blogging is one such example. If you have the time and are confident in writing content which your audience will find interesting then do it. But remember to keep the momentum up. Only select those tools that best fit you.
- Choose strategies which will establish you as an expert or leader. Online offers a wealth of opportunity to promote yourself as an expert in your field, but the most effective tool is to get yourself in front of people. Whether it’s a networking event or speaking at a business group, give people a chance to meet you and you’ll find the process of conversion more effective.
- Keep your personal brand separate from your company brand. If you are your business i.e. an accountant then really shine by talking about topics of a financial nature. However, if you’re working for an accountancy firm, don’t tweet about the company. Establish yourself as the person on Twitter locally who has all the financial answers. Otherwise you’re limiting the power of your personal brand (and what happens when you leave that company?)