Uncover, communicate and nurture your personal brand

In developing and managing your personal brand, the most basic marketing principles apply.

In today’s engagement oriented environment, the most successful business leaders are those who understand the value of marketing and apply to themselves those principles that companies have used for years to successfully sell their products.

Those principles are:

  1. What brand are you- how do you present?
  2. What do you want to be known for-what reputation elements are you wishing to display?
  3. How do you build awareness of yourself, and then reinforce that awareness so you become more top-of-mind and relevant to your business?
  4. Where do you voice your brand (you)?  What ‘media’ channels?
  5. How do you measure your success?
  6. Are you willing to change/evolve according to the reception and success you’re achieving?

There are 3 key things to consider before you begin the personal branding journey:

  • Are you willing to be yourself – to put who you are into what you do and how you do it?
  • Personal branding is based in authenticity, not in creating an image for the outside world. – can you be authentic?
  • Can you bring your self – your best self to every customer experience?

Building a strong personal brand isn’t about telling people how great you are,

it’s about showing people how great you are, or better still, how easy it is for them to relate to you and respect you , as pertinent to your business building.

Messaging-Tone/Personality/Style

If you are a brand, then your clothing is your logo. What impression is your wardrobe giving to those around you?

Consider how you present yourself.  Think about what impresses you when you meet people for the first time. Things such as Personal Style,  Colour Choices, Hair and Make-up. How do the individual components represent your personality and the impression you wish to convey? Do you want to leave a lasting impression, or be instantly forgettable?

They say ‘first impressions count’ well,  it is a well-documented fact that the way your present yourself creates an impression is the first 7 seconds!

How do I best initiate contact with my customers?

There are numerous ways to initiate an approach when seeking to grow yourself and your business:

  • Cold Calling – tough for most people, but sometimes you get lucky this way.
  • Networking – again, tough for some people, but an absolute ‘must’ at any stage of business building and progression.
  • Scour LinkedIn Groups, and other social sites for the right places to interact and comment, or answer questions – that is, to get noticed!
  • Join relevant Associations and Member organisations.
  • Speaking events and attendance at the right events yourself.
  • Take up advertising opportunities through any event or association that budget allows.

Which is the most important  “personal distribution” channel?

Most experts agree that networking is crucial to a successful business growth strategy. Networking means developing a broad list of contacts – people you’ve met through various social and business functions – and using them to your   advantage in your enterprise activities.

Building an online presence

Today, no personal brand can be built without acknowledging and understanding how to utilize the online space that surrounds our every day lives.

One of the first things you can do is to create an online portfolio. Find out if your personal domain name is available. If it is, purchase it!

I recommend building and designing your online portfolio using a free content management system, such as WordPress.

On the homepage, include a welcome message to visitors which can be a similar, more generic version of your cover letter.

Then, include separate pages for your resume, portfolio, contact information and a link to your professional blog (if feel comfortable with this).

What are the biggest personal branding mistakes job seekers make?

  1. Not controlling content. Many sites—such as Facebook or Twitter—have ‘private’ settings for personal information. If your customers  won’t think it’s appropriate, take the content down or make your profile private.
  2. Not knowing what makes you unique. Show customers how you will fit with them and their needs, and why you, and therefore your brand, will be an asset.
  3. Not taking advantage of technology. Along with LinkedIn, Twitter and other sites for networking, you should also create an online portfolio. Sites such as VisualCV or webs.com allow you to compile your own portfolio and show them to others.
  4. If you have a visual business, and are a visual personality, then use Pinterest or Instagram to enhance the experience of your brand with your customers, and heighten engagement.suz

I like to remind people that Google is not a search engine. It is a reputation management system.

Online your reputation is quantifiable, findable and totally unavoidable.

Linked in is a

  • Professional social network
  • Way to research business and individuals
  • Professional “Branding” opportunity

Facebook advice:

  • Watch the photos you upload
  • Create a business page and a friends site separately
  • Watch wall posts
  • Join relevant Groups
  • Publish anything you write, any article written about you and any links to relevant industry pieces. It is about building a profile and enhancing awareness of you out in the larger world.

Online is one of modern day’s networking tools. Never underestimate its power or its influence and the impression it leaves. It has become part of your “grooming”…as important as the clothes you wear.

If you follow these tips, and remember you are the brand, then you will find that over time you will do all these things as part of your second nature, and there is actually no major effort required, other than being conscious of how you continually reinforce “brand YOU”!

 

Revised for the Aust Businesswomen’s Network, Her Career Blog Post Oct 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About Cheryl

cherylfrontPrior to forming Hayman Strategy, Cheryl Hayman was involved in the corporate multi-national marketing business for over 21 years, in Australia and abroad. She has a rich knowledge of brand development, consumer insights and has worked with and provided services for many major companies and well-known brands.

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