The personal branding basics you can use to create positive public recognition
The concept of building a brand is not new, while we normally think of brands as companies or products, people are brands too. In fact, whether we like it or not, we’ve been cultivating our personal brand since childhood in the form of word of mouth reputation and our digital footprint. Making the leap to owning our personal brand story is a challenge for most, we’ve been conditioned to think that being self-promotional is a negative thing, uncouth in some way. But nowhere does it say you have to create a personal brand that is distasteful or something you can’t be proud of. Personal branding is really about taking control of the brand of you that already exists in the world. Creating your own road to recognition and forging your own path. If you want to be in the drivers seat of your brand narrative, here are a few ways to start.
Decide that you are brand worthy
Find out what the web already has to say about you
It’s a come to jesus moment, where you find out if you can be found on the web at all. Start by Googling yourself and setup alerts for your name, your business and maybe even your role models. If you have a John Smith style common name, consider adding your middle name or middle initial to help stand out on the web. Cultivating a strong personal brand is as much about creating the breadcrumbs for discovery as it about identifying opportunities and seizing them.
Your personal brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room – Chris Ducker
Set up a personal website
Infuse your brand with generosity
Surround yourself with those that inspire you
It’s said that you are the sum of the people you surround yourself with. When building a brand, associate yourself with the best in your field, learn from them, model their behavior, and add value to their lives. Your brand is strengthened or weakened by your connection to those around you. Start with your role models, who do you aspire to be like? Then focus on influencers in your niche, who commands respect in your field that you also respect? What opportunities exist for you to acknowledge, promote, converse or collaborate with the influencers in your space?
Tell your story
Never stop learning
My friend & marketer Mark Schaefer said it best, “You have to be a fearless learner today”. We’ve all heard someone utter the words “I just don’t know if I can keep up with this technology, when I look at how these young people are using technology today, it’s just intimidating”. That is a theme that resonates at all age levels and it will never go stop. The questions “How do I learn? How do I keep up?” require that you be fearless and determined to say, “I’m not gonna be irrelevant. I’m going to embrace change”. You don’t have to know every single change and every single platform. You just need to be open, willing and eager to learn. The road to recognition is not a check box, it’s a journey.
All of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You. – Tom Peters