Everyone needs a little “me time”.
When it comes to the business of you, your “me time” could be the difference between success and failure. How you represent yourself professionally is vital, and many nuances go into the makeup of creating the well-oiled machine that is your personal brand.
Even if your work is stellar, it can still be drowned out in a sea of competition. You don’t need to be the one who shouts loudest, however. Instead, the focus should be on improving your personal brand.
It could be the difference between winning and losing a client, getting a promotion or missing out on one entirely, and so much more.
Have your finger on the pulse, always be ready to adapt to new trends and never stop crafting your image. It’s time to work on improving me, myself and I.
Tell a Story
Stories are engaging and allow the listener to place themselves in the storyteller’s shoes, which can deepen connections. We all like an idea that we can get behind; someone that we can root for. As a personal brand, you need to tell a story that resonates with your audience on an emotional level.
People like to see where you have been, where you’re heading and how it all ties into your story. A solid narrative helps convey those messages and gets people investing in your personal brand.
You can go back as far as cavemen times to see the power of a good story, with the Chauvet Cave paintings depicting storytelling that is many centuries old. Some things stay a constant in our lives, and telling a good story is one of them.
Have the Right Tools
Business cards are still one of the most important ways of exchanging information. Even with all the technology available to us, 27 million business cards are printed daily. A business card is a representation of you and one of the key elements of personal branding.
You don’t even need to be a design whizz to get a business card that catches the eye. At Brandly, you can upload your template and receive a fully editable design, allowing you to craft the perfect business card for your needs.
You never know when you might bump into someone who requires your information. Business relationships can strike up anytime, anywhere. It’s always best to be equipped with a business card in hand as it could be the segway to your next opportunity.
Industry conferences still hold plenty of weight and are a way to get to know other people in your sector. Many business relationships start after a connection at a conference…
Don’t view them as a chore; instead, use them as an opportunity to help put your personal brand in front of the masses. Take your time to talk and hear to what other people have to say, listening to their thoughts on the industry they work in.
Not every conference needs to be used solely for striking up relationships—sometimes it’s good to get a different point of view and have those face-to-face conversations that provide you with a bit more insight. And friendly networking never hurt the personal brand.
Online networking is a method that cuts lots of ice in the modern-day world. Connections, connections, connections are the name of the game, with online platforms, and, in particular, social media providing an outlet to build your profile.
Being active on social media is imperative to improving your personal brand, especially if you are running your own business or want to be seen as an influencer. Many SMB owners are reluctant to become a voice on social media at first.
But those who adopt the platforms early in their business cycle stand the best chance of creating a brand for themselves and their company.
Use All the Social Media
Long-Form Content on LinkedIn
In a professional sense, LinkedIn is the granddaddy of social media. Over the last few years, it has evolved from a space where all people do is connect, to a fully-functioning hub where everyone shares their stories and idea generation comes to the fore.
One of the best ways to use LinkedIn to your advantage is by posting long-form content directly on the platform, helping to solidify you as a thought leader (more on that later).
Regular Tweeting on Facebook
Think of Twitter as LinkedIn’s informal cousin, at least from a business point of view. Brands have realized the power Twitter holds for starting conversations and making audiences feel more involved. Passive consumers of content no longer exist. Everyone wants a voice.
Engage in conversations on Twitter and empower your audience. Also tweet regularly, keeping people updated in the process. These tactics all help build your online profile, which will help increase your status amongst your target audience and peers.
Nametags on Instagram
Visuals take precedence on Instagram, with it becoming the go-to place for many brands—both personal and corporate—to communicate with their audience. 80 percent of IG users follow a business on the platform. Which is why it’s no surprise to see the popularity of Instagram Nametags.
Users create a Nametag within the app and print it onto a business card, allowing people to scan and instantly follow you when meeting at events and conferences.
Facebook Business Pages
When you’re creating your personal brand, it’s essential to explore every avenue. You can create an artist, band or even public figure page on Facebook and curate content that helps to build up your following. If you already have a personal page, start by inviting your friends to like and follow your business account page and build your profile from there.
In the image-propelled social media era, people that communicate visually are more likely to succeed. 80 percent of marketers use visual assets in their social media marketing, and you should be on board the visual train.
As you understand your audience better, you will be able to craft your own path and get a feeling for the type of visuals to post that hit the mark. The imagery that you use could very well become synonymous with your brand.
Some of the most significant social influencers bring the audience into their world, sharing snaps of their personal life. Others tend to lean on using visual stats to communicate a message. Then you have those that combine the two.
Whichever route you go down, visuals should become part of the fabric of your personal branding.
Have Something to Say
People want insight that provides a different take on what they hear on a daily basis. Find your angle, even if it’s controversial. But most importantly, be genuine with your thoughts. Don’t say things for the sake of saying, controversial or otherwise.
Research and then come to your own decisions. If you can back up your point, people are more likely to respect your take on a topic, even if they disagree. The online professional world is one where many debates take place, often in a respectful environment where everyone listens to each other’s opinions and ideas.
Having something relevant to say taps into your emotional appeal and helps to define your personality in other people’s eyes.
Be a Thought Leader
Talking of integral voices, becoming a thought leader is a bona fide way to build your personal brand. Participating in industry-relevant conversations and writing blog posts will go some way to achieving such a status.
Write blog posts regularly and share them online. There are many popular platforms where you can write and share your words. Blogging is important because you get to provide your audience with in-depth information.
It all ties back into your personal brand. If you’re consistent with your output, contributing at least one post per week, people will start seeing you as a thought leader in your industry. You can also partner with other bloggers to contribute guest posts on their blog and have them feature on yours.
Engage With the Community
Being on social media, creating posts and sharing images is one thing. But the strategy will soon fall short if you don’t engage in conversations. Everything starts with a conversation, and when done right they can foster growth.
Take an active role in your community. Talk to your audience, participate in discussions and look at ways to expand your voice. Podcasts are an excellent starting point for conversations—you should create your own and feature on other people’s.
Talk with other prominent voices in your community, be seen as the one who starts a dialogue. All of these factors combined will increase your standing in the space that you operate in and help you to be seen as an integral voice.
You need to be consistent if you want to improve your personal brand and become a figurehead within your community. The drive is the most crucial aspect of any success. Everyone has fits of spurts of determination, but those who are consistent with their output are most likely to prosper.
Always be open to new ideas, look at how you can improve, ask for advice and be happy to share your own experiences. All of these traits form part of character building, which has a direct impact on your personal brand.
There is nothing more important than the brand of you, so make sure that you give it the best chance to prosper.