In business, people tend to buy from those that they can have a trusted partnership with, for the mutual benefit of both. If you are in business and haven’t yet got the lion’s share of your market - whilst there are many things that you can potentially do such as company/product branding and advertising - you may also want to take a look at whether your personal branding stacks up.
“What is it about who I am that makes me stand out in the minds of the audience that I am trying to reach?”
“How can I add value to other people’s lives continuously?”
“How do I stay relevant to my audience?”
It is really important to define yourself. Do you really know what you are good at? Do you know what makes you different? Whatever it is, remember this and stick with it. This is your point of difference.
Establish yourself as the “go to person” in your industry both as an individual and as an expert, then get online and tell people about you! Develop your presence and establish yourself as a thought leader!
The best place to start with your personal brand in today’s digitally connected world is online. Start a blog, write a flyer or newsletter, or set up your own website. If you’re creating a website, include a bio, testimonials and pictures, and make yourself searchable on Google so that people can find you.
Taking these steps won’t immediately position you as a leader in your field, but they are imperative to getting started on that path.
Though these steps may sound daunting for the less technologically savvy among us, they are actually quite simple. Firstly, make sure your social media profiles are safe-for-work and above all professional. Inappropriate language or pictures can damage your reputation and take away from your credibility in some professional circles.
The next step is to get your brand out there. Figure out what your brand is and what you want to say. Once you have, get a platform to broadcast your thoughts. Though a website is a great showcase for your personal brand, you don’t have to go through the time of setting one up in order to get yourself out there. Blogging can be done easily with tools such as Wordpress or Medium, or even on LinkedIn by using its long form posts function.
Carrying Through In Person
Your body language contributes hugely to your brand. Ask yourself: do I have positive body language?
Do you have a firm handshake? Do you walk with confidence and create a presence? Are you professionally dressed? Do you smile when you meet someone? Are you enthusiastic and passionate in the way that you talk and act?
I recommend you start to follow Travis Bradberry, award winning co-author of the #1 bestselling book Emotional Intelligence 2.0. Read this article about key behaviours that make you likeable. People choose to partner and buy from people they like, an important thing to understand if you are to have a successful personal brand.
In my experience, the one thing that turns someone off you is if you look at your mobile phone for a message or incoming text whilst talking to someone. When you are having a conversation with someone you need to be 100% focused on the conversation. This builds trust and credibility for your personal brand.
In the long term, your personal brand is valued in the market place as long as you are appreciated by your customers. Building your personal brand is a process of taking ownership of your identity and allowing it to shine.
Do what's natural. Be yourself. Be genuine, and be comfortable in your own skin. If you offer value, and do it honestly, this will be reflected in your brand.