December 20, 2012
4 Keys to Maximize Personal Branding
Filed under: Entrepreneurship
In our previous post on creating a personal brand, we discussed how important it is in the new world of work to understand the concept and begin developing a solid personal brand. The next step is to generate awareness about your brand. In essence, you must market yourself.
Similar to the methods organizations use, an individual must develop a strategy that includes understanding your target audience(s), determining your differentiators, understanding your competition and positioning yourself as the best choice. The steps to support your brand are also similar – create social media profiles, particularly on LinkedIn, build a simple website to house your information, develop your messaging, and other channels to make others aware. However, there are some distinct differences in creating a personal brand that must be addressed to be successful.
The following 4 Keys will help you develop a well-rounded personal brand strategy that generates the type of buzz you desire:
Key 1 – Perception – everything you do is considered part of your personal brand. How you dress, your resume, your writing style, even word choices on social media profiles. The most important key is to have everything align with your personal brand. Consistency is crucial to maintaining a strong personal brand. If you have one persona on Facebook and an entirely different one on LinkedIn, you will send mixed messages about your personal brand. Even if you use Facebook for personal updates to your family and friends only, employers, colleagues and business contacts can gain access to your information. Remember, a personal brand is a conscious decision and you must live it throughout all aspects of your life. Your brand is not just a compilation of statements you make to potential employers – it represents who you are at your core.
Key 2 – Focus – whether you are building a website, creating a Facebook profile or submitting resumes, stay focused on your personal brand message. Again, consistency is key and the perception that others will have is based on how focused you stay on your personal brand. Remember this consistency is important both online and offline, so when you attend networking events or speak to people face-to-face, ensure you are conveying the same message.
Key 3 – Communicate – tell everyone! Once you have your personal brand statement, expand upon it in social media posts, discuss it on your blog, and even create introductory paragraphs on resumes that let others know about your brand. The only way to generate awareness about your personal brand is to let others know through marketing channels.
Key 4 – Monitor – reputation management is a critical component to ensuring brand consistency. Set up Google Alerts so you know when your name is mentioned, and be sure to quickly respond to any social media posts, good or bad. Choosing to generate awareness about your personal brand does open you up to comments and sometimes criticism. Choosing to be confrontational will negatively impact your brand, so stay consistent to your brand statement, be authentic and always be pleasant.