Whether you like it or not, people are making assumptions about your personal brand. Your product, service, customer experience and online presence are factors in driving consumer perception.
But it is so much more than just that.
Your personal brand also includes the reputation and relationships you have built over time.
This includes your conversations, daily actions and interactions, and of course, all of the super-duper awesomeness that makes you so wonderfully and delightfully you.
So how do you translate that into a personal brand that attracts, engages and inspires potential customers?
Below are 7 tips to spark creativity and help you build a sensational personal brand that is strategically and thoughtfully designed!
1. Define What Makes You Shine
Defining and consistently sharing your unique message creates differentiation. It is an identifier, relaying the special skills, talents and magic that is the brand called you.
Whether you are a writer, a marketer or a small business owner, controlling that perception is vital. Begin to develop your personal brand by asking a few questions:
- What is my greatest strength/weakness?
- What unique ability do I bring to the table?
- What differentiates me from my competition?
- Am I innovative or traditional in thinking?
- How do I prefer to communicate?
- What are the needs of my consumer that I can solve?
2. Create a Credible Website
A website can help establish credibility and should be hub or center of your online presence. With it you can showcase your individual talents and provide insight into who you are, what you are passionate about and what niche or group you and your business serve.
Allow your website to complement all that you are doing both offline and online. Add it to your marketing, newsletter, email and any other location where you are eager for consumers to find and connect with you.
Your website is establishing your reputation. Do not miss the opportunity to create thought leadership through your content, design and branding.
3. Embrace Social Media
As the use of social networks within business continues to evolve, having an established social media presence that connects with potential customers is a crucial element to building your personal brand.
Gain a voice in the over-saturated online world by getting involved in the conversation. Determine where you can share and discuss topics that matter most to your business and potential clients.
To begin building a presence across various social networks, consider these tips:
- Spend time identifying where your target market spends their time. Is it Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus or Pinterest? Once you know where they want to receive your message, then begin to craft it.
- Take time to determine what you will talk about. This is not a time or place to be spammy or promotional. You want to offer insight and give away your knowledge freely to begin boosting personal brand awareness and establishing a solid reputation.
- Like, circle or follow competitors and other local businesses. This is a great way to elevate the conversation and create strategic relationships, even with your competitors. As the saying goes, keep your friends close and your enemies (aka “the competition) closer.
- Ask questions! This is a quick and easy way to find out what matters most to those connecting with you online.
4. Merge Offline with Online
While business seems to be more Internet-based than ever, you never want to neglect your offline efforts. Merging your offline and online is a perfect way to take an established reputation and introduce it to your new online audience.
Take your brochures, email marketing, flyers and direct mail campaigns and repurpose the content across your social media channels. You can also take much of that content and turn it in to blog posts.
Did you answer a question or solve a problem in your latest email? Expand upon that and post it to your blog.
Don’t forget to include links to your online profiles within your traditional marketing to cross-promote your online networks. You want to make sure that no matter where your audience spends time, they can find you!
5. Invest In Your Brand
Whether it is time spent creating content or an investment into a new marketing tool, investing in your personal brand provides growth opportunities.
Spending money on the development of your brand can also build credibility, boost visibility and create a higher overall perceived value.
For example, spending money on your look and feel – a logo, custom website and branded social media channels tells your story and sends a consistent message to potential clients.
6. Set Measurable Goals
Setting periodic goals for your personal brand is a good way to analyze your achievements and adjust your strategy as necessary. Set daily, weekly and monthly goals that support your dream.
What is it that you want to achieve? Once you decide what you are working towards, put it in writing.
Are you looking to sell more product? Determine how many people you will need to get in front of to meet your goal. Then analyze what your conversion rate is and what the cost is to market to each individual.
This will help you begin to formulate the cost of your time and resources.
7. Stay Fresh and Relevant
Keep your personal brand fresh and exciting. Consistently take stock of your marketing and your message. Ask yourself who you are marketing to and whether your content is what they want and need.
There is no sense in putting yourself out there if you are not willing to go the extra mile.
Stay on top of trends and make sure your personal branding is relevant, but also a reflection of all that your business is and is striving to be.