We've all been taught since the beginning that dressing up professionally, giving a firm handshake and having strong credentials are the few first things you need to create a good first impression.
This will take you somewhere, but Not where you want to be in today's day and age.
The existence of blogs, Facebook, and Twitter have enabled anyone and everyone to become known; connect in almost real time directly with clients, colleagues, and friends; and build relationships across the globe. Now, making an unforgettable first impression in-person is no longer the only way to establish your brand.
While you may not be Apple or Universal Studios, who you are and how you come across are really important to being successful. You see so many personal brands in the spotlight every day online. Are you one of them? If not, then maybe it’s time for some personal branding.
Fact is, if you don’t brand yourself, someone else will and benefit from it. Branding yourself keeps you visible in your field, opens new doors for you, and creates a long-lasting impression on past, potential and existing clients. By developing your own brand, you’ll have control over the initial perception people have of you.
Remember 'If you're out of sight, you're out of mind.'
A successful brand goes a long way with good self-promotion, conveying honesty & loyalty, and offering consistency in the quality of the services you provide.
#1: Define Your Brand. Take some time and do some soul searching in determining who you really are and what makes up your brand. Whether you’re looking to capture social media attention, attract new clients or build your business, you should focus on becoming an expert in your field.
For example, if you are a Realtor, it's not only wise to brand yourself as a Local Real Estate Expert, but also making sure that people are getting to know your real personality as well. Don’t be afraid to squeeze in your personality into the conversations every now and then. Make people understand you, your thoughts and let them resonate with your actions.
#2: Establish a Strong Presence. You never know when you are being Googled by friends, colleagues, and potential customers, thus you have to make sure your branded content is what people find when they Google your name. One way to do this is to build a basic online presence through your own website or blog.
For example, you can purchase your full name as a domain name (yourfullname.com). By developing either a static website or a blog under your domain name, you will own the first result for your name in Google and other search engines. This should be a separate site than your company's website. After purchasing your domain name, add your picture, a bio, your email address, and links to the rest of your presence (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter). This way, people can get in touch with you in their medium of choice. Claim your name before someone else does. While search engines will pick up on your social media pages, having your own domain will produce a finite result.
#3: Network, Network, Network. Your daily or weekly task should be to connect with other professionals in your specific industry by using social networks and commenting on their blogs/ posts. Networking is one of the best ways to become known in the industry. By forming relationships with people in your audience, you can grow your business and you create a long-lasting brand.
#4: Remember the 3 Es of branding. Express, Experience, Entertain.
Express: Be clear in what your brand expresses, don't write or show them contradicting sides of your brand. For example, in Real Estate, if you are really good at being a Buyer's agent rather than a seller's agent, then you should express that with utmost clarity.
Experience: It is your experience that you can leverage on the most, no matter what experience it is in. People tend to find common things amongst each other so that they can feel comfortable in establishing a connection- Thus the more experience you have in life as general, the more topics you will find to connect with other people.
Entertain: Agree to it, every one likes a brand that is entertaining. Ask yourself "How can you be entertaining for your audience, so that they remember you for a longer time, and take your brand as an all-encompassing, wholesome brand that not only provides the knowledge and services but also entertains them as well. Example sharing a funny post related to your business field is fun and more engaging sometimes than the regular boring blog posts!
Be clear about who you are and are not. Express your brand across all communications mediums. Determine where you want to fit in (industry and niche area of expertise) and then remain visible to your target audience.
#5: Always Seek Feedback: The true measure of your brand is the reputation others hold of you in their hearts and minds. Notice how your friends or family members introduce you to others. Tell them what your top brand attributes and core strengths are and make sure that when they can easily tell you. That's how you will get to brand the real you.
Though branding oneself requires a lot of extra time and effort, it can be done in a much smarter and sharper way than just trying to figure out what exactly to do or how to go about doing it.
Don't have time to brand yourself? We can help gladly!
For more information on how you can take your brand to the next level, Book Our Time.