Personal branding has intensified with the advancements of technology. Thanks to the internet and social media, nearly every human in the world has the power to develop a unique identity on a professional level. Selena Gomez, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lauren Conrad are a few examples of people who have harnessed the reach of technology to market themselves and their careers in such a way.
But in order to create a personal brand that resonates with a vast audience, it is important to be authentic, consistent and engaging. You have the power to design how your personal brand is seen by the world, so do it right. Today’s consumers are intelligent, opinionated and outspoken; they are not afraid to call you out if you shy away from being honest and genuine.
Once you have identified your personal brand and developed the conventional platforms – website and social media accounts – you may be thinking, “Now what?”
Make Your Mark
Create a logo or symbol to give your personal brand a unique identity. Not only does this enhance brand recognition with your audience, but it also adds to your level of professionalism.
Get creative and visualize the desired perception of your brand. Do you consider yourself handcrafted, organic and personalized? Or, do you prefer to be seen as contemporary, sleek and classy? Determine the outward visual tone of your brand and start designing with it in mind.
You’ve created this amazing personal brand, so why not reach out to share it with as many people as possible? Social media advertising tools are a vital way to connect with potential fans and stay in front of your current following. These marketing platforms, from Facebook to Twitter, can offer intelligent strategies for reaching out while keeping a healthy budget – they provide bang for your buck.
Social media advertising tools also provide you with invaluable insight into the effectiveness of your personal branding strategies. How engaging is your content to your target audience? If you change the picture or call-to-action in the ad, will it yield better results?
Don’t be shy about A/B testing your content here. Separate your audience into two groups and serve each of them a different variation of the same ad; for example, one ad has a picture and the other contains a GIF, but both are conveying the same message. Compare your results to determine which variant worked best based on your desired outcome. The reporting tools on these platforms help make the comparison process a breeze and you’ll learn more about what truly gets through to your audience.
Remember: Get creative, stay authentic and be consistent in your message. You’ll soon begin to understand how truly helpful these platforms can be to marketing yourself.
Put yourself out there and host or speak at an event – trust me, I know you can do it. This is one of the best methods for showcasing your knowledge and expertise.
Getting out to events also gives you an in-person opportunity to connect with others. Technology is great for reaching out, but nothing beats a person-to-person encounter.
There are plenty of opportunities such as local chamber events, industry seminars, conferences, workshops and client appreciation lunches – just to name a few. These get you out into the real world and help market your personal brand.
Use Your Voice
You’ve created a personal brand for a reason. You are the inspiration behind it all, so use your voice to tell the world about it.
Start a podcast. A personal brand is about marketing yourself and your career; a podcast offers your audience a chance to hear your story first-hand. One of the best aspects of this medium is that it can develop as your brand develops. As you continue on your self-branding journey, the podcast can be an outlet for sharing insights, knowledge, stories and motivation with the world.
If you need motivation, 24 percent of the United States population ages 12 and older listen to podcasts monthly. So, if starting your own podcast is too much, don’t be afraid to reach out to other podcasters and offer to be a guest on their show. Either way you choose, podcasts are a helpful medium to use your voice.
While personal branding is about promoting you and your career, find a way to weave giving back into your brand’s identity. There are more than enough opportunities to do this. If you’re a social media marketing guru, teach non-profits how to be more effective with their social media platforms. If you’re an artist, volunteer to teach art at an after-school program. Find a need in your community and go for the giving.
This not only benefits your community, but will boost your success in the end. People tend to remember selfless acts, so give back generously and create a positive perception of your brand. You might even learn more about yourself – and your brand – in the process.
This article is featured in The Connect magazine’s Holiday 2017/2018 issue. To enjoy the full issue, including exclusive interviews with Hollywood power player Kiki Ayers and legendary branding guru Louis Upkins, expert tips for becoming your healthiest version in the New Year, as well as a peek at the 6,000-year-old goldmines resting inside of the Asian Art Museum, order here. Download the digital version here.