Brands used to be just for companies and products. Today, they’re also for people. That’s because prospects and customers look us up on the Internet. The words and images they see there create an impression – and that’s your personal brand! Here’s how to develop that brand to give it more power – to make sure your audience sees you in the very best light:
- Understand the personal brand. A personal brand isn’t just your image, but your words, attitude, skills, and values. Think of it as your story, what makes you unique.
- Search your name on the Internet and evaluate what you see. Pick one or more search engines and look yourself up, just like a prospect. Study your images, websites, blogs, and social media posts. Note the tone of your writing, the content you share, and the impressions they leave.
- Check out the competition. Search your competitors too. Describe their personal brands. See what’s working for them and what isn’t working.
- Determine what you want to stand for. Do you have expertise in a specific area of your business or profession? Do you specialize in a particular kind of client, or client need? Are you strong in some capability, such as quick response or familiarity with technology?
- List your brand attributes. How do you want others to describe you? What words and images should they use? What’s your brand’s customer benefit? What feelings should your brand evoke? What’s your brand’s overall value to clients? What’s its point of difference versus competitors? Does it have special appeal to new clients?
- Discover your voice. Once you’ve listed your brand attributes, arrive at a voice that reflects them. The tone could be confident, assertive, reassuring, no-nonsense, sympathetic, etc. Your brand voice could also be a combination of tones–e.g., reassuring and confident.
- Look again at your online presence. Go back to your search for yourself. See how the visuals and writing align with the powerful personal brand you’re creating. Change visuals and re-write content to fit this brand.
As you establish your personal brand, be consistent. Make sure your brand comes through in everything you do. Even emails and personal notes can be written in a style that reflects your brand. And, remember, the best brands don’t fake it, so always be true to yourself. Here’s to your continued success, as you keep putting together your powerful personal brand – and your best year ever… Enjoy a great month!