Building your personal brand is key to having a long productive business life, and affecting others in a positive way. At its core, building your personal brand is nothing more than marketing the best parts of your core personality and beliefs in an honest and open way. When done correctly not only do you excel at building relationships with people who believe what you believe, but you also have a positive impact on others lives that lives on well past your business relationship with them.
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. – Maya Angelou
Tips for Building and Evolving Your Personal Brand
Below you will find tips for creating a personal brand, or evolving and reinventing your personal brand to help shape your life and how others perceive you.
Be Careful What You Say
Think about what you post on your social networks and websites in terms of what would be safe and appropriate to say in a workplace, or to an employer. Remember, not everyone know’s your sense of humor or background, so making jokes online is a risky move.
Add value To Conversations
When posting updates to your social networks, be wise about doing it. Adding value comes in three forms: information, analysis, and assistance. This is a good trio to keep in mind when deciding what to post. By sharing useful content, you’re making sure people understand your areas of interest and expertise.
Stop Doing Publicity Stunts
You want people to take you seriously and you want to have a clean reputation. Avoid doing publicity stunts with obvious risks, or doing bad things in order to get attention.
Define Your Core Values
Because your personal brand is built from the thoughts and words and reactions of other people, it’s shaped by how you present yourself publicly. This is something that you have control over. You can decide how you would like people to see you and then work on publicly being that image. Values are the easiest thing to present and have people identify with, so start there.
Perfect Your Skills
Every good brand involves the notion of expertise. There’s always something new to learn, and in today’s connected world, there is no excuse not to stay on top of your game and up to date with the most recent and innovative trends.
Market Your Personality
You should have a clearly identifiable personality so that people can easily feel like they know you personally, even if they’ve never met you. Your style of delivery should be as unique as any other aspect of your personal brand.
Be Open and Honest When You Communicate
Create a blog or website that is all you. It doesn’t matter if it’s not your first priority, or even your second priority, but it gives people a place to develop a stronger connection with you.
Try to build relationships with as many people as possible.
Build Meaningful Relationships
Look for people with an audience that you want to reach, the movers and the shakers, the big names. Not only do you have plenty to learn from people like this, but they are also the people who can give you that killer testimonial when you launch your product, who can tweet your links to thousands of followers, who can share the best opportunities with you.
Communicate Your Behaviors
If you only have the time to answer 1/4 of the emails you get, why not mention this on your Contact page? The greatest source of negative feeling in these situations is disappointment. If you make it clear that you intend to behave in a certain way, people have little right to be disappointed when you do so.
Let People Into Your World
People need to feel like they know you, especially if your online presence is your main business. In order to help them feel like they know you, they need to be able to see you. This means pictures and, if possible, videos.
Be Unique and Play To Your Strengths
The unique talents and characteristics you’ve developed throughout your career are an asset you shouldn’t let go to waste. Think about not only what you’re good at, but also about the activities and experiences you enjoy most and build your brand around them.
Have Passion In All That You Do
People gravitate toward passion. If you aren’t passionate about the work you do – or if you try to fake it – those you lead will pick up on it immediately. To truly inspire others and establish yourself as an expert, you have to love what you do.
Share Your Knowledge and Give Back
One of the best ways to build your personal brand – share what you know. When in meetings or discussions with people, take the initiative and speak up for your ideas.
Network In-Person As Well As Online
It is extremely important to present yourself well in person, Lynne Sarikas, director of the MBA career center at Northeastern University says. “You do not want your personal brand to tell others that you are passive.”
Allow Your Personal Brand to Evolve
The best personal brand will be relevant and sustainable and adapt to current trends in your industry throughout your career.
You don’t want people to see you as dated, a one-hit-wonder, or boring and repetitive. No matter how good your content is, you’ll risk seeming stale and repetitive if you don’t continue adding new elements to your brand or take on new challenges.
Dress For Success
When we put a lot of work into how we look, we tell people two things: that we believe in taking this professional effort seriously and that we believe they are worth making an effort for or that they’re worth impressing.
Your Personal Brand Is All About The Long Game
Look at your personal brand as an investment: your personal brand has the potential to last longer than your own life. While the projects you’re working on might get sold onwards or shut down, your personal brand will persist and add value to each new project you create.
Be A Thought Leader and Invite Change
You need to be an active force in your field. You need to be changing, innovating, and making a significant contribution to your field at all times or else your brand will die out over time. Find what your role is, what you do best or that no one else is doing, and find ways to change the direction of that field for the better.