What do Oprah Winfrey, Donald Trump and Jessica Simpson have in common? Well, besides the fact that they are household names, they have built effective personal brands! If you ask someone if they are familiar with one of those names, I’m sure they can name a variety of things that the name is associated with.
In the past few years, personal branding has been discussed exhaustively throughout the Internet. The difference between today and over ten years ago when it was first mentioned by Tom Peters, is the rise of social technologies that have made branding not only more personal, but within reach.
The worlds of Google, Twitter and Facebook have made it easy to measure a person’s unique brand with the click of a button. In a matter of minutes, personal identifiable information such as your location, Twitter page, employment information and career interests can be found. Once you are online, there is no place to hide. As such, transparency and authenticity are the only means to survive and thrive in this new digital kingdom.
Many people are under the impression that only celebrities and high-profile figures can be identified as brands, when in fact, we are all subconsciously brands. Everything that we do and think is collateral for our brand. As a brand, we can leverage the same strategies that allow celebrities or corporate brands to appeal to others. We can build brand equity just like them.
If you know who you are and what type of brand you want to represent, begin to show the world your face! With the following tips, you will be able to position yourself towards prosperity.
Discover your brand
This requires a serious assessment of your strengths, weaknesses, prospective opportunities and threats. If you find yourself troubled in this, reflect on what others have said about you. Are you described as humorous? Hard-working? Resourceful? Well include those thoughts in your assessment. These will help you to discover your brand and also help you figure out what you want to do for the rest of your life. As many other brands, devising a brand or mission statement will add fuel to the fire that you should be igniting through this process.
Select a niche
A niche is a specific product or service that you offer. That niche should be clearly defined, especially in the state of why it is unique and needed. For example, Mark Zuckerburg saw the need for a social network that can connect college students worldwide together, thus the creation of Facebook.
Create your brand
Create some marketing collateral that will advertise your niche. Business cards, resumes, portfolios, social media and references are all great ways to promote your personal brand. Figdig.com and CarbonMade.com are social networks that people can use to show off your creative skills.
Use the Same Photo
This may sound like an unnecessary thought, but it helps. Using the same photo for all blogs, social websites, and organizations that you are involved with online will help with the visual effect to build your brand and increase your online presence by prospective employers and connections.
Once you have your personal brand established, be sure to get the word out. Publish your thoughts and ideas online and connect with individuals that have experience in your field. Join professional organizations, connect with your college Alma mater(s), and generate a healthy buzz about your brand. Lastly, as thoughts and ideas change, be sure to update them.
Always keep your personal brand relevant. It will pay off in the long run.