Thursday, September 7, 2017

12 Point Plan to Develop your Personal Brand

Everything you do creates personal brand impressions; from behaviour and appearance, to your social media images, the way you communicate and the networks you belong to; all add to or diminish your brand. And those impressions can last a long time.

I was reminded of this when a colleague commented on my many years working in the personal branding field. It led me back to an article I first wrote for Flying Solo almost ten years ago on how to develop your brand. I think these points are still relevant today. Read more in this week’s blog.

Personality - Work out your personality characteristics and your passions. Discover what sets you apart. Develop a personal brand statement that is just for you – your internal dialogue – then use that as a basis for external communication.

Promote - Develop your personal brand statement into a short ad, or commercial about you. When you meet people you should be able to say clearly what you do, how you do it differently, and the benefit it provides.

Package - Develop a unique style suitable to your personality and work. Dress for the role you want, not necessarily the one you have. Balance your individual style to express you, with clothing that will appeal to those you are wanting to impress.

Presence - Become a class act. Learn good business manners and social etiquette. Send thank you notes on elegant stationery and return phone calls, as it’s the ‘little things’ that count.

Positioning - What position do you already own with your audience and what do you want to own? Is there a unique concept or idea you can hang your hat on? Where’s the creative element? Build your brand by being first with a new idea or by recognising a major trend in your field and moving to the head of it.

Publicise - Become an expert source for the media. Get known in your niche. Write articles for magazines and blogs. Send out interesting media releases on your topic to journalists to help create word of mouth buzz. Strong social media strategies will support your message.

People - Build your network. Make new business contacts and stay in touch with them. Choose those appropriate to you and your personal brand; those you can help and those who can help you. Be selective with which networking groups you belong to.

Presentations - Learn to be a confident communicator. Speak for clubs and other organisations. Join Toastmasters or hire a presentation skills coach to ensure that your speaking skills are at their best. Strong communication and presentation skills are a must and being a proficient public speaker will help reinforce your personal brand.

Perfection - Well there’s no such thing. However if you become the expert by gaining credentials and qualifications in your field, it will help reinforce your personal brand. We all make mistakes. If something is not working try something else. 

ProfitWe all want to be profitable but remember to give something back. Giving your time, talent, or money to charitable causes or industry associations can help build your brand. And it will be more enjoyable if you find something you are passionate about or complements what you like to do.

Partners - Work with the best whether employees, contractors, consultants or partners. They will help build your brand reputation. Leverage your time and find someone else to do the job for you so you can concentrate on what you do best.  

Plan - Develop a personal brand plan for yourself every year, and review it often. Include specific goals, strategies, action steps, and a timetable.

Above all take a professional approach to building your personal brand.

Need further tips on how to grow your brand? Sign up for my free video training series, NOOK, LOOK, HOOK, 3 STEPS TO BUILD A STAND OUT PERSONAL BRAND.

Sue Currie is a speaker, author, consultant and educator recognised as an authority on personal branding to boost image, profile, brand and business. Through her workshops, professional development programs and brand consulting, Sue help businesses and entrepreneurs position and present an impactful professional brand.

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