Thursday, June 30, 2016

How to Shine a Spotlight on Your Personal Brand

How did your year go? Your financial year that is. As you tally up the numbers, look at the hard cash facts and celebrate or perhaps tweak your budget and forecast for next year, it is worth looking at other success measures such as increased brand awareness. July is the perfect time to reassess your goals you set for the year. It’s also good to re-evaluate your personal brand plan which of course you remember me writing about in January! Just in case you missed that one – let’s review in this week’s blog.

In January most people seem to have an optimistic outlook for the year ahead. Positive intentions are set particularly about making some sort of change or reinvention to ourselves. I suggested a tip for each month to help you grow your personal and professional brand. Yes, they are intertwined whether you are an entrepreneur or an employee, you as an individual are representing an overall company brand. It could be XYZ corporate brand or Ms CEO of You.

Personality – January. Work out your brand values, 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 – February. Develop your personal branding 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 – March. 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 with clothing that will enhance you and make a positive impression.

Presence – April. Become a class act. Learn good business manners and social etiquette. Send hand-written notes, return phone calls – it’s the ‘little things’ that count. Have some classy personal thank you cards made up.

Positioning – May. 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 – June. Become an expert source for the media. Get known in your niche. Create a social media strategy. Write articles for magazines and online newsletters. Speak for clubs and other organisations. Send out interesting media releases on your topic to journalists to help create word of mouth buzz.

People – July. 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. Help others become as successful as you. Be selective with which networking groups you belong to.

Presentations – August. Learn to be a confident communicator. Join Toastmasters or hire a presentation skills coach to ensure that your written and verbal skills are at their best. Strong communication skills and presentation skills are a must and being a proficient public speaker will help reinforce your personal brand.

Perfection – September. Well there’s no such thing. We all make mistakes. You may have to try many ways to discover and reinforce your personal brand. If something is not working, try something else. Revisit your brand plan.

Profit – October. We 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 of course it will be more enjoyable if you find something you are passionate about or complements what you like to do.

Partners – November. 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 – December. 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.

It’s still not too late to make 2016 your time to shine. Learn more in my free eBook – etc

Read last week’s blog How to Prepare for Personal Brand Launch

Sue Currie is a personal branding specialist providing solutions to business owners and organisations to boost their image, renown, brand and business. She is the founder of Shine Academy™, providing education and professional development training and the creator of the Shine Personal Branding System™ a process she uses to help executives and entrepreneurs position their professional brand and present themselves with impact and influence. Through speaking, corporate workshops, and consulting, Sue helps businesses and individuals to stand out and shine.

Image courtesy Shutterstock

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