As a consultant I seem to spend a lot of my time writing content; blogs, articles, proposals, have written a book and co-authored another.
Like most other consultants and writers, I get distracted and procrastinate – life happens – and I need to work. I also spend time with my research to make sure I have the foundation right before I espouse any new approaches to personal branding.
One thing I have discovered though that is constant with building a personal brand, is to step back first and look at your base brand and toolkit before presenting your brand to your audience. You also need to constantly reassess and revisit your approach.
It also helps to get the knowledge, do the work, innovate and persevere. As the famous quote goes, I’m a great believer in luck. The harder I work the more luck I have.
If you want to stand out in your business or in your career through managing your personal brand, the approach I’ve observed is condensed into seven main areas.
WHY. Consider your reason for establishing a personal brand. Do you need to reinvent, new job, starting a business or career change – is change being forced upon you? Where do you stand now and where do you want to go? Look at your big picture, future goals and how you can move your current position to go from here to there. Look at any mind blocks you may have and get the appropriate help if needed.
YOU. Identify your personality characteristics and your passions. Do an audit to determine your skills and knowledge areas. Delve deeply to uncover your identity and essence.
WHAT. Discover what sets you apart – your point of differentiation. What position do you already own with your target market and what do you want to own? Is there a unique concept or idea you can hang your hat on and be the master of? 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.
LOOK. Package you and your product or service to be visually appealing. Get the communication collateral looking good with appropriate colours, fonts, logos and design. Also develop your own image and unique style suitable to your personality and work. Dress for the image you want to project, not necessarily the one you have now.
PROMOTE. To go from where you are now to where you want go, you need to implement a personal branding plan and become known in your niche. Sell yourself through various communication channels. Tactics include: publishing – write articles for blogs, magazines and digital sites; write a book; social media marketing; send out interesting media releases on your topic to journalists to help create word of mouth publicity; speak for clubs and other organisations. Self-marketing will build your brand identity.
PARTNERS. Create contacts and build your network. Join networking groups appropriate to you and your personal brand and people you can help and those who can help you. Build a great team and help others become as successful as you. Work with the best whether employees, contractors, consultants or partners. They will help build your brand reputation.
ACTION. Make it happen and create your own luck. Develop a personal brand plan for yourself every year and review it often. Include specific goals, strategies, action steps, and a timetable. The key of course is to implement your plan by remaining focussed and committed to your future success.
Learn more about Coaching and Consulting to enhance your personal brand.
Sue Currie is a speaker and the author of IMPRESSario, Present and Promote the Star Within You. She is passionate about helping business executives and entrepreneurial professionals elevate their personal brand, image and professional presence. Sue’s suite of services delivered through workshops, consulting, coaching and keynote presentations provides a multi-faceted approach to gain high transformation for her clients.