Your personal brand is essentially your reputation and what people say about you. Before you can strengthen your personal brand, you need to have an awareness of what your personal brand actually stands for.
As a small business owner, it’s relatively easy to identify your personal brand: your personal brand is your business’s brand. For example, my business brand is all about helping individuals and organisations become more efficient, but I am strengthening my expert status in how to network more efficiently.
But what happens if you are employed within a corporate business or private practice? How do you develop your own personal brand? I think if you work in a practice, you can easily develop a brand for a particular specialism and type of client you work with.
In the same way, when you work in a corporate environment, you need to work out what you want to be known for. It may not surprise you that when I worked for my previous employers I was known for my extensive network around the firm!
Here are some thoughts on how to strengthen your personal brand:
- Start a blog based around your personal brand
- Comment on blogs which are focused on your personal brand
- Set up a Google Alert for keywords of interest to you, so you can read and comment on subjects of interest to you
- Volunteer to deliver presentations both in-house and externally
- Volunteer to be a guest speaker at networking groups and conferences
- Participate in online forums and answer questions based around your specialism
- Ask people how they view you and what they think you are good (or bad at)
- Write articles for in-house publications, external magazines (print and online), newsletters, guest blogs
- Tweet about your area of specialism
- Circulate articles (linked to your personal brand) to your network
- Start a LinkedIn group which enables you to showcase your expertise
- Answer LinkedIn questions which showcase your subject of interest
- Record YouTube videos on subjects based around your personal brand
- Start a special interest group within your professional association
- Do what you say you are going to do
- Submit articles to ezines.com and other online article sites
- Write an ebook or book
- Include links on your email and forum signatures to your online articles and blogs
- Have business cards or Mini Moo cards printed with links to your online presence
- Includes presentations, videos, pdfs on your LinkedIn profile
- Start writing a column for an internal or external print or an online magazine
- Run training sessions and workshops on topics connected to your personal brand
- Be authentic and true to your values and passions
- Opt for assignments and work which will showcase your strengths
- Volunteer for high profile assignments
- Find a mentor who is seen to be strong in the area which you want to become famous for
- Interview well known experts in your field for your blog
- Register the domain name for your personal name, and use it as your online CV
- Get on an assignment which is being lead by a known expert within your firm
- Ask for testimonials and endorsements from experts within your field
- Ask for 360-feedback from influential partners within your firm
- Spend time helping more junior members in the firm build their career
- Offer to become a mentor
- Look the part
- Be confident in what you can offer others
Have I missed anything? Let me know below.
Heather Townsend, Britain’s queen of networking, is the founder of The Efficiency Coach, a company that helps professionals achieve better business results for less effort. Follow her Joined Up Networking blog for more useful tips and tricks. She has just been commissioned to write the FT Guide to Business Networking.
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