What Is Your Personal Brand?

Google the term “personal brand” and you will find a never ending expanse of  “how-to's” on the best way to represent one’s self in our all-encompassing social media age. The term branding used to apply only to companies or business, but with so many available outlets today,  individuals have more ways than ever to tell the world who they are, what they do and why people should care.

Regardless of our field of endeavor, be it Philanthropist, Tech Executive or owner of the local Equipment Rental business, how we present ourselves and what social footprint we have in the digital realm matters. So how do you build your personal brand?

Where to Start

What is your social media footprint? Where do you post, comment or advertise? Are the messages consistent?  What are you trying to convey? These are questions you should ask yourself while developing your personal brand. The next item to consider is where will your brand live? Personal web sites are a great way to elevate your brand however, they can be expensive and require consistent review with fairly regular submissions in order to remain fresh and topical. Platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are simple yet effective tools for creating, managing and refining your personal brand. Better yet, you can use them all in complementary ways presenting yourself professionally, personally and socially.

Once you decide on where your brand will live you’ll need to create a Personal Mission Statement. One tool to try is the “Personal Mission Statement Builder” from Franklin Covey. This simple 9 step query is a great way to express who you currently are and what you strive to be.

Once your mission statement is defined, it is vital to be consistent and authentic in how you develop, cultivate and ultimately engage your personal brand with the outside world.

A Strong Personal Brand is Built on the Following:

  • Produce Value  Inane or non-relevant postings will quickly turn off the audience you are trying to connect with. That being said, your messages shouldn’t be all advertising. It’s important to engage your community, too.  For example, a friend of mine who owns an Equipment Rental company was posting daily reminders during the recent New England snow storms about Co2 dangers when electricity is lost. He also does wellness checks on infirmed or elderly neighbors.

  • Be Strategic in What You Share – I am an Executive Recruiter, and the audience I want to attract does not visit my Social sites to see pictures of my pets, video of a Double Rainbow or anything else not related to my profession. Because of this, I make sure each piece of content I post relates back to my career.

  • Align with Other Strong Brands  Whether they are companies or organizations you work/volunteer with, or people who will provide a reference for you, high visibility connections are exceptional ways to extend your personal brand. Making these connections visible to your followers is a great way to establish yourself as an authority in your field.

Evolve, create and never rest on the successes of the past. Set new goals, try and reach new people and embrace the fact that personal branding is a never ending evolutionary process.