Personal branding is a process, not a one-time activity. This means that you need to think about how you present yourself to the world on a regular basis, rather than just once or twice.
Whether you’re new to your industry or returning after some time away, developing and maintaining a strong personal brand can help you stand out in a crowded field. To do this, it’s important to understand the importance of personal branding and find ways you can put your best foot forward in the eyes of others and become an authority builder.
Personal branding is much more than an impressive resume or cover letter. It’s about finding out what makes you unique, memorable and valuable as a potential employee or business partner in any setting—and then communicating those attributes consistently through various channels.
1. By defining and refining your personal brand, you can control your reputation.
Personal branding is about building a reputation and creating a positive image that makes people see you as an expert. It’s not just about looking good, but being memorable and consistent in your communication.
When you think about branding for a company, it’s about defining their image as a company and making them memorable in the minds of customers. But when we talk about personal branding, it’s all about building yourself into someone experts or influencers want to work with.
It’s also important that you don’t confuse personal branding with simply building your online presence or “influencer marketing.” Personal branding goes beyond just the number of followers you have—it’s about creating meaningful relationships with colleagues and customers based on trust and credibility so that they know who they’re working with every time they interact with you.
2. Authenticity is key: Be who you are
People can smell a phoney a mile away, and they typically don’t trust people who try to be something they’re not. Focus on being authentic and letting your personality shine through.
What do you do when you’re in the comfort of your own home? What does your style of communication look like? How do you react when you’re happy, sad, or stressed out? All of these are part of your authentic self, and identifying them can help you communicate your personal brand.
For example, imagine you’re going to a business networking event with the intention of making new business contacts. You know that you’re most comfortable in a casual setting, so you show up dressed casually and ready to talk with anyone who approaches you.
3. Networking is paramount: Be where your audience is
You can’t build relationships sitting alone at home, so get out there and meet people!
You need to be where your audience is, so that when you want to connect with them, it’s easy and natural.
If you’re trying to build a personal brand, odds are that some of those relationships will come from networking events and conferences where your audience spends time—and they might be the ones who end up promoting or endorsing you in some way.
So be sure to look into what kind of local events exist right now in your area: meetups, panels at universities and colleges (which often have open-to-the-public lectures), conferences focused on topics relevant to yours (for example, there are lots of tech conferences), workshops related to skillsets like photography or graphic design or copywriting (even if it’s not exactly what you do).
4. Timing is everything: Be at the right place at the right time.
Timing is key when it comes to building your personal brand and authority. The best way to know what’s going on in your niche, who’s doing what and when, and how you can be involved with those people is by being active on social media.
Even if you’ve done everything right up to this point, you still have to have a bit of luck on your side. By finding the right people to network with, you open yourself up to opportunities that may not have been possible before. However, timing is important, too. Ideally, you want to reach out when they’re in need of what you have to offer.
You have to find the events, conferences and industry gatherings that are the right fit for you. You have to find the right people to meet and engage with. You have to find the right publications to write for, the right people to network with, the right websites to guest post on and the right people to refer business to you.
All of these things take time, but the more you participate in your industry, the more opportunities you have to showcase your personal brand at the right time.
5. Become an expert in your industry
Becoming an expert in your industry is an excellent way to build your authority and personal brand. Creating a reputation as an expert helps you establish credibility and makes customers feel confident about doing business with you.
To do this, you need to narrow down your area of expertise and then take action toward gaining the credentials necessary to promote yourself as an expert.
For example, let’s say you want to become an expert in the field of marketing. You could write blog posts, create podcasts, and publish articles that focus on marketing and provide tips, techniques, and strategies for growing your business.
Making thoughtful contributions to social networks like Twitter and LinkedIn can create the impression that you’re an expert and an authority in your field. You can also raise your profile by posting on other blogs, as well as receive endorsements from those who host your content.
Reading books and articles, attending industry events, listening to podcasts and videos, starting a blog—these are just some of the ways you can become an authority on the subject matter that you’re passionate about. Writing an eBook also helps build your authority in your niche.
Even if you don’t have all of the answers right now or aren’t working as a professional in your field just yet, it doesn’t mean that you can’t develop valuable insight into what makes companies and people successful by studying those who have already done it.
6. Build a content marketing strategy
A good content marketing strategy can fast-track you to becoming THE trusted authority for your customers and prospects.
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience.
While it’s important to remember that your audience isn’t always the people who are hiring you or the people you’re hoping to do business with, it’s also important to remember that they’re people who are out there reading, watching and listening. If they like what they see, then they’re more likely to remember you and help you find more success.
Content marketing is a great way to build your brand, attract new customers and partners, and increase your visibility in the marketplace. It’s all about creating valuable content that educates and informs your audience so they are more likely to follow you on social media, visit your website or recommend you to friends.
DO take notice of how the power of a brand and personality does the selling all by itself.
For example, by contributing to a leading trade journal, you can gain respect from your peers and others in your field. This strategy works well for entrepreneurs trying to generate leads for their business; it also works well for established companies looking for new ways to attract customers and employees.
We do this all the time at AmpiFire: we leverage the power and authority of massive brands to publish our content. We don’t pretend we’re the brand – we get the brand talking about us and our clients.
Of course – that’s usually more difficult to do for most (we make it easy, but usually, it’s tough). It takes time, effort, and a lot of mistakes to get it right. But we’ve been building the authority of brands and sites for years and know exactly how to do it right.