Whether you’re an entrepreneur who wants to grow your enterprise, a professional who wants to boost your career or an aspiring community leader who wants to intensify your influence, you have to build your personal brand to make your goals more achievable. Personal brand is basically your total package as a person, which could be identified through your name, professional title, achievements, reputation, and other things that could make people distinguish you from others.
Business owners, who have already built their personal brand, become more effective and efficient in building their business brand. Professionals or job seekers who have reputable personal brand, also become more attractive to top companies or employers. Likewise, leaders who are already known for their trusted personal brand become more inspiring and influential than other aspiring leaders.
The following are 21 ways to build your personal brand:
1. Define your personal brand. Build a foundation. Start knowing yourself right now. Find your passion and the main thing that you can do best. Define what you really want to be in a long term. Do you want to be recognized as one of the best business consultants in the world or in your country? Do you want to be known as a bestselling book author? Do you want to be known as a great leader in your community? At this point of time you need to establish your direction (steps), as well as your destination (objective).
2. Get a website and a blog. Start building your presence online by getting a professional website where you can showcase your professional resume and personal information. Blogging would also help you strengthen your presence online by publishing blog posts that are unique, educational, and useful to your target audience. Your blog’s content could be indexed by search engines (through search marketing or search engine optimization) and be shared on various social media places (through social media marketing), thus, increasing your reach. Blogging is also a great way to create deeper and more consistent interaction with your audience by updating your blog with useful blog posts regularly.
3. Try guest blogging. Contribute valuable articles or posts to other reputable and relevant blogs to reach their audience. Guest posting is a good way to grow your network and increase your exposure. It could also drive more traffic to your own blog and increase its site’s ranking.
4. Write an eBook and share it for free. If you’re not yet a famous author, you can write your own eBook and share it for free on the Internet through your website or blog. Writing an eBook would help you demonstrate to the world that you’re an expert on your field. You could also use your eBook to increase your blog’s subscribers by making it as a gift for people who would subscribe their email to your blog or website.
5. Book publishing. If your eBook would become a success and it attracts more followers, you could try publishing your own book. Writing and publishing a book would not only make you a well-known expert, but it would also generate book sales and royalties for you. However, writing a great book can take several months and even years to be more marketable. Hence, make sure that you already have earned a great experience, knowledge, and reputation before you finalize your book and make it available to the market.
6. Promote yourself on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the largest professional social network in the world. Hence, start completing your profile, building your network, joining relevant professional groups, and sharing quality content from your blog on LinkedIn now to promote your services and personal brand on this social network.
7. Build your Facebook Timeline. Facebook is the largest, busiest and most crowded social networking site in the world right now. Hence, start interacting with people on Facebook and build your reputation. You don’t need to build a Facebook page for your personal profile, unless you are a celebrity or a public figure. All you need to do is to be friendly, helpful, and careful in everything that you share on Facebook, whether it’s a simple status, a photo, video, or link to the article from your blog.
8. Interact with Twitter. Twitter is where a social media trending could start. It is a very efficient social network or micro blogging platform that can grow your followers if you could share useful information (through tweets) and valuable relationship with other Twitter users. By creating high-quality blog posts and tweeting these to your followers, you could also promote your blog and work on Twitter.
9. Join Google+. Google+ is owned by the giant Google. Thus, if you want to promote your personal brand, don’t forget to build your circles on Google+. Your Google+ profile is also one of the requirements for Google’s authorship markup on its search engine result pages (the one where your picture as the author of a particular page or blog post is shown on Google’s search results). Hence, if you want to increase your reputation as a professional, author or blogger, promote yourself on Google+.
10. Build your YouTube Channel. YouTube is the third largest websites on the Internet, just behind Google and Facebook. It may not be considered as a search engine, but it is the largest search engine for videos in any category. You could build your personal brand on YouTube by creating an account, building a channel, and uploading useful and informational videos about your expertise or passion. For example, if you’re a business consultant, you could create videos containing business and marketing training that would be useful for business owners, entrepreneurs, and other related users.
11. Share your presentations and documents. You could create informational and helpful presentations and documents (PDF) covering topics of your expertise, and then share them on top file sharing websites, like SlideShare.net and Scribd.com. This would not only help you teach people, but it would also increase your audience, followers, and your credibility.
12. Share audio files. Many people, especially the busy ones, prefer to listen to audio files instead of reading texts or watching videos to increase their learning. You can also tap this market or audience by creating useful podcasts or by converting your articles, videos, and other resources in to audible files and share them freely on your blog, website, or even on iTunes and other top podcast sharing sites.
13. Join online communities. Online communities (e.g. online forums, Facebook groups and LinkedIn groups) are great places to share, ask, learn, and grow your professional and business network. If you want to build your personal brand, join online communities that are directly relevant to your profession or industry. There, you could build relationships with other members by actively adding value to the community and helping other members.
14. Get certification and accreditation. Get certified. If you’re an accountant, you could consider becoming a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Internal Auditor, Certified Management Accountant, or any other profession that you think is best for you. Some professionals are also required by the government to be accredited to practice their profession and serve clients. Hence, if it is required, be accredited to further your profession.
15. Have professional affiliation. Join professional organizations. If you’re a CPA, join associations of CPAs. If you’re manager, join associations of managers. Professional organizations will help you grow your network offline and online. It would also help you learn more things from the organization and from other members.
16. Continue professional education. Don’t stop learning and enhancing your knowledge, whether it’s through formal education or self-learning. Remember that the world is constantly changing, and you have to constantly update yourself with practical knowledge to stay in the competition. If you’re an Internet marketer, always get updates with what’s happening on the Internet, especially inside Google and the social media.
17. Continue personal development. You should not only continue in enhancing your knowledge, but you also have to consistently enhance yourself with better values, principles, attitudes, and habits. If you want to build and keep your personal brand intact, you have to keep yourself inspiring and a good model to all.
18. Practice public speaking. Becoming a resource speaker on public events that are related to your career or business would help you establish yourself as an expert. It is a great way to promote your personal brand and increase your followers. If you think you’re not good at public speaking, consider practicing. Remember that all champion speakers are once amateur speakers.
19. Groom yourself. Although building your personal brand online is efficient, you should not ignore how you appear to people personally and physically. You don’t need to wear expensive business or professional clothes all the times, but you have to wear confidence and professionalism when meeting people personally. Professional business cards, letterheads, and the like would also help in building your personal brand.
20. Do your social responsibility. In every great name built, there must be a great cause. Help your community, the humanity, and the world. If you want to build your personal brand, you have to show to the world that you are doing well in performing your social responsibility, which could be your responsibility to your country, to the environment, to the youth, and others.
21. Implement personal quality control. Building your personal brand is not done overnight. It is built over time through several steps and practices. That is why you have to value every inch of the personal brand you have already established. You have to implement quality control on your work or services to protect what you have already built. You have to ensure that your services are excellent. You have to make sure that your employer or clients are satisfied with your work. Therefore, don’t just accept clients or enter into any job just for money, but enter into them because you are confident that you could provide the work they are expecting from you – or even beyond what they expect.
Remember that building your personal brand is a long-term and a continuing process. Therefore, you have to start it early, plan it carefully, execute it consistently, and preserve it patiently.