Not all of us are interested in promoting our ‘brand’. We might be quite content on where we are, in our career or lives, and have no interest in growing or expanding in any areas. My retiring friends all fit into this category. They are content in their new lives and professional development is of no interest.
But I wanted to offer some suggestions to those of us who are interested in meeting new people, gaining new business or business contacts, or just having a broader base of contacts.
Let’s start with: what is our ‘brand’?
From a blog post by @JenniferKaplan, “Personal branding is nearly synonymous with your reputation. It is the appearance you display in your life towards the people in it, and the impact this has, both inside and outside your career.”
Our friend, Wikipedia, offers: “A personal brand is a widely recognized and largely uniform perception or impression of an individual based on their experience, expertise, competencies, actions and/or achievements within a community, industry, or the marketplace at large.”
How do we promote our brand?
- Get to know yourself better – you will want to promote your strengths and minimize your weaknesses. The better you understand these areas and more, the better you can work with your brand.
- Hone-in on a goal – Understand the why? What’s in it for you?
- Know your target audience – Understand the who? Who will care about you and your brand?
- Develop your story – The best way to communicate is through storytelling. Your brand should have a foundation story that people will be attracted to
- Find your unique selling proposition – Why should people connect, or deal with you? Most importantly, what makes you different from the many others in your space?
- Build your credibility? Write articles, post blogs, create video content on YouTube, write a book or two. For me, the best way to offer or build your credibility is through the written word. It is the best display of who you are and what you think.
- Create a website. Your audience needs a place to find you, and all about you. If you don’t own your website yet, go purchase it. Check out godaddy.com. Unless your name is Barbara Smith, you might be pleasantly surprised at the availability and price of your own website URL – First.Last.com or FirstLast.com are the best!
- Avoid building the brand around your company name. This is all about you – not your company. Building a brand around the company name is a good idea as well, so long as your business is about more than just you. An example: I have built brands around ProjectBites.com, Solutions Network and more. But I have also worked hard at the ‘David Barrett’ brand.
- Get active on social media. Weekly activity on LinkedIn is a great idea and very easy. Comment on other’s people’s posts. Comment on articles that you’ve just read or better than all, put your own content or thoughts out there.
- Stay consistent – Whatever you do, keep doing it at a regular and consistent pace. I blog every week – posting at 2pm EST every Wednesday for the past 7 years!
One of my pet peeves over these years has been one’s protection of their contact information. I find this both annoying and very surprising. If you are out there to promote your brand, then logically you would want people to connect with you.
Yes, a LinkedIn reach out is a good thing. The more people want to connect with you through LinkedIn the better. But what about the person that really wants to contact you today with an opportunity? I had this occasion this morning. I was on someone’s LinkedIn profile and the only way I could connect with them was to reach out with a connection request. This person was a consultant and a professional speaker. Why wouldn’t they put their e-mail address in the contact information? Or make their website easy to find?
Develop a great brand, be consistent and make it easy for people to find you.
Have a great day