Personal Brand

Personal Brand

Crafting your Personal Brand

We all know the old adage: “People buy from people.” Gone are the days when we could hide behind a logo, or simply let our work speak for itself. We live in a visual world, a world where we make ourselves and our daily lives accessible in so many ways, where, thanks to social media, people believe they “know” us. Which each have a “Personal Brand” whether we like it or not, so it makes good business sense to craft yours, and keep control of it. So what is a Personal Brand?

“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon.

Building a strong personal brand as a professional helps you to stand out from the crowd. If you work in a large organisation, you need to elevate yourself above the general noise so that you are noticed as trustworthy, memorable and likeable.

How do you do this? Firstly, you need to decide where you stand. What are your core values, your goals and what unique value to do bring to your organisation? Once you know this, make sure that every tweet, blog post, status update, photo uploaded online is “on brand”.

This is just as important for small businesses and solopreneurs as it is for big businesses. More so, since you ARE your brand. You need an online presence that is cohesive, consistent, memorable and likeable.

To achieve the above, you need an element of control. Control over both your message and your image.

“Personal branding isn’t about coming up with a complicated strategy. Rather, it’s about knowing who you are and what you stand for, and then finding ways to make that visible.”Shelley Zalis, Forbes Magazine

It’s not always easy to embrace being the “face” of your business, especially if you are inclined more towards introversion. Taking control makes the whole process more comfortable. Here are my top 5 tips for taking control of your personal brand:

  1. Use the same profile image across social media platforms so that you are instantly recognisable.
  2. Invest in a set of good, professional portraits that show you in a way that represents you and your business (sorry – drunken selfies might show you’re fun, but unless you’re promoting party nights, they are definitely “off brand”! Likewise, boudoir images or humblebragging gym shots.)
  3. Keep a stock of personal publicity photographs so that when you are interviewed for the company newsletter, or a newspaper, you are not reliant on their photographer to come and take your photograph. Control your image.
  4. Make sure your website imagery matches your portraiture. If possible, commission your photographer to photograph you at work, giving a speech, coaching a client etc. A visual of you doing what you do is powerful, allowing prospective clients to imagine themselves working with you.
  5. Finally, refresh your images regularly, especially if you change your hair, have new skills to showcase or have a major marketing campaign. If you want your business to look up to date, relevant and forward looking, invest in your personal brand to build trust, likeability and recognition amongst your target audience.

I would love to hear your thoughts – how do you feel about creating – or being – your own “personal brand”?

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