Branding Me, Myself & I: Make Your Brand More Than Just a One-Night Stand

Brand youIn my last post, we explored branding yourself and why it’s one of the best ways to control public perception of yourself and make you irreplaceable. In this post, I will ask the key questions you should answer in order to get started with building your personal brand.

What’s So Special About You?

The first step in developing your brand is pinpointing exactly what it is about you that makes you so special. What do you do better than anyone else? What have been some of your biggest successes? What do your clients or employer say are your strengths? What do you do that gets those around you pumped up?

Much like the process you followed in creating your USP, when you develop your brand you need to specifically outline the value you offer that is unique to you. Once you’ve identified your statement of individuality, make sure it’s marketable and something you can incorporate into everything you do.

During this stage, you’ll also want to make sure your own perception of yourself jives with how you want the public to perceive you. After all, if you don’t truly believe you have the power that you are building your brand upon, you’ll be balancing on a very weak foundation.

Can You Get the Word Out?

Once you have your personal branding statement, you need to start living it. The value of your brand should be clear across the board – in your interactions with clients, on your web site, through your social media conversations, in communication with colleagues, on your blog and within your comments on other blogs.

If you can voice your brand’s message without screaming, you will begin to establish your credibility. It simply requires that you keep your brand visible, and be consistent and steady in all of your activities. If you’re not able to do this, you will hurt your brand’s authority and possibly cause people to lose trust in you.

The way you present yourself is especially important in social media. You’ll also want to make sure you are maintaining professional and consistent profiles, including your avatar and photo. When focusing on you as a brand, there is no better identifier than a photo of yourself, and if you use it across the board, you make it easy for people to distinguish and interact with you.

Are You Going Beyond Just You?

It may seem contradictory, but developing a personal brand is not all about you. You need to go beyond yourself and interact with those you are trying to influence. This means participating in conversations on social media networks, responding to comments on your blog, and engaging clients and potential clients in two-way conversations. It’s also vitally important that you listen to and incorporate feedback you receive from the public.

Aim to be genuine and transparent in all of your communications. And don’t forget the importance of customer service! Your clients should know and understand your brand better than anyone else because they should experience it in every interaction with you. Consistency in managing these interactions is the best way to build a reputation with your brand that will be recognizable (and respected) by others.

Do you focus on branding yourself? How have you done it?

Image credit: Karyn Christner

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  • anon

    Anyone who sees themselves as a “brand” should be taken out back and shot.

    Some of the articles on this site contain enough bullshit to fertilise half of Africa.

  • http://www.halbrooktech.com mhalbrook

    Yet you, Mr. Anon, care enough about your self brand to post anonymously so that others don’t see who you are. Fact of the matter is, if you do business, you are a brand of sorts.

  • http://www.mentchconsulting.com galaxy101

    I agree with the self-branding. There are quite a number of “one-man” web design shops and most tend to put their full name or just last name in their business name. Since it is just one person doing everything, your current clients stick with you because of “you” and future clients will “buy you” and your work. It is important to build your brand, reputation, and respect within your community and among your peers.

  • michaelmason

    That’s all useful info, imo and it’s certainly been helpful to me while I try to get my career on the road. Thanks Alyssa for the reminder that, in the work place at least, having a clear idea of who you are and what you have to offer is worth knowing and that being consistent with that message is crucial and highly valuable.

    Thanks.

  • Spellsmith

    I’d love to print this, but you don’t appear to have a print-friendly version. Perhaps something you can consider in the future?

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    cheers