4 Essentials to Building Your Personal Brand Online

4 Essential blog post

 

Personal branding: the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands. Sounds easy enough but where do you start? It’s not hard to do, it just takes time and dedicated effort. Here are 4 essentials to building your personal brand online.

 

1) Google Yourself – many people are surprised by what people can find then they simply google you. Most recruiters start with Google. If you don’t like what shows up (or if nothing shows up) start building an online presence for yourself that really stands out.

 

2) Make your LinkedIn Amazing – everyone knows that LinkedIn matters, but many people simply put their resume on LinkedIn and call it a day. The goal of LinkedIn isn’t just to “not suck”. The goal should be to WOW people. Everyone can create a WOW LinkedIn profile – it just takes thought and some research to find out what employers/recruiters are searching. What will make your profile stand out from the millions of others? (Extra tip….don’t forget a professional profile picture, that means no pictures from your last get- together, with your friend cropped out but their arm still around you!!!)

 

3) Determine, what is your brand? What are the key things you want to highlight? A strong personal brand is memorable and positions you well. Yet many people simply put their resume online and never get the WOW factor of creating a brand that will put you at the top of every recruiters/employers short list. Everyone should know the 2 – 4 accomplishments that really impress people – and highlight these online and in person. Determine the personality and professional traits that really set you apart – feature these on all of your profiles.

 

4) Think KEYWORDS and SEARCH – most recruiters report searching for people online. If you don’t have the right words in your online profiles you won’t be found. Use the words that recruiters search for in all of your online profiles (especially LinkedIn) to increase the probability that people file you.

 

It’s not rocket science to create your personal brand online. Do your research, consider what your goals are and what you want to convey to potential employers. Have a few people take a look at your resume, your LinkedIn profile, etc and see if they have something to add. You may be underselling yourself or forgetting some of the important professional achievements you’ve had throughout the years. An extra set of eyes can be helpful!

 

Personal Branding in 2016: 6 Things You Should Do For Yourself

Personal Branding blog Post

Maybe it is a little early for 2016 posts – but I’m an over-achiever.

As the new year quickly approaches many people are thinking about their personal brand and wondering how they can grow their reputation next year.

Do yourself a favor. Invest in yourself and your personal brand in 2016.

An investment in your personal brand pays off over your lifetime.

Here are 5 simple things that you can commit to do in 2016 to start growing a powerful personal brand:

  1. Craft an AMAZING LinkedIn profile. Not just an “ok” one. Make it amazing. It isn’t rocket science. Make your LinkedIn profile stand-out and represent you well. LinkedIn is likely the top place people will go to learn more about you (it shows up at the top of search). Look amazing.
  2. Audit Yourself – Audit your social networks. What impressions are you creating based on what you post about yourself? What impression do you want to create? Look at your Facebook posts or other social networks from the eyes of someone else – what would they think about you? Are you negative? Positive? Passionate? Excited?
  3. Google Yourself – What can someone discover about you when they Google you? Hopefully nothing too damaging, but overall, what information is out there and what picture does it paint?
  4. Check your Privacy Settings – Seriously, check your privacy settings on your personal social networks. Make sure that your personal information is secure and that you know who can see the content that you post.
  5. Create a Presence for Yourself that You Control – This could be a personal website (if you have the time) or a simple landing Page (like an about.me profile). Create a personal presence that you control that makes you really stand out. This investment will pay off again and again.
  6. Commit to Be Amazing – As you evaluate your social presence, consider the type of brand that you want to create for yourself. Do you want to be perceived as passionate? Hardworking? Smart? Dedicated? Professional? Successful? Kind? Caring? However you want to be perceived, your posts tell the story. If you want people to think you are positive, but you constantly complain about people, politics or businesses, you’ll craft a negative impression of yourself. What you post tells your story. Commit to telling the story you want to tell.

Why Every Professional Should Evaluate Their Online Brand

personal brand audit

Every business professional can benefit from assessing their personal brand online. The reality is that people are searching for you – they are looking for information about you to assess your credibility. What they find creates their impression about you – and you want your first impression to be amazing.

It isn’t good enough to have a mediocre presence, or one that “just isn’t bad”. Your online presence should be amazing and present you in the best possible light.

Here is why you should care about your online brand:

  • It is your first impression: Increasingly people search for you before they meet you, respond to an email or return a call. What they find creates the first impression. Just as you’d put on a great suit for a first meeting, your online brand should put your best foot forward.
  • It can make or break your credibility: Your online brand can make or break your credibility. People judge you based on what they find online – this can help you or hurt you.
  • Negatives may hurt you: Many people aren’t aware of some of the negative or less than perfect things that show up in search engine results when people search for them. These negatives can be hurting your reputation – and you may not even know about it.
  • Your personal social networks may show up: Many people are surprised to find that their personal social networks show up in search results. While this may not be terrible, it may not represent you in the best personal light. Knowing privacy settings and the information that is publicly viewable is important.
  • 80% of people use online searches to assess people they do business with: Most people are searching for you…..

Ready to take action?

Get started with a personal brand assessment: Get our free 7 point personal brand assessment here.

Launch Yourself 7 Point Assessment

Why You Need a Personal Website

Why you need a personal website now

I’m a strong believer that every business professional should have a personal website. While LinkedIn is great, they don’t give you full control over how you represent yourself. By investing in a personal website you are investing in an asset that will generate returns over your entire professional career.

This could be one of the best investments that you ever make.

Here is why investing in a personal website is important:

1. It gives you a platform to represent yourself

The primary advantage of create a personal website is that it gives you a platform to represent yourself professionally. It is a place where you can share your interests, passions and highlight the best aspects of your personal brand.

Your personal website is the best place to show others who you are and what you are all about.

Plus, other people find it impressive 😉

2. You have complete control

You have 100% control over your website – you don’t have 100% control over how sites like LinkedIn represent you. Your website is yours and you can choose what you put on it. You can design it to represent the best you and impress others.

3. It will often show up at the top of searches

Generally when people search for you your personal website will show up at the top of search engine results. This means that you can create a strong first impression.

Think of your personal website as your best suit – it is your way to put your best foot forward.

4. It isn’t very expensive

Some people think that a website is difficult and expensive – they used to be – but not any more. You can easily create your own website with a website builder or you can get a professional site built for you for only a few hundred dollars. Either way it is easy and inexpensive.

5. It is an investment that pays out over your entire life

Your personal website will payout over time again and again – even if you don’t need it NOW. The best time you build your website is before you really need it. Consider it as a way to showcase your strengths and talents to build an impressive first impression, and over time you can use it as a key part of your personal branding strategy.

Regardless of your career aspirations, creating a personal website will help get you where you want to be – and will work for you now and in the future.

 

 

 

10 Sites to Grow Your Online Personal Brand

Building a strong personal brand online is more important than ever – people look for you online to assess your credibility and determine whether or not they’ll do business with you.

Many business professionals still struggle with how exactly to build a strong online presence. While you’ll want to prioritize the sites that are right for you, this infographic will give you some food for thought about how you can use different sites to supercharge your personal brand.

personal branding tips

Self-Branding Tip: Show Your Passion (and if you don’t have passion, you have a bigger problem)

Passion 06302015

I recently had a conversation with another business owner about hiring. We were discussing the importance of passion with potential job candidates. One candidate in particular that he interviewed had a good resume, but clearly wasn’t passionate about his chosen field. Outside of his 9 – 5 day job he didn’t really show much of an interested in the profession.

Whether you aspire to get a killer job, be seen as an expert, get clients, become a speaker or coach, YOU MUST DEMONSTRATE PASSION FOR WHAT YOU DO.

I love candidates who participate in the industry or in the field in their own personal time. As a coach, consultant, speaker, expert or entrepreneur you MUST have passion to drive you to put in the hours required for your success.

If you are really passionate about what you do, you’ll find some time to do it personally, on your own time in some way.

If you don’t want to do what you do for a living in your own time, maybe you aren’t passionate about it?

If this is the case you have two choices: Get Passionate or Do Something Else.

People can lose their passion. We all have ups and downs in our enthusiasm levels. Find your passion, show your passion, it is the KEY to your success.

If you are interested in building your personal brand, you must have passion. Passion shows because you want to share it with people. You do it all the time. You think about it constantly and you like doing it.

A personal brand that isn’t based on passion is pointless, because it will be VERY difficult to build and maintain a presence about something that you don’t truly and deeply care about.

As you set our on the journey to grow your brand, consider your passions first. Once you know what they are, the next steps is to bring them to life in a meaningful way.

Want Your Personal Brand to Stand Out? Be Different.

Create a Stand our personal brand

Being different is what makes a brand or an individual stand-out and get noticed. I’ve done a lot of hiring, I’ve seen a lot of speakers, I’ve been to a lot of coaching and consulting websites, and in a world with countless options, being different matters. A lot.

There are a LOT of people, just like you, with the same skills and resume as you. How do you set yourself apart?

You don’t get ahead by doing the same things the same way as everybody else. You get the same results if you do the same things the same ways as everybody else.

Here are 3 dimensions to consider using to separate yourself and be different:

  1. Your Personality

Consider the unique aspects of your personality that people love and that set you apart. You could be funny, easy to work with, extraordinarily disciplined, have a talent for leadership, take initiative….. Whatever it is, figure out the personality traits and soft skills that people really love about you, and focus on making the most out of them. Figure out creative (and appropriate) ways to highlight these every time someone comes into contact with you.

  1. Your Skills/Qualifications

What accomplishments do you have that set you apart? Everyone has some. If you don’t have any, make a list of what you might want and build a plan to go our and get them. For example, you may want media appearances to showcase your credibility. If you don’t have them already, build a plan to focus on this and make it happen.

  1. Physical/In-Person Attributes

Consider how to make your in-person appearances and meetings memorable by focusing on the physical attributes that can make you stand out. I know someone who wears the same thing to all business meetings to grow his brand . One friend of mine has a unique style that makes her memorable. A band I just saw wore masks at one point in the concert, which definitely made them different and memorable.

Once you know the parts of your personality that resonate the most with people, be sure that the execution of your brand consistently brings these to life.

 

5 Steps to Audit your Personal Brand Online

audit your personal brand online

Personal branding is more important than ever – as people search for you online, the internet is now the front door to your personal brand.

We put a lot of care and attention into how we present ourselves physically because we want to make a good impression (or a good first impression). Now we need to put the same care and attention into our online personal brand – since this is where people go to find information about us and validate our credibility.

Start with an Audit

Where are you now? The first step in building a strong personal brand is to start with where your brand is now.

  • Google Search – Search for yourself.  What shows up? How does this represent you? Are you happy with the impression you create? What results are on the first page? How do they represent you and what type of an impression do they create?
  • LinkedIn – This generally shows up first for most business professionals. The bottom line is that you CAN’T AFFORD to have a mediocre or average LinkedIn profile. How does your profile stack up to other people in your industry?
  • Facebook – If you are on Facebook, chances are that people can at least find your profile and see some of your pictures. Do you know what public information about you is shared on your Facebook Profile? Logout of Facebook and look at your profile. Generally profile pictures and cover photos are public. Make sure that your public photos represent you well.
  • Google Image Search – One of the top reasons that people search for you is just to know how you look. Do a google image search at images.google.com and see what pictures show up with you in them 😉
  • All of your social networks – Whether your networks are private or public, take a look at what you post and how it represents you. I typically review all of my social networks every 3 months and ask “If I didn’t know this person, what would I think of them?”.  This helps me to understand the brand that I am creating with my friends and contacts.

5 Ways Authors Fail at Personal Branding

Many authors contact us about helping with their personal brand – by the time we talk to them most of them are already frustrated that they aren’t getting results.

1) They Start Too Late

Many people come to us after the book is published because they are finished writing and ready to start promoting. Promotion should start WAY EARLIER. Start promoting yourself prior to your publication date and create a clear launch plan. Don’t wait. Start now.

2) They Want Direct Results from Selling Their Book

Many people think that social media will magically sell their book. It isn’t that simple and it isn’t that quick. Social media works for authors who want to build a platform for themselves that they can harness now and in the future. Think of social media as building a platform – not a direct sales tool.

3) Lack of Consistency

Many people don’t get results from social media because they lack consistency and dedication in posting. Studies show it takes 7 touch points with a brand or business before people even remember you. In social media, this means that people need to see you a few times in different platforms if you really want to get through to them. Be consistent and disciplined in your efforts.

4) It isn’t Quick and Easy

I worked with an author that was told by a consultant that social media was his best bet at getting sales. He thought he’d have tons of sales over night from social media. Ask any author (big or small) and they’ll tell you that it takes more than a quick simple social media effort – you need to commit for the long-haul.

5) They Don’t Have a Focused Plan

If you want to succeed you need to have a focused plan – you need to know which tools will likely deliver results and focus your time accordingly. Have a plan and a process so that you spend your time wisely and know which tools will get you the best results.

5 ways authors fail at social media

From Myspace to Book Deals: The Evolution of my Online Personal Brand

Since 2007 I’ve been building my personal brand online. Sometimes on purpose, sometimes by accident, and sometimes without realizing it until afterwards.

Krista Neher Online Personal BrandKrista Neher Myspace

 

I started my career working at Procter & Gamble. When I was at P&G, it didn’t really matter what my personal online brand looked like. It mattered that I built a strong impression when I was in the workplace, but that was it.

Then I started to get involved with an internet startup as the VP of marketing. At the time the only social network that I was active on was Myspace. I used it as a way to connect with my friends, and didn’t really think much else about it. I started to notice that business contacts were friending me on Myspace.

While I didn’t mind that my Myspace profile was accessible, I became concerned that it was the only asset that was creating an online brand impression of me. The fun and social side of me is a dimension that I am comfortable with, and I’m comfortable sharing, but I was concerned that it wasn’t balanced by my professional accomplishments.

So I created a blog. My first blog was on wordpress.com, and I started sharing some of the testing and results that we were generating from our experiments with social media marketing. I didn’t set out to “be the expert” or really even brand myself, I just wanted to offset my Myspace, so I started sharing my knowledge.

I also started to get active on Twitter and a few other social networks, and I realized that as I shared my thoughts, ideas and opinions on social media marketing, people were beginning to listen. Not only were they listening but they were beginning to view me as an expert.

Eventually, the startup I worked for sold, and while I was figuring out what to do next I landed my first client. At the time I hadn’t even thought of consulting. Someone who I had no connection to at P&G was following me on Twitter and reading my blog, and he liked my thoughts on social media. He asked if P&G could hire me as a consultant. I said yes.

From there I became more deliberate about building my brand and over the last 5 years I have become an international speaker and bestselling author. Most of this can be attributed to the online brand that I built for myself.

Now, I have a brand where people say “WOW” when they look me up online and they are interested and excited to meet me.

Because of my personal brand, I’ve generated:

  • International speaking opportunities
  • Some of the biggest clients (P&G, Google, The United States Senate)
  • The opportunity to coauthor a textbook
  • Countless PAID speaking engagements
  • I just signed a deal to write a for Dummies book with Wiley
  • I get job offers probably every week

My point isn’t to brag, it is to say that if you share what you are passionate about online, people will find it and pick up on it and opportunities that you never thought you’d have will come streaming in.

I am very blessed for everything that had come my way and what blows my mind is that if I had wanted these things – if I had wanted to write a textbook or get a Wiley book deal I wouldn’t have really known where to start. Instead, by building my brand, these things have come to me very organically and naturally.

You can do it too. The starting point is to define your brand and what you are passionate about. Then, start growing your authority online by sharing your knowledge, passion and expertise. As you do this consistently over time you’ll be amazed at the opportunities that come your way.