How To Build a Personal Brand In 6 Steps

How to build your personal brand in 6 stepsBuilding your personal brand online is important for all business professionals because you are investing in an asset that lasts for a lifetime. Building a strong online brand for yourself isn’t rocket science – it just takes some time to consider what you want to achieve and build a plan to achieve it.

The best part is that a strong personal brand can generate new clients, job opportunities, business development deals, speaking engagements, book deals and more.

If you are a professional (or anyone really)– this is definitely worth the investment.

How to Build a Personal Brand Online

 1. Why?

The first step is to start with why – why are you creating a personal brand. What do you want it to deliver for you? Who should it reach? Start with WHY and the rest of your branding decisions will become more obvious. If you aren’t sure what you want to achieve, it will be very difficult to create a consistent brand.

2. What do People Think about You?

How do other people currently perceive you? What do they think sets you apart? What do people like about you? What are your strengths? Seeing ourselves through the eyes of others can be vital in the discovery process and help us to learn more about our strengths and unique attributes.

3. Explore and Discover Yourself

Spend time really thinking about yourself. What does set you apart? What experiences do you have that make you unique? What character traits or attributes help you to be successful? Identify your core strengths that separate you from others. Establish the parts of your experience that you want to share with others.

4. Build a Powerful Brand Mission and Mantra

One you know what your brand is about, package it in a meaningful way. Establish your brand mission & mantra – what are you all about? A mission helps you to create something that others can get behind. Your mantra summarizes what you are all about. Think of this as your elevator pitch.

5. Create the Foundations of a Powerful Brand

Establish the assets that you need for your brand to be successful. These may be real life assets or online assets, like a logo. Build the design elements so that you know what your brand looks and feels like so that you can consistently deliver it.

6. Bring the brand To Life Online & Offline

Finally, bring your brand to life. You may need to test and learn as you discover the parts of your brand message that stand out the most with people. Bring your brand to life consistently by your physical appearance, how you carry yourself and how you present yourself online. Consistency is key.

5 Ways You are Failing at Online Personal Branding – Entrepreneur Tip

5 ways you are failing at personal brandingIf you want to have a serious professional career, your personal brand matters. People are constantly looking for you online – whether it is to assess your credibility and background, to find someone for a job or simply to find a link to refer you to a friend. The bottom line is that people are looking for you – and what they find impacts how they perceive you.

Whether you are an entrepreneur, consultant, business professional, job seeker, author or just graduating from college, investing in your personal brand is one of the best investments that you can make.

That being said, many people completely fail at personal branding.

Here is how:

1) You haven’t fully updated your LinkedIn

It really isn’t that hard to update your LinkedIn. You have no excuse. Having a mediocre LinkedIn isn’t acceptable. It is the top thing that shows up when people search for you. I’ve seen countless college kids with amazing LinkedIn profiles (and they are getting amazing jobs because of it), yet countless professionals and job seekers have terrible profiles.

2) You don’t have a professional headshot

Seriously, it isn’t the 90’s where only top-executives can get great headshots because you have to hire a professional. Don’t use a wedding photo or a picture with someones arm cut out. Get a professional looking photo – just schedule a photo day with some friends.

3) Your username on social networks is ridiculous

When I made my first blog it was www.thisiswhyImhot.wordpress.com (yes, This Is Why I’m Hot). It seemed funny at the time. My first blog and Twitter handle were Kribaby. Seemed reasonable enough at the time. BUT it isn’t professional, and it is only funny to a handful of people.

4) Your email account has an equally ridiculous name

In college, a friend of  mine who had the last name “Fung” used the email account [email protected] – even in college it resulted in some embarrassing moments.  Grow up. Get a real email address with no numbers. BONUS: Get your own domain name (website) and use that for your email. You’ll look like a savvy pro.

5) You can’t be easily found

Studies show that most people you meet will search for you online. I’ve had everyone from boyfriends parents to potential clients search for me online and I am easy to find. Make sure that people can easily find you. BONUS: make sure that everything they find makes you look amazing.

 

Want to Grow Your Career in 2015? Establish a Strong Online Brand for Yourself

TiInvest in your personal brand in 2015s the season for new years resolutions…. and many of us have career aspirations on our mind. It may be starting a new career, landing your dream job or growing in your current one. Regardless of where you want to end up, growing your personal brand is a sure-fire way to open-up your career opportunities.

A strong personal brand is about how people perceive you — and we all know that perception is everything.

Establishing your personal brand is one of the best investments that you can make in 2015. When you invest in your personal brand, you are putting your time, energy and money towards something that will continue to benefit you for the rest of your professional career. Make 2015 your year to take your personal brand to the next level!

You can start building your personal brand now in 3 easy steps:

Step 1: Define Your Personal Brand

Establish specifically what your personal brand is all about. What is it that you want to achieve for yourself and how do you want to be perceived?

Step 2: Design a Powerful Brand

Powerful brands are well designed, and this doesn’t mean getting a fancy logo (although that doesn’t hurt). Strong brands, whether they are consumer products like Coke or Pepsi or personal brands are built on the same principles. You’ll need to establish a strong brand message and really evaluate what makes you different and memorable in your space.

Step 3: Deliver Your Personal Brand

Deliver a strong personal brand by consistently bringing your brand to life in an effective way. Whether it is online or in-person, you’ll want to work hard to create a consistent reputation for yourself that people really connect with. In-person you’ll want to have your elevator pitch and consider how you physically present yourself. Online you need to think about what shows up when people search for you and establishing digital assets for yourself like a website or blog, as well as a professional presence on social networks.

Make 2015 the year that you invest in yourself — and you’ll reap the rewards for years to come!

How To Use Infographics to Grow Your Personal Brand

I’m big on infographics….. I even wrote 2 books on visual social marketing.

Recently, I discovered a new use for infographics. As a professional speaker, I created an infographic for myself to highlight and share my personal brand in a visual way.  The infograpgic is a great way to make your brand consistent and communicate it clearly. Plus, as a visual it is even more compelling and interesting.

Whether you are a speaker, author, consultant or coach, a visual like an infographic is a powerful way to communicate who you are and what you do.

What do you think?

Krista Neher Speaker Infographic Personal Brand

How To Use LinkedIn Publishing To Grow Your Personal Brand

LinkedIn launched the publishing platform in 2013, however it was only available to pre-determined “thought leaders” who were invited to contribute. In 2014, they opened up the publisher network to everyone. At this point, not everyone has access to publish, and if you don’t, you can request access here http://specialedition.linkedin.com/publishing/. If you’d like to see how this looks, check out my LinkedIn Profile.

What is LinkedIn Publishing Platform?

The LinkedIn publishing platform allows you to share long-format content on LinkedIn, similar to a blog. To create a publishing post, click on the pencil icon in the status update box. If you don’t see the pencil icon, you don’t have access to the publishing platform.

How to post to the LinkedIn publishing platform

Next, you can create a blog post, including images, etc (you can see a sample post at the end of this article). The posts look very similar to a blog post that you’ll find on blogs or websites. Once you post, your LinkedIn profile will include you posts below your summary information. This is a great way to establish your expertise and take your LinkedIn content to the next level.

How LinkedIn posts display on your profile

 

Why Should I Post on the LinkedIn Publishing Platform?

Posting on the LinkedIn publishing platform is a great way to establish your expertise and continue to stay in-front of your LinkedIn connections. Similar to a blog, it is a great platform to share your thoughts and knowledge. In addition to your post being shared with people who follow you on LinkedIn, your post can also be shared on other social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

BONUS TIP: Add a great image, since the images will display below your profile.

What if I Already Have a Blog Or Write Articles Somewhere Else?

Many people (including me) use the LinkedIn platform to re-post articles that are already on a blog or website. Doing this gives you bonus views of great content that you have already created (and only takes a few minutes). If you use this strategy, be sure that you use content that has been on your blog for a few weeks so that search engines give you credit for the content vs. LinkedIn.

Most of my posts on LinkedIn publishing have hundreds of views, which is great additional exposure for only a few minutes of time investment.

Could you create original content for LinkedIn Publishing? Sure, if you have time. If you’d like to post unique content on LinkedIn, you definitely can do that, however you can get the benefit of the platform by re-publishing great content that you have already created.

Is This a Good Substitute for a Blog?

No. A blog is content that you own and can create or export from your own website.

The LinkedIn publishing platform keeps content on their site, and they control how/where the content is shared.

In order for people to discover your content, they will have to be on LinkedIn, vs. your website/blog which is a standalone platform.

That being said, if you have been holding off on creating a blog, or if the idea of regularly posting scares you, LinkedIn publishing can be a great way to get some experience writing without the pressure of creating regular posts for a blog. It is still a great way to show your thought leadership and enhance your LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn Publishing Post example

Coming Soon: Online Personal Branding Workshop

We’ve been sharing our live Launch Yourself program for a few years now with tremendous success… the challenge with our live workshop is that personal branding is a bit of a journey, which means that you have to think about how you want to position yourself and what you want your brand to achieve. The new online workshop will give you time to move at your own pace and really think through your personal branding choices.

That is why I’m really excited to announce that I am now working on the online version of our Launch Yourself online personal branding program. We expect the program to be live in the next few weeks.

The new program will bring together my knowledge of brand-building from 5+ years at P&G, my strategic marketing experience from 15+ years of marketing, my social media knowledge and my experience in building my personal brand.

Define, Design and Deliver your personal brand online

 

Why make mistakes when you can learn from someone else and get better results faster.

This program is for business professionals who want to build a strong reputation for themselves. We’ve already worked with authors, speakers, coaches and consultants. Learn exactly how to create a stand-out brand for yourself online to generate career success.

Stay tuned for the official announcement of the program… coming soon!

 

What Can A Personal Brand do for You?

Many people wonder if they need to think about their personal brand. It seems like a pretty intense way to approach creating a professional impression for yourself. The reality is that “brand” really just means how people perceive you. Creating a personal brand is about proactively managing the way that people perceive you.

The idea of a personal brand is to consciously create a specific impression about yourself that helps you to achieve your professional goals. Whatever you want to achieve in your professional life, a strong personal bran will help you to get there. People are searching for you online to assess your credibility and to learn more about you. WOW them with an amazing profile that presents you in the best light possible.

So, what can a personal brand do for you?

When you put yourself out there, it draws people to you who are looking for you. It doesn’t happen overnight, but if you are committed to your success consistently, your personal brand will bring opportunities to you.

HOW?

By sharing your passion, knowledge and expertise, people will begin to perceive you as a credible expert in your space. As you talk about your passions and build a following, more and more people will be exposed to your ideas. As people are looking for someone like you you will start to show up in search results, or be recommended by people in your network.

What do you want your brand to do for you?

A strong personal brand can help you to achieve tremendous professional success. I’ve focused on my personal brand over the last few years, and I can trace most of the opportunities that I’ve been presented with professionally back to my online brand.

What has my personal brand done for me

 

How do you create a brand for yourself?

Creating a personal brand for yourself starts by understanding yourself and what you want to achieve and what you want to stand for. Next, you’ll want to create a strong online presence for yourself across multiple social networks that connects people back to you.

It isn’t easy, and it doesn’t happen overnight, but if you want people to buy-in to you professionally, you’ll need to start thinking about this.  A personal brand is an investment in yourself that will bring benefits for the rest of your life.

3 Steps to Self-Branding in 2013

3 Steps to Self-Branding in 2013As social media and online marketing continues to grow, the idea of personal branding, and personal branding online has generated more and more attention. Consider that over 80% of people have conducted a “people search” online – searching for someone they have met or heard of.

What is more, over 80% of people say that the reputation of the CEO impacts their perception of a company. The reality is that people are searching online to assess your credibility. If you haven’t started thinking about your online personal brand yet, now is the time to start.

Step 1: Define Your Brand

Start by defining your personal brand. What are you all about? What knowledge, passion and expertise do you have that sets you apart from others? Everyone is an expert on something, and understanding who you are and what you want to be about online is the first step.
The best personal brands are authentic and genuine based on who you really are. For example, despite being an international speaker and generally overdressing, my personality is more laid-back and casual, and that comes across when I speak professionally, in my online posts and in the videos I record.  If you know your stuff and keep it PG, people respect and connect with your personality.

 

Step 2: Design Your Brand

Once you have defined what you are all about, the next step is to design your brand. Consider what makes your brand credible based on your unique achievements.  Consider your “WOW” factor and how you position and highlight your core accomplishments. Many of the professionals that attend our personal branding workshop are timid about their achievements or write them off saying “that wasn’t a big deal”. While it might not be a big deal to you, if positioned correctly this could be your WOW factor.

 

I often read the bios of other speakers and experts for inspiration. If they sound impressive because of their media appearances, I will inventory mine. If I have some good ones, I may start featuring media appearances in my bio. If not, I might create a plan to get more press. Either way, this is a good exercise in figuring out how to communicate the WOW factor in your brand.

 

Another key characteristic of a powerful personal brand is memorability. I constantly think about the memorable aspects of my presentation and introduction so that I can be sure to include them in the future. If people don’t remember me, my brand is irrelevant. For example, people remember Donald Trump for his hair and his catch phrase “You’re Fired”. While there are plenty of rich older men, you probably can’t identify them as easily as Donald Trump. Donald Trump has memorability.

 

Step 3: Deliver Yourself Online

This is the most important step in personal branding. Once you know who you are and how you are credible and memorable, you have to bring it to life online. Evaluate your existing online profiles. How would a stranger perceive you? Google Yourself. What shows up? Does it position you as a rockstar?

 

If not, time to get started on online brand building. Create AMAZING profiles on sites like LinkedIn, About.me, Slideshare and more. Start a blog and a personal website to control the impression you create.

 

The objective is to really bring your brand to life online so that when someone searches for you online they find the amazing, brilliant and talented person that you want them to find.

 

Step 4 (BONUS): Rinse and Repeat

This is an iterative process and it is one that is constantly evolving. My personal brand has grown and changed over the years, and each time I think about it, it becomes a little stronger. When I got started in personal branding I didn’t have any media appearances. After a few years I had been on a number of media outlets as an expert, but it didn’t even occur to me to put it into my bio. A few years ago I was speaking at a conference, and when the other speaker was introduced his “as seen on” media list was mentioned, and I saw the reaction in the audience was WOW.  I thought about the media outlets I had been on, and my list was far more impressive than his, so I started including it in my bio. Now I get the WOW when I am introduced.

 

The point is that it is a process, and it is one that should be revisited every 6 months. Start with your objectives (define), your strengths and accomplishments (design) and begin to bring them to live online (deliver). You don’t have to do everything at once, start small and grow and build overtime. The results can be tremendous.

Personal Branding Expert Interview: Editor in Chief Kimberly Gauthier

kimberly Kimberly Gauthier is the Editor in Chief and founder of Keep the Tail Wagging.  In 2009, Kimberly discovered blogging and wanted to blog what she is passionate about: her dogs.  Knowing that the pet world is very passionate and sensitive, she needed to have thick skin to go further with her blogging.

Getting Started on Her Personal Brand

By 2011, Kimberly gained the confidence and tough skin it would take to become successful at blogging and start her own personal brand.  For inspiration and guidance to get started, she started to search through “mom blogs” to see how they formed a strong community and reached out to one another.  She also looked up questions dog owners were asking so she knew what to focus on in her upcoming blogs.

“Many people are stuck using search engines to research their questions about their dog and many times find an answer that is much more dramatic than it should be.  I wanted to be a resource for these everyday questions.”

Positioning Herself as an Expert

After people started to read more of her blog posts, Kimberly saw people relating more to her story.  She was receiving personal emails and replies to her posts.  Kimberly wanted to make herself available to anyone with dog questions.  When Kimberly decided to really push forward with her blogging, she was told it would be hard and it would be too much for her but she disagreed.  She knew that if she stayed passionate about it then others would follow and connect with her.

Blogging soon became more than just a hobby for Kimberly as people started to see what all she offered.

We are living in a world full of social media but not many people understand the importance of blogging and how to connect with people more directly.

Large companies started reaching out to Kimberly and she was asked to speak at functions for small businesses.  The rapid flow of emails and comments from others pushed Kimberly to go further in her business and continue to dedicate time to her blogging.  Kimberly is not only the owner of Keep the Tail Wagging, but she also still has a full time job.  How does she do it all?

I give myself business hours and stick to them.  On weekends I dedicate one day to blogging and schedule posts for the week.  I also take advantage of social media sites.

Managing Your Time

By giving each of her priorities set times and days, Kimberly is able to stay more organized and give the right amount of time and focus to each business while keeping a social life.

Kimberly’s two most import social networks are Facebook and Twitter.  “Facebook is where everyone is which makes it easy to build an audience.  Twitter is great to build a connection with brands and other bloggers.”  Kimberly tries to stay as open as possible on Facebook for fans and for friends.  She spends about ten hours a week on social media network sites and about twenty minutes a day promoting her business.  By being involved with social media, she is giving herself constant contact to marketing herself and business.

Kimberly’s Tips for You

For someone trying to start their own personal brand, Kimberly says that “Facebook is powerful.  It is a community and you can draw your audience from their to your website.  Once you find a website that works for you or a social network, become a pro at it!” 

Kimberly also suggests getting free reports and tracking how you are doing.  Two websites she recommends to use for reports are Crowd Booster and Simply Measured.  By keeping track of your business, you can see where you need to improve or which audience to connect more with.  F

or anyone looking to start his or her own personal brand, Kimberly suggests that you find what you want to be known for and what you are passionate about.  “The Internet is overwhelming and there is so much coming at you and it can be tempting. Take a step back to see what you want to be known for.  Reach out to people, especially people who read your blogs, and ask them to describe you in three words and go from there.” 

Kimberly wanted her blogging not for the fame but to go somewhere and help people.  Getting comments from people makes her feel confident and that she is connecting to people.  She focused on making her blogging serious, fun, and personal.  She wanted to build a solid community for dog lovers who see their pets like their children as she sees hers.  Kimberly is continuing to succeed in helping others and maintaining both jobs.  Her words of wisdom are, “Best articles in blogging come from the heart, and the next best come from questions from fans.  They all together help build your community, your business, and yourself.”

To learn how to build up your personal brand like Kimberly did, check out our personal branding training course!

Personal Branding Expert Interview: “Gift Card Girlfriend” Shelley Hunter

ShelleyLike many mothers, Shelley Hunter wants a job that is flexible enough to give her as much time with her kids as possible.  She wants the time to go to little league games, school plays, and be there when they get home from school.

Shelley was looking to do something professionally that was practically, but also could be combined with one of her passions. Shelley has always had an obsession with gift cards, and the value behind them that most people are not aware of.  After working for IT for years, Shelley took her obsession and unintentionally invented a product. With the help of her sister who is a graphic designer, Shelley made her own website and found a new way to work and be able to do everything she loves to do as a mom.

Social Media is a Lot of Work

 

Just like anyone new to social media and to starting their own business, Shelley discovered how intense the amount of work was. She saw a world she wasn’t a part of and wanted to learn how to use social media to grow her business. Shelley decided to take all of her ideas and turn them into ideas and guides for others.

Turning Passion Into Money

 

While helping Mike Collins write a book on personal branding and doing the research for him, Shelley realized people can take what they are passionate about and turn it into something more – something successful.  Researching for the book and coming across people who had monetized their hobbies and interests, Shelley discovered she would be the one who would benefit the most from the book.

Thinking more on her ideas and her obsession, Shelley decided that gift cards needed a personality and a voice and that she needed to be that person.  She knew once her youngest child started kindergarten that it was time to implement her personal brand. Having a background in IT, Shelley knew that is was all about the presentation.

With the help of her sister and the purchase of a new camera, Shelley made the first steps into kicking off her ideas for everyone to see. Shelby created her own website, Gift Card Girlfriend where she showed her customers how to gift card, how much money to put on a gift card, and posted information she felt was needed. But she wondered if she could sustain it.

Shelley first started out with presentation ideas of gift cards.  When people responded and wanted to know more, she knew she could provide them with information and answer questions that they had.  Her only problem was she could not convince a company to take her on since she did not have a lot of background experience. Keeping in mind that she had a platform she created and that she did have customers, Shelley knew that she could not give up.

Hard Work Pays Off

Three years after her website was launched, she received a call from giftcards.com. They told Shelley that they had been trying to train someone to present, show ideas, give information, and answer questions about gift cards.  Instead of training or making someone into the voice of gift cards, they found Shelley and realized the voice of gift cards already existed.

Understanding her need to be at home with her kids, giftcards.com allowed Shelley to work from home and have the job she wanted. Shelley was able to expand the gift card business for giftcards.com.  They merged both of the Facebook pages with giftcards.com, kept Shelley’s Pinterest account since she had more ideas and presentations on hers, and kept their Twitter accounts separate.

With this new opportunity, Shelley feels she has really learned the language of social media.

Social media is easy if you take the time to do it.

When asking Shelley which social media network is most important to her in terms of business, her reply was Facebook.  “Facebook has the most followers, and you can reach a larger audience.”  She enjoys Pinterest as a way to share her passions visually, and she also enjoys Twitter because it gives her a voice.

Organizing Your Time

When it comes to managing her time, Shelley admits she has learned to become adaptive. When she takes her kids to practice, she also takes her computer and works. Shelley is constantly figuring out new ways like this to kill 2 birds with one stone. For someone wanting to start their own personal brand, Shelley advises them to “figure out what your niche is and start it.  Start your website and create a blog to get your name out there.  With social media you can reach more people. Once you get started, don’t stop: keep sharing info. Just do it.”

Take it One Step at a Time

Shelley described herself as the Tortoise from the Tortoise and the Hare. She took small steps and never tried to rush to get ahead.  She started out helping small businesses create a gift card program and is now working for giftcards.com.  Shelley says to “invest your time and be patient.”   Shelley’s goal is to be the Rachael Ray of gift cards. She wants to be the name and go-to for advice and help.  Shelley’s advice to people starting out is to learn as much as you can on your own.  One of her favorite sites to refer to is haro.com.  For her it is important to spend time learning to market yourself.

“Be true to yourself the whole time.  Stay on topic with your social media sites and remember to separate your personal brand from your personal life.” To learn more about personal branding, check out our personal branding training class!

Photo Credit to http://www.seejanesnapphoto.com/