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.

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!

5 Personal Branding Lessons from Kitchen Nightmares

5 Personal Branding Lessons from Kitchen Nightmares

I recently started watching Kitchen Nightmares. The premise of the show is Gordon Ramsey, one of the most successful restaurant owners and chefs in the world works with struggling restaurants to help them be successful. While most of the show focuses on the kitchen and the food, every episode also involves a relaunch of the restaurant. The relaunch usually involves new branding as well.

There are a number of branding lessons used on the show that can be applied to personal branding as well.  Here are the top lessons that you can apply to your personal brand:

1. Show Your Passion

Being an owner should mean that you are passionate, but many restaurant owners don’t seem passionate. If you want people to buy in to what you are doing, YOU MUST OUTWARDLY show your passion. Be passionate – people can see it and feel it and will be inspired by it.

2. Find Clear Positioning

You need to clearly position your brand and find a niche. Whether it is a restaurant or your personal brand there is a lot of competition – a lot of people do what you do. You need to clearly position your brand and find a niche. For example, in one episode Ramsey creates a “GastroPub” which positions the restaurant differently than other bar and grills in the area. Some restaurants source local fresh ingredients, which separates them. Position your brand clearly and uniquely vs. all of the other people with you.

3. Be Known for Something

One of the biggest things that Ramsey does is make sure that each restaurant is known for something. For example “Jack’s has the best fish and chips in Michigan” (I don’t know if you can legally just say that, but in almost every restaurant they become the “best” something). Having a signature item creates excitement and makes an experience memorable. The same is true with your personal brand – what can you be known for? What is your signature? What are you best at?

4. The Physical Presentation much Match the Product

Another key to success is for both the restaurant exterior and the presentation of the dishes to match the quality of the product. This is true for your personal brand as well – your physical appearance should match the brand you are trying to build. If you are a designer, you may have an edgy and creative look. If you want to be taken seriously as a business professional you must have an impeccable appearance.

5. Connect with Your Community

To generate buzz for the relaunch of the restaurant, Ramsey usually has the restaurant connect with the community in some way by giving out samples at a farmers market or having a local farmers market to promote their fresh menu. The community will support them and their business. The same is true for your business – there is a community that will support you over time (your customers) – participate in the community. Be present at events and build relationships.

 

Why Every Author Needs to Focus on their Personal Brand

Author personal brandingAs an author myself, I can really appreciate the value of an online brand. Whether you choose to self-publish or go with a publisher, a strong personal brand online is a must.

Your online brand is how you present yourself – when fans search for you, what do they find? Do they find something that confirms that you are an expert or are they left wondering if you really knew what you were writing about.

If you haven’t published a book yet, your personal brand and social media can help you promote your book and build an audience.

Since I work in social media, my social media and online presence comes very naturally to me. For many people it doesn’t – and that can cost you opportunities. I have generated a number of benefits as an author from building an online brand. When my first book came out I generated business directly from connecting with readers through social media. My website and blog help me connect more deeply with the target audience. I now have a group of followers that I can build relationships with over time.

Why Your Online Brand Matters

Building an online brand as an author has a number of benefits:

  1. Drive Book Sales – When you launch your book, you have one goal = SALES! Perhaps you want to drive bestseller status on Amazon, or maybe just raise awareness. Building networks on social media means that you’ll have an audience of people already interested in your message. This is a great way to launch your book and start spreading the word.
  2. Create a Community of Fans – Connecting with people who are passionate about what you do can add value over time. You probably aren’t in this for the short-haul. Chances are you’ll write another book or do something else that you want to promote. Building fans, friends and followers online means that you’ll have a community of fans for whatever you do next.
  3. Spread Word Of Mouth and Generate Referrals – The more people that are exposed to you and the more times those people are exposed to you, the more they will remember you. The more people remember you the more they recommend you. Social media is a great way to drive top of mind awareness with your target audience.
  4. Build Deeper Connections – Someone bought your book. They loved it. Now what? Even if you aren’t trying to sell them something, deepening that connection has value.  A social media presence online means that people will build a deeper connection with you which gives you an additional opportunity to share your message.
  5. Generate More Business – When I wrote my first book The Social Media Field Guide I was amazed at how many people googled me and sent me messages through social media. Many times these messages created more business. If you don’t have a strong presence online, people won’t be able to find you and the WOW factor will be lost.

How does your brand stack-up? Check out our Personal Brand Assessment or Join our LaunchYourself! Personal Branding Workshop.

Personal Branding for Consultants

Personal Branding for ConsultantsIf you are a consultant you need a powerful personal brand. In order for people to hire you they need to trust that you are a knowledgeable expert. In addition to meeting you, many prospects will Google you or look for reviews and testimonials online. They’ll Google you before, during and after meeting you as a way to establish trust.

Putting your best foot forward means having a strong personal brand.

A personal brand boils down to the perceptions that people have about you. These perceptions are both logical (based on your experience) and emotional (based on how you make people feel).

As a consultant, people are paying you for your expertise. A strong personal brand highlights your expertise and can also lead to new business opportunities.

My Personal Branding Story

I started creating a personal brand once I realized that people were searching for me. I started a blog, primarily because the only other online asset that I had was a Myspace page (yes, I’m old school). I was involved in social media marketing, so I was also fairly active on sites like Twitter and LinkedIn.

As I started sharing my thoughts and ideas on social networks, I found that people were reaching out to me and offering to hire me as a consultant. Even today a significant percentage of my business comes from the personal brand that I built on social media.

Bringing Your Brand To Life Online

As a consultant you are expected to be the expert, and using social media and internet technologies it is easier than ever to showcase your expertise online. Through our Launch Yourself Personal Branding Online program I work with many consultants.

As a consultant there are a number of personal branded assets that if used correctly can generate more business for you. Here are my top 5 assets for consultants to bring their brands online:

  1. Website – The first and most important thing for any consultant or freelancer is to have a website. This is a great home base where you can create an amazingly strong presence that clearly articulates your brand.
  2. Blog – A blog is vital to showing thought leadership and expressing your point of view. Blogs are easy to create and also provide great content for other social networks.
  3. LinkedIn Profile – There is a tremendous opportunity to connect with other professionals on LinkedIn and as a starting point, people will search for you online. Put your best foot forward with a  great LinkedIn profile.
  4. Twitter – Twitter is great because it allows for multiple daily updates that can really distinguish you as a thought leader. I got my first consulting contract directly from Twitter.
  5. LinkedIn Groups – LinkedIn groups allow you to connect with people beyond your immediate connections. I’ve closed tons of contracts directly from LinkedIn.

How does your brand stack-up? Find out now with our Free Personal Brand Assessment Tool.