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.

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.

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!

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.