That’s the question that so many people ask about personal branding. My answer; why not? Branding doesn’t have to be limited to the multi-million, international, companies. Everyone has the capacity to create their own brand and, in this day and age, it’s incredibly important. It can also do a lot of good for you professionally by setting you a part from your peers. I mean, everyone has a resume, but not everyone has an online footprint!
So, you’ve decided that you’d like to turn yourself into a brand, now where do you start? First, have a very clear idea of the impression that you would like to make. Know yourself and your goals. Are you trying to generate more business connections? Or will this contribute to the next job application? Whatever the reason, own it. Decide what you would like to achieve in the next year and the next five. Set short-term goals along the way so that the goals become achievable. Don’t think about creating the brick wall – lay a single brick at a time! Rather than giving yourself a title like ‘guru’ or entrepreneur, craft your persona so that people come to associate you with a specific industry or trade. Remember, it all starts with you.
Build a Website or Start a Blog
The first thing you’ll need to do is create a space that is just for you. The greatest way to do this is by building a personal blog or website. Don’t worry – this doesn’t have to be painfully difficult & involve coding! There are plenty of easy to access sites such as WordPress, Blogger & Tumblr.
The first thing I suggest you do is use a website like Namevine or Namechk to see whether you can secure a name consistently across social media as well. The worst thing is inconsistency – you want people to find you easily online and on social so try your best to keep it consistent! Once you’ve secured a domain name you can purchase it for as little as £12-£15 a year.
When you’re in the process of building the site – keep it as simple, clear and clutter free as possible. You want people to be able navigate their way across your page easily. Include an image that says something about you and select a font that is engaging.
Please do be weary of copy write! Make sure that you have the right to use the imagery that is on your blog. Most importantly, when you look at the site… make sure that you’re happy with it. After all it is meant to represent you!
Here’s a statistic that literally changed the way I work online: Posts with visuals gain 94% more views than those without. That being said, make sure that you have some great tools for producing and downloading imagery.
- Canva – Amazing imagery creation tool. There are dimensions for pretty much every social media site
- Freepix – A great stock photo library that you can use for free; use it to your advantage!
- Pixabay – Lovely community that allows you to use a collection of images for free. You can, however, donate to the artists if you would like to.
- Little Visuals – Neat little tool that actually sends seven, free, high-res images to your inbox every day.
Social Media 101
Using social media can be a great opportunity to gain more visibility & connect with people within your industry. After all, this is a balance between what you have to offer and what you can learn from others. One thing to remember, you don’t have to be everywhere. Please take the time to find your audience and then go and live there!
Social listening is so key. Get well aquainted with tools that enable you to understand the people that you’re trying to connect with. Personally, I would start with Hootsuite or Sprout Social. This will take time to set up, remember that you’re working with people in real time; make sure that you show that you care and interact with people personally.
Here is a break down of some great tools that you can use here: 12 Tools That All Social Media Managers Should Use
Organise Your Content & Be Ready To Post it
Website done, social media accounts opened, now it’s time to publish your content. Choose the work that will be relevant to your industry and make sure that it’s posted across the relevant channels. Consider publishing your best work on professional networks such as Linkedin. It needs to say something about you & display what you’re passionate about, so don’t be afraid to have an opinion! Have a voice and make sure that it’s reflective of your personality. When your personality online is in sync with yourself in reality, you have a successful personal brand.
There’s nothing wrong with having an opinion that differs from others, just remember to be tasteful & not try not to often anyone. Text can be easily misinterpreted, so be aware of your tone. We all have opinions, you want to come across as a real person not a robot!
Try to keep in touch with industry trends and spend some time concentration on that. Aim to post a few times a week – but it is quality over quantity.
Ticked all of this off of your list? Now you’re ready to go out into the digital world! Contribute to your online community, share other people’s work and comment on the articles that you enjoy most! Network and get to know new people. But, most importantly, remember to enjoy it!Follow @lifeofaworkgirl