Confident Leader

6 steps to build your personal brand

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Being in the public relations, marketing and event management business requires that my team and I find the “unique selling proposition” of each of our clients. That USP is what makes a client special, and it doesn’t have to be a large or grand characteristic – simply something that sets the client apart. So how do you build your own USP; how do you build your personal brand.

Building the brand of an organization or company and building the brand of you aren’t that different.

When people say your name, something tangible, positive and valuable should come to mind. For example, “Samantha is a real go-getter when it comes to her consulting business. I just met two people who couldn’t say enough great things about what she did for their companies.”

So when someone thinks of you, what do you think they think first? That thought is your personal brand. Building the brand of you doesn’t happen overnight. Like a well-coordinated and multi-level PR campaign, building a personal brand requires planning, strategy and execution. Here are six things to consider:

1. Figure out what you want to be known for

It’s hard to trust someone who says they’re good at everything. Even if it’s true, your personal brand would be too big to fully understand. People want to know that if they need XYZ, then they should call, email or text you – because you’re the best at XYZ.

2. Don’t be shy

Women can view self-promotion as bragging, which – while humble – does not help build a brand. Can you imagine if Coke, Disneyland or Martha Stewart just waited to be discovered? No, you can’t. Speaking engagements, free workshops and online publishing are opportunities for you to help people solve problems and position yourself as a trustworthy expert.

3. Figure out your philanthropic side

Establishing a brand means not only determining your area of expertise, but also showing that you have a heart. Be known for supporting a cause that is genuine to your personality and shows that you are human. It doesn’t matter if it’s saving animals or the Earth; just make sure it matters to you.

4. Make friends

My business understands the value of networking. We even create events where people network. But amid all of that smiling, chatting and handshaking, try to make a real connection. A friend – either professional or personal – will make that true recommendation that will really help cement your brand with others.

5. Don’t kill yourself on social media

Yes, your brand should be supported with relevant, timely social media posts, but don’t get overwhelmed with it. My company has a staff of people to keep us current. However, if you’re a team of just one, pick one or two social media sites, and focus on keeping them up. Your brand should support your professional persona, and that means maintaining one or two sites well versus five or six sites poorly.

6. Do you

It seems obvious, but just as with our clients, we champion the genuine. Let your USP reflect your values, beliefs, quirks and customs. Here at Durée & Company, we love pink. It’s our cheery, upbeat signature shade. If someone would have told us, “red is more on trend,” ah well … pink is just more us.  So let your personal brand be a realistic representative of you, not what’s in vogue at the moment.

About Duree Mellion Ross

duree@thebusinesswomanmedia.com'

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