3 Steps to Building a Personal Brand

Gap's khakis campaign understood branding.
Gap’s khakis campaign understood branding.

You are a brand. I realize this sounds strange but it is true. Think of a brand as an emotional connection to someone or something. You will then understand that others have opinions and feelings about you. Good or bad your brand is not static. Here are three ways you can move the needle on your public persona.

1) Know your niche

Developing a personal brand is a combination of three elements: 1) life experience, 2) interests and hobbies and 3) time constraints.

The old saying about business also applies to your personal brand: Do what you know. That could mean starting a marketing blog or leading training for young photographers. You will be on the surest footing if you start with experience.

Interests are often related to tasks you do well. If you are an awesome salesperson, you probably have a knack for teaching too. If you know how to dance like a pro, start a video series on YouTube.

We are each allotted 86,400 seconds a day. Not all of us have the same time constraints on those seconds. Set aside 10 minutes on a weekend to honestly assess your availability. Think about whether you work better in the morning or evening. Do you have unrealized down time during the week? Look for opportunities to make your dream a reality.

Last, blogging and Twitter are the perfect tools to leave a digital record because they are searchable. Yes, tweets are searchable.

2) “Write”

After deciding your niche, leave a mark. Then leave  another  and another. In other words make yourself stand out from the crowd. It one thing to be good but attracting the attention of others requires effort.

Start a blog, YouTube channel or email chain to share your passion with others. Whether you call it Providence, luck or serendipity standing out first requires one to stand up.

3) Use Google+

I seldom dedicate an entire bullet point to one social media platform but will make an exception here. A few weeks ago, I attended a panel discussion featuring communications strategist Lynette Young. Lynette has over 8,000 followers on Twitter and over 1.5 million connections on Google+. That is correct: 1.5 million.

She noted that active Google+ profiles receive better SEO rankings. For example, if your name is Tom Jones it is pretty hard to stand out. An active Google+ account will stand out from the other Toms when a recruiter conducts a background check before making contact.

What questions do you have about personal branding? Share them below!

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