How to Make an Impact with Personal Branding
Your personal brand is not something to be taken lightly. It’s a time commitment you dedicate to every day. It’s a responsibility that you must obey in order to reap any benefits. Personal branding only has an impact if you start strong, stay committed, and follow through. Otherwise, your brand will have the opposite effect than you’re looking for. Allow yourself to have a personal branding impact to see how high your reach and influence can become.
I’ve provided 7 initial steps to take with building and maintaining your personal brand. The process continues beyond these seven steps, which I recommend you research on your own. More steps can include proper social etiquette and recommended content formatting per purpose and platform.
1) Establish the purpose, mission and goals for your brand.
- Why are you doing this?
Have a reason for your brand before starting the process. You need to know what you are doing this for, and the best way to do this is to create your own mission statement. Be specific as to all the reasons and purposes for your activity as well as what you hope to achieve.
- Have you created S.M.A.R.T. goals?
Goals are meant to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. The more thorough the goal, the higher the chance you’ll succeed with it.
Learn more about goal-setting in this article: How to Set Goals to Enhance Your Personal Brand.
2) Prepare for your activity before getting started.
Find out where your target audience is, and research what they are talking about and looking for. Are you looking for a new job? Find out where employers are looking for candidates in your field.
You can discover a lot about your audience by tracking hashtags for topics in your field or even for simple topics relevant to employment. Subscribing to relevant blogs can also help you in multiple ways, such as with blog ideas for your website and seeing what your audience cares about.
Check how much time you can commit to your brand on a daily basis. If your job keeps you very busy, reconsider diving into this head first. A personal brand is a heavy time commitment that you don’t want interfering with your existing position.
3) Create a professional website before going social.
Having a website first is key. It’s the backbone of your online activity. It’s where you want your social audience to go to learn more about you and see the work that you’ve done and do.
- Build your website by creating an introductory landing page and static pages, such as About, Contact and a Portfolio section.
- The first landing page can be a welcome of sorts initially.
- Include a strong call to action and clear option for signing up as a subscriber.
- Provide a directory of where visitors can go to find specific items on your site.
- Introduce yourself and the purpose of your site.
- Talk about yourself in the first person point of view.
- Add a picture of yourself to give the visitor an idea of who you are as a person.
Some recommended website development services include:
WordPress.org (not .com!)
4) Establish your social brand one step at a time.
Start with one social network and advance gradually. Do thorough research before starting on a platform you aren’t accustomed to. Stick to platforms that fit with your brand goals, not necessarily the ones you like the most. Along those lines, if you don’t know a certain platform well, but your audience is most active there, that platform should have priority. You just need to study how to use the platform effectively before creating your account.
5) Don’t stretch yourself too thin.
Don’t worry about being found everywhere. Stay where your target audience is. You can use various tools to help with this. Try out social listening tools, such as Social Mention, or create your own research analysis via blog articles about this subject.
If you dive into too many platforms at once, you risk a strong burn-out where you get too overwhelmed to maintain your brand effectively.
6) Stay consistent, using tools and time management.
Try social scheduling tools, such as Buffer and Hootsuite. Create calendars for social and content marketing. There are tons of calendar templates out there that are just a Google search away, or you can create your own.
A couple articles to get you started:
How to Put Together an Editorial Calendar for Content Marketing (Content Marketing Institute)
Consistency is key and expected from your audience. You need to stay top-of-mind or else you’ll be forgotten. Tweet and post multiple times a day. Interact even more often. Don’t let your audience forget about you.
7) Reserve time for interaction and customization.
Don’t be a robot. While scheduling content to publish is necessary, you still need to respond to people and interact with other users’ content by sharing and commenting. The more you interact, the more relationships you build. The more relationships you build, the more likely you’ll achieve your personal branding goals.
- Do you have a personal brand separate from your current job?
- Are you looking for a job through personal branding?
- What do you do to maintain your personal brand?