Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. These platforms are used as marketing channels by many of the biggest brands. For example, Facebook generated $26.2 billion in ad revenue in 2016. These brands are serving ads on Facebook and managing their brand pages. In Q4 2015 Facebook had 50 million active business pages on the platform.
There’s another brand closer to home that is active on these social media platforms, and that is you. Your personal brand. If you have a profile then you have no choice but to manage and optimise your personal brand. Recruiters, associates, friends, family, advertisers, and even your love interests are scanning your profile to determine who you are. Your personal brand is your unique identity. Communicating it well can make you stand out in a crowd and help you in developing your career.
So why not communicate your best self?
Here’s a quick guide to get you started.
Step one: Start with why
Simon Sinek has a useful TED talk on this. In his talk he is referring to companies, but this can apply to your personal brand.
As Simon Sinek further explains in the TED Talk:
“By ‘why,’ I mean: What’s your purpose? What’s your cause? What’s your belief? Why does your organisation exist? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? And why should anyone care?”
Figuring this out will reveal your key message to the world.
Sinek provides the following example from Apple:
“Here’s how Apple actually communicates. ‘Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use and user friendly. We just happen to make great computers. Want to buy one?’”
How can you find yours?
On a single page in a notebook write the answer to this question: Why do I wake up every morning? (Use pen and paper for this, this will help you focus.)
Turn this into a single line and you have your slogan. (Congratulations, you have something to put on your business card.)
There are other ways to ask the same question:
- What do you want people to associate your name with?
- Do you have certain subjects where you want to gain expert recognition?
Step 2: Create value
Now that brand you has a defined purpose, it’s time to give it a voice. The easiest way to do this is to create and/or share relevant content.
You can use your connected smartphone and/or laptop to create articles, videos, photo essays and even start your own podcast.
You can also create a photo essay on Medium. However, Behance may be better suited for photographers and graphic designers.
Curate and share.
The internet has articles, songs, videos, podcasts and other media that you enjoy. Find the content that aligns well with your brand, and is worth sharing with your audience.
Use your Facebook, Twitter and/or LinkedIn to share with your network.
Remember to create, curate and share with a purpose. Also, add some value to your sharing. Write a short description to explain why you are sharing something and how long it is to read, watch or listen to.
Step 3: Grow
Don’t stop learning and developing. Your knowledge and skill set will help you to move your brand forward.
Make an active effort to add more skills to your skill set. Don’t stop learning and growing.
There are a lot of resources out there that will help you learn new skills. You can buy and download a book using the Kindle Reader or even download audiobooks via Audible. Apps like iTunes U and Khan Academy provide free courses online. You can even learn how to code for free.
Step one gave you an idea of your brand qualities. You can use this knowledge to note what makes you like others. This allows you to identify associates, role models, mentors and brands like you.
Find these people and connect with them. LinkedIn groups are a great way to do this.
Grow, reinvent, and take your audience along with you on the journey. Check your “why” and update it often. Your brand can evolve and that’s what makes it so intriguing.
P.S. Visit Printulu to print your branding materials to grow and communicate your brand.
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