First impressions matter just as much online as they do offline. Personal branding is essentially the way you portray yourself to others. People like to do business with other people they like that’s why developing a personal brand is essential for long term success online. With the ease and vast availability of information online, it’s hard to compete for attention nowadays. If you want to rise to the top of your particular industry, you need to first sell yourself to your potential customers. If they like you, then it’s much easier for them to like what you have to offer.
I mean think about it, would you rather do business with a person who smiles and comes across as friendly or with one who snarls and ignores you? The first impression a potential customer receives is from you is very crucial for your success. Unfortunately, you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression. Do it right the first time and make it a good one.
Personal Branding for Success In 8 Simple Steps
Become An Expert Source of Information
You don’t need a governing body to tell you you’re good enough to be an expert in your industry. As long as you have a genuine desire to help your audience by creating valuable information, products and service to make their lives better, then you’re an a credible authority they can learn from. Keep learning and improving your skill set and always be a few steps ahead.
Expertise is a continuum, at one end is the very beginner, at the other is the world’s foremost authority on the subject. As long as you’re at least a few steps beyond the starting line, chances are you have something to teach others who aren’t as far along as you. That something speaks to your personal branding and the value you offer to others.
Become A Great Communicator
Research shows communications skill are among the top determinants for upward social and professional mobility. The ability to influence people in your way of thinking is one of the most valuable skills you can ever learn. Convey your ideas in a clear and concise manner. Always relate it to how it would benefit the people you’re communicating with.
Communication boils down to speaking (or writing) clearly, emphasizing your key points and illustrating them with examples that your audience can relate to. You don’t need to be the next great orator or a Toastmasters champion to get your point across effectively.
Track Your Marketing Strategy
Draft a marketing plan for yourself annually, and review it quarterly. Include specific goals, strategies, action steps, and a timetable. By having a way to keep track of what’s being implemented, you can tweak and adjust your business as needed. Marketing is just empathizing with your audience and offering solutions to their problems.
Do you know what they really want to achieve? What are their pains and frustrations? If you always keep those things in mind, you’ll be able to market effectively. Then you just need to keep track of the channels you’re reaching them through and how they are performing. Personal branding is best served with a side of strategic thought.
Develop An Elevator Speech
Within the time that it takes an elevator to travel one floor – about 60-seconds – be able to deliver a succinct description of what you do, how you do it differently, and the benefit it provides. Think of all the main advantages that your business has so that when you communicate it to a potential client, you pique their interests enough to here the rest.
One tried-and-true formula is to say who you help, what you teach them, and what is the outcome they realize. For example, I often tell people that “I help aspiring entrepreneurs launch an online business they can run from anywhere in the world that supports a lifestyle of freedom and opportunity”
Can you see who I help (aspiring entrepreneurs), what I teach them (how to launch a business) and the outcome they realize (a lifestyle of freedom and opportunity)? So, what is yours?
Build Your Rolodex
Make new business contacts and stay in touch with them. Most people with powerful brands have powerful friends. Your net worth is determined by the quality of your network. Think of how you can improve their lives and do sincere and meaningful things for them. Send them relevant information on a particular interests that they had mentioned before. You were listening, right?
One of the reasons my man Myke Macapinlac now plays a sizable roll in the Lifestyle Entrepreneur brand is because he always proactively kept in touch with me, over the course of more than a year. Persistence pays, and persistence with passion pays even better.
Balance your individual style with clothing that will appeal to those you are trying to impress. Ask yourself who you’re trying to appeal to. What do they value and what kind of image would connect with them? Work backwards from then on. A good rule of thumb is to observe successful people in your industry and copy their style 80%, use the remainder 20% to share what is unique about you.
This doesn’t mean you need to blow the bank at Gucci or Prada, but rather choose some clothes that show you “made a decision” about what to wear, and didn’t just blindly ruffle through your closet and put on whatever was in arms reach.
Be Mindful Of Your Etiquette
Learn good business and social etiquette. As tempting as it may be, don’t view people you meet as dollar signs. Genuinely have the intent to get to know them and what they’re all about. That’s good business etiquette; take genuine interest in people.
One of the best books on this is Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People“. Dale is responsible for one of my favorite all-time quotes on etiquette “The best way to be interesting is to be interested” – In other words, if you want people to like you and open up to you, become genuinely interested in learning about what they like.
Give. Give. Give.
Give something back. Giving your time, talent, and money to charitable causes is a brand-builder especially when it complements your brand strategy. Find a cause you are passionate about. Your best investment is always going to be people and the relationships you form with them. Give. Give. Give.
One of the most rewarding ways I give back is through my non-profit, University Incubator, where our mission is help student entrepreneurs “create their own job by the time they graduate” – we fund and mentor student entrepreneurs and show them that entrepreneurship is a viable career choice…even though most schools barely scratch the surface of what it entails.
Your personal brand is one of your greatest business assets. Put as much time and effort into it as you do in branding your product. In the end, if you can’t sell yourself, you’ll find it nearly impossible to sell your product.
So which one of the above are you going to work on next, and how? Let us know in the comments below!