Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the occupation you happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of personal branding. A well-curated personal brand is an essential part of any entrepreneur or business leader’s marketing strategy.
Personal branding is essentially the continuous process of creating and maintaining an image or perception that extends well beyond social media. In a professional context you want to be recognized as an expert in your area of competence, and you want to stand out in the minds of your audience.
At OOKII Company we’re particularly fond of arranging speaking opportunities at conferences; this is an immediate way of communicating your brand and expertise among peers or potential customers.
Whether you’re a financial planner or a fashion blogger, a personal brand has become a professional requirement—the key to success is fulfilling people’s expectations by sharing unique insights and continually having new ideas and opinions to share. A good PR agency can help you with this; they still need have to have access to you regularly to stay-up-to-speed.
Step 1: Defining your brand
How do you want to be perceived? Obviously the answer to this question depends to some extent on your target audience. It doesn’t do a software guru any good to brand herself as a marketing prodigy. During this first step it is also important to start thinking about your points of differentiation—what makes you different from all the other rocket scientists out there?
Your personal brand should represent the value you are able to consistently deliver to your target audience. To try and do anything else over an extended period of time would not only lack integrity it would be utterly exhausting: focussing on your specialism is key. Once you have identified your area of expertise, you need to think about how to make yourself memorable.
People are interested in people. So the more personal you can make this the more memorable it will be. You might, for example, want to talk about a personal achievement such as swimming the English Channel (like one of our founders).
Step 2: Communicating your brand
Your brand should be reflected in everything you do from presentations at conferences to emails. Social media channels give you an opportunity to write about yourself once but have it read many times. Here are three sites that you should consider.
LinkedIn: Helps you build effective business relationships based on the “know, like, and trust” factor. If you haven’t done so already begin by creating a LinkedIn profile. At OOKII we often manage regular updates to this channel for busy CEOs.
Facebook: Facebook helps you tell your personal brand story in ways that connect, inform, and entertain. Be selective with your friends and the communities you join. Don’t worry about Facebook if you’re a pure B2B player though.
Twitter: This social channel is easy to update and to mix together personal and business related content. Again, it’s often better to have a 3rd party PR like OOKII Company managing posts and responding to comments as it’s hard to stay on top of the volume.
Step 3: Keep a hand on the helm
Good personal brand managers, like good sailors anticipate when conditions are about to change and react accordingly. Ships don’t sail themselves and personal brands don’t manage themselves: we’re here to help.
First published by Adrian G Stewart at OOKII.Company