There are thousands of people who think they are personal branding experts because they have social media accounts. They have either a small following or a large one because they purchased followers or friends using sketchy services. Then, there are other people who believe that personal branding is a fad or only applicable to celebrities. I’ve been in this space since 2006 officially but had been crafting my brand since college. Technology has enabled everyone in the world to build their own brand reputation through content, engagement and hard work. The personal branding experts that have been the most successful are those with a track record of making other people successful, while maintaining their own platform and growing it. When I was started out in this field, I knew to be taken seriously I had to become my own case study so I built my own personal brand before others asked for advice and consultancy. This is your criteria for selecting a legitimate personal branding expert that can take your career or business to the next level:
1. Build your own brand first. How are you supposed to help others when you can’t even help yourself first? Select a topic or skill that you’re good at and become the best at it in the world. Learn as much as you can about it, write about it constantly and find the right audience that will respond positively to your message. By building your own brand first, you’re achieving two very important things: 1) You’re getting yourself out there so more people will seek you out. 2) You’re mastering your trade so you can perform at the highest level for your clients, which will generate repeat business and referrals in the future.
2. Show results from your clients. You are only legitimate if you can turn your skillset into real business results. By becoming an expert, serving the right clients and over delivering on your value, your clients can achieve success. When they do achieve success, you can capture their success in the form of a case study with hard metrics, such as “grew their client base by xx%” or “got them in XYZ news publication”.
3. Be everywhere on a continuous basis. If people haven’t heard of you, they can’t hire you, or do business with you, it’s that simple! Your name, and preferably face, should appear on all sorts of media attached to your subject matter, from podcasts to TV to blogs to magazines. Get out there as much as you can so people know about you because “awareness” is the first step in the consumer purchasing cycle. Also, visibility multiplies so
4. Have social media accounts with high engagement. A lot of people claim they are personal branding experts because they have high follower count but the conversation has shifted to engagement. Are people sharing, or retweeting, your content? If they are, it means that you’re relevant and interesting, which is a better success metric than having an extra hundred followers.
5. Become synonymous with your subject matter. When people think of your topic, they should think of your name first. If they don’t, you have failed and need to work harder to build up your name. When I google your topic, your name should be at the top of the results. If I think of you first, you have the first shot at my business. That’s how the new world of ecommerce works and that’s what you need to do to build the strongest brand possible in the Internet age.
Become a member of WorkplaceTrends.com, a research
and advisory service for forward-thinking HR professionals.