I received an email from someone recently asking me for ideas on how they can begin developing their personal branding even though they don’t yet have a business plan or a fully imagined business idea. I was impress they were thinking about branding at this stage of their business development and the question got me thinking about how we can all set up foundational brand elements now that will serve us as we grow an idea into a business.
But how can we brand something that doesn’t exists, you ask? We can’t. But I believe that you are always the brand. So you can and should begin to articulate what the brand of “you” includes.
Everything you create is a brand extension.
Who should be thinking about personal branding? You should.
You should begin to identify your brand DNA, if you have:
- an interest in a particular area but don’t know if you have a deep enough knowledge base to teach it to others yet (running out of things to say on your blog)
- currently have a job but it’s not the job of your dreams
- would need to work at this job while you transition into something more closely aligned with your dream career
- are nurturing a budding business idea you’ll want to launch within the next few years
- have begun dabbling in an entrepreneurial business model but are growing more slowly than you’d like
If any of these accurately describe you, social media can help you build up, refine and test your new brand.
Using this easy to execute, quick social media content sharing strategy you can help people see you as an emerging brand, a trusted source for great information in your niche and a thought leader.
The social media content sharing cycle for building a brand reputation:
- decide that you are a brand and keep that in mind while exploring your business opportunities
- develop a brand statement that incorporates your personal promise to potential customers or client, ie “I stand for honest, straightforward communication and support and I deliver quality information or merchandise or you get your money back.”
- start speaking about your vision, your passion, what you know and your goals in all of your social media bios and blogs
- post at least 3 x’s per week on your blog by sharing a link to an interesting article in your core niche, something that you found useful and/or liked. Intro the link with a short paragraph about why you found the material so useful and encourage your readers to read it by clicking the link. By becoming a trusted resource for valuable information in your niche, you’re positioning yourself as a leader in your industry and growing your “brand” influence.
- Post a link to your blog post on that interesting article to your Facebook fan page. Make sure your intro to the link on Facebook uses at least one keyword to describe your brand, as in “This great marketing article will help you do x.”
- Auto Tweet the link to that piece of information from your Facebook fan page by making sure you’ve connected your Fan Page to your Twitter account. Do that at http://Facebook.com/Twitter while you are logged into both Facebook and Twitter.
- Press the “share” button below the update on your Facebook fan page post and share it to your profile.
- Find the original author or his/her magazine or blogsite and comment on the post and let them know you found it useful and shared it.
- Once a month, use your webcam and do a “my niche tips” video, under two minutes that recaps 3 tips you picked up from this weeks links you’ve recommend.
- Post the video to YouTube.
- Post the YouTube link to you Facebook fan page.
- Auto Tweet the link to that piece of info from your Facebook fan page
- Press the share on your FB fan page and share to your profile.
- Do the same thing every week.
Brand Awareness Through Like Affiliation
A wise mentor once told me “you are the sum of the five people closest to you.” Find and “like” or follow other people in your niche whom you admire. Talk to them on social media platforms. Ask questions. Send praise. Read and share their most interesting and helpful stuff. Learn from them and share their knowledge with others. Be a curator of valuable information.
Every time you take an action on social media and link your name to information and ideas in your niche, you’ll be creating a bigger digital footprint for You, the niche brand.
Save every tip and the attribution and in a few months, put them all together into a PDF, include the attributions from each leader and create a cover for the whole document. Name it “Inspiration from leaders in the XYZ field, edited by your name here and offer it as a free downloadable PDF from your blogsite. Promote the free download as a way to capture e-mails. Require people to sign in for the download. In this way you share, attribute, associate, give value and position yourself within your desired brand niche.
Now that you have an email list of people interested in your niche, you can begin creating original reports, webinars, teleseminars, speeches, classes and/or live events to share with your highly interested e-mail list. This process creates a stream of wanted and needed information from you, the emerging brand, to your followers, people who have already expressed a strong interest in exactly this kind of information.
These are simple, beginner steps for creating a personal brand and they start with simply thinking about yourself as a brand and taking action from that place.
Feel free to share some of your brand statements below if you’d like feedback.