Article

Jay Denhart-Lillard
Jay Denhart-Lillard 6 May 2016

10 Ideas For Turbo-Charging Your Own Brand

As we all grow in our respect and knowledge of the importance of our online brand, we should take steps to start maintaining our it in ways that can work for us. I hope these ideas can help you start or keep going.

More and more articles are surfacing about the importance of having a strong representation of your strengths and values online, to ensure that you 'show up' appropriately when people are searching for you. You'll see articles about how women in business need strong brands, how non-entrepreneurs are getting involved, and how the free-lancer job market is disruptive and is increasing the need for powerful personal brands.

On Quora, someone asked me what the major steps would be in securing and controlling your brand, and I had to give the questioner a consultant's answer: it depends. Because it does depend on many different things.

Maybe you don't have much of a digital footprint. Or maybe you have so many pictures of you at parties that potential customers could ask you how you got so comfortable with your body. (!!)

As there isn't any one right way to talk about yourself, there isn't one right way to build and manage your personal brand in a way that works for you, and helps you help others in a constructive way. 

That said, I did sign up on Quora to give answers, not hedging, so I figured I'dgive the poor person what they were looking for, and I put together a somewhat generic approach for the most important steps that you can take to improve your personal brand. What follows is an expansion on that list I provided the questioner.

So here are 10 ideas that you can implement right now to get yourself on the right track to improving your personal brand, and achieving your goals:

  1. You could spend some time thinking about who you are and what your goals are. What is it that you want your personal brand to do for you? What about you and your work makes you special? Are there any keywords or specific phrases that you can start using to bring that special point of difference forward in your online social media profiles?
  2. You could look back over your old performance reviews from your work to see what themes may emerge in how you work and have developed over time. What are the areas that people say are your strengths, and what keeps coming up as a good area for you to develop further in?
  3. You could check your LinkedIn profile (and other profiles) and see if everything is up-to-date. See if there are any pieces of the profile that youcan fill out but have left blank. Do you have any skills not called out? Any projects you can describe? Can you update your profiles across all of your social media sites to have a consistent voice and theme?
  4. You could self-google and run your own privacy audit. You never know what crazy things might be out there on the internet until you take a look for yourself. Trust me. Other people are already doing this with your name, so you should at least be informed as well as they are.
  5. You could find a coach or a mentor at work (or church, or wherever), and set up times to meet with them to talk about your personal brand. After doing this for a while, it can also be helpful for you to become a mentor to another person as well, just don't rush into this before you're ready.
  6. You could get a great haircut and take a new profile picture if your profile pic is too old, or too informal, or just plain bad. Yes, it's superficial, but in many cases your profile picture is the first impression that someone may have for you online, and so it can be important to look your best.
  7. You can read, read, read. To become an authority on anything, you first have to educate yourself on the topic. That means reading and understanding what the prevailing themes and ideas are. What are the most influential peopletalking about? How can you learn more about how they arrived at those thoughts? How can you start seeing new ideas that other people haven't thought of or considered?
  8. You could start commenting in online forums that deal with your chosen field of interest. By participating, you add your knowledge to the discussion and can get responses from others who may have differing views, which can help you hone your own opinions and thoughts.
  9. You could start a blog, talking about your perspective on the most important topics in your field and helping to push the debate further.
  10. Lastly, if you have built your expertise in your chosen field to a point of authority, you can start looking for places where you can teach others on a large scale. Hosting webinars, speaking at colleges, community events, conferences and exhibitions are all good outlets for building your unique brand and authority.

As we all grow in our respect and knowledge of the importance of our online brand, we should take steps to start maintaining our unique brand in the ways that can work for us. I hope these ideas can help you start or keep going.

Good luck!

turbocharged_brand_2.jpg

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