If you had met me before, you know that I love working with entrepreneurs to create custom brand images for their business with the goal of helping them stand out in the crowded online world so they can connect with their ideal clients.
But not all entrepreneurs know a lot about the benefits of building a personal brand or they are not sure how get started.
What is a personal brand? A personal brand is a widely-recognized and largely-uniform perception or impression of an individual based on their experience, expertise, competencies, actions and/or achievements within a community, industry, or the marketplace at large. [Source: https://personalbrand.com/definition/]
I wrote a blog to explain the difference between a personal brand and a business brand, you can read it here.
For any solo entrepreneurs and business owners, a personal brand is a must. Here are a few ways to help you get started building your personal brand.
1. Get Specific
To make your personal brand stand out, you need to define it. Write down what you’re passionate about, what you are known for, and what your areas of expertise are. Be as specific as possible. What's your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)? Your elevator pitch. For example, saying I'm a photographer is too general. Instead, I say, I'm a branding photographer helping service-based entrepreneurs save time and stand out in the crowded online world. Having a niche will ensure that people truly believe that you are an expert in your field.
2. Keep Your Profiles Consistent
If you are on several different online platforms, it’s important to make sure that your profiles are consistent. Use the same headshot picture or logo, bio, and graphics across all of your profiles so people will recognize you and your brand instantly. If you have your social media profiles created, be active and engage with your audience consistently because it will show that you’re trustworthy and reliable.
3. Share Your Knowledge
Find opportunities to write and share your expertise. Look for industry-related websites and newsletters that you can contribute to. This will not only spread the word about what you have to offer but showcase your knowledge on a particular topic too. If you love writing, it may also be a good idea to create your own blog that you can share tips and updates on a weekly or monthly basis. Don't forget to share your tips, how-tos, or tutorials on your social media too.
4. Engage with Your Audience
Networking is so important to growing your personal brand, which is why engaging with people both online and offline regularly is a must. Whether you participate in discussions on forums or attend networking events, you are showing people that you are out there, interested, and engaged. The more you connect with people authentically, the more quickly they will recommend you to others. This also applies to your social media, it's important to reply to your audience's comment, DMs, and engage with other's post. I recently heard from a podcast that social media is a handshake and introduction to start building a relationship.
5. Speak at Events
Look for speaking engagements in your area or your networking groups. Speaking at events will help you build rapport with your audience and allow you to network afterward too. Be sure you have a professional headshot and/or branded images to send with your bio and your website is looking good before you start sending traffic there.