By Sajith Ansar
Personal branding is a fantastic way to draw attention to your company, and yourself. Here's five easy steps to supercharge brand you
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said, “We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done”. By now you understand that who you are is a brand itself, especially in the always-on digital world. You may have built yourself a reputation of being known for something specific, and people may refer to you as an 'expert salesman' or 'amazing speaker'. You will also have social media accounts, spread across a number of platforms which have grown organically. The question is – how do you take that momentum to the next level, and let the world know who you are and what you do? And how do you increase the reach of your voice and effectively use your personal brand?
The first step is to focus your energy. Like every aspect of time management, there is a distinct return on effort. Time is not infinite and the focus should be on mediums that give you the best amplified result towards a clear objective. Random posts without a thread or logic in as many mediums is a sure fire way to get burnt out. Start by listing which mediums work and which type of posts – articles, lectures or ideas – have had the best interest and traction. Over time, focus on these instead of trying to becoming an expert on everything. People will follow you because of your interests, so find articles that you may have enjoyed and post them to your followers. Use lectures or talks that have made a high impact or inspired people and find new audience for the same.
Another aspect of personal brand building is realizing that it doesn't just happen online. It’s not just what you share in the digital world, it is what you portray in meetings, in peer groups and new networks. List keywords indicating what you want to be known for and find ways to manifest this. For example, if you are writing about innovation, you have to manifest this in everything you do. What you wear, the events you attend, the books you read and the people you seek out for inspiration.
Looking to write about the things that interest you? Take a second to make a clear content plan for the months ahead, and plan the specific subjects you want to write about. Based on the keywords and DNA you have chosen, it makes sense to clarify in advance what articles you will write, the causes you will champion. Making a calendar also makes you commit to continuity and not be sporadic in your efforts at building your personal brand.
Don't fret about only sharing your wins. Share your failures, what you learnt from them and how you moved on. Your listeners and readers are seeking inspiration and ideas and they are best illustrated when you can let them in on your weaknesses and when they are part of that journey. Sharing these as stories connects more effectively than a lecture. Go ahead and open up, remember that the more you inspire, the greater your brand.
Of course, the most important rule in personal branding is to be original and not imitate others. If you aren't creating content that unique and filled with a personality that stands apart, you are a 'me too' type of leader. Make sure you aren't copying or modifying the type of content that already exists, and ensure that your voice is unique, and features a tone that's both heartfelt and completely you.