27th January 2021
Your brand is how people perceive you, online and in person. If you are already running your social business, or in the process of launching, focusing on building your brand will support your strategy to survive and thrive beyond this pandemic. Whether you know it or not, you already have a personal brand, but is it intentional or accidental?
I will be running Brandable & Co. sessions for UnLtd throughout 2021 to delve deeper into this topic and I look forward to connecting with some of you over the course of this year. In the meantime, here are five easy steps that you can begin to take at your own pace:
1. Google yourself
If I googled your name right now, do you know what I’d find? Take a minute to Google yourself (check web / images results) and see what others are seeing when they look you up.
If you are recognisable as the leader of your venture, as a thought leader within your industry or you are proactively building your personal brand, people should be able to find you with a simple online search, as well as connect and interact with you on your preferred social channels
2. Create a great first impression
‘Brand’ is easier to understand using a ‘shop’ analogy, framing you as the shopkeeper and first impressions as your shop window. When it comes to your digital window, whether it’s LinkedIn for work or Instagram for visual impact, keep it up to date, showcase expertise and make sure that it feels human. Here's a free 3-part series of LinkedIn guides to help with the 'How' if that’s your platform of choice.
3. Know your audience, and expand your network
Getting clear on what you’re good at, finding those who need what you offer, and connecting with them in places where they’re most likely to engage are typical marketing steps. However, opportunity often resides in the most unlikely places, so don’t stop there. You have many different aspects to who you are and there is plenty of choice out there when it comes to meeting new and interesting people. Try something different, be open to getting to know others even if at a first glance you have no common ground and see where it leads you.
4. Showcase social proof
Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where people tend to make decisions based on the opinions of others, such as purchasing things based on good reviews. Simply put, social proof is the emotional preference for doing what other people are doing, because if other people are doing it, it proves that it must be worthwhile! This is something that should be included in your brand strategy, regardless of whether you’re marketing a company or an individual. Why? Because social proof amplifies trust, interest and opportunities. Have a read of our free social proof guide which gives you three easy ways that you can apply social proof to your personal brand marketing strategy.
5. Show up
The world of work may have conditioned people to be a certain concept of ‘professional’, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t be yourself. A personal brand that exhibits authenticity and character has an advantage over one that showcases a 'work character', because all relationships are human to human.
The more that you show up as a person with character, stories, and purpose, the broader the future opportunities for growth.
Being visible can be scary, cringe, embarrassing (*insert relevant feelings here) and just the thought of it can leave you feeling all sorts of vulnerable, but we all have ‘being human’ in common so allow yourself to make mistakes, to be supported by others and embrace the opportunities on offer.
It’s important to know that brand building isn’t a race; results take time, and the most successful ones are advocates of authenticity over superficiality, connection over following, and meaning over metrics. Working from home, virtual and zoom is where many of us find ourselves right now so it's more important than ever that we understand and embrace digital brand strategy as the valuable development tool it is. Irrespective of how crowded it gets online, there is always room for another authentic, human voice. And there is no good reason why it shouldn't be yours.
Intrigued and want to learn more about how to ensure your personal brand tells your authentic story?
UnLtd are delighted to announce a series of workshops in collaboration with Brandable & Co. The sessions will be led by Brandable & Co’s Founder Sallee Poinsette-Nash and the series will kick off on Thursday 11th March 2021 with a 1hr workshop on: “Entrepreneur Brand Building: An Introduction”
The session is open to all UnLtd Award Winners and you can book your place here.
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