How much thought do you give to your personal brand?

11 June

Most of us find it hard to place the word human and brand within the same sentence! We think of brands as larger corporate entities or perfectly packaged products. We recoil from the idea of presenting ourselves as a brand. Think about this though; whether you are a sole trader or team player, you now have an amazing opportunity to create and grow your identity on the web.

Your personal brand lets you own and edit your reputation
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What is your personal brand?

All of my training and consultancy work is based around the idea of humanising business. That’s because people need to trust and make connections with people before they decide to do business with them. Showing up in a professional and human way on the web is no longer an option! But it’s not difficult either, once you have a clear idea what you want to say.

Creating and owning your personal brand is about consciously defining who you are and what you are good at. It’s also about sharing your personal values and giving examples of how you show up in the world.

What do you want to be known for?

This is a great question for helping you pinpoint your area of expertise. A good example of this is author and speaker Brené Brown. Brené has become known as an expert on the topics of vulnerability and shame. You will often hear her quoting the same stories and ideas in her talks and interviews. These are the topics that she wants to be known for. There is a consistency when she writes or speaks. I wrote a post on this topic called ‘Invest in mattering‘.

Find ways to write and talk about ‘your key things’; the things you want to be known for.

We now have the chance to publish our own content. We don’t need permission from an editor to share our ideas. Here are a few suggestions:

Blogging
A blog is a place you own and can fill with interesting content that supports your areas of passion and expertise. Combine your human essence with your skills and passions. Share these articles across different platforms and consider writing guest posts so that you can reach a new and wider audience.

Twitter
Use your Twitter bio (all all of your bios) to concisely tell the world what you want to be known for. Back this up by sharing useful content that helps other people. Start and get involved in conversations that support your ‘personal brand’.

Public speaking

A great piece of advice I received is to own and value your own ideas. Public speaking can start with going to a specialist meet-up and voicing your opinions with other people. As you get braver, you could consider presenting to a group in a work situation, offer to speak at a business network or put yourself forward for a radio interview. Taking small steps is the way forward!

Podcasting
If you have a particular area of interest, you might enjoy recording some interviews with other experts in your field. Or you might find that recording yourself talking on a topic comes easier to you than writing. Give people a variety of ways to listen to what you have to say!

{Really} connect with new people

Connecting online is a great start but I believe that the best connections are made when we look each other in the eye! Read about the 33 coffee dates I’ve had in the last 18 months. Those amazing conversations have lead to supportive friendships and collaborations. More importantly, they have helped me to articulate what my areas of skill and passion are.

We all have a personal brand – maybe it’s time you gave more thought to yours? Start by asking yourself what you want be known for. Once you know that, the follow-up steps become much easier! I offer a variety of training around web communication and brand vision. Get in touch if you’d like help or advice on something specific.

*Edited to say that I removed the Nike logos from the red runners because they don’t support my personal brand!