Whether you realize it or not, you have a personal brand – the only question is whether you are creating it on purpose or whether it is just kind of happening by accident.
Branding is not just for entrepreneurs; it is your way to stand out from others and show them exactly who you are.
And the best part is that learning how to create an online brand is really fun! It allows you to provide something of value that will help others and you get to spend your day doing something you really love. So to help you get started, here are five tips to supercharge your personal brand:
1) Build Your Online Presence
What do you want people to associate you with? What specials skills and unique talents do you have to offer? These are all questions you should ask yourself as you begin building your online presence.
For me, I brand myself online as a "freelance designer, project manager & business consultant, with an interest in travelling!", so I post blogs, hiking photos and business-related articles that I personally am interested in, so that others can get a better understanding of my interests, and a better understanding of who I am!
My advice for building your online presence is to start slow – don’t try to be on every social media platform at once because you will burn yourself out big time. Start out with two platforms – let’s say blogging and Instagram – and focus on those with intention. Once you have mastered those you can build from there.
Make sure your website is easy to navigate and that the look and feel represents your brand.
2) Be Consistent on Social Media
When it comes to social media it’s better to be consistently good than occasionally great. If you post really outstanding content on Facebook or LinkedIn one day and then your followers don’t hear from you for months….well, you won’t really build much of a following.
The goal is to provide value, not perfection. So focus on providing consistent, quality content and don’t get discouraged if you hear crickets after some of your posts. Getting a ton of “likes” may stroke your ego but it isn’t a sign of real engagement or that you are building a true following.
3) Provide Valuable Content to Your Followers
Providing valuable content is where you can really begin to establish yourself as an expert in your area. The important thing to keep in mind is that to provide someone value you have to understand them first. If you don’t know who you are trying to reach then you probably won’t know what they want and need from you.
So how do you get to know you audience? Do your research and talk to people! Ask them what they want! It is easy to forget the human element of building relationships online. Your followers are people too! Get to know them, discover their pain points in work and life, and offer them content that is valuable and will help them.
4) Be Intentional Online
Okay, this is the part where I lecture you on resisting the urge to go into political rants on your Facebook page. I’m sorry, but someone has to say it – just don’t do it! Everything you put out there is a reflection of you and your brand so it’s important to be intentional about the things you post.
My general guide for posting online is to share things that are uplifting, positive, and constructive. I do also love sharing the occasional joke as well :) However, if there is a real possibility that a comment war could ensue, it’s probably best not to post it.
My general rule is: Nobody ever comes out on top in a flame war, so don't do it!
5) Be Authentically You
Most importantly - The thing about a brand is that it has to reflect who you really are! If you are being inauthentic not only will your audience sense this, it will probably feel pretty unfulfilling to you. Resist the urge to copy what other people are doing because honestly, it doesn’t matter. The only truly unique thing you have to offer your audience is yourself because no one else can be you! Have faith in the fact that you have something to offer people that no one else has.
As you are growing your personal brand, it is so important to just put your blinders on and stay focused on what you are doing. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else unless it is for the purpose of learning or finding a new and interesting perspective.
I would love to hear your thoughts on building an online brand – are there any tips you think I left out? Let me know in the comments!