If You Don’t Brand Yourself Properly Now, You Will Regret It Later. Here is Your Influence Check List
Branding helps you gain influence in a crowded digital world and saturated marketplace. If you are not willing to recognize yourself as a brand, you can blend in and go unnoticed which if you have no aspirations in life to achieve that’s fine, otherwise it isn’t. Brands are trust. Brands are reputation. Brands are value. Brands are relationships with others. Good marketing is the difference between success and failure of a product, or a person. Here are 10 tips to help you cultivate a brand people will want to pay attention to.
1. Become Aware of Managing Your Image Because It is Important
Online and off people are gauging your capabilities in business whether you are an entrepreneur or an employee. Dressing appropriately while representing your personal style allows you to have authenticity and stand out. Having clean grooming and a neat appearance shows you know how to take care of yourself and likely other responsibilities as well. If you are younger, dressing more professional will gain the respect of your seniors. I have had young clients not get the respect they deserved for their skills and experience because they were dressed like they were going to the beach in a meeting.
2. Build and Brand Your Social Media Profiles
Everything is social now. Job opportunities, your next client, some random opportunity that can open a door for you is waiting to connect online. Sharing your expertise, philosophies, experiences and curating good content will help you grow a following of people interested in you and what you have to say. If you have any aspiration to be successful in growing a company or your personal influence, you have to grow an audience to get customers and credibility today. Spend time on at least two platforms regularly that are outside your personal Facebook network and see what types of people you are drawn to and vice versa. Big brands use technology to listen to what influencers are saying about them. Are they concerned about what you have to say? Your followers are your measure of influence.
3. Get a Personal Website
Purchasing a domain and setting up a professional looking website is easier than ever before and can be done for less than 100 dollars. Having a personal site is a differentiator for someone looking for employment or influence as a blogger. It has been mainstream for a while now to have one. Do you? Control what people see about you. Having a personal site automates the sales process and allows people to see your portfolio of projects and assess whether or not they want to work with you, without you even having to have a conversation. Motivate people to fill out your contact form and engage with you.
4. Write Your Personal Bio
Sharing your story allows others with similar experiences to connect with you. It also saves the hassle of someone inquiring on your credentials or attempting to fill in the blanks and it gives you the chance to highlight your successes and failures and what you have learned along the way. Platforms like About.me, Linkedin and your personal site will allow more people to learn about and connect with you.
5. Get a Professional Headshot
If you do not already have one you are behind. Back to point two about everything being social, you need to make sure you are presenting yourself in the best light. Investing in a professional headshot and your personal website make you appear more modern and current than those who don’t. This will be standard practice sooner than later and it already is part of the package when people are reviewing the people in a company and gauging if they want to work with them. If you are a job seeker, it is an indirect part of your application. The first time I got my professional headshot done with my business partner we were asked to give a presentation to a large women’s entrepreneur’s organization. Since then I have used them in magazines, blogs and conference materials I have participated in and update every two years.
6. Start a Blog
There is no faster way to gaining influence than sharing valuable content with an audience that craves to learn what you know. We have all been saved by a “How to” blog that helped us get out of a jam we weren’t figuring out on our own. Or we have all been inspired and curious about a person or their business and how they succeeded and what they learned along the way.
7. Network at Events
Meeting new people is crucial for anyone that wishes to grow either themselves or their company. We can all learn something from someone new and you never know where an introduction can take you. Often social audiences grow with people you have met in real life. It is an easy way for both parties to stay loosely in touch. Actively listening and being aware of your presence and posture will make people curious to learn more about you.
8. Manage Your Perceived Value
Your brand is your first impression. Are you half ass or all in? When I was walking with a friend and we saw a sign in the window for a nanny agency that was clearly homemade with little effort. I asked if she would trust her children being taken of by that company. She said no and we both laughed. How do you want to be perceived? Having a brand that reflects your values, interests and is professionally done will help you make a strong impression that you do quality work. People can innately tell what the essence of your brand is about. That is why hotel lobbies’ get renovated every two to three years to stay modern and relevant.
9. Personalize It and Be Proud of It
Are you modern or traditional? Does your brand match your vision? Psychologists have labelled i impressions colours leave. Most entrepreneurs I have worked with have not gone to the theory of colours but selected what they personally wanted which ultimately trumps the other factors since they like it and they feel it represents their companies. If you do your logo/branding properly whether that is a logo or your personal image, your confidence and presentation will be succinct with your endeavours and help you gain trust and credibility. Hire professionals to help you get to where you want to go. Invest in yourself and your presentation to the world. If you won’t why should anyone else?