Respectfully reprinted from Better Networker.com, written by Lelia Raynel
Personal branding is how you portray yourself to the world. It is how others actually see you, not necessarily how you may want to come across. One can create a positive brand image as a successful entrepreneur, but one can also come across as a criminal-a negative brand image. To make sure your personal brand efforts reflect what you desire, see the following five top tips on using it to succeed in your Internet marketing efforts.
Focus Your Personal Branding Efforts
Everyone is an expert on something. Put another way, no one is an expert on everything. Personal branding starts with finding those certain areas of knowledge and experience that you have accumulated that are significantly greater than the Average Joe. Find those one, two, or three things to focus on, and write and work on those. Establishing your area of expertise is the first step in building your own brand.
Find Your Voice
With personal branding, you are not an everyman – by definition, it means that you are a unique being with a completely fresh perspective on things. Make sure you sound like one in your blog posts and articles and on your site. Your personal branding should be compelling and strong. To define your brand, ask yourself these questions: What is it that makes me special? Why should anyone care? Why should my customers give me some of their precious time?
Consistency, Consistency, Consistency
It’s not enough to show up on time for only one day. You have to do it again and again and again. Show consistency in building your own brand: You have to portray the same brand in everything you do, from your home page to your contact form, from your emails to your webinars. Everything communicates your personal branding message.
Personal branding may require an investment. Spend the money to have your website professionally done and even have your articles ghostwritten if necessary. If there is a chink in your brand armor, someone will find it, and that one chink can be your undoing. Misspellings, grammatical errors, typos… all of these detract from your own brand.
Get the Word Out
If you’ve taken the steps above, you’re ready to launch your own brand. Publicize it through Internet marketing.
See how far you come rise up in the Google rankings and take steps to improve your position. “Network” your own brand marketing by linking to other sites that portray the appropriate image and are related to your field. Comment on the work of others (only positive) to start. Make sure to identify yourself – people need to know who you are in order to become familiar with your own brand – and provide a link to your site.
Paid advertising opportunities such as pay-per-click can be helpful in your brand marketing strategies as well. If something works, consider increasing your spending on that venue to further amplify your personal branding message.
Personal Branding Doesn’t Just Come From You
Other people also participate in creating your own brand. Search the Internet periodically to find out what is being said about you, and take steps to protect your personal branding by counteracting any bad information. Unaddressed complaints or accusations are highly detrimental to your personal branding. Similarly, if someone is singing your praises, it’s always nice to acknowledge this, which further helps in positive your own brand marketing efforts.
If your personal branding is successful, eventually you can hire someone to do all of this for you. Just remember to monitor their work to ensure that the reputable, positive brand you worked so hard to create stays that way.