You are a brand. Your personality, strengths, education, and accomplishments are all part of the personal brand: YOU. Like corporate brands, the YOU brand is viewed by others in unique ways: responsive, fun, cool, intense, etc. If you decide to start a home business, the YOU brand is associated with the business.
Personal branding is about expertise and marketing the YOU brand. You are an expert in your field and acknowledged as a reliable, go-to person. Ever hear of Conrad Hilton? Hilton was the founder of the well-known Hilton Hotels chain, a name associated with luxury and class. Hilton used his expertise in hotels to create a brand known throughout the world. Everyone is potentially no different than Hilton.
What is the YOU Brand?
Know yourself, what you do best, who you are, and how you want to be known. Are you a comedian? Serious and thought-provoking? A blend? Understanding YOU is the first step in successful building that brand: YOU. Consider the following messages the YOU brand sends:
– The qualities and results people expect
– The difference between your business and the competition
– Emotional reactions when the YOU brand is mentioned
When you sell services, people are buying YOU, not the service, per se. You will bring clients back with your work. That is branding. Be the best and YOU will become known.
Building the YOU Brand
The Internet has revolutionized personal and business branding. Write an article for a blog that gets re-blogged and quoted across the social network arena and YOU become instantly associated with that piece. Branding in days, weeks, and months not years. Repeat this action again and again, and YOU can be the next Suze Orman or Jim ‘Mad Money’ Cramer, Robert ‘Rich Dad’ Kiyosaki or Stephen ‘7 Habits’ Covey.
Choosing to brand using social media means working with the biggest and most frequently visited sites. Use Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, posting often and with unique views and ideas. Engage your readers, responding to their questions and comments, and link to other popular blogs and websites. Be consistent with the message YOU is conveying. Don’t mix messages and confuse people about YOU.
Face to face networking is effective too. Attend industry events and conferences, trade shows and conventions. Expose the YOU brand as much as possible to all interested parties. It is difficult to predict a potential customer or who will talk about YOU.
Use a website to display expertise and experience. Don’t attempt to cover too many areas. Instead, narrow your focus, and make the YOU brand known in that area. Websites are often the first impression for many people; be professional and relevant. People are affected by color, font, text size, and content. Research these and find out what works for your business.
Everything YOU do, every article YOU post, and all clients YOU help become part of the brand: YOU. Do it carefully, responsibly, and confidently, and YOU will be successful.
By Dion D. Shaw
Dion D. Shaw is the founder and owner of Homepreneurs
Homepreneurs. New Day. New Opportunity.
image credit: employers.identified.com