Branding is integral to success. Everyone knows the specific logos of the most successful companies from the Apple logo to the Nike tick, these companies have done a great job of being memorable.
Personal branding is just as important as your company's brand - in fact it can be even more important.
Consumers want to hear the story behind the founders, the failures, the struggles and the success. Here are 8 tips to help you build a strong personal brand this year.
1.Be visible and accessible
You can't hide behind your computer and expect to be known. You need face-to-face value in your industry to get noticed. Attend industry conferences. In today's connected world, face-to-face value can be through live social media videos or Google Hangout conferences. Utilise social media to host live Q & A's and interact with your potential clients. The more visible and accessible you make yourself, the stronger your personal branding will be.
2. Market the real you
Authenticity is the key to building trust and in turn branding. Don't use social media solely for robotic marketing. Add a splash of humanism in - show your life, what you eat, what you do at the weekends, your hobbies and interests. People are more interested in the down-to-earth happenings of your real life, not what you think they want to see through an Instagram filter.
3. Practice 2-way networking
This simply means add value to whomever you want to connect with. Don't operate driven by your own needs but instead connect with people whom you feel you can add value to. If you make sure you give the other person a chance to benefit from the relationship then, you are starting the foundations for a more concrete network of people around you. This undoubtedly strengthens your personal branding efforts.
4. Maintain a details database of contacts
As your personal brand grows, so will your list of contacts. its important that this is detailed and personal so you remember how to network and re-connect with this audience when it matters. It also helps for future branding efforts - you have to really know your audience to always relate to them.
5. Develop a strong value proposition
What is your unique selling point? What makes you different from your competitors, if you don't know this then you can't possibly hope to sell yourself when it matters. Personal branding needs a clear and consistent message to be effective.
6. Give back
Being purpose driven not only helps you make a real difference to the world but it keeps you authentic. We are so used to hard sales that trust can only truly be built if people believe you are authentic, someone driven purely by profit is far less likely to gain the trust (or like) of their audience in comparison to someone driven by a need to make a difference.
7. Become a thought leader
A good sign that your personal branding is strong is when you become a source of information. Strive to be the person, your industry goes to for updates. You should seek to become an expert in your field. You start by sharing news and information (through social media and your email list) that you feel is relevant and useful to your audience. After time developing your following, start making and distributing your own content to this audience.
8. Know your industry inside out
"Your business is only as good as the people, you included". It's crucial you understand the industry inside out. Obvious as it sounds this means always staying up to date with the latest trends. This will help you to stay on top and help your position yourself as thought leader in your industry.