You need a strong personal brand to succeed. Why? Because your personal brand gives people a reason to come to you and not somebody else. The stronger your brand, the more people will come to you to get the value you offer.
While previously I wrote about the laws of personal branding, here I’d like to share 12 things you can do to strengthen your personal brand. The things I discuss here are simple enough and can be done within one day. So, if you find something you haven’t already done, you can allocate time today to do it.
Here they are:
1. Calculate your online identity score
Finding out how your name does in search engine results is one way to assess the strength of your brand. Since search engine results increasingly shape people’s perception in the digital age, you need to know how your prospects may perceive you.
One tool you can use for this purpose is Online Identity Calculator. It gives you some questions to answer and based on your answers it will give you a score of your personal brand strength.
2. Create a LinkedIn profile
One of the easiest ways to strengthen your brand online is creating a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn profile tends to rank high in search engine results, so it’s a good way for people to find you and the value you offer.
3. Do keyword research
One of the laws of personal branding is “Have a word or phrase to associate your name with”. One way to find it is by doing a keyword research. This is especially true if you want people to find you through the Internet. You need to find keywords which:
- represent what you want to be known for.
- are familiar to many people, and
- allow you to rank high in search engine results.
There are tools you can use to find information about the popularity of certain keywords along with suggestions of related keywords. Some of them are Google Adwords Keyword Tool, Wordtracker, and Overture Keyword Selector Tool.
When you have found the keywords, you can use them in your profile to brand yourself with.
4. Buy a domain
Which domain do you think is better to build your brand: yourbrand.blogspot.com or yourbrand.com? I think most of us agree that the latter is better. When Seth Godin was asked about what he would do differently with his blog, his answer was to use his own domain (instead of the current sethgodin.typepad.com). So do it right from the start. Whatever your brand is, buy and use your own domain.
5. Use an email address from your domain
If you already have your own domain, use the email address from that domain (such as firstname.lastname@example.org) instead of free email address (like email@example.com) or ISP email address (like firstname.lastname@example.org). It will give the perception that you are professional and serious about your brand.
6. Add signature in your emails
A signature in your emails serves as a reminder of your brand to the people who read them. Whenever people read it, your brand will get a bit stronger in their mind. Of course, you should not go overboard since it may affect your brand adversely.
7. Find names of influencers you could network with
To build your brand, you should connect with powerful persons who can influence people’s perception about your brand. While building relationships with them takes time, finding their names is not. So you could spend some time today to find the names of these people. They could be thought leaders in your niche, media people, or prominent bloggers. One way to find their names is by using lists such as Top 25 Most Influential Persons in [your niche] which you may find in newspapers, magazines, or web sites.
8. Create your “one-liner”
I already wrote about the importance of having “one-liner”. A one-liner allows people to quickly get a glimpse of the value you offer. If you haven’t had a one-liner of your vision, spend some time to create one. The rule of thumb is it should be ten words or less.
9. Create your personal pitch
Personal pitch serves the same purpose as one-liner, only it could be longer than ten words. The idea is, you should be able to convince your prospects in 1 minute or less. What you say in that 1 minute is your personal pitch.
10. Find local newspapers and trade magazines to target
One way to establish yourself as an expert is by writing articles about your niche. While it is difficult to get your writings accepted in national newspapers or magazines, getting them accepted in local newspapers or trade magazines is much easier. So spend some time to find the potential newspapers and magazines to which you can submit your writings.
11. Remove irrelevant details from your profile
Building your profile is important to strengthen your personal brand, and you should be sure that the profile delivers the message you want as strong as possible. Therefore, you should remove details which doesn’t support or – even worse – weaken the message you want to deliver.
12. Find places where people gather
One law of personal branding is maximizing your visibility, and one way to do so is by going to the places where people gather. Forums often serve that purpose in the online world while professional organizations serve that purpose in the offline world. You could spend some time to find the names of relevant online forums and professional organizations. You can then prioritize your findings to choose the ones you would join.