(Updated on January 23, 2021)
A few years ago, I wrote an article about the fine line you walk when promoting your personal brand. While that article reads like a cautionary tale about the pitfalls of self-promoting, I think it’s important to note that creating a strong personal brand is critical to your professional success.
In light of that revelation, this article will focus on providing a few tips to make building your personal brand easier. Just make sure you refer back to the previous article so you don’t cross any lines!
Start with some networking
Your personal brand can be the most amazing ever created, but if you’ve got no network to show it off to, you’ve wasted your time. Try these tactics to build a strong network that can help bolster your personal brand.
- Attend industry events
- Optimize your LinkedIn profile
- Keep in touch with past colleagues
- Take some related classes
- Pass out and collect business cards
- Don’t burn bridges
These are just a few of the many effective networking tactics available to you. Try out a few and see what works for you.
LinkedIn is an easy way to get started, without even having to leave your home, which leads me to your expanded social media presence. Twitter is another excellent tool to build your network and grow your brand.
I connect and collaborate with a ton of brilliant marketing professionals, bloggers, creative and strategic people. The key is to build genuine relationships and give without expecting anything in return. Start by sharing others’ content, mentioning them in posts, and engaging with others in conversation.
As time moves along, you’ll build relationships where others realize the value you add to their own efforts, and they will start to give back by sharing and engaging with your content as well.
As you build your network, it can become challenging to keep track of everyone and ensure you engage with each person at least close to equally. One way I find works really well to help me keep this organized is using Twitter Lists.
As you can see below, I break them up into the different categories. The first list, Marketing Collaboration, is the one were I list all the wonderful connections I’ve forged through the years.
Whatever social media channels you prefer, or even networking in person like events and conferences, make sure you are building your network. Help others expand their networks, make connections and grow your personal brand.
Be (digitally) social
Make sure you don’t take on too much, though. You are only one person, so only be on as many channels as you can handle.
You need to have a solid, active presence on social media to be effective, so if you overdo it, you can end up running yourself thin and not being able to handle posting, monitoring and all that goes into managing a successful social media marketing campaign.
So pick the channels where your audience or your peers hang out and set up shop there.
If you try to be on every channel, you’ll burn yourself out. You’ll be wasting your time engaging with people who can’t (or aren’t willing to) help you grow. My sweet spot for growing my personal brand on social media is really LinkedIn and Twitter. The connection of those two channels has really been useful.
That said, yours might be different, so do your research and understand who you would want to socialize with and be active on those channels.
Create social fodder
Social media isn’t nearly as effective at helping you build your personal brand if you’re only posting others’ content. For that reason, you should really consider creating a blog, but not just any blog.
Make sure the material you create is engaging, relevant and useful. If it’s not, no one will want to consume it, let alone share it with their friends, both of which are critical objectives in promoting your personal brand.
Blogs are a great way to show that you are an expert in your field, display your personality and interact with your target audience.
Comments are another great way to help give your brand a boost. When you post, I suggest leaving open the comments section so you can gain feedback from your readers and open up a forum for your readers to connect with you on a deeper level. Comments can also boost the authority of your blog.
Here is an example of a post on my blog (on the website you’re visiting right now) that has garnered a large number of comments. This has really helped boost the authority of the post, and it gets shared quite a bit.
Brands of all sizes are seeing increased inbound leads, added traffic to their website, more social sharing and enjoying a number of other success metrics that can be credited to the activity on their blogs.
So get on your website and add that blog today. Once you’ve got some articles created, start sharing them across your social media channels.
Don’t forget to reach out to the right people to help your content reach further.
Influence the influencers
In every industry there are those who position themselves as experts and become the go-to resources for their field. These people are labeled as influencers.
On your journey to become one of them, it’s important that you reach out to those who currently hold those positions and befriend them.
Don’t be pushy. Let them know that you truly value what they offer and you look to them for advice. If you’re in it just for your own sake, they’ll figure you out and ignore your messages, probably even block you.
Try sharing their social media posts on your channels for a while. Reply to them in Tweets and leave comments on their other social channels.
Once you’ve established a bit of a connection there, it’s ok to send out an email. Be careful, however, not to ask for anything when you first reach out.
Don’t ask them to share any of your posts or do anything for you until you’ve got your foot truly in the door. It’s really easy to push a foot back out if it doesn’t have a strong stance, but once you’ve got a strong stance you can maneuver your way in further and start to create a mutually beneficial relationship.
These are just a few tips for building your personal brand. Make sure you don’t cross that line, and have fun with it. And let us know if there are any other tips you use to build your brand that have worked for you.
Get published on high-authority publications
Beyond publishing on your own social media accounts and on your own blog, a great way to spread the word about your expertise and grow your brand is to start guest blogging.
Not only can you gain valuable links back to your website to help give a boost to your SEO efforts, but you also expose your personal brand to a new audience. And…the best part is that the readers on high-authority blogs typically assume all of the authors on that blog as also high-authority.
So, by guest blogging on the top sites in your niche, you can really give a boost to your personal brand.
Look at this post on the Content Marketing Institute website, for example. Readers associate this site with having the top expertise on the subject of content marketing, so when you’re able to post on a site like this in your niche, the readers’ respect for the publication transfers to you.
It’s not easy to get published on the highest authority blogs, so start by building your own blog, building relationships with other bloggers and influencers, and increasing your network.
You should start by guest blogging on sites that aren’t as exclusive. Make sure they are at least 30 domain authority (DA) and are in your niche. Then as you build up your portfolio, it becomes easier to get published on the bigger sites.
Taking steps to do this can give you a huge boost to your personal brand.
Wrapping it up
Whether you’re looking to turn yourself into an influencer in your industry or your focus is on improving your career prospects, a strong personal brand can position you for success.
Take steps to get your name out there along with the expertise you bring to the table. Find ways to not just say “Look at me. I’m an expert.”, but find ways to show it through collaborating with others, growing your network, and creating high-quality content that people benefit from and want to share.
Think about what makes you remarkable and let it shine.
As you being to gain recognition for what you do, your personal brand will grow. Take steps to protect that brand by avoiding missteps (for example, don’t say anything stupid on social media), and keep tabs on your online reputation to ensure nothing bad is being said about you and only the positive things pop up in search.
Follow the steps above, and your personal brand, along with your career and your level of influence will receive. a huge boost!
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