personal branding

How to Develop a Strong Leadership Branding in 6 Steps

Leadership branding

personal branding

Leaders today are not only expected to excel at their crafts. They are also expected to be clear on their identity and communicate their value as leaders.

This is where leadership brands come in.

Leadership brands are crucial to make maximum impact for the work you’ve been doing. They are an essential tool to create opportunities at work that could lead you to a fulfilling job.

Having a strong personal brand is a must if you want to stand out as a leader.

In this guide, let’s dig deeper into the process of branding yourself as a leader.

Find out what it is all about, what can you get from developing your brand, and how you should approach it to work to your advantage.

What is Leadership Branding?

Leadership branding is the conscious effort of shaping your colleague’s perception of you as a leader.

In this strategy, you work on establishing a strong personal leadership brand that works to:

  1. Communicate your value in an organization
  2. Convey your identity as a leader

The goal of a leadership brand is to demonstrate your identity as a leader.

Here, you determine who you currently are from the point of view of your co-workers.

Then, you decide what you want to be known for in your organization.

To do this, you identify your personal strengths, qualities, skills, and behaviors that you want people to associate with you.

By showing your identity, you are letting people know the value you bring to the organization.

Why a Personal Leadership Brand is Important?

Today, everyone has a personal brand.

However, not everyone actively manages their brands. This results in a missed opportunity to maximize the impact their leadership brands could make.

By managing your brand, you’re controlling your own narrative. This is crucial to prevent people from associating you with the wrong image.

When you do, you get your brand to work to your advantage in the long term.

When you consciously shape your leadership brand, you can:

 

1. Differentiate yourself from other leaders

In a group of leaders, how do you want to be seen by your peers? A decisive leader? A problem-solver? Or maybe, a mentor?

If you want to be valued for a certain quality or skill, a clear leadership identity is key.

By branding yourself, your peers will know what to expect from you as opposed to other leaders in the company.

They’ll know which situations they can depend on you, and which opportunities best fit you, which brings us to our next point.

 

2. Put yourself in the right role

To land a job or project you want, you need to exhibit the traits, skills, and experiences that could get you in that position.

Likewise, people in your organization must see that you qualify for the said role.

A clear leadership brand can help you do that. With an effective brand, you can make your peers aware of what you do best.

As you communicate the value you can contribute to the organization, you’ll have a higher chance of getting pulled into roles where your abilities can shine.

 

3. Grow your impact

Don’t let your hard work be unseen or unheard by your peers. Actively promote yourself to open up better opportunities at work.

A strong leadership brand can help demonstrate the work you get done so that others will remember them, talk about them, and recognize them.

But when doing so, remember to stay true to yourself and your values. People will see through your acts if you’re trying to be someone else.

By keeping a brand that centers around genuine intentions to communicate your value, your hard work will eventually be noticed.

 

4. Attract more customers or investors

Having a leadership brand doesn’t only benefit the leaders in a company.

The trust you gain from people can also spill to the organization you belong to. In fact, 82% of buyers are more likely to buy from companies whose leadership team and CEO engage on social media.

As you establish yourself as a credible leader both in the workplace and online, you are also attracting more clients for the company.

 

5. Find Career Fulfillment

As you establish your identity and communicate your value, people will start respecting you and appreciating your contribution to the organization.

They will see you as the right fit to a higher-level position or projects that you may want to take on.

This leads you to finding fulfillment at work.

Getting Started: Essential Questions to Define Your Leadership Brand

Before you proceed with the steps, you have to be clear about what your brand is going to be.

To do this, we have prepared some essential questions to help define your leadership brand.

 

What traits do people respect around your workplace?

Identify the “hero stories” in your workplace.

These are the qualities of a good leader most admired by your peers.

Is integrity a valuable trait in your workplace? Or is it all about delivering results?

Maybe, your employees appreciate supportive leaders?

Ask around and observe which traits are highly-lauded by your colleagues.

 

What are you expert in?

Everyone has a core skill that can be an edge to other leaders.

For instance, you may be a sales expert who aspires to lead your organization.

There are many avenues to channel this strength.

You can be an expert who delights with deliverables or an influencer who inspires people with your insights.

Where you channel this strength can make all the difference. Identify what you are expert in and what your teammates think your core strength is.

 

What do your colleagues say about you?

To develop your leadership brand, you must learn how people currently perceive you as a leader.

Find out what your manager and teammates think your strengths and weaknesses are.

Ask for feedback on areas you excel at and the fields you need to work on. Also, ask how you behave based on your interactions with your colleagues.

Determine if you are being consistent with your behaviors as you interact with others.

How to Brand Yourself as a Leader

Once you have answered the questions above, you’ll have a clearer idea of the kind of leader you currently are and who you’re going to be.

Now, it’s time to create your leadership brand. Below, we outlined six actionable steps to brand yourself as a leader.

 

1. Determine Your Goals

What results do you want to achieve with your leadership brand?

Goal setting is crucial to establish a clear path, determine the challenges, and motivate yourself to work on your leadership brand.

Some common goals for developing a leadership brand include:

  • Attracting more customers to the business
  • Gaining the trust of investors
  • Winning the heart of your teammates
  • Landing a specific role or project in the organization

When building a leadership brand, determine your goals that you want to achieve in the next 6-12 months.

 

2. Identify What You Want to Be Known For

In the previous section, we have identified the traits most admired in your workplace.

Now, it’s time to assess which of these traits you currently exhibit, and which you can and should include in your personal leadership brand.

Let’s take a look at this example:

George is known for his technical proficiency at work. However, he is known to be an independent worker.

The team he wants to lead admires a leader that:

  • Has great decision-making abilities
  • Demonstrates effective problem-solving skills
  • Imparts knowledge to the team

To support his goal of advancing his career, George needs to balance his innate qualities and the traits critical to his aspired position.

Since George is also passionate about teaching, he sees imparting his knowledge to the team as an opportunity to communicate his value.

That’s why he decided to focus his brand on establishing his image as a mentor.

This example illustrates how identifying the hero stories in your organization can help you decide the image you want to project in your brand.

 

3. Define Your Leadership Identity

The next step is to go into the finer details of your personal leadership brand.

Here, we’ll identify how you should act to achieve what you want to be known for.

In the example above, George wants to be known as a mentor. But what kind of mentor?

Being technically proficient, he wants to be seen as an expert in his field. Although he is knowledgeable about his field, his peers see him as a respectful leader to others.

And he wants to incorporate this in his branding.

But above all else, he wants to encourage people to step out of their comfort zones.

As someone who values learning, he sees this as a way to grow and have new experiences in their career.

By identifying the hero stories and taking your personal values and skills into consideration, it is easier to create an identity that best describes you as a leader.

After defining your leadership identity, it’s time to craft your leadership brand statement.

 

4. Create an Effective Leadership Brand Statement

A leadership brand statement is a 1-2 sentence that summarizes your brand. It lets your followers know what you do and why your leadership is different, in a concise way.

Developing an effective leadership brand statement is crucial because it will serve as your catchphrase to hook your readers’ attention.

When crafting your statement, use the insights you have gathered from the steps above.

A solid branding statement must answer the following:

  • Who you are as a leader
  • What do you do
  • How do you work
  • What you can bring to the table

Here, let’s define your statement by following this simple formula:

“I want to _____ so that _____.”

Following George’s example, let’s use the formula to create his statement:

“I want to be known as a respectful mentor so that I can relate to and inspire my people to be more than they thought they could be.”

The above example conveys who the brand is (a respectful mentor) and what it does (teaching).

It also explains how the brand works (relate to and inspire students), and what it can bring to the table (be more than the students thought they could be).

As a general rule, make sure that your statement accurately sums up your brand. Write concisely, be authentic, and emphasize how your brand can benefit your audience. 

Once you have come up with a statement, don’t forget to test it.

Ask your colleagues if the message got across. Then, gather some feedback to further improve it.

 

5. Live Your Personal Brand

Now, it’s time to embody the leadership brand you have created.

Your goal is to establish yourself as a trusted leader by living it. Your peers should be able to see you as you wish to be seen. But how?

The first step is to share your statement with your colleagues. This allows them to know what to expect from you.

Then, ensure that you can deliver what your brand promises.

If you say you are a mentor who wants to inspire people to be more than what they thought they could be, you have to act the part.

Focus on what makes you seen as a teacher.

Do you have enough activities at work that involve educating your colleagues about your subject matter? Are you consistent with your behavior toward your co-workers? Is your intention of teaching and helping people genuine?

Living your leadership brand consistently and authentically will establish familiarity and recognition from your peers.

But make sure that the message is getting across. Ask for occasional feedback from others and be ready to pivot.

Leadership brands should evolve according to the different needs of your career at different times.

 

6. Build Your Online Presence

You shouldn’t just live your leadership brand in the four corners of your office. You should also live it everywhere you go, especially online.

Social media platforms like LinkedIn are a great place to build your thought-leadership image.

Here, you’ll find an extension of your audience as well as like-minded professionals to engage and interact with.

Engaging with these people helps boost your reputation in your field.

Take time to set up your social media accounts to reflect your brand, and then populate them with thought-leadership content that will build your authority and win people’s trust.

When creating leadership content, the most important thing is to write for your audience.

While branding yourself as a leader involves emphasizing your value, remember that it is not overly self-promotional.

That means your content should inform, educate, and help instead of sell. Address your audience’s pain points and offer solutions to their problems, needs, and concerns.

Also, be genuine about wanting to help and the public will begin noticing your brand.

Below, we listed the most effective types of thought-leadership content to solidify your brand:

  • Blog posts & articles
  • eBooks & whitepapers
  • Original research & insights
  • Videos & infographics
  • Media appearances & guest posts
  • Virtual events & speaking engagements
  • Digital hubs & training resources

Take the time to research fellow leaders in your field. Find what works for them that you can apply to your personal leadership brand.

Then, see how that type of content performs and adjust as needed.

How to Know if Your Leadership Brand is Working

The steps above are only half the battle. After creating your leadership brand, you need to ensure that your efforts are paying off.

If done properly, you may start seeing signs that your brand is going the right way:

  • Ideal customers opting to avail your company’s products or services
  • More investors willing to invest in your organization
  • You are offered a position that aligns with your strengths, qualities, and skills
  • You are invited to projects that you enjoy
  • Your teammates are commending you on aspects of your work that align with your brand
  • Your boss or other leaders in your field recognizing your brand

But don’t get fixated on having immediate results. Remember that personal branding is a gradual process. 

As you build your image, what you need is to be genuine about your efforts to grow as a leader. Eventually, people will take notice.

Follow the steps above, observe your progress, and be ready to adjust if you want to see the long-term effects of your branding efforts.

Create Your Leadership Brand Now!

A strong leadership brand is a key to opening new opportunities you want at work.

With this branding guide, we hope you can develop a personal leadership brand that can help achieve your career goals.

But if you need further guidance on creating your leadership brand, feel free to reach out to a personal branding consultant.

A personal branding consultant helps you save time, money, and energy defining your identity and communicating your value in the workplace and online.

If you need help with your leadership brand contact us.

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8 Results-Focused Steps On How To Rebrand Yourself

How To ReBrand Yourself

personal branding

After working hard to develop your personal brand, the public has finally started to see you as a trusted authority in your field.

You have successfully communicated your value to your audience, and now, they perceive you as the go-to expert who can help solve their problems.

But, what if you want to rebrand yourself now?

There are various reasons why you may consider rebranding yourself. It can be major changes in your career that may warrant a rebranding or subtle reasons to reinvent yourself.

In this guide, learn how to rebrand yourself properly to achieve your desired results.

Find out what it exactly means to reinvent yourself, what are the common reasons why personal brands do it, and if it is time for you to take the rebranding path.

What Does It Mean to Rebrand Yourself

Rebranding yourself means reinventing your personal brand. Here, you make a conscious effort to change how others see you.

When you rebrand, you focus on a new or different aspect of your business. You change how you market yourself, highlighting the strongest point you want people to associate with your name.

Just like in personal branding, you control the narrative so the public will see you in a new light.

Why You May Consider Rebranding Your Personal Brand

Successful personal brands may reinvent themselves to keep up with their evolving business.

For instance, a startup founder may have plans to introduce a new product or service to his audience.

Or maybe, an executive wants his brand to reflect another core skill or value that isn’t conveyed yet in his current branding.

Some may also do this to tap different audiences or to reach new customers.

Others may want to transition from one career to another, say, an entrepreneur who wants to shift to life coaching.

Less successful brands may also reinvent to differentiate themselves from the competition. This can be because they are not getting enough traction and they want to change your strategy.

Some may also rebrand to move on from negative issues they’ve been involved with.

How Do You Professionally Rebrand Yourself

Rebranding, when done right, can be a beneficial move for you.

Here, we’ll go through eight results-focused steps to reinvent your personal brand so you can ensure your efforts yield success.

In this action plan, we are basically revisiting the steps to building a strong personal brand. These steps will serve as our foundation to effectively reinvent your existing branding.

 

1. Redefine your goals

Like any well-thought plan, rebranding starts with goal-setting.

Where do you want to be with your rebranding efforts?

Focus on where you plan to go instead of where you’re currently standing.

Being clear with your destination helps you and your audience understand where your reinvented brand is heading.

For instance, you’re changing your job from an entrepreneur to a life coach.

If you want to be seen as a leader in life coaching, make sure to mention skills and experiences that qualify you as a life coach.

Focus your story there rather than your time as an entrepreneur.

 

2. Re-identify your value

Ask yourself what your new brand will be all about? How is it different from other brands?

Think about your new unique selling proposition and leverage this point of difference.

This is your strength as a brand that can position you in the best light.

Say, you’re in the digital marketing niche. You position yourself as an expert digital marketer, but the field is too broad that you decided to rebrand and shift your focus.

In this case, you could be a social media manager, SEO expert, or advertisement specialist.

The key is to find out where your strength lies in this niche.

Narrow down the field and determine what area of digital marketing you excel at.

You may be getting better results in running Facebook ads than the other two roles, so that can be your point of difference.

From an all-around digital marketer, you can rebrand yourself as a Facebook ads expert.

 

3. Reestablish your audience

As you shift your focus, your audience is likely to change. Don’t forget to define the people who will benefit the most from this rebranding.

To do this, determine the new problems your brand is going to solve. Take your time to understand the value you’re now bringing to the table.

Once you have an understanding of the solutions you provide, make a list of people who will gain the most from your brand. Research their needs, wants, and motivations.

Then, narrow down the list as much as possible. Identify your target audience that is most likely to pay for your service or care about your brand message.

 

4. Change your overall look

The next step is to update your overall look to reflect your reinvented brand. This includes your brand logo, colors, font, imagery, and voice.

It is crucial to do this if you’re not getting enough leads or sales.

A change in your brand style may be what you need to differentiate yourself from the competition.

When deciding on your brand style, make sure to research the competition. Determine the prevailing style in the field and try to deviate from it.

For instance, blue is widely used by personal brands as it represents authenticity and trustworthiness.

However, you may want to choose a different color as it is harder to stand out with blue.

 

5. Rewrite your brand statement

Aside from the overall look of your brand, make sure to craft a new personal brand statement, too.

A personal brand statement is 1-2 sentences that summarize what your brand is all about.

This step is important as brand statements are one of the first things people see when they visit your LinkedIn profile.

A compelling statement conveys your value as a brand. It is also directed to a specific audience while highlighting your unique selling proposition.

 

6. Develop your narrative

Once you have your new brand sorted out, it’s time to create your narrative.

This is tricky as you want people to understand why you’re rebranding. You don’t want them to think that you’re someone who does something without commitment.

When rebranding, you don’t create a new persona and just forget about your past experiences altogether.

You have to develop a narrative that ties your new brand to your old brand and then emphasize the transition.

For example, you’re shifting your focus from an all-around digital marketer to a personal branding consultant. You might say, “I used to cover every aspect of digital marketing, including social media and SEO.”

Then, you explain why you’re focusing on personal branding.

“I realized that digital marketing is an ever-shifting landscape.

The tactics that work for you today might not work the next day. But through the years, I discovered that personal branding is one of the few things that remain consistent throughout.”

By relating your past with your present, it puts a unique flavor to your brand.

 

7. Rebuild your online presence

Now, it’s time to put your reinvented brand to action.

Your goal for rebranding may be to change the public perception of you on social media.

The people in your circle may have always known you as an entrepreneur, and now, you want to be identified as a life coach.

Or you may have associated yourself with toxic individuals that have damaged your reputation in the past.

Don’t stress if some people have trouble seeing you in a new light. What’s important is that your intention to reinvent yourself is genuine.

Make a strategic move to re-educate your old followers–update your social media, send email blasts, make phone calls, and reach out to let them know about your rebranding.

Address negative perceptions if needed. However, don’t force them to instantly change how they see you. Successful rebranding takes time.

Rather than convincing those who already know you, focus on expanding your network to new audiences.

Broaden your reach and target people who never knew your previous brand.

 

8. Strengthen your rebrand with content

Since you’re claiming expertise in a new field, it’s appropriate to back it up with evidence.

Sharing valuable content allows you to prove your worth.

To win people’s trust, be sure to offer content with real value. This is where thought-leadership content such as blog posts, articles, eBooks, research papers, videos, and digital hubs come in handy.

When creating content for your new brand, always remember to inform, educate, and help your audience. Provide solutions to their problems, answer their questions, and add something new to the conversation.

This way, you can demonstrate your expertise and cement your name as an authority in the field.

Is It Time for You to Rebrand on Social Media?

The decision to reinvent yourself does not come easy and can be potentially harmful if done for all the wrong reasons.

If you’re thinking about rebranding yourself at this moment, ask yourself these:

  • Have I been working on my personal brand for a long time now?
  • Have I addressed negative issues related to my existing personal brand?
  • Do I have something new to bring to the table?

If your answer to these questions is a resounding “No,” don’t rebrand just yet.

Don’t rebrand if you’re relatively brand new and feel like you’re not getting enough traction.

Successful personal branding takes time.

The same goes for brands that dealt with bad press, yet haven’t really acknowledged their errors or issued a sincere apology yet.

Rebranding isn’t also the answer if you have nothing new to offer.

Don’t rebrand if you don’t have the skills to switch to a new niche and claim expertise.

Only consider rebranding if:

  • Your brand has expanded
  • You’re shifting careers
  • Your brand looks too generic
  • You’ve been heavily scrutinized by the public
  • You’re introducing a new partnership

If you want to be 100% sure about your move, you can always ask the expert opinion of a personal branding consultant.

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9 Examples of Impressive Thought Leadership Content

Thought Leadership Content

personal branding

Do you want to be a thought leader in your field?

A thought leader is someone who offers guidance and insight to those around them. They help others with their knowledge and experience in a particular topic.

To cement your reputation as a thought leader in your industry, you need to have strategic thought-leadership content. But what exactly is thought-leadership content? How do you create it?

In this post, discover the essential things you need to know about thought-leadership content. Also, learn from the examples of established thought-leaders to inspire and guide you in crafting high-quality content for thought-leadership marketing.

What is Thought Leadership Content

Thought leadership content presents your brand as a leading, authoritative voice in your industry.

It aims to inform, educate, provide insights and help answer the biggest questions in your audience’s minds.

This type of content is based on unique perspectives, experiences, and resources that inform the philosophy of your brand and your product.

You share this content to build credibility, trust, and ultimately, loyalty.

Remember, thought leadership content is:

  • Informative, educational, and helpful, not self-promotional
  • Answers the problems of your audience, not a marketing piece about a product or service
  • Positions you as the go-to expert in your industry, not just a mere brand trying to make sales

While thought leadership content is used as a content marketing tool, remember that it takes a customer-first approach. It is not entirely about what you know.

Rather, it is what your audience wants and needs to know from you.

Remember what it is and what it is not to effectively position yourself as a leader in your field.

Types of Thought Leadership Content

Thought leadership content comes in different formats, such as:

 

Blog Posts & Articles

Writing blog posts and articles is one of the most common and effective ways to demonstrate expertise in your niche.

It requires you to consistently publish posts about topics that resonate with your market.

By publishing new content in your blog, you are showing how well-versed you are in your field.

This consistency eventually builds a following to your blog which helps boost your credibility.

 

eBooks & White Papers

Look at some thought leaders in your industry. Chances are, they have authored at least one book or white paper about their subject matter.

Writing eBooks and white papers may require time for in-depth research, but it isn’t as demanding as maintaining a blog schedule.

The heavier graphics and thorough content also provide real value to your audience, which in turn, position you as an authority in your field.

 

Original Research & Insights

Conducting your own surveys, research, and data gathering instead of relying on existing reports can make you stand out from the crowd.

As a thought leader, your followers expect you to provide something new to the field.

Presenting original research and insights about your industry satisfies this need, which in turn, establishes thought leadership.

 

Videos & Infographics

We live in a visual world, that’s why videos and infographics make for great thought leadership content.

Both types are easy to digest and engaging to users. This is especially true for videos, which is a consumer’s favorite type of content to see from brands on social media.

That said, consider creating explainer videos and interactive infographics to inform and engage your audience.

 

Media Appearances & Guest Posts

Your brand recognition grows the more you appear in media interviews, articles, features, and industry-related websites and blogs.

The more people recognize your brand, the more you’ll be perceived as a thought leader.

So, it is also important to work on content outside your current platforms.

Build relationships with the press, contribute guest articles, and get your name out there.

 

Virtual Events & Speaking Engagements

Just like media appearances, getting active in virtual events can give your reputation a significant boost.

Aim to participate in conferences, trades, and exhibits not only as an attendee but as a speaker when possible.

Speaking engagements are particularly crucial in building your resume as a thought leader.

If you can, hold your own webinars and podcasts to build yourself. In the new normal, it’s still a must to make human connections with the people in your field.

 

Digital Hubs & Training Resources

As a thought leader, your primary goal is to teach your followers. Thus, creating a learning hub for your audience is crucial to your success.

Offer training resources, programs, courses, and events that will help your users solve their problems, alongside the other forms of content mentioned above.

Examples of Thought Leadership Content

Based on the types above, let’s look at some brands that are doing great with their thought leadership content. Take inspiration from these brands so you can create effective content for thought leadership. 

 

Grow by Acorns and CNBC

Grow by Acorns and CNBC Thought Leadership Content

Acorns may be a company offering financial investments, but they know not to oversell their services with their content. Instead, they make good use of their blog to tackle the more interesting side of financing.

To appeal to their audience, they publish content revolving around saving, spending, and earning that people could highly relate to. They also partnered with news provider CNBC and built a team of financial experts to boost the blog’s credibility.

This sincerity to help people make the most out of their money earns them a spot on this list.

Takeaway: Be helpful.

 

Degreed

Degreed Thought Leadership Content

When it comes to building authority, publishing whitepapers is a surefire way to get the job done. Education technology company Degreed recognizes this, which is made evident by their thorough and well-designed whitepapers.

It is a smart move for Degreed to leverage this type of content as whitepapers are often perceived to be highly-authoritative. This especially works when your target markets are entrepreneurs and businesses, who usually look for real value from brands.

Takeaway: Provide real value to your audience.

 

Burning Glass Technologies

Burning Glass Technologies Thought Leadership Content Example

Data is a powerful tool to establish thought leadership. And for for-profit enterprise Burning Glass Technologies, it is one key to stand out from the competition.

The said brand uses data to become a formidable name in its field. Together with industry authorities like the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Burning Glass Technologies offers a wealth of original content from raw info about labor and the job market.

As the brand brings something new to the table, it gets a huge chunk of attention from the community.

Takeaway: Add to the conversation.

 

MarieTV by Marie Forleo

MarieTV Thought Leadership Content Example

When it comes to creating video content for thought leadership, Marie Forleo does it spot-on.

It is truly impressive how she handles her web series, MarieTV. Not only does she create videos that help people create a business and life they love. She also goes the extra mile addressing her audience’s problems.

One notable thing about her content is her effort to answer questions from her viewers every week. She does this with much gusto, not only answering on her YouTube channel but also on her website. This genuine care to help her audience has earned her a loyal following.

Takeaway: Engage with your community.

 

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey Thought Leadership Content Example

From one host to another, Oprah Winfrey’s brand is built around authenticity.

People follow Oprah’s content because it’s genuine. She opens her stories to the world to empower other people. She isn’t afraid to share her experiences, joyful or sad, to encourage her audience to embrace their own stories. And this genuineness translates well to her content, whatever the format.

Throughout the years, she remained herself and taught us that thought leadership isn’t just about your knowledge. It is also about being who you are, not just as a brand, but as a person. And that this genuineness should reflect on your content.

Takeaway: Be authentic.

 

Build a Better Agency Podcast by Drew McLellan

Agency Management Institute thought leadership content

In industries like digital marketing, agency leaders are often strapped for time. If you’re targeting these people, how do you get them to consume your content?

Drew McLellan knew exactly what agency heads need, that’s why he created the Build a Better Agency Podcast. His 30-45 minutes long podcasts are just what busy leaders need to get educated on how they can improve their agencies.

By thinking of his audience’s needs, he was able to appeal to them and get a fair share of their time.

Takeaway: Think of your audience’s needs.

 

First Round Review

First Round Review Thought Leadership Content Example

While getting interviewed sure can help with your thought leadership journey, interviewing people can also boost your reputation. The First Round Review blog is proof of that.

The said venture capital firm spends its time interviewing entrepreneurs. The people behind the blog seek thought leadership advice from real companies to feature on the website.

Through this approach, the First Round Review blog has managed to get media attention as well as a positive response from the community.

Takeaway: Reach out to other experts in your field.

 

Business Class by American Express

American Express Thought Leadership Content

Here’s another brand that doesn’t just rely on its own expertise.

Business Class by American Express is a blog for small businesses. Previously called Open Forum, this blog lets their business customers post content on their website.

Along with their team of writers, content from business owners make up American Express’s blog. This cumulative effort to provide a thought leadership hub gives Business Class a spot on our list.

Takeaway: Build a community.

 

HubSpot Academy

Hubspot Accademy Thought Leadership Content

In the marketing world, HubSpot is a respected brand well-known for its top-notch automation tools. However, people’s recognition of this brand doesn’t just end with their software products.

This company brand is also admired for its free online knowledge hub, HubSpot Academy. Here, you will find training resources for professionals and entrepreneurs aiming to grow their careers and businesses. They offer certification programs and practical courses to help their customer base and visitors.

Takeaway: Educate your audience. Successful thought leaders aren’t only experts, but they are also excellent teachers.

Developing your Thought Leadership Marketing Strategy

What can we learn from the examples above?

When developing your thought leadership content, you have to take into account the following elements to pull off an effective content marketing strategy.

  • Be helpful. People turn to brands that help make their daily lives easier.
  • Provide real value to your audience. Your effort to create content that offers real value pays off with a loyal following.
  • Add to the conversation. Thought leaders are expected to lead and not just follow. You do this by offering something new to the field.
  • Engage with your community. Don’t just post content and leave it there. Engage with people before, during, and after publishing your content.
  • Be authentic. People can see through pretensions. Always be genuine when informing, educating, and entertaining your audience.
  • Think about your audience’s needs and problems. When creating content, think about how you can solve your audience’s problems.
  • Reach out to other experts in your field. Sharing knowledge with fellow thought leaders does not only help your community. It also puts a spotlight on your brand.
  • Build a community. Involve your audience in your content creation process.

  • Educate your audience. Real thought leaders are excellent teachers. People will trust you if you can teach them what they need.

Final Words

Content is an essential tool to establish yourself as a thought leader in your field. As such, you should understand what exactly is thought leadership content to know how you can create it.

Remember: There is no such thing as the “best” content. What works for one brand may not work for another. Thought leadership content comes in many formats, and it is up to you to discover which will work best for your message.

However, there are definite elements that you need to consider when creating content. The examples of thought leadership content above should guide and inspire you as you develop your own content marketing strategy.

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An Essential Guide to Personal Branding on LinkedIn

personal branding on linkedin

personal branding

Here’s a pro-tip: Work on solidifying your personal brand.

Building a personal brand is one of the greatest things you can do for your career or business. Anyone who’s looking for a marketing strategy–from job seekers to startup founders or even executives–can benefit from having a strong personal brand.

When it comes to branding yourself, there are many social media channels to build your presence on. But none can match the advantages that LinkedIn has to offer.

In this post, find out why you should take your personal branding efforts on LinkedIn. Learn how having a strong LinkedIn presence can help establish your professional brand. Most importantly, discover the steps you need to create your personal brand on LinkedIn.

Why is LinkedIn Important for Personal Branding?

LinkedIn may be best known as a place to upload your resume to show recruiters. But that’s in the past. Now, it has evolved into a more sophisticated platform perfect for building your personal brand.

Today, LinkedIn boasts of various features that let you showcase your value, build connections, and reach out to your audience. From contact targeting to article publishing to lead generation and conversion tracking, you’ll find tools to grow your personal brand on LinkedIn.

This opens plenty of opportunities to use the platform in different ways. Your LinkedIn profile, when done strategically, can portray different roles that support your goal of establishing a personal brand:

  • It’s your online portfolio
  • It’s your personal website and blog
  • It’s your 24/7 salesperson
  • It’s your career coach
  • It’s your researcher
  • It’s your online directory
  • It’s your professional association
  • It’s your review platform

With your LinkedIn profile playing many roles for your brand, you have to spend time working on it. Continue reading to find out how you can build a strong personal brand on LinkedIn.

How Does LinkedIn Help Promote Professional Branding?

Fact: LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network. That alone explains its importance to your professional branding. In more detail, here are specific ways a LinkedIn brand helps you.

 

LinkedIn serves as your living resume

A solid LinkedIn profile gets your brand positioned for more opportunities.

Thanks to this platform, you’re given a space to construct a professional image of yourself. LinkedIn allows you to list your skills, experiences, and accomplishments for your potential clients and employers to see.

You can update your profile whenever you make a career move, complete a new course, get speaking engagements, or publish new articles, research, or case studies.

Consistently updating your LinkedIn profile sends the right signal to your target audience that you’re constantly advancing your career, and that they should check out your brand.

Your professional career becomes an open book that can influence how people perceive you.

 

LinkedIn helps you get found on Google

Have you ever tried to Google your name? What shows up on the first page of the search result?

If you’re applying for a job or emailing a potential client, chances are, they’ll search your name on Google. And you don’t want them to see the less desirable results about you online.

Hence, if you want to control the narrative about your name, it’s time to work on your LinkedIn profile. One great thing about this platform is that it is easier to rank your LinkedIn profile on Google than your website, giving you more visibility.

When your profile ranks, this leaves searchers a good impression of you as a professional individual.

 

LinkedIn connects you with people

When it comes to networking, LinkedIn is top-notch. With over 700 million professionals using the platform, you’re more likely to find your target audience in this channel.

Here, it is easy to find relevant people in your industry, send an invite to connect and grow your network.

The LinkedIn Groups also provide excellent opportunities for your personal brand to gain recognition. With a free LinkedIn account, you can join up to 50 groups for sharing your content, researching your market, and making meaningful connections.

That said, LinkedIn is a great place to build relationships, which you need to grow your professional brand.

 

LinkedIn communicates your value

LinkedIn is a great platform to broadcast the word about your brand in front of a large, targeted audience.

Here, you can post regular content to show your expertise in your subject matter.

When you achieve a milestone, post it on your profile. If you read an informative article that you think can be of value to your connections, share it with your network. If you have some thought-provoking questions for your followers, ask away.

Posting on LinkedIn can reach a lot of people that can help build awareness of your brand. Even a simple comment on other people’s posts can go a long way in this channel.

You can even publish articles directly to LinkedIn to demonstrate thought-leadership, establishing your authority and credibility.

Be strategic about what you post to communicate your value the best way possible on LinkedIn.

 

LinkedIn offers a trove of information

LinkedIn’s wealth of resources and analytical tools can help you with your market research. From its LinkedIn Groups to LinkedIn Company Pages to LinkedIn Search functionalities, you’ll find the tool useful.

Here are some ways you can use LinkedIn for research:

  • Looking for insights about your market
  • Searching for experts in your industry
  • Gathering information for your customer profile
  • Curating popular content ideas
  • Staying on top of current events in your field
  • Find candidates for your team
  • Learn more about a company’s culture and key personalities

How Do I Create a Personal Brand on LinkedIn?

By now, you might be excited to build your personal brand on LinkedIn. To help you get the most out of your brand, here are some tips to strengthen your profile.

 

Optimize Your Profile for Search

A well-optimized profile lets you be found by potential clients or employers online. But how do you optimize your profile?

LinkedIn isn’t just a social media channel. It is also a search engine platform, so you need to use the right keywords specific to your expertise and industry.

Once you identified the keywords, use them in the following sections of your profile:

  • Headline, summary, and job descriptions.
  • Headshot, banner, and images.
  • At the top 3 list of the skills section.
  • Pulse posts, which is LinkedIn’s blogging platform.
  • Contact information section.
  • Projects and Publications sections.

Choosing the right words and using them in your profile make the difference between getting found and being invisible on LinkedIn.

 

Create Your Headline

In the headline field, you’re allowed to fill up to 120 characters. It’s one of the first things that your profile visitors will see, so make the most out of this space.

The headline is an excellent place to show your personal branding statement, which is a 1-2 sentence summary of your brand.

To take advantage of your headline, make sure that it answers all of these questions:

  • What are you expert in?
  • Who do you help?
  • What sets your personal brand apart?

Here’s an example of a personal branding statement in the headline:

LinkedIn Profile branding Statement Example

“I build the online brands of financial service professionals.”

Also, don’t forget to optimize the headline with keywords so you can be found via relevant searches.

 

Craft Your Description

The About section is the support text to your headline. It is where you sell yourself to a potential client or hiring managers.

In this part, mention compelling points that would make your visitors want to connect with you. It should include your skills, experiences, and accomplishments.

However, sell yourself for what you want to do, not what you’ve done in the past.

This means you don’t just squeeze every work you’ve done before in your summary. Instead, highlight the works that are relevant to the clients or jobs you want to attract.

For instance, if you’re a photographer and want to attract soon-to-wed couples, be sure to feature previous works related to weddings.

Your other portfolio can be placed below in the Experience section.

 

Choose Your Headshot

Remember that LinkedIn is a platform for professionals, so use a profile photo that would help you look professional. Don’t just use your usual Facebook or Instagram selfie photos on your LinkedIn profile.

You don’t need to have a professional photoshoot to do this. Just keep these things in mind when having a headshot:

  • Show your face and/or shoulders
  • Make eye contact and smile
  • Dress professionally
  • Don’t wear accessories that can obscure your face
  • Avoid pixelated photo
  • Ensure you have excellent lighting
  • Don’t have anyone else in the photo

Also, be sure to name your headshot with your keyword. For instance, name your photo “personal branding consultant Tennessee.” People who are searching for this term may see your image come up on the search results page. The same goes for your banner and other images.

 

Design a Banner Image

LinkedIn also lets you upload a banner image to your profile. When choosing a cover photo, keep in mind that it should tell your brand story.

Insert elements that clearly tell what your brand is about. For instance, if you’re a writer, you can include an image of a pen in your cover photo. It wouldn’t also hurt to inject your personality in the banner to make it more creative.

If you have a graphic designer who can create your cover photo, great. But if you have limited resources, Canva.com offers plenty of templates to design your own banner.

 

Write Articles

You might be thinking, “Why would I want to publish an article on LinkedIn? when I can publish it on my website’s blog?”

It’s a valid question, but did you know that every time you publish on LinkedIn, the post shows up on your connections’ feed. But the best part is that they get notified of your post.

That means more people can get to read your article when you publish on the said social media platform versus your blog.

There are various ways to take advantage of LinkedIn posting.

  1. Publish a LinkedIn exclusive article.
  2. Publish an excerpt of an existing blog article to LinkedIn. Then, direct your audience to continue reading on your website.
  3.  Syndicate content from your blog and repost it to LinkedIn.

With such a feature, it’s worth considering publishing articles directly on LinkedIn.

 

Engage with Others

A solid LinkedIn branding strategy isn’t just about you posting content. It also involves building relationships with your connections.

Make sure to engage with other people’s content regularly. Interact with fellow professionals, especially those with who you plan to work together in the future. Find time to share, like, and comment on posts relevant to your goals.

Converse with prospects or recruiters to introduce yourself, which can increase your chances of success when you pitch your products or services to them.

Engaging with others doesn’t only build relationships. It also literally connects you with your target audience. In LinkedIn, a simple comment shows up to your network, which usually appears like this:  “Steven J Wilson commented on this post.”

Leverage this to further your brand recognition.

 

Get Endorsements & Recommendations

LinkedIn also allows users to leave endorsements and recommendations on your profile. These are great to have as they act as social proof of your expertise.

Skills and Endorsements on LinkedIn

Don’t just wait for people to leave testimonials. Be proactive and ask for endorsements and recommendations from relevant connections. In LinkedIn, you can request recommendations from your connections easily from your profile.

You can start asking your colleagues, clients, or professors for their testimonials.

Recommendations on LinkedIn

When requesting recommendations, ask them for feedback on a specific skill to boost your reputation. It also pays to mention why you want the recommendations.

In return, always say thank you and write a recommendation for them.

 

Personalize Your Connection Request

A personalized invitation boosts your chance of getting accepted. So, spend some time writing your invitation to build that connection.

A good LinkedIn connection request contains the following:

  • Explanation on how you know the person
  • Reason why you want to connect
  • What you admire most about his brand
  • Some information from his profile (e.g., recent blog or specific skill set)

When sending your invite, show a bit of enthusiasm to further improve your chance of getting accepted. Also, always end it with a thank you.

 

Don’t Pitch Too Soon 

While you are using LinkedIn to sell yourself, don’t make the mistake of pitching straight away.

It’s tempting to sell to someone you meet the first time because you don’t want to miss the opportunity. But this may only ruin your chance to build potential relationships with your audience, which is the reason why you’re establishing a personal brand on LinkedIn in the first place.

The best approach is to be helpful to your audience. Show you’re sincere in connecting with them, and that you’d want to help them with their needs, concerns, and problems.

At the end of the day, your audience remembers genuine relationships, not cold pitches.

LinkedIn Personal Branding Examples

If you need inspiration, we rounded up some of our favorite professionals who are on top of their personal branding game on LinkedIn. Check out their profiles and learn what they did best to stand out from their peers.

 

Jonathan Palmar on LinkedIn

Jonathan Palmer

Video is huge on LinkedIn right now, and if you are or planning on getting involved in creating videos on LinkedIn, Jonathan is the person you should follow. Jonathan shows and teaches you the power of being yourself through LinkedIn videos while growing your brand or business at the same time. Jonathan has been dominating LinkedIn for the past two years, and there is no doubt in our minds that he will be able to inspire and guide you on the path to success with LinkedIn video.

Connect with Jonathan Palmar on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonathanpalmar/

 

Cher Jones on LinkedIn

Cher Jones

It wouldn’t be fair to mention building a brand on LinkedIn and not mention Cher Jones. She is the perfect representation of showing your professionalism while letting people connect with who you are on a deeper level. If you need more amazing energy and tips from a dedicated LinkedIn power-user that has been crushing in for years, then, Cher is who you need to connect with. Cher hosts a weekly show called #JustAskCher, and we highly recommend you tune in.

Connect with Cher Jones on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/itscherjones/

 

Reggie Mac on LinkedIn

Reggie Mac

Reggie will inspire and help you achieve better results with your brand from the content he shares. Reggie does a great job of posting thought-provoking content while genuinely engaging with his connections. Every business professional should model and take Reggie’s advice to grow your relationships and business utilizing his LinkedIn strategies.

Connect with Reggie Mac on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/reggiemac/

 

Joel Lalgee on LinkedIn

Joel Lalgee

Joel is one of my favorite people to follow on LinkedIn. He shares some great thought-provoking content and is a perfect example of a LinkedIn power-user doing amazing things on the social media platform without being salesy or pushy. If you are looking to grow your brand on LinkedIn, you should follow and soak up everything Joel does on LinkedIn.

Connect with Joel Lalgee on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/bestrecruiterever1/

Wrapping Up

When it comes to building your personal brand, LinkedIn is currently the best social media channel to be apart of. It is a sophisticated platform meant for creating personal brands, offering plenty of benefits for career seekers and business owners alike.

Leverage the platform and start branding yourself now.

Be sure to follow Steven J Wilson on LinkedIn.

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The Importance of Personal Career Branding

personal career branding

personal branding

In a competitive job market, we’re always told to leverage our education, experience, and skills to stand out from the crowd.

But how do we exactly present all these in a way that will win the attention of hiring managers?

If there’s one career advice you need, it’s to start working on your personal career branding.

In this guide, learn what a personal career brand is and how it can help you in your job search. Also, learn how you can build a strong personal brand that can help you move toward career fulfillment.

What is a Personal Career Brand?

A personal career brand defines who you are as a professional.

While your resume tells your story, your personal branding shows your character development. It sums up your goals, skills, expertise, and core values at work.

For job seekers, it is how you present yourself as a potential hire.

Personal career positions you in the professional world in a way that makes you stand out. It is one way to advance your career and move toward work fulfillment.

Thus, it has become an integral part of a job search today.

In the next section, discover how managing your personal branding exactly helps you land that coveted job.

How a Personal Career Brand Benefits You

Savvy job seekers know that personal branding is part of a healthy career. They understand that it is an ongoing process of painting a professional image, which ultimately, can benefit them in the following ways.

 

Improve visibility

When it comes to job search, 92% of recruiters use social media to find potential hires, and 87% of these leverage LinkedIn.

That said, having an online presence on LinkedIn can help you get found.

Your personal brand positions you as an expert in your field. It lets you speak, write, and share your knowledge on platforms where your audience spends their time.

When communicated strategically, personal branding cuts through the competition and gets you in front of recruiters.

Thus, successful career branding increases your visibility online.

 

Communicate value to hiring managers

Once you get found, your brand now works to move you through the next step of the hiring process.

Hiring decision-makers need help knowing how you position yourself as a professional.

Your brand helps them understand your character. It tells them what you’re like to work with and how you do things your way.

Personal branding also helps recruiters to understand what you have to offer that only you can do.

 

Make the hiring decision easier

After communicating your value, it’s time for the recruiters to decide.

Your brand makes it easier for recruiters to evaluate you as a potential hire. It can signal whether you’re a good fit for the role and whether to hire you or partner with you.

But the benefits of career branding don’t stop there.

 

Find career fulfillment

If you pass the screening, you’re finally getting hired.

Remember that you have positioned yourself as an expert in the field. You have effectively communicated the value you offer that only you can do.

As you establish yourself as a valuable addition to the team, this allows you to set premium rates that work for you.

Not only do you land your “dream” job, but you are also getting a good job that pays well and fills you with a sense of purpose.

And a strong personal brand can make all these possible.

How to Build Your Personal Career Brand

Having a strong personal brand offers plenty of advantages for job hunters like you. If you want to reap these benefits, it’s time to start branding yourself now.

Here, we’ll walk you through the process of personal branding. Learn what you need to do to position yourself in the professional world so you can land that new job you dream of.

 

Define your goals

Your personal brand may be a reflection of who you are today, but it is also a roadmap of who you want to be in the future.

Determine where you want to end up five or 10 years from now.

Do you want to get hired for a certain role? Do you want to advance your career in your current organization? Do you want to be a business partner?

Define your goals and set a realistic timeframe to accomplish them. 

 

Find your strengths and weaknesses

In which areas do you excel? What are you passionate about? Which tasks do you spend time on without feeling overwhelmed?

Assess yourself and find out who you are as a professional individual. List your strengths that you can help your audience with.

Those strengths are what make you stand out from the competition. Those can be the value that you uniquely offer.

Don’t forget to identify your weaknesses, too. This includes tasks that you need help with repeatedly or roles that drain your energy.

Once you’re done with your self-reflection, gather feedback from other people as well. They can be your colleagues, friends, and family.

You might be surprised to learn your strengths and weaknesses from an outside perspective.

 

Determine your audience

Who are you trying to reach? Are they fellow industry experts? An individual at a specific company? Recruiters?

Depending on your goals, you need to target a specific audience to communicate your value.

Defining your audience also allows you to determine the right platform and type of content you need to create.

 

Create a statement

Now that you know your value and the audience you’re targeting, it’s time to create your statement.

A personal brand statement is a concise story about who you are. This elevator pitch should be 30- to 60-seconds long and answers the following questions:

  • What problem do you solve?
  • How do you do it?
  • Who are you trying to help?

Your statement is the first thing that recruiters will see when they check your brand, so make sure it is memorable and effective.

When making your statement, focus on a few key points you want to emphasize. Make sure that it is directed to your target audience, and that you stay authentic.

 

Develop a strong LinkedIn presence

Once you have your statement, it’s time to build your online presence.

As we explained above, LinkedIn is a vital platform for job hunters to establish their presence.

To do this, set your LinkedIn profile first in a way that highlights your value. Feature industry terms in your profile and emphasize your key qualifications. Include your accomplishments and don’t forget to add a professional photo.

Here’s how I did my LinkedIn profile to give you an idea.

After setting your profile, follow people of relevance to your branding and engage with them. Also, participate in groups to further grow your network.

 

Create or update your personal website and blog

Aside from LinkedIn, it’s also important to have an updated professional website and blog.

A website is an excellent way to showcase your portfolio, especially if you’re in the marketing or design industry. Also, it can be used to house essential information about yourself and highlight your work.

Likewise, a blog is also an important platform to build your presence online. Writing blog posts about your expertise on a regular basis helps boost your authority. This is especially true when you’re following SEO tactics to expand your reach.

 

Strategic networking

A network is an essential part of successful personal branding.

Research your industry for thought leaders you can connect with. Follow these experts and engage with them.

You’ll be surprised how a simple comment on other people’s posts can go a long way in LinkedIn.

Also, find other platforms these experts use like personal blogs and websites. Then, interact with them.

The more connections you make, the more people will recognize your branding. Just make sure that you provide value every time you engage with these professionals.

 

Ask for recommendations

Just like how businesses use reviews and testimonials to build credibility, recommendations can help you gain the trust of recruiters.

Ask for recommendations from current and former colleagues to establish your personal brand. You can ask previous managers who handled you closely as well as leaders of organizations you belong to.

LinkedIn has a particular feature that is helpful for asking for recommendations.

Steven J Wilson LinkedIn Recommendations

Having recommendations on your LinkedIn profile is a great way to capture the attention of your target audience. So, make sure to ask for one.

 

Volunteer on important projects

If you feel like you are lacking the experience to boost your reputation, start doing helpful projects when possible.

Identify activities relevant to your chosen niche. These should be roles that will help position yourself as an expert in your field.

For instance, if you are a writer who wants to be known for his SEO expertise, volunteer doing guest posts in SEO-focused blogs. The more reputable the blog is in the industry, the more recognition you will get from your peersand the more you will be recognized by hiring decision-makers.

Remember your goals and determine the activities that will help you get there.

 

Grow your skillset

A personal brand needs to evolve throughout your career.

To do this, you need to be up-to-date on new skills in your industry.

For example, digital marketing is an ever-changing landscape. Social media platforms come and go. Strategies that are relevant today might suddenly become irrelevant tomorrow.

It’s important that you keep up with the skillset needed in your industry.

Fortunately, there is a wealth of resources available online to grow your skills. Make sure to take online classes, get helpful certifications, and utilize company learning programs to further establish your brand.

 

Track your progress

Finally, like all other processes, you need to monitor your success.

To measure your success, you have to set some metrics. This includes your number of connections/followers, comments on your posts, page visits, and mentions of your name online.

Track your progress against your set timeline to ensure your brand is headed in the right direction.

Things to Avoid When Building Your Personal Career Brand

Aside from learning the things you need to do, you should also be aware of the common pitfalls of personal branding. Watch out for these mistakes that can hold you back from attaining branding success.

 

Getting too personal with your brand

Just because it is YOUR personal brand, you’d have to get too personal with it. Personal branding doesn’t work that way.

While posting personal information can help show authenticity, draw the line on what you will share with your audience.

Before posting content, ask yourself this: “Will this truly help build the image I want my followers to see in me?”

If you decide to share personal details with your audience, always tie them back to your goals.

 

Getting overly promotional

On the other hand, personal branding isn’t just about marketing yourself.

Remember that a personal brand isn’t shameless self-publicity. It’s about educating your audience on how you can be of value to them.

Personal branding also involves communicating your purpose, values, vision, and motivations. It also lets you discover more about yourself, hence, it is also a personal development tool.

That said, be sincere about helping your audience learn more about you while developing your professional self.

 

Not preparing for the tough questions

Say, you’re undergoing a career change.

Are you prepared enough to answer questions about taking a new path? Can you explain how your current skill set relates to the new role you’re aspiring to? Or how your passion translates to your goals of shifting to a new field?

Your personal brand must answer the tough questions to help the hiring decision-maker to understand your position.

 

Getting too comfortable

As we move on in the personal branding process, we tend to get too comfortable after completing the first steps.

Sure, you have set your profiles in place. Also, you have published your first posts, and you have your strategy rolling.

Now, you think you’re all set and everything will go well.

Don’t just stop there.

While you did great with all those works, remember that personal branding is a continuous process. And most of the time, a learning process.

Continue doing what’s necessary, assess the performance of your strategy, and adjust as needed. With perseverance, you’ll eventually reap the rewards of your hard work.

 

Losing focus

Before reaching your goals, you will be facing lots of twists and turns.

You may find yourself accepting activities irrelevant to your goals just so you can pay the bills. Or you may get disheartened with your slow progress.

The important thing is to stay focused. Remind yourself of your goals. What do you want to achieve, and why are you doing it?

Set some milestones, track your progress, and keep your eyes on the destination.

Final Words

With a strong personal career brand, you are boosting your chance of standing out in a competitive job market.

You get to improve your visibility, communicate your value to recruiters, and make the hiring decision easier. Ultimately, personal branding moves you toward career fulfillment.

If you need help in your job search, take the career advice above and start building your brand today!

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An All-Inclusive Guide To Strong Personal Branding

How To Build a Personal Brand

personal branding

When you Google your name, what do you find?

Is it something that will help you land clients, close important deals, or attract potential customers to your business? If the answer is no, then you need to think about personal branding.

Personal branding is the conscious effort of improving how the public perceives you. If you’re running a business, a strong personal brand can help you rise to success in surprising ways.

That said, it’s time to take the reins of your personal brand now so you can control your narrative. And if you need help to get started, you’ve come to the right place.

Here, we’ll walk you through the fundamentals of a strong personal brand so you can develop a solid strategy for establishing your online reputation.

By the time you reach the end of this personal branding guide, you’ll have a strong understanding of what personal branding is, why it is important, and how you can successfully build a personal brand.

What is Personal Branding?

Personal branding is the practice of promoting yourself to the public. It is a marketing technique that influences how people perceive you as an individual.

In this strategy, you communicate certain qualities to your target audience. These qualities are what you want people to associate with you. They sum up your experience, skills, core values, principles, and purpose as a personal brand.

Think of Michelle Obama. Beyond her stint as the former first lady, people remember her for her authenticity and integrity. She still has that strong influence and public trust even after her husband, Barack, stepped down from office.

The same goes for Oprah Winfrey, who’s also known for her genuineness that she kept consistent throughout her career. Then, there’s Richard Branson of Virgin Group, whose unconventional stunts launched him to superstar status.

What do these individuals have in common? They have effectively communicated their qualities and core values to attract people. They all embraced their own personal brand.

You might be thinking, “But all these people are already prominent and successful individuals. Can someone like me have his own personal brand?”

There was a time when brands were only for a select few. Before, branding only mattered to large companies, celebrities, athletes, and famous people.

But this is not the case anymore.

Now, everyone can have a personal brand. Instead, it’s crucial to manage one’s brand and turn it into a strength. This is especially true for founders of a startupexecutives, and entrepreneurs who want to grow their business.

In the next section, find out why you should think of your personal brand now.

Why is Personal Brand Important?

Today, consumers have become more critical than ever. Their trust in business brands continues to go down in the past years. This proves to be a challenge for business owners like you.

Now that the public trusts people more than a business brand, having a personal brand is key in converting them into paying customers.

A personal brand is crucial if you want to be known in your field.

With personal branding, you can position yourself as the go-to expert in your industry. When people look up to you as an authority, they will come to you to solve their problems. And that means business.

You can also attract potential investors and clients as you become a thought-leader in your industry. And since consumers are more willing to pay for experts they believe in, you can even charge premium prices for your products and services.

Hence, if you’re running a business and want to improve your reach, gain the people’s trust, and boost your sales, you need to build your personal brand now.

To help you grow your business, we’ll walk you through the process of creating a personal brand in the following sections.

Getting Started: Personal Branding Questions You Need to Answer

Branding a person can be a challenge when you’re not clear about the things that make your brand uniquely you. Before you get your name out there, ask yourself these questions to give your personal branding journey a clear direction.

What are your goals for your personal brand?

Would you like to be known in your industry or local community? Do you want to build trust? Or maybe, you need to boost your sales?

Setting your goals helps you be clear on what you want to achieve with personal branding. It also helps motivate you, so you’ll keep moving toward success.

 

What value do you offer?

What are you good at and are passionate about? In what ways can you help your audience?

This gives people a reason why they should care about the person as a brand. Hence, determine the value you offer that you want to communicate with others.

 

Whom are you trying to help?

If your content is for everyone, then it is for no one.

Be specific with the set of people you intend to help. Who is your target audience? What are their wants, needs, and problems that you can offer a solution with?

 

What sets your personal brand apart?

Determine the unique selling proposition that makes you stand out.

Do you have certain qualities and skills that allow you to work more effectively than the competition? List down all of them.

 

How will you communicate your value to others?

Do you want to address your audience formally or casually? Friendly or authoritative? Entertaining, helpful, or informative?

Your brand voice can make an impact on your audience. So, identify the brand voice that best reflects your personality.

 

Where will you connect with your target audience?

LinkedIn is arguably the most important platform to build a personal brand. It’s a channel for professionals who want to build authority in their respective fields.

But aside from LinkedIn, what other platforms do your audience use? Identify them and establish your online presence there.

 

What will you do to position yourself as a leader in your industry?

Are you involved in speaking engagements? Do you have time to maintain a blog? Can you author a book?

There are plenty of strategies to build your name out there. Determine what you can do to position yourself as a thought-leader in your field.

 

What are other successful people in your industry doing that you are not?

What topics do your successful peers cover? What type of content do they publish? Which posts are getting the most engagements?

Determine the best practices in your niche that you can follow as you build your personal brand.

 

Are you connecting with like-minded professionals?

Can you identify established professionals in your field? Are you engaging with them?

Reach out to like-minded individuals and interact with them to boost your reputation. It’s also an instant exposure to their set of followers.

 

Are you moving close to your goal with your current activities?

As you start building your personal brand, monitor your progress. Are your strategies working? Which activities performed best, and which do you need to scrap in your strategy?

Have key metrics to measure the progress and success of your branding efforts.

9 Steps To Build A Strong Personal Brand

Building a Personal Brand: 9 Actionable Steps

Once you have answered all the essential questions on our checklist, it’s time to put up the pieces together. Follow our step-by-step action plan below to guide you in building a personal brand.

 

Step #1: Define your branding goals

As we mentioned above, goal setting is key to achieving what you want with personal branding. It helps establish a clear path, identify the challenges of building a personal brand, and motivate you to keep moving forward on your journey.

But what do these personal branding goals exactly look like?

Marketing Nuts founder Pam Moore discussed the top 7 personal branding goals in her podcast, which include:

  • Increasing brand awareness of your business
  • Establishing authority in your industry
  • Generating more leads
  • Boosting your sales
  • Decreasing the sales cycles
  • Connecting with influencers
  • Building a community

When building a personal brand, think about which goals you want to achieve. Having a specific goal in mind lets you create more focused and effective personal branding content.

 

Step #2: Determine your value

Previously, you asked yourself what value do you offer. It’s time to put the answer on paper.

You should be able to say what your brand is all about in 20 words or less. To make this, list down the things you are most passionate about. These can be things you’re good at, something you love doing, or things you are most confident to work on.

Then, trim down the list to the top three passions you can offer to help others.

This will serve as your value that you communicate to your target audience.

 

Step #3: Identify your audience

Don’t write for everybody. Based on your value, determine who your target audience is.

These people that you should be targeting include:

  • Those who will pay you
  • Those who will influence the person who pays you
  • Those who will benefit from your message

Then, create a buyer persona for each individual. A buyer’s persona describes who your ideal customers are. The more detailed the persona is, the better.

Creating focused content based on these personas allows you to connect with your audience on a deeper level.

 

Step #4: Define your brand voice

Being genuine makes your brand as human as possible. This helps you connect better with your audience. But how do you make your brand authentic?

By defining your brand voice.

Your brand voice is how you communicate with your audience. It contains the language you use, the tone you speak, your purpose, and the character you aim to invoke in your content.

Build your brand voice social media explorer

Image from Social Media Explorer

Your brand voice plays a big part in how effective your brand message will be. Be sure to decide how your brand will sound when you start branding online.

Once you’re clear with your value, your audience, and your brand voice, it’s time to develop your personal branding statement.

 

Step #5: Develop your branding statement

A personal branding statement is a short sentence that sums up what your brand is all about. It is an essential piece that conveys the value you provide to your audience and why should they care about you.

Your personal branding statement is one of the first things that your audience will see when they check your brand. Thus, it’s vital that you take your time in creating a compelling statement.

When creating your statement, make sure it is clear and concise, about 1-2 sentences. It should also include your value and is directed toward your audience. It also pays to be authentic.

If you want to be inspired and get your creative juices flowing, check out our list of fantastic personal branding statement examples here.

 

Step #6: Build your presence online

The next step is finally building your presence online.

In this phase, you have to sort out the social media platforms that will be relevant to your personal brand. These are the platforms where your audience thrives.

Social media is an excellent place to start. For those who want to establish thought-leadership, LinkedIn is one platform that you shouldn’t miss.

Aside from social media, you should also build or upgrade your personal website. While social media networks are helpful, don’t just rely on these third-party platforms. These social networks may lose their popularity one day along with the effort you invested in them.

On the contrary, a website is a platform that you own and have full control of. This platform allows you to establish your presence and continue to be relevant in the long-term.

As you go along your personal branding journey, you will also need to go beyond owned media to strengthen your online presence. This involves features in prominent media like Forbes, Entrepreneur, or even your local news sites.

 

Step #7: Create focused personal branding content

Now that you have set up your social media accounts and website, it’s time to work on the meat of your brand: content.

Content is a powerful tool in establishing your brand. A well-thought content plan wins people’s trust.

Through the content you’ll make, you can demonstrate your expertise and position yourself as an authority in the field. It also helps connect people within the industry and build community.

Most importantly, content offers solutions to the problems of your target audience.

That’s why it’s important that you identify your audience and their pain points. By doing so, you are narrowing down the topics to come up with a pool of ideas that are focused on helping your followers.

Also, remember that the key here is being authentic, consistent, and helpful with the content you make.

 

Step #8: Build relationships within your industry

Don’t just post content and move on working on a new one.

It is important that you reach out in your industry so you can get found online. But how?

You can start with simple networking. Commenting on other people’s posts or sharing someone else’s content can go a long way. This is especially true on LinkedIn, where posts soliciting conversations reach more people.

From there, you can take the conversation to one-on-one interaction. Take a look at this example when you interact with others on social media platforms.

Just keep in mind to always be helpful when interacting with others. It’s the secret to creating valuable relationships within your industry.

 

Step #9: Monitor your progress

As you work on building your personal brand, make sure that your strategy is working. This is one crucial step that many personal brands often overlook.

To measure your success, set key performance indicators (KPIs) as you determine your personal branding goals. These KPIs will tell you what works and when do you need to adjust your strategy.

Some tangible metrics that can determine your success include:

  • The number of your followers
  • Engagement, especially comments on your posts
  • Page visits
  • Mention of your name on social media
  • Sales growth

Strengthen Your Brand with These Personal Branding Strategies

With our personal branding guide above, you should be able to start working on your brand. But we’re not done yet.

In the previous section, you asked what other successful people in your industry are doing that you are not.

Here, discover the secret to the success of an established personal brand. Find out what other activities you can do beyond your current role that will help propel your name to prominence.

1. Write a book. If you’re looking to boost your credibility, authoring a book is the way to go. Many established brands have authored a book to demonstrate their knowledge in their respective fields.

2. Speaking gigs. The best-known experts share their knowledge in front of a large audience. Seek speaking opportunities in your local associations or start a podcast to boost your authority.

3. Interviews. Aim to be the go-to person for local news outlets regarding concerns about your industry. Leverage sites like HARO (Help a Reporter) to improve your chance of getting interviewed, showcasing your expertise.

4. Social media. Getting personal on social media gives a human face to your business brand. 

5. Maintain a blog. Blogging is one way to demonstrate your expertise consistently. Whether you publish an article daily, weekly, or monthly, make sure that the topics you cover are helpful and relevant to your audience.

6. Email marketing. As your blog gains new visitors, you have to turn them into loyal–and paying–customers. Email marketing helps you build this loyal following.

7. SEO. In many cases, people find solutions to their problems in search engines like Google before seeking professional help. Maximize this opportunity to connect with these people by optimizing your content for SEO.

8. Outreach. Outreach strategies like guest posting do not only expose you to a wider audience outside your platforms. These also create links to your site, which is great for SEO and your visibility.

9. Partnerships. Partnering with a fellow expert can also be beneficial to your brand. You get to tap another thought-leader’s resources instantly and widen your reach.

Things to Remember When Building a Personal Brand

Finally, here are other important tips to solidify your personal branding efforts.

1. Be yourself. Being your authentic self is the key to convey your message effectively. Find your brand voice and inject your personality as you develop your content.

2. Get good at telling stories. Your stories are what make you unique. Learn the craft of telling your stories while keeping your audience involved. It’s all about balance.

3. Post content regularly. Consistency is key. Create a content schedule so your followers have something to look forward to every time they visit your profiles.

4. Get out of your comfort zone. Learn how to write, get involved in speaking engagements, or learn SEO. The most established personal brands did more beyond their existing roles to get noticed by the public.

5. Stay on topic. Always tie back your post to your core topic, even if you post about your personal life on your social networks.

6. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Learn from established brands and use their example as a guide in developing your own strategy.

7. Get others talking about you. Actively ask for feedback and reviews from past clients. Their words speak volumes about your skills and values, boosting your credibility.

8. Use personal branding tools. Tools make the personal branding task a lot easier. Check out our list of affordable and easy to use personal branding tools here.

Personal Branding Examples

To motivate you further, here are three examples of individuals that are killing it with personal branding. Get inspired by their journey as you build your brand in your respective field.

Brian Dean Backlinko Personal Branding Example

Brian Dean

Brian Dean is a name that rings a bell to big companies and fellow SEO experts alike in the internet marketing world.

Brian built his popularity around his credibility.

In a world full of SEO “experts,” companies struggle to find someone who can actually deliver results. Brian Dean stands out because he positions himself as a reliable SEO expert.

Visit his site Backlinko, and you’ll find well-thought-out content and testimonials from real people to prove his expertise. And there are no sketchy ads to boot.

What Brian Dean Teaches Us: To build a personal brand, you need to build trust.

Elon Musk Tesla Personal Branding Example 

Elon Musk

Elon Musk is one of the most admired tech leaders today. As the founder and CEO of Tesla, his personal branding has helped the car brand rise to popularity in recent years.

But how did he do it?

He gets personal on social media.

While most execs are still hesitant to build their personal branding on social, Elon Musk defies this trend. He is not afraid to share his opinions, personality, and crazy antics on his channels.

In return, his public popularity has helped spread the word about his company more effectively than Tesla’s advertising.

It just goes to show how tying a face to a company brand can work wonders.

What Elon Musk Teaches Us: Personal branding can beat company branding.

 

Lewis Howes Personal Branding Example

Lewis Howes

Lewis Howes was a professional athlete who found a new career as a lifestyle entrepreneur. If you’re following the guy, you’ll know how he went from playing football, suffering an injury, to creating a lifestyle business.

He uses his personal experience to teach people how to start a lifestyle business around their interests. Listen to his self-development podcast, The School of Greatness, and you’ll get to know how inspiring this man is.

What Lewis Teaches Us: Inspire with your personal story.

Final Words

When you take the reins of your personal brand, you control your narrative. You have the power over how people see you. You allow your brand to grow in a way that’s favorable to you and your business.

That said, it’s high time you work on your personal branding today. The guide above should help you get started on your journey. But if you need more guidance, consider hiring a personal branding consultant.

A personal branding consultant lets you save time, money, and energy, building your reputation online.

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