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4 Essential Personal Branding Tips for Business Owners

Any business leader should understand how important it is to create a visible brand identity for their companies. However, few understand the value of establishing a personal brand.

CEOs and business owners are often the public faces of their companies. As such, it is necessary to cultivate a personal brand that reflects the integrity, authenticity, and expertise they want for their business brand. The emotional response clients have when they hear your name is what defines your personal brand.

It is critical that you develop a personal brand that identifies you. Here are four important things you need to know:

  1. Learn what’s already out there – Have you conducted a Google search to check the status of your online reputation? Whether you realize it or not, what you have been sharing online has become a part of your brand. Review what has been written about you (or that you have written yourself) and objectively assess the impression it is likely to create in your prospective customer’s eyes. You may locate inappropriate content, some of which you created long ago in your less-discerning past. If possible, eliminate any content, images, or links that do not reflect the image you want to project.
  1. Develop a robust profile consistent across all digital platforms – Create a compelling summary that best describes who you are and what you represent. You should make this available on appropriate communities such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ to name a few.

It should include elements like:

– A summary of your achievements and relevant experience.

– A professional, high-quality headshot.

– Consistency is crucial. People should find the same wording and branding message regardless of where they find your profile.

  1. Have a personal website and blog – Your personal website is the “headquarters” of your brand. Your blog is where you demonstrate your skills, experience, and vision—in your words.

Writing gives you the opportunity to:

– Reflect on industry trends and relevant events that impact the marketplace.

– Offer readers a glimpse into your personal life. When tastefully done, it can help humanize you and begin building relationships with potential clients.

– Invite visitors to comment and offer their thoughts. Doing this helps to build a community around your brand.

  1. Engage with others on social media – In addition to your writing and posts, comment on others’ social outlets. Find online communities of influencers or CEOs with relevant audiences that resonate with your brand, and be active in those communities. By sharing your thoughts and opinions, you can connect with those who may be looking for your expertise.

Authenticity & Consistency are Crucial to Personal Branding

Whatever you share online, whether these are articles or comments, should enhance and contribute to your personal brand. Resist the temptation to alter your voice to try to fit in with a particular site’s style. Be yourself. Authenticity and consistency are crucial to establishing and cementing your brand image.

Consider offering yourself as a source for journalists and bloggers looking for experts for their business articles. It can enhance your standing as an authority and thought-leader in your field. PR Newswire and HARO are outlets that seek experts to consult for background information and quotes for their stories.

It’s Just the Beginning

Following these steps is only the beginning of building a strong foundation for your personal branding. Now it is up to you to research and contribute to the relevant forums and online communities that will help to establish yourself as the go-to expert for an authoritative view on the marketplace.

In the spirit of leading by example, I invite you to share your thoughts. Are there other things you are doing to enhance your personal brand? Let’s share!

To discuss your personal branding with a business coach & brand expert, call us at 727-512-5585