Be Your Own Best Brand Steward: 5 Keys to Success

Personal brand building is an investment in yourself. By genuinely portraying your identity and positioning your perspectives and viewpoint to build rapport with your network, you will enhance your reputation and authority and solidify a critical career asset. This is as true online as it is offline.

  1. Be authentic and transparent. It is key to be your true self. Social media enables others to discover who you are, so being real and consistent builds trust and credibility.
  2. Curate your digital identity. Activate and optimize your social profiles, handles and digital identity. Periodically revisit your social channels and digital portfolio to ensure that you do not have inappropriate followers or connections, your content and actions tell and speak to your intended story and your information is up to date. Marry your online persona to that of your offline personality - make it seamless.
  3. Maintain a passion for learning. Being a perpetual student ensures currency of skills and enables you to provide your network with interesting information. By gaining new and relevant knowledge, you are able to both provide value to your network and acknowledge and contribute to the awareness of those from whom you garnered the insights. Be generous and give to your network without a goal of reciprocity.
  4. Become an original content creator. Your own voice is the best voice to tell your personal story. Whether through writing of blogs on topics that are near and dear to you, creating videos and uploading them to a YouTube channel or perhaps creating presentations and uploading to SlideShare for use and sharing, create assets that provide proof and endurance to your personal brand. The experience you create for others matters and original content facilitates and supports your theme.
  5. Communicate to create engagement. Seek to meaningfully interact with your target audience both online and offline. This might take the form of sharing and amplifying others content in social channels, engaging in discussions by commenting and asking questions or even securing speaking slots at events. Attending Meetups or conferences and cultivating relationships through real world communication like coffee, discussion and phone calls should also be part of your communication and positioning strategy.

Take Aways

  • Engage with others who can assist in helping you to tell your story. Building a consortium of like minded individuals is powerful. Collaborate on a project or article to cultivate influence and amplify and magnify your voice and reach.
  • Recognize that you are "public," so maintain an eye towards your personal security and privacy. Consider a frequency to review changes to privacy and security settings for online and social channels and do not be afraid to ask how content or video may be used when participating in offline forums or events.
  • Enjoy the personal brand building journey. Today's "always on" communications environment means that on and offline engagement is a perpetual activity. Find enjoyment in the journey and embrace and be open to change.