I attended a great event last night held by Next Level Executives on personal branding. Dan Schawbel and John Bates spoke of personal branding – John from the basics of identifying your target market, determining your unique differentiator and offering something your ideal client wants to buy (and will pay money for) and Dan from developing your Personal eBrand.
This event got me thinking that developing your reputation is nothing new – but doing so on such a global basis is what brings the overwhelming nature of personal branding to many business owners. Throughout my entire career, I have had to manage my reputation and “brand” from job to job. How many times were we told never to burn bridges because you never know when you will cross paths with that person again?
Now with the Internet and social media, crossing paths with past acquaintances is much easier and of course, much more likely. Finding out about your next boss or employee is as simple as searching for them on Google (or Googling them in the new lingo). The Internet and its social media tools have certainly shrunk the world and have made reputation management a very important part of our business lives. Managing your online and offline reputation today should be as much a part of your marketing plan as keeping your resume up-to-date was 10 years ago.
But like with everything, getting started may be hard but staying engaged is even tougher.
What should you do to dive into personal branding?
- Determine your goals for developing your personal brand
- Identify which social media tools will work best for you
- Develop a full, professional profile with picture
- Experiment with LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and other social media tools if they make sense for your business
- Learn the culture of social media
- Listen to what your ideal clients are saying
- Join in the conversation
If this seems like a big challenge, engage the help of someone who can short circuit the learning curve and get you jump started into personal branding for you and your business. But by all means, get started. This stuff is not going to go away anytime soon.