Increasingly, companies are aware of the importance of being present in the network, and use all the tools it offers to define and promote their brand. This logic can also be applied to people, especially to professionals and freelancers. It’s what the dedicated personal branding or personal branding development, a concept that seeks differentiation of the individual to achieve professional success, the same way you would a commercial brand.
The concept of personal branding emerged in the late nineties in the article by Tom Peters, “The Brand called you.” However, in recent years, personal brand has been growing in importance and becoming increasingly accessible thanks to the 2.0 world. Today, with good planning and strategy development, anyone can build their personal brand.
Why is it important to develop your personal brand?
We live in a very competitive world, and certainly with the economic crisis, the competition has become fierce. It is imperative that professionals get, first visible on the web and on the other hand, apart from the competition.
“Developing a personal brand is to manage the image of the individual to communicate features and different values.”
Build our personal brand will help in job search , and especially if we work on our own, because we will position you as an expert in the field which, eventually, will be reflected in an increase in customers.
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How to build your personal brand
As already noted, the personal branding is based on the communication and the management of perceptions. But also, it is a strategy, and as such requires planning and perseverance. Let’s look at the main points that must be defined before starting to communicate our personal brand:
The motivation for developing personal brands usually revolves around two poles, or finds a job or gets customers. Be clear about these goals, and keep track of the results, will help us assess the effectiveness of our strategy for personal branding, and so go making any changes considered necessary.
Learn to communicate your personal brand
You must ask yourself what you want to communicate. What is that makes you different and what you can bring value to your work? In this sense it is clear to define the one hand, our differentiating values , and on the other hand, the products or services we offer and associate with those values.
Works the tone of your communication employed to carry your personal brand
Perhaps this is the point that most professionals neglect, and yet it is something that should not be left to improvisation. Just as the message, the tone of the communication should be defined in advance and keep in all that we do (although it can, and should, vary slightly depending on the medium we use). Based on our industry, our own personality and the goals we have set, the better a communicative or other tone close, emotional, informative, Formal etc.
Choose communication channels of your personal brand
Just as a company must define channels of communication strategy, the professional shall select those resources that best meet your goals and approach the audience you want to reach. Social networks are good allies, and especially LinkedIn and Twitter can be a great communication tool of personal branding. However, there are many other social networks and forums of experts; some specialize in certain sectors that we can use. At this point, remember that planning and perseverance is essential and useless check in Arabian social networks if not then we will fill them with content.
With regard to social networking presence is better to be few, but constant and consistent with our tone and message, which in many that do not conform to the image that we want to communicate and also have outdated.
Develops an action plan for your personal brand
Finally, the personal brand that until now could seem a rather abstract idea must result in actions in which all of the above apply. It’s what we call the content : for example, if the blog was the communication channel have decided to use, which will have on the blog and the timing of this action will be. Creating good content is essential to position ourselves as experts. Can be ebooks , presentations Slidehsare, blog posts or actions offline as classes or conference presentations.
In fact, we highly recommend joining the online world and the offline.
If you give a talk, do not forget e.g. posting photos on Flickr, the video on Youtube or write an entry summary on our blog. And again, if we have physical cards, we put our own website, blog or maybe a QR code that leads to that content.
The personal brand and professional image
Of course, a trademark consists of a name and corporate identity, and likewise must be set our personal brand. The way we design our personal brand will define the professional image that will convey.
Will we use our real name, a nickname or perhaps a variation of our name? At this point it is important to be aware of competition: if we call John Smith Kane, it may be more convenient choose to use our middle name, as John Smith will be many on the net. And we must not forget that the name should fit into social networks, so it should not exceed 15 characters.
What are the key words that define us and we want to position ourselves? Recall that our personal brand will be developed both in the world offline and online. In the digital environment, we will use the keywords in our communications to try to improve our web positioning. In addition, selecting these concepts will also help us to be reminded of simple and differentiated way: for example, John Smith, creative pastries; or Ruth Lledo, vintage tattoo.
The image sells, and is a great ally to transmit the values of which we have spoken. Therefore, we must not neglect the visual design of the personal brand, choosing the color range and the fonts to be used in our communications that will help us to convey what we want. Sometimes it may be desirable to design a logo.
Finally, you need to be aware of building a personal brand is a slow process and requires perseverance and patience. However, I think it is a very rewarding job, since the end of the day we are selling us ourselves.
And ye: You care your network communications? Are you developing your personal brand?