When you think about it, a personal brand is one of the most useful things you can build.
It’s powerful. It’s valuable. It’s killer.
But it also takes a considerable amount of work. As I’ve built my personal brand over the past few years, I’ve discovered that one’s personal brand doesn’t merely grow when you achieve some level of business success.
Instead, you have to work hard at it.
Building a personal brand is almost like building a business. You have to identify your target clients, discover the best marketing methods, and relentlessly work to deliver what they want.
But the results? Worth it!
As you build your brand, it becomes much easier to connect with prospective clients, close deals, and grow the opportunities that weren’t possible when you started.
To get to that point, you’ve got to start with the right foundation.
Seventy-seven percent of B2B buyers said they speak with a salesperson only after they’ve performed independent research online.
More than 50% of decision-makers have eliminated a vendor from consideration based on information they found online.
With this many eyes watching, it pays to build your personal brand in the most effective way.
I’ve had success with growing my personal brand because of careful planning. I had things ready to go before I started promoting myself.
Here are the things you’ll need to have in place as you work to develop your personal brand.
1. Head shots
I am immensely thankful that we’ve moved beyond the Glamour Shots era. Still, the people who used those portraits throughout their professional lives had the right idea.
When you start to promote your personal brand, you want to be easily recognizable, and you want people to take you seriously. I have a number of professional head shots and photos that I use across my online properties for consistency.
As my appearance changes (and, yes, I do age…or mature ), my head shots get updated.
Take pictures that represent the personality you’re trying to portray, and use those images across all your social channels, websites, gravatar accounts, and author bios.
2. Your focus
Entrepreneurs working to build a personal brand typically want to be known as experts in something. When you’re creating your personal brand, you need to identify that one thing that’s your passion and area of expertise.
What are you focusing on?
What’s your unique angle?
What do you want to build your business around?
What’s your ultimate vision ?
Understanding your focus and your vision helps lay the groundwork for the rest of the steps you need to take to create and launch your personal brand.
3. Your elevator pitch
Let’s say you and I meet in an elevator. I strike up a conversation that quickly leads to your work. You’ve got about 30 seconds to explain what you do.
Can you condense your job or brand down into a short pitch that’s clear and gets the point across?