Build Your Brand In an Online World

Build a Compelling Personal Brand to Form Lasting Relationships Online…and Offline.
We live in an age in which we gauge our connectedness by the number of relationships we form online. It is critically important that we build a brand that is compelling and lasting in order to achieve a more polished professional image.
As a practitioner of online branding to grow my own business, I face an ongoing challenge of leveraging social media to extend the brand I create with people that I interact with in person.
In the great digital age, I also teach social media, branding, and interactive marketing. So I understand and appreciate most people struggle to establish and maintain consistent messaging both online and offline. Here are some practical guidelines we can all follow for our personal and professional branding success.
Understand what branding is…and isn’t.
Your brand is a promise that you will consistently deliver in a unique, invaluable, and memorable way.
Identify Your Core Values & Beliefs.
You build your brand by beginning with self-exploration. Spend time thinking through the following questions:
* What principles do I choose as a foundation for my life?
* What would I like to accomplish and contribute?
* What would I like to be?
* How do I fit into my family and community?
* What are my strengths?
* What are my passions?
Steps to Match your Brand to Ideal Employers (for job seekers)
* Take an Online Self Assessment Tool:
– Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
– The Birkman Method
– Keirsey Temperament Sorter
* Understand Your Values
* Match Your Values To Ideal Employer Cultures (Differentiate the Formal & Informal)
* Identify Your Preferred Working Environment
Social Media is NOT Internet Marketing.
SOCIAL MEDIA is all about building and maintaining social experiences ONLINE! You build a brand online by engaging in social media platforms (places where people connect and communicate) in order to promote a product or service.
In order to build a strong personal brand that resonates with others DON’T ask: “How many followers can I blast my message to?” Ask: “How many people can I engage in a dialog with?” Dave Taylor
According to Nancy Marmolejo: “visibility and credibility equals social media success.”
Here are ways that you can begin to practice the art of self-promotion:
* Become a Subject Matter Expert
* Get Published
* Identify Your USP
* Your Product Features & Benefits
* Build a Rolodex of References/Testimonials:
* Professors, Advisers, Bosses, Peers
* Define 4-5 Success Stories
* Actively Promote Yourself AT ALL TIMES
* Defend Your Brand (Name) Against ALL Attacks
Guidelines on how you can leverage social media to your professional advantage:
* Social media is where all the people are.
* Trust in advertising is disappearing.
* People are already talking about you.
* Respect other people online.
* Efforts to control/manipulate will backfire.
* Don’t chase everything new under the sun.
* Traffic is good but not the ONLY goal. Think QUALITY over QUANTITY
* Use your real name.
* You have to be proactive.
Manage your brand offline in the REAL world.
Ask a small group of the people who know you best what words they would use to describe you. If their words match how you would describe yourself then your understanding of your own brand coincides what others think of you. If not, you need to re-assess what messages you have been sending out about the kind of brand you represent.
Develop the key messaging that you use over and over, in every networking event, and meeting you have to build your brand and promote yourself. What are the key elements that you want to promote about yourself. Apply all of those key points into each and every one of your social media accounts.
Keep it simple. Maintain a base foundation of FOUR accounts: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and MeetUp.
* Social CRM Insider
* Linked working
* 14 Best Practices for Social Media Success
* Facebook Guide to Social Media Best Practices.
Here’s to your success in starting a new business in 2013. May it be the start of an entirely new path for you!
Ethan Chazin, The Compassionate Coach