We all know the power of having a recognizable brand. We immediately recognize the Nike swoosh, or Amazon’s smile, or Google’s rainbow-lettered name. But here’s something you might not have realized: Building and promoting your own personal brand is just as important for your success and happiness as it is for any business. In fact, since we’re talking about you here, consider it even more important.
According to executive coach Rita B. Allen, there are a variety of ways to market yourself while building a powerful personal brand. Here are seven.
1. Know your marketplace. Do you know the ins and outs of your industry? Be sure to stay up to date with it: the latest news, practices, companies and all other necessary details. Don’t fall behind, as your brand may not be able to keep up with the competition.
2. Identify specific target markets. When you’re starting to build your brand, avoid reaching out to the entire world at once. Instead, first focus on a few, particularly promising targets. You’ll get the greatest payoff for your time and money by identifying the segments of your market where you’re likely to reap the greatest rewards and then focusing your efforts on them.
3. Always give something back to your profession and community. Others will remember the good deeds you’ve done, and your personal brand will also benefit as a result. When you give back to your profession and community, not only will you gain the personal satisfaction that comes from doing it, but you’ll build your brand in ways money can’t buy.
4. Be visible and “in play.” Don’t hide! Building a brand requires letting your target audience, potential customers and clients know you exist. Attend networking events and become active in your profession and community. The more visible you are, the higher the probability your brand will succeed.
5. Create a networking database. Don’t lose your connections. Keep an up-to-date listing or database of all your networking contacts and social media connections on your computer or smartphone — ready when you need it.
6. Become a source of relevant information. Be the kind of person who provides value to others, someone people contact when they want an expert’s advice or information on a particular topic. Building a following as a content expert allows you to put yourself in position to be viewed as a trusted authority, which will strengthen your personal brand.
7. Practice networking etiquette.
Don’t make your marketing all about you. Be sure others have the opportunity to market themselves to you, too. Building a personal brand is a two-way street: Your networking efforts should always be beneficial both to you and to the people with whom you’re networking.