How to Grow Your Personal Brand from Scratch
All women, whether they're entrepreneurs with a business of their own or simply trying to turbo-charge their career, can benefit from having a personal brand. A "brand" is, in the simplest of terms, a reputation. It's how you make yourself stand out within your field or market so that you attract opportunities and rise to the top of your profession.
In the digital age, the ability to grow your personal brand is more important than ever, especially if you have your own business, but also if you want to attract the right people, promotions, and capital. Starting your personal brand from nothing can seem daunting, but here's how to do it right, so that you'll have clients beating on your door in no time.
Set Yourself Apart
The most important factor in having a successful, influential brand is the ability to stand out. You need to be offering something that is both unique and needed, in order to build a reputation as a reliable resource. Whatever sector you're in, identify any particular niches you can offer the world, before working on becoming an expert in that area. It's much easier to become an expert in an underdeveloped area than in something that everyone is already doing.
Establish Your Digital Presence
Your digital presence is who you are and is the first thing that any prospective clients, partners, and audiences are going to see. Therefore, you need to define your brand and ensure consistency across all of your online platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn (also known as "the Big Four). Take inspiration from young, successful brands that have successfully established a strong online presence. The online gaming company MrGreen is a good example for instance, as they clearly and succinctly set out their ethos of striving to be the best, expertise, and uniqueness across all platforms.
Connect with Influential People
You'll need to expand your network of people who can help boost your brand by virtue of their own fame and reputation. Use a "social media listening tool" such as Brand24 to find out who are the big movers and shakers within your chosen field, then do what you can to reach out to them. Offer them opportunities to collaborate or cross promote, or just get yourself invited to whatever industry events they're going to. Nobody can have a successful personal brand on their own, so you'll need to work overtime on your networking skills.
This is perhaps the one thing that is most difficult to stick to when growing your brand, despite being one of the most important. Honesty and integrity are the most powerful marketing tools in the world. Audiences can easily see through insincerity and will be turned off by it. Your brand should be an honest reflection of your values and beliefs, and you shouldn't be afraid to be candid with your audience, your partners, and yourself. Copying other people won't work. Make use of your greatest asset - your individuality.
Your personal brand should be the cornerstone of your success, so dedicate as much time to it as you would building up a business from scratch.