I’ve been working with a client on helping him take some tactical steps to build his personal brand online. He recently launched a blog, and is looking to cultivate a community around the site. One of the first things I’m doing is walking him through some of the processes and ideas on how he can begin reaching out to other folks online and develop relationships with others.
The personal branding phenomenon has been fascinating over the last couple of years. Wikipedia defines personal brand as, “the process whereby people and their careers are marked as brands.” FastCompany recently wrote a good overview of personal branding movement:
Starting today you are a brand.
You’re every bit as much a brand as Nike, Coke, Pepsi, or the Body Shop. To start thinking like your own favorite brand manager, ask yourself the same question the brand managers at Nike, Coke, Pepsi, or the Body Shop ask themselves: What is it that my product or service does that makes it different? Give yourself the traditional 15-words-or-less contest challenge. Take the time to write down your answer. And then take the time to read it. Several times.
If your answer wouldn’t light up the eyes of a prospective client or command a vote of confidence from a satisfied past client, or — worst of all — if it doesn’t grab you, then you’ve got a big problem. It’s time to give some serious thought and even more serious effort to imagining and developing yourself as a brand.
Throughout the development of his personal branding strategy, I’ve included great insights from several strategists who clearly practice what they preach in creating their own personal brands.
Brian Solis of FutureWorks has a great three-part series on the socialization of the personal brand:
Socialized media is extending everyone’s proverbial “15 minutes of fame,” and providing us with the real opportunity to build and grow our personal brands and establish a position of authority based on our expertise. It only matures and expands the more we devote to listening, participating, and contributing to related conversations over time.
Solis also points out several resources on personal branding:
And David Armano at Critical Mass has put together a direct and poignant presentation on the five principles of developing your personal brand:
Armano breaks down the 5 principles as:
- Be ubiquitous
- Be social
- Be interesting
- Be remarkable
- Be yourself