The Brand of You

3 Jul

Here’s Part 2 of 2 in a my series on Personal Branding. (For Part 1 go here).

No matter where you’re building your personal brand, a critical component of communicating it is likely to happen on the Internet. Although the importance of branding has been known for decades in the large corporate arena, where billions of dollars get spent each year in “brand building” campaigns, it is the Web that has driven the surge of interest in branding at the personal level. It eliminates many traditional barriers to commerce while reinforcing the word-of-mouth value of that special something that makes each business—each person—unique, i.e., its brand.

How to stand out among the masses? Branding!

This idea of the Web driving a new age of personal branding may have been expressed first by management guru Tom Peters in an article in Fast Magazine in 1997. Everyone needs to be “the CEO of Me, Inc.,” he argued. In Peters’ words, “branding means nothing more (and nothing less) than creating a distinct personality…and telling the world about it.”

Web sites create the potential for your brand to have unprecedented reach. The branding communicated through your Web site will help drive your word-of-mouth campaign, and consistent branding will help get your emails opened, read and acted upon. Meanwhile blogs have become the Web tool du jour for personal branding among certain segments—particularly writers and technical professionals.

But another critical aspect of “brand building” for small firms and solo entrepreneurs is the classic standby: growing your network. A clearly defined brand will make that process simpler—who you are and what you do will be easier to remember if you have done your brand homework—but it still requires getting your brand in front of people the old-fashioned way, one handshake at a time.

Social Media is the phenomenon that allows you to bring your website and your networking together. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram provide the container for your real-time brand-related updates, invites and announcements to those you know as well as others interested in your great work.

William Arruda, head of the personal branding consultancy Reach lists three tips for making the most of your personal brand to build your business:

• Make sure that everything that surrounds your brand (your office, Web site, customer service organization, etc.) communicates the same brand message.

• Build and nurture your professional network and ensure that all members understand your brand message.

• Establish appropriate partnerships to extend your brand and gain complementary brand value.

A personal brand won’t necessarily turn you into the next Oprah but it provides a valuable tool to define and refine what you do and how you express it to your tribe: your customers, clients and fans.

Share with us here: what are 3 qualities you embody that can be leveraged to position your Personal Brand of Brilliance?

7 Responses to “The Brand of You”

  1. Kelly 07/04/2012 at 1:47 am #

    Thanks for your post today. I am currently in the process of distilling my brand. I just recently changed my focus in my business and website to my own name, branding me, instead of several sites that represent fragments of what I do. I plan to maintain them, but I am having a challenge fitting everything into a cohesive whole. I have it in my head, but it needs more definition. I am lookng forward to reading the other comments 🙂

    • alohadev 07/04/2012 at 2:02 am #

      Aloha Kelly, thanks for sharing your process with us. You were wise to secure yournamedotcom! I have a sense that you might identify as a Creative Visionary too; I can relate to having a variety of projects and offerings that can be seen as stand-alone brands and so the question is how to contain all of that goodness? Having your name branded universally across social media channels in the same way that one would type your URL is a great next step if you haven’t attended to it already. Are you @KellyStClaire on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest too?

      • Kelly 07/04/2012 at 3:41 am #

        Yes, though on Twitter, my active account is tarotgoddess11 (with the most followers) I need to go nurture my kellystclaire11 account soon. I only have a few followers there. I just updated my LinkedIn. I love it that when someone types my name in Google, my site is #1. I have gotten many clients that way!

      • alohadev 07/04/2012 at 5:16 am #

        Kelly, that’s awesome! I’ve leveraged social media pretty well. When one types “Dewi Maile Lim” into google pages and pages of stuff come up but enter in “Dewi Lim” and not as much. I think there’s even another Dewi Lim out there but I’m the one and only Dewi Maile Lim (that I know of, lol!) What type of client do you most love to serve?

  2. Kelly 07/04/2012 at 6:35 am #

    I love to serve people who are striving to be independent, entrepreneurial thinkers. Mostly women, but some men, who are very creative and into personal and spiritual development. One of my focuses is matching your inner beauty with your outer beauty, and I try to help people find beauty in their lives. I am still working on condensing my niche into something more cohesive.. I love your name, it is very unique ❤

    • alohadev 07/04/2012 at 10:58 am #

      Oooh, how fun! Maybe you like to work with Creative Visionaries too?!?! Not sure if you’ve heard this before but a neat way of thinking about your ideal client is someone whose just like you but a step or two behind along their journey. I’ve found that I also like to serve folks who are several steps ahead of me in terms of their income level too however they always have the Creative Visionary part going on! 🙂

  3. Kelly 07/06/2012 at 12:58 am #

    Yes, Creative Visionary is a great way to put it. I also like that way of thinking about my ideal client. Thanks!!! I relate with people who are like me, but I need people I can offer something of use to.

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