Why is your personal brand important? Whether you are searching to change careers or grow your network, building a personal brand is worthwhile. Your personal brand is how you promote yourself. Have you ever Googled your name? What comes up in the search when you do? How does the world see you, and how are you mentioned? Personal branding is a great way to influence people’s perception of you by elevating your credibility or highlighting your strengths and passions. Here are five steps to setting up your personal brand on a budget.
Perform an audit of your existing online reputation
You can do this yourself for free. Start by Googling yourself and see what comes up, favorable or unfavorable. Set up a Google news alert on yourself so that you are alerted anytime your name is mentioned or published. You should be able to see which social networks you are on, do you have a Wikipedia page, and featured press, a personal website or blog, is your name branded or trademarked?
Take inventory of your existing brand assets
Take inventory of what you already have at your disposal. Do you have a good photograph of yourself? A good headshot symbolizes your professionalism. Maintain a Linkedin profile, Linkedin is a professional social networking site. Set up a Twitter account, it’s an important place to be if you want to position yourself as an expert in your field and connect with other experts. The great thing about social media is that it’s free to set up so you can start building your personal brand if you find a website necessary to search the web for free website builders.
Build a foundation
The next step is to start outlining the key elements of your personal brand. Your personal brand story should highlight the aspects of your personality and your credentials that make you stand out. Here are some questions you can ask yourself.
What are your skills and credentials? What training, certifications, or awards have you received? What do you love to do? What do you do best? What industries and topics are you most interested in? What are you passionate about?
What is your brand vision? What do you want to be known for? Why do you want to build a personal brand? Who do you want to influence? What is the key message you want to communicate? What is your brand personality? How do you want to be perceived?
Strengthen your authority and credibility
Create and post assets highlighting your best qualities. Instead of trying to convince your audience by selling them that you can help them, you can create content and resources that actually can help them for free. This builds trust and helps to position you as an expert and an authority in your industry. Neil Patel is a leader in offering free marketing resources online; that is how he became known as the top marketer in the world. Just like Gary Vee, he shares a significant amount of content online at no cost. To build an audience, this is a great strategy; first, you need to decide what type of content you want to create and where to publish it.
How to grow your personal brand
Volunteer for interviews as a guest expert. Become a guest blogger for blogs and online publications that your target audience reads, like Medium. Speak at public events, search local meetup groups, conferences, or social media groups, and volunteer your time to speak at events your target audience attends. Partner with people or organizations that give yourself and your brand more visible to your audience. Check HARO for publication submissions.
Lastly, build a community, become a leader of a community that defines your target audience. You can create a private Facebook group to engage your audience. Host live events so your audience can spend time with you, whether virtual or in-person. Create a membership site where you can create exclusive content only accessible through a members-only forum or group.
We all have a personal brand, whether we want to or not. A strong personal brand means your message is identifiable, and you have something you are already known for. A personal brand should be relatively authentic and match what people say about you when you aren’t around. Ask your friends and colleagues to provide you with feedback on how they perceive you? Your personal brand is about purposefully and strategically showcasing your authentic self to your audience. Your personal brand should be a true reflection of your skills, passions, values, and beliefs.