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personal brand

How To Build A Strong Personal Brand

When people think of the word “brand”, they often think of big companies: Pepsi, Chevy, Apple.  But in today’s times, not only do big companies must think about their brand, but so do small companies as well as individuals.  It is important to think about your own personal brand and how they will market themselves as they shape their career.  A strong and authentic personal brand will help you with networking, developing relationships, finding new opportunities, as well as recognition at work or in your industry. Developing your brand can help you become a thought leader in your field.

To get started, here are a few steps to take to get started on shaping your personal brand:

DEFINE YOURSELF

What makes you unique?  What are you good at and what sets you apart from everyone else?

Your personal brand consists of your experience, skills, and passions. Click To TweetThese are the qualities that make up your unique selling points and will play a role when people are searching online for these skills and characteristics.

Are there others who have the same skills with the same goals that you have? Of course. But what makes you unique is you. There isn’t anyone else exactly like you, so it’s important to illustrate what is totally and uniquely you. You must find your niche. For example, I’m a marketer with writing skills, a knack for promoting events with experience with large organizations and a passion for non-profit organizations who make a difference in their communities, and I love music. Maybe someone else is a marketer with large organization experience and they’re passionate about art.

DEFINE HOW YOU ARE PERCEIVED

How do your friends, colleagues, other professionals, and people in your online communities perceive you? Try googling yourself. Take note what shows up first in the search results. Does it line up with how you define yourself?

Monitor your mentions online with google alerts. You’ll want to stay on top of what people are saying about you and where your name is appearing online.

DEFINE YOUR GOALS

Does your online brand reflect your career goals? Do you need to change course or reinforce what’s there?  The online world is a busy, noisy one. You must work to stand out. Be sure your brand reflects the niche you want to be known for.

CREATE CONTENT

Creating and sharing content is the best way to establish expertise and show that your brand is authentic.Click To Tweet

You will need to learn to create and curate content well. There are many options available to you when it comes to creating content. You can write a blog offering expert advise , personal stories or commentary. You can also create graphics or start a podcast. Video is exceptionally popular and engaging. Keep in mind your goals and determine what forms of content make sense for  your niche as well as what type of content you are best at creating.

Be sure to also share from industry influencers. Sharing curated content helps you establish and build relationships with people in your field.

NETWORK

Even if you’re an introvert, you can and should network. Much of your networking can be done online. However, you’ll eventually need to take some of your networking efforts offline as well. Nothing beats face to face interaction when it comes to networking and building relationships. Become active in communities that you are passionate about. Keeping a consistent presence online and off will help build awareness and recognition for your brand.

A strong personal brand requires a strong narrative. What’s your story? Think of influencers with a strong personal brand and their story.

Make sure you are constantly cultivating and guiding your personal brand. A strong personal brand should always be evolving.

Effective Google Plus Branding Features

One of the much talked about benefits of Google Plus is the SEO benefits. From Google searches, to the effects of searches from those in your circles, to Live Hangouts which link to Youtube, to linking your website with your Google Plus Page, there are MANY benefits of search optimization for you and your business.

But what about Branding? Social media marketing in general is great for branding you and your business. Your online real estate, your content, your voice, all give you the opportunity to establish brand identity and awareness. Google Plus is no exception.

Google Plus boasts many features that will allow you the opportunity to present your brand and tell your story.

HANGOUTS

Hangouts are a fantastic way to add a personal touch to your marketing efforts. You can host a hangout for a small group of people or host a live hangout for an unlimited audience. There are a long list of possibilities and creativity that you can apply: Q&A’s, product launches, How-To demonstrations, interviews, trainings, announcements. Hangouts on Air are linked to YouTube so they can be shared over and over again. You can combine typed conversations, images and video conferencing into a single experience. Hangouts can brand you as an expert in your field.

LOWER THIRDS

One of the cool things you can do on Hangouts for branding is create a “lower third” to display your name and logo at the bottom of the screen for when you’re “hanging out”. Here’s how: Start a Hangout.
Click on Hangout Toolbox in the sidebar to reveal lower third options. Follow the steps!(enter your name, business name, logo, background color, then save.)

AUTHORSHIP

Google Authorship is how Google authenticates and will increasingly begin to “trust” you as a quality source of content.
Setting up Google Authorship is simple. Identify yourself to Google through your Google+ profile and then link back to it from your content and vice versa. Google Authorship is the easiest way to take advantage of the SEO benefits of Google+,. But it’s also good for branding as doing so will allow the author’s picture to show up next to his or her blog posts in Google search results.

COMMUNITIES

Communities are great for building relationships with your audience. In communities you can address more specific needs in a safe environment while building trust, and establishing yourself as an expert in your niche.

Incorporating Google Plus as part of your strategy will not only help you grow your online network, it will further establish your brand image.

5 Ways To Use Social Media To Brand Yourself And Create Buzz In Your Business

Social media marketing is about having conversations, building relationships and educating your audience. It’s less focused on selling and more focused on value. It is also the perfect place to brand yourself, build brand awareness and generate buzz in your business.

Social Media is the perfect place to tell your story. It’s a place where you can build brand awareness and showcase your business without screaming I’M TRYING TO SELL YOU SOMETHING. On social media, a soft sell works best. That’s why it’s best to use it as a tool to establish yourself as an authority, an expert in your niche, educate your audience and solve problems and tell them about your business and what you do in creative ways.

Here are 5 ways you can brand yourself and generate buzz using Social Media.

1. PHOTOS
Share photos of you and your business in action. Are you a speaker or presenter? Share photos of you speaking at events on your page. Is your business product based? Share photos of your latest products. Post pictures of yourself at industry events or training.

2. VIDEO
Videos are a great way to connect, engage and BRAND YOURSELF! There are many options available. Share video clips of you offering tips and expertise. Do product demonstrations. Get creative! Host Google Hangouts!

3. STATS
Educate your audience with statistics, facts and information that are relative to your area of expertise. Make sure the information is valuable to your audience and provokes them to want to learn more about your business.

4. WRITE
Blog about it! Write blog posts and articles about what you know best that can best help solve problems for your target audience. Are you in the travel business? Share travel tips about what to do in certain destinations, how to pack items that are airport screening friendly. Give tips on what to bring on a cruise, or what to do in whatever areas you specialize in. If you are a Caribbean expert, talk about what are the best attractions to see in Puerto Rico, The Bahamas or Jamaica. Blog posts are great because you are creating web pages with each post. You are also providing content that your audience can pass on which can ultimately expand your network.

5. GRAPHICS
Create branded graphics that features your own crafted tips, or quotes that are relevant to your niche. Make infographics to creatively educate your audience. Infographics are an excellent way to establish yourself as an authority in your niche by showcasing what you know in a fun informative way.

Take advantage of what social media marketing has to offer you in terms of building your business. Your target audience is on social media. Be a problem-solver and go -to person by sharing your expertise in ways that your audience loves to consume by incorporating these things in your social media strategy.

What ways do you brand yourself and showcase your business online? Please share in the comments below!

brand

Establishing Your Brand Identity

Entrepreneurs often ask me questions about social media but they also ask me about branding. They want to make sure they are clear on what constitutes their brand, their brand identity, etc;. Most importantly, they are concerned with establishing their brand identity the right way. So first, I like to make sure they understand the terms.

Your brand is more than just your logo, your website design, the colors associated with your brand. Your “Brand” is also the personality that identifies a product, service or business and how it relates to it’s customers or clients or potential customers and clients.

There is also a “psychological” aspect of branding: thoughts, feelings, images, experiences, attitudes, and so on that are associated with a brand based on experiences. The brand experience is a brand’s actions (performance if you will) that is perceived by someone. The brand image is what is created in someone’s mind consisting of all the information and expectations that product or service provides.

When you are establishing your brand identity, you need to define and establish some things. You can do that by asking yourself some questions and establishing some very basic things with your business.

Vision Statement. You need to create a vision statement for your business. What are your most important products or services? What makes your product, service or business unique?

Mission Statement. What needs of your target audience are you addressing and how?

Personality. How would your brand be described? What emotions derive from the experience? Are you serious, light-hearted, fun?

Your Market. Determine your target market: demographics, etc;. Who exactly are your serving? Make a profile of your customer. What makes you unique from your competition that your market will want to buy from you? What is your niche?

Once you have established these things you can begin sharing your brand message. Social Media is a great opportunity to spread your brand message and further establish your identity, and expertise. With a strong identity and consistency you are on your way to building a strong online presence.

 

Social Media Marketing Benefits

There are many benefits of Social Media Marketing. It’s no longer a trend or an option. It’s the way business is done today. Often when I am interested in a company or researching a product, I immediately look for their online presence for information. I also like to see how they are interacting online. The truth is, you want to be where your customers or clients are. And guess what? They’re on social media. So you want to be easily found on these channels, be accessible, interesting, sharing valuable information and consistent. These efforts have many benefits that go a long way.

Here are some of the opportunities social media marketing presents for your business:

Branding.
Your brand is the personality that defines you, your company and what it offers. Social Media can help you further define and solidify the attractive qualities you want to project for your business.

Expertise.
Social Media can position you as an expert in your field as you share valuable knowledge and information about your industry. This is particularly powerful when you have developed your niche.

Research.
Social media allows you to easily track and analyze your competitors. social media is public and it allows you an opportunity to listen to what your competitors are doing and saying, and what your clients want. Use it to research other businesses, get ideas for content to share with your audience, and to partner with people in your field.

Top Notch Customer Service.
Customer Service is a key component of the customer experience. Social media gives customers and clients the opportunity to reach out directly with the brands they follow. Customers and clients use social media to give feedback, praise, concerns or ask questions. Being there to respond timely is an opportunity to provide excellent customer service.

Grow Your Business.
The main objective is for you to obtain business. You want to be able to obtain leads, make connections and build relationships just by being a part of the social media conversations.

What are some of your goals for social media marketing? Are you looking to build relationships with your current clients or customers? Grow your email list? Get more website traffic? What are you hoping to accomplish online? What do you find works best for you? Please share with me in the comments below!

photo credit: esocialmediashop via photopin cc

Social Media Beginners Checklist

Social Media Marketing is a force that simply cannot be ignored and an absolute must as a part of a business marketing plan. Often times people will search for social site’s of a brand to get more information about that company’s products or services, or to see what people are saying about them. This makes your online presence absolutely necessary. But social media can also be overwhelming. With all that you have to do to run your business, it seems like almost too much to ask to incorporate this still fairly new aspect of business, let alone learn how it works.

Baby steps! You won’t learn it all overnight so take small steps to make it work for you. Before you get started, consider these action items and success steps on your journey to sharing your expertise in a way that is helpful and valuable to the online community you are starting to build:

ACTION ITEMS:

1) Identify Your customer – truly define your customer: age, marital status, education, interests; etc;.
2) Identify how they are using social media themselves – what sites are they visiting?
3) Find out where they are hanging out online – what interests them?
4) Decide what you will contribute
5) What is your objective? What action do you want your followers to take? Are you driving them to your website? Are you looking to build your email list?
6) What problems or needs to do your followers have? Develop a content plan to support those needs or problems.

SUCCESS STEPS:

1) Listen to what people are talking about around your business/industry. Pay attention to the conversations taking place online.
2) Build your community. Look for people to find and follow. ASK people to follow you.
3) Talk/engage with your community. Be present online!
4) Deliver valuable content to your community with tips, articles, videos, etc;.
5) CONVERT. Let them know where they can get more of your value by doing business with you!

These are the basics for building a successful online community.

photo credit: mkhmarketing via photopin cc