My jobs have always revolved around marketing and networking. When I begin actively using social media 13+ years ago, I never realized how important my personal brand was to my future business brand. Whether you believe it or not, you can’t have one without the other. Without a strong personal brand, it is very hard to build your business brand. Can you still build a business brand without a strong personal brand? Of course you can. Will it take a longer? Of course it will.
How can you jump start the process? With these three easy steps:
- Start with a Headshot – Your headshot is your personal logo. Think about the time and energy you put into choosing your business logo; the design, the colors, the message. Put the same amount of care into your headshot, this picture represent the true YOU. Find a professional photographer to take your headshot. Yes, it will cost a little bit of money but it will be well worth it. Questioning whether you need a new headshot? If it is 3-5 years old…you need a new headshot. Once you have found the right shot, share it on all your personal social networks and profiles. Make it easy for people to find you with a familiar headshot. It should be on your Linkedin profile, your Facebook personal profile and any other online networks you use personally. Remember, personal headshot for your personal brand and a logo for your business brand.
- Get the Conversation Going – It’s time to start engaging with your audience. Start by completing your network profiles. Again, make it easy for people to find you. You have personal profile pages, but when was the last time you updated them. Go back and check, especially your Linkedin profile. I can’t tell you the number of times I have searched for contact information on profiles and have found nothing. If I am going to recommend you, I need to provide people with contact information. Don’t miss out on an opportunity that could lead to a new customer or client. Now it’s time to like, comment and share. With all the algorithm changes on the networks, especially Facebook, if your posts aren’t getting engagement, it doesn’t get out to many people. When you post your status, you need your connections to like, comment and/or share. When I post, I am always looking for active participation. Understand what your audience likes and what information they engage with the most? Can’t get any traction? Ask a simple question: Which do you like better, smooth or crunchy peanut butter? What’s your favorite Ben & Jerry’s ice cream? It’s amazing what you will get for a response.
- Network – Get out and meet people! I know, I know…we are coming out of COVID-19 and face-to-face networking events are just starting up again. I always tell my clients to connect with new people 1-2 times a month. There are plenty of opportunities to meet and re-connect, even if it is on ZOOM. So, some ideas…
- Attend an organizational meeting – There are plenty of groups and organizations out there. Try going to one of their monthly meetings. Look at chambers, BNI groups, industry groups, etc.
- Educate Yourself – Take a class and learn something new. It’s amazing how you can connect with others in the class.
- Teach a Class – I’m lucky, I get to teach 2-3 classes a month and that introduce me to 10-30 people at any given time.
- Grab a Cup of Coffee – Reconnect with colleagues and find out what they are doing. It also gives you a chance to update them on your new ventures.
I’ll let you start here on your journey to grow your brand. Put one foot in front of the other and before long you will have a personal brand that people recognize as they learn more about your business brand.