Professionals who want to establish themselves as credible, reliable experts must first develop a strong personal brand. As with a corporate brand, starting your personal branding strategy requires a good, hard look at who you are — your core values, skills and beliefs — and figuring out how to convey those elements consistently in your digital presence.
If you’re just embarking on your branding journey, you might not know where to begin. We asked members of Forbes Coaches Council to offer their best tips for professionals looking to build their brand. Here’s what they had to say.
1. Know Who You Are And Aren’t
It’s important to define yourself and your business for yourself. Do not succumb to ideas or methodologies in the marketplace. When this is clear, you can then identify customers who can resonate with what you are offering and who can celebrate your brand. We often hear about authenticity and what happens when you know the value you can bring to the table. – LaKisha Greenwade, Lucki Fit LLC
3. Know Your ‘Why’
Why are you here? What’s your purpose? How does your business’ promise serve to fulfill your purpose? Once you know the answer to that, creating your brand is simply finding a unique and memorable way to express how your business’ promise fulfills your purpose to your market, in a way that they recognize something they want/need/desire, and how your purpose syncs with theirs. – Debra Russell, Debra Russell Coaching, LLC
4. Understand How Others Perceive You
Key to developing a personal branding strategy is the understanding that it’s not an “autobiography” of self-promotion, but what others say about the person. Survey those around you to extract as much as possible. What are your strengths, your weaknesses and what’s the one word that describes you best? Transfer this information to an executive summary and add it to your LinkedIn profile. – Diane Craig, Corporate Class Inc.
5. Capitalize On Who You Naturally Are
Branding doesn’t have to be hard or complicated. When you are just starting out, look at what you already have. What phrases do you use a lot? What platforms are you most established on — LinkedIn, Facebook, local events? Which colors are you always wearing/drawn to? What is your unique personality? Just starting to show up more, as yourself will create your brand, without you having to force it. – Hanna Hermanson, Dream Life is Real Life
6. Be Sincere
People don’t initially buy into a brand, they buy into a person. Be sincere in all you do, and it will resonate with your core audience. As potential clients and customers see that you work from the heart with a spirit of excellence, they will become your most avid brand ambassadors. That level of support comes from loyalty — something money cannot buy. – Lynita Mitchell-Blackwell, Leading Through Living Community
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