You are not just a person. You’re a brand. In the business world, you are a product, and the most important one you will ever represent. This is also true in your personal life. And you can clearly see it just by taking a moment to look back on your high-school years, if you can bear it.
There was the cool kid, the smart one, the leader, the wallflower, the rebel and non-conformist, and the one who managed to get alone with everyone. The reason these have become such stereotypical roles is that these are common ways teens unconsciously brand themselves.
We engage in this type of self-branding our entire lives. The ones who are best at it are the ones who do it intentionally and self-consciously. But whether by accident or on purpose, you are always in the process of branding and selling yourself to others. It is an inescapable trait in all social creatures great and small.
The first step to improving your personal brand is to realize that you are doing it, and doing it with intent. Here are five other ways to enhance your personal brand:
1. Go Professional
If you want to be seen as a professional, you should consider utilizing a professional image consultant. If you are trying to market yourself along with your small business, try an SEO services provider who can make sure people find you when they are looking for people with your particular specialization. Don’t just help people find your company. Help them find you. Over time, you will have other companies. You are the one they will trust, not the company.
2. Avoid Controversy
You should have separate identities for your personal life and your professional brand. Spend all the time you like talking politics on Facebook. But make sure that is a different account from your professional page. Never mix your profession with your politics, sports, religion, or personal biases. When people look up information about you, they find your social media profile. Make sure the social media profile they find is free of controversy.
3. Start a Blog
One of the best ways to enhance your personal brand is to start a blog. Starting a blog has never been easier. It requires no particular expertise. It costs virtually no money. And it is an easy way for people to learn more about you. If you do have some controversies to overcome, your personal blog can serve as a way of putting your side of the story out there.
Another benefit of maintaining your own blog is that you get to talk about whatever interests you. Branding is not all about self promotion. You might want to brand yourself as a person who likes to read. A blog gives you an outlet to talk about some of the books you are reading right now. A personal blog is one of the more useful ways of expanding and defining your brand.
4. Leave Your Family out of It
Your family is not a part of your brand. Leave them out of it. Don’t put your spouse or your child in your profile picture to show what a good family person you are. Don’t turn your kids into marketing fodder. It is not fair to them. And, if your brand takes a nosedive, they might be permanently linked to that social disaster.
5. Dress for Success
Like it or not, how you dress is a part of your brand. In the business world, you don’t have the option to dress comfortably or stylishly. Whether or not you work for a company, you need to dress as any professional would in your line of work. You cannot successfully brand yourself as a financial consultant if you don’t dress that way.
Your personal brand is a part of who you are. You can’t escape it by pretending it doesn’t exist. So the best thing you can do is own it and take control of it. Get professional help to put your brand forward. Avoid controversy with regard to your brand. Start a blog. Leave your family out of it. And dress like the success you want your brand to exude.