There are some excellent personal branding specialists that I follow (thanks Dan Schawbel), but the presentation below was based mostly on what I feel has made me successful.
What I emphasized to the group was that you don’t have to do all ten steps to be successful. The most important part is that you pick the steps you can commit to and consistently execute those steps.
10 Steps to Personal Branding Success
- Update Your Online Profiles Now. LinkedIn, Facebook, and your Google profile are the most important. If you don’t have it already, buy your domain name. As a standard practice, all business cards you collect should be sent invitiations via LinkedIn. Finally, hire a professional to take your picture.
- Start a Blog/Get Involved in the Conversation. I use WordPress and TypePad for my blogs, and you can be up and running with either in a short period of time. Follow and comment on the top 10 – 20 blogs where your customers are hanging out. Answer questions on LinkedIn Answers and Yahoo! Answers. Follow your name, brands and keywords at Google Alerts. Find and get active in a Google Group that makes sense.
- Write a Book. Okay, this is a tough one. If a book is out of the question, start with an eBook. If you can do it though, start here (writing a book when you have no time to write a book).
- Create and Distribute Content of Interest to Your Customers. Develop a permission-based newsletter and consistent white papers/ebooks that will help your target group and position you as the industry expert. Share presentations on Slideshare. Use Twitter to distribute helpful information in your expertise area (here are eight Twitter steps to follow). Give away the “secret sauce”.
- Write for Everyone (no matter how small). Yes, it’s great writing for media sites such as AdWeek or Chief Marketer, but if you are asked to write for someone…anyone, do it. Even the smallest blog site can influence someone that you may not have had an opportunity to reach.
- Pick 2-3 Key Associations and Get Active. Once you do, always go to cocktail receptions, get on the committees/boards, and don’t commit to anything unless you can do it well.
- Speak, Speak, Speak. Once you start doing the first six points, you’ll start getting asked to speak at events. Remember, sometimes small, intimate events can spread your content farther than large events (so don’t dismiss them).
- Always Be Helpful (even if you feel like you are wasting your time). You will start to get many people coming to ask you for help and advice. That’s great! Sometimes you can’t help everyone yourself, but you can point them in the right direction. Follow up with everyone.
- Pay Attention to Google. You are who Google says you are. If you can’t be found in Google either at all or for the right things, you won’t be found. It’s that simple.
- Get Behind a Charity/Cause. Hopefully, you are already doing this, but building your personal brand has to be about more than just you. Pick one charity to get behind and make something happen for the better.