12 Ways to Optimize Your Personal Brand

Enhance your confidence and credibility as a leader with these 12 self-marketing tips.

1. Define Yourself

Determine your strengths and values. Figure out what sets you apart from your competitors. Understand what you want from life. What are your goals? How do you plan to achieve them? Be your authentic self if you want people to trust you. It’s tempting to imitate successful people but your efforts will fall flat if people perceive you as being insincere.

2. Take the Stage

Use speaking engagements to improve your communication skills and increase your visibility. Start with small gatherings and work your way to big-ticket events. Always talk from a place of knowledge and power. Be open to criticism.

3. Pen Articles

Dedicate two hours a week to writing leadership columns that demonstrate your expertise. Distribute the articles to your network. Their feedback will show which topics work and what tone strikes a chord. LinkedIn is a good publishing platform. Blogging is another venue for showcasing your knowledge, interests and skills. Topics can be as diverse as best marketing practices or last night’s baseball game; however, you must post on a regular basis. Set a blogging schedule and stick to it.

4. Manage Your Digital Image

Create a personal website to make it easy for your name to be found by search engines. Start with a brief bio, resume and links to your social media accounts. You can expand it later. Audit the website and your social media accounts regularly to understand how people interact with the site, what people say about you on social media, how you are perceived and how you rank. This will help you improve your digital presence and differentiate yourself from the pack. Google Webmaster Tools and Google Alerts are handy resources.

5. Develop a Social Media Presence

Choose social media that are compatible with your line of work. For instance, if you are in the fashion industry, Instagram and Tumblr may be your choices. Create a unique description. Select a high-quality personal profile photo and/ or cover photo. Post a healthy mix of professional and personal status messages. Use keywords. Add value to your account by properly posting third-party content that is pertinent to your brand. Associate yourself with fi rms and brands that enhance your image. Link your accounts. Keep your profiles up-to-date.

6. Be Consistent

Be mindful of the personal brand message you convey in every article, post or social interaction. Your goal is to have a consistent brand identity across all platforms because a consistent brand is a strong brand.

7. Upgrade Your Skills & Knowledge

Develop new skills and expand your knowledge. An entrepreneur needs to be dynamic. Your personal brand will be effective only if it remains relevant during changing times. A strong personal brand is always evolving.

8. Draft an Elevator Pitch

Keep your message short and sweet. Remember the old adage, time is money. Create a short 60-second message that represents you best.

9. Time it Right

Be sensitive to others when sharing messages. Share your message with potential clients at the times they will be best received.

10. Repeat Your Message

Even if your message is compelling you will still have to repeat it many times. The key is to strike a balance. You want people to hear your message and be receptive to it, not get annoyed.

11. Make Valuable Connections

The best way to establish your brand authority is to recognize the work of your peers. This will deepen your connection to your industry members and audiences.

12. View Branding as a Never-Ending Journey

Personal branding is a lifetime commitment that will shape the way you interact with the world. If you define yourself as a leader, you will have to live up to the standards you set for yourself.

N. Caleb | Contributing Writer

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