What’s more important, your personal brand or your professional brand?
Trick question. If you work in a customer-facing role or hold a leadership position prominent enough for your prospects to associate you with the organization you work for (or own), your personal brand and your professional brand are one and the same.
Which means you need to stop thinking as if there’s any daylight between “what’s good for your personal brand” and “what’s good for your business brand.” Because there isn’t.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at five simple strategies you can implement right now to polish your personal brand and put it to work for your business or career.
- Include a Press Section on Your Professional Website
As your career advances, you’ll find yourself mentioned and maybe even quoted in news articles, blog posts, news clips. This sort of valuable exposure is known as “earned media,” and it can deliver a big lift for your professional standing.
Including all your press mentions on your personal website won’t significantly affect traffic to these mentions; that’s what Google is for. But collecting them all in one place does make an impressive visual impact. Just look at the personal website for Steve Streit, a fintech investor — Streit’s considerable list of media mentions gives the (correct) impression that he’s an active, prominent member of his business community.
- Give Yourself a Memorable Nickname (Yes, Really)
If you’re in any sort of occupation that requires you to “sell” yourself or position the service you offer as an alternative to someone else’s, you need to think outside the box to grab your prospects’ attention.
One way to do this is to adopt a memorable nickname that sums up your value proposition or captures something essential about what you do. This is more common in some industries, like real estate sales, but there’s no reason not to apply it to yours.
- Be Aggressively Accessible
As with so much else in life, aggressive accessibility is mostly about showing up. Most people don’t actually call in the middle of the night, at least not if they don’t know you very well. Saying “call or text anytime” sets up a win-win: showing that you’re always on without having to work or respond to queries 24/7.
- Always Be Asking for Feedback
Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from clients, peers, bosses, or anyone else in a position to opine honestly on your work. And don’t be afraid to do this publicly, on LinkedIn or your personal website or anywhere else that makes sense.
You’ll want to follow best practices both when you ask and when you follow up on the feedback you receive. But, as with aggressive accessibility, the most important part of this exercise is showing that you’re open to feedback.
- Develop a “Brand Style” and Deploy It Consistently
Fonts, color scheme, logo, imagery — these are all key elements of a consistent “brand style.” Silly as it sounds, it’s not a stretch at all to create your own in-house “brand style guide” to keep track of all the elements you’ll want to deploy across your growing online ecosystem. Either way, your brand style needs to follow the famous “three C’s” of branding: clarity, consistency, and constancy.
Your Brand Is More Valuable Than You Realize
You’ve heard the saying, “your network is your net worth.” Turns out, replacing “network” with “personal brand” makes the statement no less true (even if it’s less catchy).
Your personal brand is much more valuable than you realize. It’s time you started treating it that way — and started working to boost its value even further.