By Jeff Beals
As a hard-working professional, you’re not just a person. You’re a business, a business of one, a business unto yourself.
As a business of one, you have a personal brand, a reputation that must be carefully maintained and zealously promoted. In today’s economy, effective personal branding has never been more important. You need to build a big presence in this loud and crowded world.
Regardless of your occupation, you are probably struggling with the increasing “commoditization” that now defines our economy. You may be the best at what you do, but there are still so many competitors in your marketplace. In an era of commoditization, consumers have more choices than they know what to do with. Clients often assume all providers are competent, so they end up making their choices based on a professional’s personal brand.
So, when someone is ready for the products or services you provide, how can your personal brand stand out in a crowd? If you’re a good self marketer, you have little to fear. You need to be the professional whose name and face pop into the client’s head when it’s time to buy.
Building a bigger personal brand takes work, but anyone with at least moderate talent can do it. The key is to follow certain steps.
The Top 10 Ways to Build a Bigger Brand:
1. See yourself as a business entity, not just a person
2. Think like a marketer (apply classic marketing principles to yourself)
3. Determine who is in your personal target audience, your “sphere of interest”
4. Exploit the part of your expertise that is most interesting to outsiders
5. Live actively and network every day (yes, that’s literally every day)
6. Foster relationships with local media
7. Become a writer and speaker within your area of expertise
8. Promote yourself 24-hours-a-day on the Internet (when people Google your name, they better see you show up)
9. Use social media (make sure what you say is interesting and not just inane personal stuff)
10. Make people feel important – (when you are talking to someone, make him or her feel like the only person in the world who matters to you at that moment).
You have sole ownership of your personal brand, but it comes with a burden. You bear the responsibility for building that brand, shaping it and promoting it to the general public. As a self marketer, you can recruit the services of others, but the responsibility to carry out a marketing strategy is ultimately yours.
Don’t let other people or any haunting feelings of self doubt stand in your way. Successful professionals have to stick their necks out and take risks. Not only is it worth the risk, but establishing a well-known personal brand is essential in today’s ultra competitive marketplace.
Jeff Beals is an award-winning author, who helps professionals do more business and have a greater impact on the world through effective sales, marketing and personal branding techniques. As a professional speaker, he delivers energetic and humorous keynote speeches and workshops to audiences worldwide. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or call (402) 637-9300.
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