Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Marketing Your Personal Brand: Define, Design and Deliver

Personal branding sounds simple enough, right? If we were to sum it up in the Reader’s Digest version it would be, "define, design and deliver." If you have already defined and designed your personal brand, now it is time to deliver with your launch.  But where do you start?

The first step is to determine who you want your brand to reach.  Is it designed solely for professional purposes?  Or is it designed for personal and professional purposes? (This is what I would recommend.)

Similar to basic marketing campaigns and strategies, the first step is determining who your target market is. The brand launch you create has to encompass how these individuals think, behave and even feel. It’s important to understand at least some basic qualities of your intended market to better reach them.

Regardless of who you are trying to reach, networking is crucial to the success of your personal brand. The age-old principle of "it’s not what you know but who you know" will hold forever true.
But before you start signing yourself up for various networking events, clubs and conferences, keep in mind if you are launching your personal brand you need to identify avenues for networking that fit you. This can be anything from attending events specifically aimed at encouraging networking and building relationships; joining a professional organization; or just volunteering.  It’s never easy to be the new person in a group or setting, but with time and commitment the right relationships can be built and if maintained.

Web presence is also important with personal branding. From social media, blogs and online resumes, it is certain that without a Web presence your personal brand will not succeed. In creating this presence you have to determine what you want the world -- that’s right, the whole world -- to see.

The best way to start this process is to Google yourself and see what is out there about you. You may be surprised how much there may be about you on the Web right now.  I Googled myself and I saw everything from my business to events I have been a part of to volunteer organizations. There were even pictures from my high school reunion -- without me in them.

The point of doing this is that if you are going to decide what you want the world to see you have to determine what it is the world can already see. Then comes the careful balance of how much information is too much information, what is appropriate and inappropriate, and how personal you want to get.  Regardless of what you decide to put out, quality is better than quantity when it comes to content online. 

Although there is no magical formula on how to create the perfect personal marketing/public relations campaign for your personal brand, keep in mind that the definition, design, and launch of your personal brand should always be based on you from start to finish.