The Power of Personal Branding

Lorrie Thomas Ross, M.A.

December 09, 2014

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Personal branding is a subject near and dear to my heart. Whether you are an entrepreneur, a business owner, a leader at a corporation or a company employee, the brand called YOU can be one of the most powerful marketing assets that you put to work to help boost business. Some of my tips on how succeed at personal branding follow:

Be an expert - teach what you want to preach.
I hear all too often "people don't understand that I do". Yes, some people don't know what they don't know when it comes to supporting you or an organization, but it is your job as an expert in your field to help educate them! To be an expert -teach what you want to preach! You are an expert. When you teach, that expertise is more valued. If you are trying to identify your expertise, ask yourself the simple "What can I teach?" question. Being an expert in a given topic will increase your credibility and help build your brand. I encourage you to build your personal brand and take your expertise to AUTHORity status (in the word authority is the word author!) Be and educator - teach on your website, blog - everywhere!

Solidify your style.
Managing a personal brand goes beyond being an expert. Your personal style can give you more authenticity so spend some time defining it and be consistent with it. Personally, I am most comfortable wearing black. I try to wear clothes other than black, but it's just not me (I do accessorize with wild accessories though). My style is how I dress, in what I say and how I operate. Create a communication style in your brand that feels best for you. Communication goes beyond words. It is your nonverbal communication that also defines your brand. Define it, refine it, own it. Whatever you want to say, make sure your style "dresses like you mean it". Your headshot, bio, website, logos, writing style and video presentation can all be defining style points.

If needed, get a facelift.
If you have a website, it is oh-so-important that each page of your website communicates who you are, what you do, whom you serve, and the value of what you do. And every so often, things need to get updated to fit current trends. Would you wear overalls today? No you wouldn't (unless you are a farmer or under the age of ten, overalls probably aren't going to look cool).

Just like overalls are not in style anymore, ask if your site still in style? Your website and brand require a style that suits the image you want to convey. Take look at my website in 2005 (I cringe everytime I see this!):

I built that site by myself (eek!) when I had no marketing budget. Today, invest more in my brand and have a great web designer and my site displays a strong consistency in my voice and expertise. I will be refining it in 2015 to keep it up to date with best practices. My branding communicates to my target audience and I am displaying the 3 powerful P's of Branding: Positioning, Personality, and Branding.

Harness the power of personal branding. Be an educator, have a communication style that supports how you want to be perceived, and every so often (as needed), get a facelift.

I will be hosting a webinar The Power of Personal Branding for Professional Success on Tuesday, February 24th, 2015, 3:00pm to 4:00pm ET.

Opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily those of WITI.

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