When you meet Scott Ginsberg, you know you’ve met Scott Ginsberg. He wears a nametag every day to make sure that’s the case.
And he turned that nametag schtick into a six-figure income, meaning it wasn’t schtick at all. It was branding.
Personal branding is you marketing yourself and your career. You package who you are, what you do, and your approach to life, and you present that as a unified front.
That’s your brand. You are the product that you are selling.
Lots of advice out there on building a personal brand, that’s for sure, but let’s take a new crack at it. Every pattern you establish becomes part of your brand, even the fact that you do things according to the day of the week.
So what can you do in a week?
1. Monday: Wear the same thing.
I’m not advocating a reduction in your clothing options, but think of it like Ginsburg did: what you are seen wearing is part of your style. Lady Gaga has a definite personal brand. Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg – enough said.
While you might not go so extreme, what style can both set you apart and work well with the image you are creating?
Your externals — clothing styles, manner of speaking, confidence, presence — are part of your brand. Are you the guy known for bow ties or cowboy boots? Wear it. Regularly.
2. Tuesday: Comment on industry blogs.
Outreach is a key component of building a brand. You must reach your audience in a pattern of growth if you want your brand to survive.
Being a regular commenter on industry blogs is a good place to start. As long as your comments are relevant, helpful, conversational, and not used to merely drive traffic back to your site, your comments will be both welcomed and brand successes.
Comments like this establish you as an expert. They get your name in front of that blog’s audience. They get people to want to find out more about you.
How else do you build your brand?
Meetups, conferences, and real life meetings — these are the classic networking methods that still have a place. Reaching a bigger audience isn’t simply an online activity.
3. Wednesday: Build your brand’s portfolio.
Your blog, social media content, networking, conversations, engagement – these are all part of your brand’s portfolio. These are the assets you are known for that act as your currency as you expand your personal brand.
Make content creation a regular activity. These assets are your gift to your audience. It’s how you help them, it’s how you connect, and it creates the channels by which they learn what your personal brand is.
Time is money. To learn how to write a blog post in under one hour you can read my post on it.
4. Thursday: Choose your publicity carefully.
When it comes to branding, not all publicity is good publicity. Not every site, not every publication, and not every media source are a good fit for the brand you are trying to portray.
If you know who your audience is, you’ll be able to choose publicity that they are receptive to. Going for the tech crowd? Appearing in an interview on a food blog might garner you some general traffic, but does it fit your personal brand? Nope.
5. Friday: Monitor your brand.
Neil Patel at Quicksprout recommends that you monitor your brand regularly. This is your good name, remember, and you need to protect your reputation. Neil gives excellent advice regarding what to do if you find negative content or old profiles that you need to deal with.
However, unless you’re actively monitoring your personal brand, you won’t be aware of any of it.
Be sure to set your name apart from other similar names. Purchase domain names and get social media profiles as soon as possible. Once this is in place, spend time every week reviewing how your personal brand is faring online.
Set up Google Alerts on your name and any well-known projects associated with your name. Search the same things on other search engines and on social media networks. Pay attention to trackbacks to your blog posts, always reading what is said.
6. Saturday: Locate other similar brands.
I know what you’re thinking and yes, we all should be putting in some work on the weekends. Especially if you’re are building a personal brand from scratch. Money talks seven days a week.
So ask the question, who has a personal brand you like?
While I wouldn’t tell you to copy it exactly, you can learn from someone you admire. Find someone to mentor you who fits within the ideals of your personal brand. Meet or connect with them weekly. Learn how they have been successful in branding.
And then make it your own.
Copycat brands are forgotten. You are already original. Be you while learning from other’s successes.
7. Sunday: Take stock.
It’s always good to review what you’re doing and where you’re headed on a regular basis.
What have you been seeing pop up in your monitoring? Are you seeing growth in your personal brand? Are you struggling to maintain it? Do you need to tweak your brand’s settings a bit? Is your brand portfolio struggling?
Step back and review. Make changes as needed. Whether you lock your personal branding habits into a specific day of the week or not, the point is to plan what it takes, review how well you’re following the plan, and always be regular about it.
Your Personal Brand Is The Real You
Doing these things each week is great…unless you configured your personal brand all wrong.
A personal brand starts with you dissecting what and who you are. Any brand that isn’t authentic and based on your real interests and goals will fail.
You cannot sustain a personal brand that emulates someone else simply because they are popular.
You must build your brand on who you really are.
Ask yourself the following questions, and answer them honestly. Then, ask family and friends these questions in reference to you. How do they see you?
- What are your values? What do you consider important?
- What clothes do you like to wear?
- What hobbies interest you? What are you most passionate about?
- What personality quirks do you have?
- What writing/speaking habits do you have? Are there pet phrases you could build on?
- Where do you tend to travel?
- What do you collect?
- What habits and patterns are you known for? Which can you sustain?
Too often people create a personal brand that is based on someone they really aren’t. You can aspire to be better, but at its foundation, your brand must be the real you if you want to sustain it.
And remember, your personal brand isn’t simply having matching social media profile graphics and the same color palette across all of your web properties (although that’s part of it).
It encompasses everything you do, wherever you might run into another person. Their experience with you should fit your brand, whether it happens online or in real life.
How and Why You Should Build Your Personal Brand – Sujan Patel
The Lazy Person’s Guide to Personal Branding – Yohana Desta Mashable