Sunday, 28 August 2011

Batten down the hatches on your personal brand!

Technology’s amazing, isn’t it. Every week there’s a plethora of new applications and plug-ins to enhance our ability to work and socialise online, all here to make our lives a little bit rosier.

It’s easy to get swept away by the ‘now-ness’ of it all, so as someone who’s known for her straight-talking I’m going to give you some sage advice: before you sail even further on the sea of the world wide web, there’s a very important hatch that needs battening down...your personal brand.

Why? We all know people buy people and just as a product’s brand uses its packaging, logo, adverts, etc to give you clues about what you’ll get when you buy it (both the tangible and intangible benefits) your personal brand tells people what they get when they buy into you.

At this point you might be thinking, “That’s obvious.”

And I’d wholeheartedly agree, which is why I find it so baffling that every business from the sole trader to the largest corporate will spend time and money defining and promoting their company brand, but give little or no thought to their personal brand...the thing that will drive ‘people buying people’.

It’s not rocket science to get started either; simply approach your personal brand in the same way you would a brand for a product or service. Work out the values you have, the beliefs you hold, the reputation you want, the behaviours you show, the skills you offer and even the look and sound of your brand. Keep your brand clear, concise and authentic and concentrate on finding your unique selling point (USP) to allow you to stand out from the crowd.

Only then should you venture onto the web, using it as one of many channels to get onto people’s radars so they can buy into you (and ultimately what you’re selling). By deciding what you want to get across before you set out your stall - whether that’s on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, your website, your blog, guest blogs...the list goes on - your messages will have more impact. (It’s no coincidence that every time Nike promotes its brand its message is ‘just do it’; say the same thing enough times and people remember you for it!)

However, if you take the scatter-gun approach and post random messages without the common thread of your personal brand you’ll just confuse people. And unless you’re Madonna and need to constantly re-invent yourself, that’s a bad idea.

About Me
You may remember I presented at the Glasgow and Edinburgh New Media Breakfasts earlier this year on the subject of personal branding. It's a pleasure to be guest blogging on the fatBuzz Blog, hopefully I can bring you some useful information in the future. Meantime, you can read more from me on my own Spark Branding blog here.

Alternatively you can contact me via Linked-In or Twitter at the links below or via Fiona MacDonald

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