When we hear the term “Brand” we instantly think of a product, an image or a reputation and that is exactly what you should try to achieve in order to promote yourself as the whole package. Your brand is something you should be aware of and constantly updating, as it is the affirmation of who you are and what you are passionate about, your unique selling point (USP) and what it is that you do so well. Whether you work for a company, you are a freelancer a business woman, a leader or a creative mind, your personal brand speaks before you even enter the room. What do you want people to know you for?
This is where your personal brand comes in and why it matters, but where do you start? We have put together 10 GREAT tips to help you create your own powerful brand.
1. Create Brand “YOU”: This is as simple as taking a piece of paper and writing down all the words and expressions that people use when they talk about you and your life and of course about you as a woman in business or the workplace. Be honest, this is brainstorming time so choose words that are positive and authentic to who you are and what you have to offer as a woman, a leader and a business genius.
What are your strengths? Are you a great leader? If so why? What makes you a great manager? What makes you stand out?
2. Be Specific And Specialise: Specialising in a skill that is relevant to you will help you stand out in the crowd. Firms also refer to this with the term differentiation, so consider how your brand is different from everyone else doing the same thing. Why should we choose you over everyone else?
Whatever your passion is, start to mould your brand around that, it will drive you because it’s what you love. Create the buzz and tell everyone! If you think you need to refresh your skill then do so and take classes or workshops that will help you refine your skills and develop your niche. Courses are fantastic for reigniting the fire in your belly to do what you love to do.
3. Write Your Bio: You should write a personal short biography, start by listing facts about you and then continue to edit until you are happy. A professional bio is also a necessity for women in business, especially if you attend networking events or are required to speak on panels, and of course for keeping your LinkedIn profile current. Your biog should include:
- Education and work experience
- Published writing or press coverage, awards you’ve received as well as nominations
- Volunteer and charity work
- Personal achievements and interests (if relevant)
Personal branding is not just a social media and networking exercise, though these are powerful mediums, a strong biography will ensure your brand is highly visible and ensures that your reputation follows you wherever you go.
4. Create A Blog: Blogging is a fantastic way to show your creativity and talent. It’s an important tool for promoting your brand, whether it is personal or professional. It defines what you do and who you are and shows you are passionate about sharing your work with other It can work wonders for your exposure as, by continually creating new content and generating new Search engine optimisation (SEO) terms as a result, you will increase traffic and visibility. Make sure to include your contact information so people that read your blog can contact you. And if a blog isn’t your style, you can still network by sending a well put together newsletter.
5. Join Linkedin And Network: LinkedIn allows you to put your accomplishments out there for everyone to see. Generally, Google searches always bring back a LinkedIn link as the first hit, so it’s a way to control your digital persona. You just have to get this part right! Ask clients or influential people you have worked for to recommend you on LinkedIn, connect to people and businesses in your field, follow people and organisations that are relevant to your passions.
6. Build Your Communication Skills: You could be shy or a chatterbox, it’s crucial to be able to communicate with confidence as you build your brand. Practice on how to tell your personal story and prepare answers to personal questions so you are not caught off guard whilst networking or public speaking, or even pitching your brand for the perfect job. If you are on the shy side, a great way to improve is to join a public speaking class or even creative writing or drama.
7. Use Social Media: Think about the best ways to describe yourself, your business/career and passions. What makes you unique? And think about your brand when you post, are you informal or professional? Follow influential people in your industry, respond to relevant conversations and add hashtags or tag those that are most popular in your industry. It goes without saying, make sure that everything you post on social media is faithful to the values your brand and what you are trying to achieve. Review and edit before you post! Once it’s out there it cannot be un-seen.
8. Build Your Brand Network: A brand is nothing without networking, whatever form that may take. Social Media is a start but you also need to post about all the wonderful things you are involved in. Take advantage of the opportunities in your city and your industry to meet new people and make an impact. At the very least you will make new friends, maybe even other women in business and start a support network. You could meet new clients, or meet old ones who could recommend you to others.
9. Say NO: This may seem odd as we have been so positive so far. This is an empowering no: now that you have your personal brand in place, you have to protect it, so you must say no to opportunities, projects and even social media involvements that are not aligned with your brand.
10. Consider Collaborating: Don't be afraid to collaborate with others, especially if they are already established in the field. Call it exposure by association if you like, it can be very powerful, especially if you network with other women in business or in your career field. Clients will be more open to you because you come recommended and you can build a referral portfolio to get you noticed.
There you have it, 10 GREAT tips to help you build a strong brand, now all you have to do is go and conquer!
Disclaimer: We are very happy for you to reproduce this article for your own personal use, blog, newsletter or website. All we ask is that you do not modify the content and that you add the following message and link to the bottom of the article. This article is reproduced with the permission of Jane Lowe, Founder and Creator of The Great Women's Academy. To find out more please visit www.thegreatwomensacademy.co.uk