Over the past few weeks, most of my posts have been very involved – discussing specific themes in personal branding or addressing popular issues. I want to take this opportunity to focus on getting back to the basics of personal branding. So let’s tackle the tools which will aid in advocating your personal agenda…
Audit your online prescence
Take advantage of the world of free tools to monitor who’s saying what about your brand or your work. Two great resources I strongly recommend are Google Alerts and Mention. Google Alerts allows you to receive email notifications detailing summaries of articles and online posts where your name/brand is mentioned. Mention.com offers a great service where it scours the internet – social networks and all – for mentions of your name (or keyword of choice). It then emails you a daily summary of your mentions and is actually totally free. Well, freemium, but if you choose to upgrade it’s well worth the price.
Network within your comfort zone
I wouldn’t advise that you simply share your work with family and friends, but I would agree that emerging within your comfort zone is something of key importance. When you are first starting out, associate with other “brands” that you are familiar with – your alma mater, your company newsletter. Beginning with something familiar is a way to boost or kickstart your brand, just like when you sold those candy bars in the 5th grade to your aunts and uncles. Starting small isn’t a bad thing, and in fact, networking within your comfort zone is how I got started!
Pick a model and follow it
Life is all about decisions and so is your brand. You’ve got to decide how you present yourself, who you target, how you market, and what you will offer to your audience. A big recommendation would be to pick a role model – someone who has successfully done what you want to do, or something similar. So if you wanted to work on business branding, you could use me as your model, since I mostly focus on personal branding – and what you would do is look at how I approach the topic of branding and apply it to business. Simpler said than done.
So go forth and multiply! Your audience, that is. Take what I’ve thrown at you and try to spin it around a little bit. I wish you the best of luck as you get back to the basics.