One of the trending topics in the modern workplace is “How to sell yourself ?”. This blog post will throw a lot of light on how to create a strong personal brand for you in the digital era. Bookmark this article and start working on the list – one by one.
Most of the successful professionals are experts in how they sell themselves. It forms the crux of their first impressions and it can help them land a job or land a client or seize an opportunity with ease. Every successful brand sells itself before selling its products or services.
How to build your Personal Brand and Sell Yourself?
Gone are the days people used Google just to get to websites they want to visit. Before meeting a person or hiring a person, people do a bit of research about them online so that they can build better conversations.
This means your online presence can tell (sell) your story. Without any further adieu, let’s quickly jump into the checklist to build a powerful personal brand.
1. An All-Star LinkedIn Profile
When someone searches you by name on Google, the first entry they will stumble across would be your LinkedIn profile (provided it matches with your full name and there are not many persons with the same name).
(Google Search of my name – 1st link is my LinkedIn Profile, 2nd is my personal blog and the images are – yours truly)
A complete LinkedIn profile is one of the prerequisites for a modern-day professional as it is the largest professional social network.
LinkedIn makes it easier to publish posts that get featured dominantly on your profile. Let’s say you are a data analytics expert and you have written articles on LinkedIn about your pet projects related to Analytics or how you solved a tricky puzzle using your expertise, the viewer of your profile will get a clear picture of your credentials.
With a little bit of efforts in following up and reaching out, you can gain stellar recommendations from your clients, colleagues or managers that reflect how you excel at work.
LinkedIn is the only place where you can comfortably showcase your credentials, awards, recommendations, expertise, linguistic fluency and lots more.
2. Personal Website or a Blog
Owning a piece of real estate will always payback. In the internet real estate, a website in your name can add a lot of value to your personal brand.
Go ahead and block a domain in your name. If you already have a WordPress blog up and running, you can redirect the same to your website if the content posted is appropriate.
Your website can showcase your pet projects, works, experiences, hobbies, photography or more. This is your personal space and is an extension of who you are as a person.
Needless to say, your personal website will rank on the first page of the search engines once it is updated with a few posts.
Bonus Tip: If you are looking for a pocket-friendly and reliable server hosting for as low as INR 99/month, I strongly recommend Visual CloudX (This website runs on it)
3. Building your Personal Brand on Facebook
Let’s face it. We hangout here most of the time. Billions login into Facebook over a dozen times a day without any reason. Wherever there are people, brands and advertisers follow.
This means you are not just getting to know how your friends or cousins are chilling out but also looking at hundreds of carefully placed native advertising ads by brands and celebrities.
Facebook provides you an amazing platform and a large audience to showcase what you are good at. Showcase your best moments and honest stories here.
Your morning meeting updates with your clients or your latest blog post or your experience sharing at a public speaking event will be read by someone you know from the other side of the world.
If you would like to keep your personal life and personal brand separate, start a page and keep your audience engaged with updates and stories you would like to associate you with.
4.Up your Quora game
Quora has over 200 million monthly users and is a fast growing one. There are questions about everything under the sun. You will find interesting real life experiences shared by users with the world.
A great way to start is to follow the topics that you are interested in or know a lot about. It can be even the latest TV Series you binge watched. There are questions and there are interesting answers below every question.
Game of Thrones Quora thread has over 41000 questions
If you see a question related to your expertise, you can jump in and answer the same to the best of your abilities. If you have provided a valuable answer and if the topic is a trending one, you will have hundreds of upvotes and views within no time.
It is highly addictive and it can help you build a huge follower base that gets updates whenever you answer questions. If you are not on Quora yet, sign up asap and if you are not active yet, search for topics you are interested in and check the questions and answers to begin with.
Suggested Reading : A Kick-ass article on growing your personal brand on Quora by my good friend Vibin Baburajan.
5. Building your Personal Brand on Twitter
Though Facebook takes the major part of our social pie, Twitter cannot be taken lightly when it comes to building a personal brand.
One of the greatest advantages of Twitter is that you can tweet over a dozen times a day yet it takes very little time for you to compose and your followers to consume. It is short and sweet.
News reporters tweet the happenings of a launch or an event during the event. Movie reviewers tweet how the movie is doing while sitting inside the movie theater. The communication is instant.
Start tweeting everyday about the things you are passionate about along with the appropriate hashtags and before you know it, you will have a lot of followers who share your common interests.
Pro Tip : Retweet interesting news articles or quotes from the experts related to your industry as soon as you see them and the community will look at you as a credible source of information leading to greater engagements. Instead of following the varied sources, they will start following you as you curate the content and share the great ones.
6. Speaking Engagements
Public Speaking has always been a fear factor for many individuals. This means when you deliver keynotes or presentations and be a part of panels confidently, people look up to you.
The selling point of most of the conferences irrespective of the domain is the star speakers they bring on board. People pay to watch their real-life role models kick ass on stage.
When you bring out your genuine self through words and body language, your audience will love you
Pick any influencer and look them up on their website. The first picture you stumble upon would be them addressing an audience. It takes a lot of courage to go up on stage, be yourself and add value to the audience but it is one skill which will add tremendous value to your personal branding.
Pro Tip : Join an organization like Toastmasters International. Your fear of Public Speaking will disappear in a few weeks.
There is a famous theory called ” Six degrees of Separation “. According to this theory, you are just six steps away from meeting or connecting with any person in the world.
Five good connections can make you meet with any person you wish to interact with. LinkedIn gives you an understanding of the same using 1st degree, 2nd degree and 3rd degree connections.
Me -> My Friend -> His Friend ->His Friend -> His Friend -> His Friend -> Elon Musk
It is important to network and meet new people whenever you get the opportunity. A minute or two will make you two know each other and leave the rest to serendipity. We never know how we get the opportunities we get.
8. Ask Me Anything
Experts are hard to find and getting expert advice on a problem can save a lot of time and money for entrepreneurs and passionate professionals. When you are an expert, you can choose to help people by answering their questions which are based on your expertise.
It gives you an opportunity to interact with new folks and also keeps you stay abreast of the trends. Celebrities often do Ask Me Anything sessions on Twitter and their followers jump in and explode with questions.
Even if you do not have a large follower base, you can sign up on a website like AMA Feed where there are thousands of registered users who are waiting to know more about you.
Once you create an Ask Me Anything session letting them know what you are good at, you will be surprised at the number of questions specific to your niche from people across the globe.
If you are someone who likes to take questions and answer them in a video, you should check out Askwhale.
Pro Tip : If your AMA was a successful one with a lot of visitors, it will even rank on the search engines thereby increasing your credibility.
9. Write a Book
There is a reason why this is way lower on the list. When you have done all the above 7 and gained a following, it is far easier to get your first book across to your followers.
Your first book can be a self-published one too and a lot of websites have made self-publishing a breeze.
The book can be about what you are passionate about or how you worked your way up to what you are now. It can also be a collection of interviews from experts in your domain. It can be the findings of your decade-long research presented in an interesting way.
One good way is to start is to start writing daily – It can be as low as 300 words or go high as 1000 words but keep writing. So when you have finally decided to start writing a book, you will have a lot of content to pick from.
Becoming the best selling author can provide a massive boost to your personal brand and you will receive a lot of invitations to speak. Make the most of it and build a good following.
10. Increase your Social Mentions
When you Google your name, apart from the pages and profiles that you own if there are other mentions, they are your social mentions. When you are mentioned in websites like Entrepreneur, Forbes, Inc or Business Insider, it elevates your personal brand.
Guest post is a great place to start. If you have written a killer article, you can reach out to publications that you respect and ask if they would be willing to share that as your guest post.
Based on how the post does in terms of readership and time spent on the page, your future requests will be entertained appropriately.
When you knock ten doors, at least one would open and if you do a good job, it will always be open.
Subscribe to a website like HARO (Help a reporter) and you will receive daily emails on what type of information, reporters across the globe are looking forward to publish.
For e.g If you are a leadership coach and you find a reporter needs insights on writing an article on ” 10 leadership challenges in every business” , you can chip in and offer your opinion. If its really good, the reporter will quote you in the article. You got yourself a social mention.
11. Be a part of Podcasts
Podcasts are growing in large numbers every other day and millions are listening to them everyday. You will be blown away by the number of podcasts in your niche already.
Let’s say you run a niche organic food e-store and you have made a sizable revenue in the first year of business through your creative marketing methods, you can reach out to podcasts that feature small business success stories.
You will get an opportunity to get on the show, share your expertise and promote your brand as well as yourself in the podcast. Depending on how big the podcast is, you will notice a big spike in organic traffic to your e-store.
One thing will lead to another and you might even get speaking gigs in a neighborhood conference for small businesses.
If you are a very confident speaker with a great command over your domain, you should definitely start a podcast. One course with raving reviews for kickstarting a podcast is Pat Flynn’s Power up podcasting.
Before you conclude, here is a smart checklist which you can save on your smartphone or a computer to remind you about what’s to be done for building a personal brand.
Good luck with the journey of building your personal brand and its a marathon and not a sprint. Communicate to your audience in whatever way you are strong and you can build it up from there. Here is a video which really inspired me to stop planning and start doing.
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