What have you done to get your name out there in 2014?
Whether you’re looking to receive more opportunities, increase your salary/rate, and position yourself as a thoughtleader this year, investing in personal branding is critical to your success.
Here are top 11 ways to take your personal branding to the next level in 2015.
1. Audit your personal brand
Have you googled yourself yet?
Before you make the effort of investing in your personal brand, you need to understand what your brand stands for today.
Use tools like BrandYourself as the first step to increase your social profile rankings, and receive alerts when people search for your name.
2. Stand for something
What are you all about?
When you have a clear definition of what your mission is and what people can expect of you, then your path becomes much more clear.
People know exactly how they can help you, what they can expect from you, and how you can work with them.
More importantly, making decisions on any future opportunities become easier to manage, because if they’re not going to help you fulfill your mission, then it’s not worth your time.
Spend some time thinking about what your personal branding statement is, as it will be the foundation in which you base your future decisions on.
My mission is to help 1M creators build a location-free lifestyle and business in the next two years.
If you notice, this mission statement has a:
-Target market: creators
-Outcome: build a location-free lifestyle and business
-Deadline: two years
Having a deadline is important because it keeps you forces you to be accountable and strategically plan to meet your goal.
3. Start a blog
Blogging is one of the most effective ways to demonstrate your credibility, get your name out there, and position yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
Here’s a post on how to setup your wordpress blog in less than 5 minutes.
4. Invest in your brand design
Compare your website’s experience online to a brick-and-mortar retailer such as Nike. Everything from the logo, the ease of navigation around the store, and the way the clothes are laid out is part of the customer experience and what Nike’s brand represents.
Investing in your brand’s design is even more important online because clicking the back-button or the “X” button is much easier than walking out of a store.
In the online world, you have less than 30 seconds to impress your new visitors before they leave your website.
5. Invest in your social media presence
This is a fairly obvious one, as the importance of social media presence has been spread vastly over the last few years.
What’s fascinating is the recent rise of social media celebrities becoming more popular than hollywood celebrities within the teenage audience.
This trend will only continue to rise, which means anyone has the opportunity to become their own media company, and those that can figure out how to build an authentic relationship with their audience will win.
Most of us understand the importance of social media, but few of us struggle to find the time be consistent with our efforts.
The key is to create an automation system so you can schedule your posts ahead of time.
Here are a few tools that allow you to automate your social media channels.
Social Media Scheduling:
1. Bulkbuffer – http://bulkbuffer.com
-ability to schedule many more posts than Buffer
2. MeetEdgar – http://meetedgar.com
-recycles old content to reach more of your social media audience
1. Viraltag – http://viraltag.com
1. Postplanner – http://postplanner.com
1. Photosync App – http://www.photosync-app.com/
-ability to wirelessly transfer your photos & videos from & to your computer (this could be useful for instagram users who edit their photos/videos on their computer)
6. Launch your personal website
This could be where you host your blog, or you could have a separate personal website along with your own blog domain.
Take 30 seconds right now to see if a .com domain with your full name is available on GoDaddy.
If it is, I would highly recommend you spend the $9 and purchase the domain. Or read this article to learn how you can get a free domain.
7. Write a book
It’s never been easier to research, write, and publish your own Ebook.
I know several people who have written and published a book in one week.
Having a book that you can point people to, and being recognized as an author will position yourself as someone who is credible and an expert in your industry.
Note: Make sure you’re putting a book that is thoroughly researched and of high-quality content and design. The problem with anyone being able to publish a book is that it has created an influx of crappy books without and depth to the content. Don’t be one of the many books that gets drowned out in the noise.
8. Guest blogging
Spread your knowledge by writing for other publications/blogs. Especially if you’re just starting out, you’re not going to have a large audience to create value to. This is one of the fastest ways to grow an audience without having your own audience.
Here’s a way to identify some blogs in your industry looking for guest posts.
Type in the following on Google:
[Industry] + Write for us
[Industry] + Contribute
[Industry] + Guest post guidelines
9. Contribute in communities
Guest blogging isn’t the only channel you can tap into a larger audience.
Social communities such as Quora, a Q & A community, are flooded with individuals looking asking questions and seeking answers.
10. Speaking engagements
Speaking is a powerful way to connect with a live audience, in-person.
Even though you may not be comfortable speaking in public, it’s a vital skill you must practice and improve. Look for local events around your area, and offer to give a free presentation. The goal is to start small and get good enough so you can start charging for future speaking engagements.
You can even start smaller by organizing webinars and practicing your speaking skills at the comfort of your own home.
If you want to improve your public speaking skills, join a Toastmasters club, and start practicing.
Here is the link to: find a local Toastmaster near you.
11. Create value for others
Your network is your networth, often spoken by best-selling author Jayson Gaignard. The people you associate yourself with not only will shape the decisions you make, and it’s also how people will perceive you.
Building relationships with influencers in your industry comes down to one action: Create value.
Here are a few ways you can get started:
- Become a super connector. Introducing two people who will gain a mutual benefit from each other can be one of the fastest way to grow your network and build relationships with influencers.
- Be an idea machine. The younger generation have more creative ideas than experience, while the older generation have more experience than creative ideas. Use this to your advantage and create value by giving away your best ideas to relevant influencers that will gain some value from them.
- Do free work. Assuming you’re starting out, you probably have more time than money. Whether you’re a social media pro or a designer, identify any problems you see in your influencer’s “brand” and offer them free help.
- Actually give a crap. At the end of the day, you need to be building friendships not “connections,” and friends give a crap about each other. Give without expecting anything in return, and your relationship will be much more authentic and lasting.