There was a time when a personal brand was limited to a person’s co-workers, neighbors, family and friends. In today’s Internet – and social network-focused world, personal branding is an essential activity for the success of any entrepreneur.
You could have the best product and company in the world but if prospective clients don’t like “YOU’ and what you stand for, anything thereafter can become irrelevant. Gone are the days where people buy into company brands or products, sure this is still important but nowadays people are buying more into the people behind the brand or service.
Did you know that every day there are over 1 billion searches for names and companies on LinkedIn and that the “About Us” section is the second most viewed page on the internet? This is why having a compelling LinkedIn profile is paramount not only to your success on LinkedIn but… Business as a whole given it’s your face to the online networking world and your first point of contact when promoting yourself to potential clients, joint venture partners, journalist, and the business world.
Now here’s the interesting thing about personal branding… Whether you create it or not, there is information about you on the Internet. It may be a little or a lot, but it’s out there. So, doesn’t it make sense to control what they learn about you? By doing so you create the foundation for who you are and how you are perceived within your industry by prospects, future business partners and employees both on and offline.
To answer this question and to gain a deeper insight into the importance of personal branding we decided to speak with Glen Carlson, co-founder of Key Person of Influence, the world’s leading personal brand accelerator. A global organisation that runs training programs and events for small business owners and industry leaders to help them become a key person of influence within their industry.
“Humans have evolved to be attracted to people, not companies. Developing a clear Personal Brand is one of the fastest ways to attract big opportunities to accelerate your growth as an entrepreneur.” Carlson says.
Glen believes that majority of small business owners in Australia (or any country for that matter) typically face three common challenges. “Despite being talented people and skilled technicians in their field, entrepreneurs struggle to communicate their value and commercialize it. Ultimately, they feel Undervalued, Underpaid & Under-recognized for what they do” he says.
In a business world where competition is fiercer than ever before and consumers faced with a ton of choices, your first impression could be your best or last. This is why personal branding is now more important than ever before. Personal branding is what entices people to become more connected with your brand name… All while engaging them with the purpose of your business.
Similar to the way that businesses need to differentiate themselves from others, individuals need to do the same thing for themselves. From establishing an online identity to placing your name on your brand, building your personal brand has never been more important. Below Glen shares his top 5 tips for any business owners or entrepreneur who is looking to not only build their personal brand but be recognized as a key person of influence within their industry:
1) Don’t hide behind your business’s value proposition. To develop a personal brand, you must define why you are unique and valuable, and learn how to Pitch it powerfully.
2) Don’t underestimate the effect of your personal credibility. Being an industry commentator, or publishing your own articles or even a book is one of the fastest ways to build authority and visibility in your industry.
3) It’s important to commercialize your brand. Productizing your skills and experience is about developing products, services and a business that is an authentic expression of who you are as a person.
4) With Google now being the go to source for first impressions, crafting your online Profile is key. When people search your name, they’re judging you on the consistency of your brand across websites, blogs, videos & images.
5) You’re best known by those who you associate with, reaching out and setting up Joint Ventures and Partnerships with other key players in your industry is how you attract the big opportunities while establishing yourself as a key person of influence in your industry.
Now there are many ways you can build your brand: writing your own blog, being featured in other blogs, getting media exposure but in our opinion, none are as powerful as having a compelling LinkedIn profile given it’s the first search result people click into when they search for you online. And unfortunately, this is where most people go wrong.
A lot of the profiles we come across look more like a long outdated resume instead of it showcasing how their expertise and skillset has made an impact for their clients to date and how they can help future prospects. So rather than building your profile based on what you think sounds good, we advise our members to think about:
– the top 3 objections their clients have for buying your product or service
– the top 3 challenges clients are looking to solve by investing in their product/service
– along with injecting their own unique personal brand identity into it
This ensures that they not only have a profile that is compelling but one that also connects with their target market on a personal level. We call this approach: “The Outside Inside Approach”.
Now building your personal brand is something that takes time and consistency to achieve results. If you think you’re not going to have the time to stay consistent then you need to either find the time or find someone who can implement on your behalf so you can begin investing in your most important asset – you.
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