Guest post by Natalie McKenna
Brands of influence like Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Mercedes have become successful through a carefully planned strategy to grow them. Just like the big brands you too have a personal brand, whether you like it or not!
Here are some tips to help you create a powerful personal brand:
Determine your brand. To determine your brand, you first need to ask yourself, what you do stand for? What are your passions, your strengths, your goals? Then align what you want your brand to look like with your values.
Much of the criticism of personal branding comes from those undergoing rapid transformation that appears as inauthentic. In my work with politicians and celebrities we assess not only their expertise and qualifications but passions, core beliefs and values. These points can then be emphasised and marketed authentically.
Determine your strengths and weaknesses. You need to examine yourself and receive feedback from others on how you look, what your body language is saying, how you are communicating. Do you come across as angry and abrupt or apologetic, tired or weak? Sometimes opinions from others may be a shock but it’s best to address your weaknesses if it’s destroying a positive personal brand.
Communicate your message. What is your expertise or passion? You need to develop a marketing and PR strategy based on this in the same way a small business or large corporation would. You have certain knowledge or expertise that others may not. Find that special something that you do better than anyone else. It’s your unique selling point.
This expertise is the basis of your brand and you are selling a knowledge that your clients may lack. Your message must be conveyed in a way that is easy to understand. Just because you know what you are saying, others may not.
Sometimes the most intelligent people are the poorest communicators. To convey a complex message in a simple and interesting manner is takes a lot of rehearsal. I spend a lot of time media training my clients but if you’re on a budget a simple rehearsal using the camera on your computer can help you identify your weaknesses when communicating.
Create or improve your online presence. You do not exist if Google doesn’t know you! It sounds harsh, but it’s true. Unless you’re already successful and have achieved your goals you need to have a substantial online presence which is maintained.
A discarded LinkedIn site or website will not positively impact your personal brand. LinkedIn is a powerful tool for business professionals. The influencers on this site are posting regularly and share content that informs, educates and connects with others.
Be consistent. If you think of all the successful brands like Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Mercedes they have a colour, a badge, and an image that is instantly recognisable. Consistency is the key so others remember you. Use the same photo, font and colours on all online and offline media.
Natalie McKenna is a media and communications professional and image consultant. As Managing Director of Regeneration Unlimited Pty Ltd, Natalie offers expertise in image development and branding, PR, promotions and media training. Natalie’s list of clients is made up of television networks, production companies, entrepreneurs, politicians, CEOs and celebrities.