Join Lorrie Thomas Ross for an in-depth discussion in this video Three keys to a personal brand, part of Personal Branding Basics.
There are three main components to a personal brand: authority, online identity, and personal style. Developing authority is the first step in personal branding. An expert has skill or knowledge in a particular area. While an expert and an authority may know the same things, an authority has more personal brand power. Authorities are perceived to have more power to influence, thoughts, behaviors, and opinions. Why are some people perceived as authorities over others? The answer, personal branding. One of the easiest ways to start moving from being an expert to gaining authority status is to author content.
Note, in the word authority is the word author. Sharing expertise via authoring content can help your peers, employers and the general public understand that you know what you know and start to view you in a more powerful way. Here is an example of how Jason uses a simple, creative content tactic to help show his authority. He shares a link to content that is related to his industry, news about Google's purchase of wind technology. He shared the news article on LinkedIn, but also added his thoughts about it.
This news article, plus his opinion, was a strategic touch that can help make an authoritative difference. I describe this fact plus opinion sharing online as being a web gemologist. Jason finds gems of content like this interesting news article and shares them under his personal brand, here, simply under his professional LinkedIn profile, to give his network contacts interesting information while building an authoritative status. The second key component of a personal brand is online identity.
Online Identity takes the credibility of an authority status and gives it visibility. If nobody knows about you what's the point, right? Here's a search on Jason's name before he did any personal branding work. You see Jason's LinkdIn profile first, and then his Facebook page and then an unused blog. The good news is he has a web presence when his name is searched. What isn't totally clear is his authority. Since 90% of people use search engines for products, services and information, we can improve this to help elevate his brand.
Small steps compound over time to make a big difference. Work on your reputation by working on your webutation. Social media accounts, like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, blog posts, videos, and more can help build your online presence. Some people choose to buy their domain name for personal branding. Jason Hemlock bought www.jasonhemlock.com And jasonhemlock.net to protect his brand name, but to create a simple one page web presence that comes up high in the search engines to show his expertise.
The site's only page. It has Jason's photo, a caption with an authoritative title, links to his social media accounts and a short bio. I applied the search engine optimization tactics from my Online Marketing Fundamentals course here on Lynda.com, and also added a meta title and description to the code to help the search engines index his site better. Now when Jason's name is searched, his personal website with an optimized meta title and description come up in the search engine results pages.
The third key to personal branding is personal style. Style goes beyond design. It is the manner or mode that we operate, things like logo, tagline, website, content, reputation, recognition, photos, web visibility, personal appearance, communication and demeanor all contribute to personal style. Jason is a design engineer in the solar and wind power industry. His personal style starts with his personality. Personally, he is smart.
Professionally, he's not overly serious. He has very impressive credentials, but he's humble. His personal brand style takes his personality and blends his passion for his profession. He wants to share his knowledge and make sure that he is viewed as an accessible authority to his company as well as be visible to his industry. Jason doesn't need a logo. He works for a company that has one. He did invest time to help optimize his photo for his personal brand and had a trusted friend, who is a great photographer, take a few professional shots of him in a classic suit.
He uses this photo online to help show his personality and professionalism. Hies smile is natural, his photo will be on his social media account to show his warmth and professionalism. Jason's small photo investment helps put the smile he has live. Viewable online to all the people he engages with. His personal style expands with light font touches on his website. His website is not flashy. But it does have a nice look and feel to it, to show that he has a design eye. So, think about applying these three keys to a personal brand.
developing authority, optimizing your online presence, and refining you personal style