Personal branding is a strategic process, there’s thought that goes into it. It’s not about creating a LinkedIn profile and posting willy nilly about anything that comes into your head that day.
Here are some things to consider that can help you create your personal brand:
- What do you want to achieve (i.e more followers, more speaking opportunities, more customers etc)
- What are your values (what are you passionate about, what makes you tick)
- What makes you unique, in your field and in your personality
- What do your target customers want to achieve in their lives and business
- What are their values, what makes them tick
- What are they looking for in a provider of your service
The answers to these questions form the basis of what you want to get across in your personal branding. It’s worth having three or four main topics that you post about, in line with the above. You want people to feel like they know you before they even work with you, so they can’t all be about work. You need that additional interest that will make someone choose you over your competitors. To be honest, if you’ve got a profile and they haven’t, it’s likely the job’s pretty much in the bag from that alone. But if they also have a personal brand, it’ll be any shared interests or the things that make you unique that sway it for you.
To decide the topics, or ‘content pillars’ to use marketing parlance, look at what you wrote down for your passions and values, think about what those might be for your target audience and see if you can find some that align.
Let’s say you’re a freelance virtual assistant and most of your clients are small businesses or freelancers, you might talk about various time-saving hacks, tips and tricks as one pillar, what it’s like being a freelancer as another and perhaps on a personal level you’re a keen hiker because that’s how you recharge from working at home alone all day, which could be your third.
Or you could just be funny or entertaining. ‘I’m choosing them because they seem like a right laugh’, is probably a thought process that has secured many a sale in the past.
The key is to make sure it reflects who you really are. If someone feels a disconnect with your online presence when they actually meet or talk to you, that disingenuity is likely to cost you.