Six Rules For Building Your Personal Brand

Building and maintaining a personal brand looks much different in 2019 than it did just a few years ago. A personal brand has also become more important. It can help you build relationships, land jobs, secure new clients and establish your authority. Whether you like it or not, you have a brand from the moment you put yourself out there online or in person.

Arik Hanson, an award-winning writer and marketing and communications expert, says there are six rules for building and maintaining an effective personal brand. We explore these rules in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

Rule No. 1: You don't need a presence on all social platforms. Don't try to maintain a robust presence across five or more channels. It isn't sustainable. Instead, Hanson recommends focusing your efforts on only one or two channels. If you are drawn to Facebook and Twitter, invest your time in those outlets. If you prefer Instagram and Pinterest, use those instead. It's your personal brand, so choose the social outlets that make sense for you.

Rule No. 2: If you only participate in one social channel, make it LinkedIn. Think about where your clients show up to discuss business issues. They might be on Facebook or Instagram, but they're probably not talking about work there. LinkedIn remains the best way to network virtually. If your clients and prospects are showing up there, you should be, too.

Rule No. 3: You don't always need a blog or podcast. Hanson says he has contributed hundreds of blog posts and created more than 100 podcast episodes that have helped advance his personal brand. However, he notes that you don't need a long-running blog or podcast to elevate your brand. You must find what works for you and your expertise, whether you create weekly posts on LinkedIn or share long-form posts on Instagram.

Rule No. 4: Always make time to nurture your network. When it comes to building your personal brand, your network is vital. Without a network of people to recognize it, your brand is meaningless. You must give constant care and attention to your network. Start by reaching out to those who are super-connected as they can often connect you to others.

Rule No. 5: Create and polish your stump speech. Think about one or two things you want people to remember about you. This is the foundation of your stump speech and one of the most important components of your personal brand. Get to the point quickly about specific roles you have held and work you have done. Be specific about who you are and what you seek.

Rule No. 6: Don't overlook your visual brand. Think about how you show up online. What does your LinkedIn profile photo look like? What are your social media avatars? What pictures do you share on Instagram? All of this helps shape your personal brand.

A strong personal brand is crucial to your professional success. Whether you're new to the industry or an established pro, use the tips above to build and maintain your best possible brand.

Source: Arik Hanson is principal of ACH Communications, a marketing and communications consultancy in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Hanson is also an award-winning writer and strategic thinker with experience in media relations, marketing communications, digital marketing, social media marketing and corporate communications.

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