The following is a guest post by James Adams. Enjoy it, and share your thoughts on these tips in the comments section below.
Your personal brand separates you from the nameless masses. The label that you place on yourself identifies who you are and what you do. To promote that personal trademark, your strategy needs to include social networking venues like Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn and Technorati. Establish long-term goals for your personal brand and work toward a definitive purpose. Here are several tips for developing your personal brand.
Planning is essential
Before embarking on your brand quest, set specific goals. What do you want others to think when you speak about yourself? Take a critical and objective look at where you are now. Set realistic goals based on those observations. These goals should not be hollow. It is easier to create a map when you know your destination.
Find your niche
Where do your opinions diverge from the conventional thinking? What aspects of your expertise have not gotten enough attention? What sets you apart from those who have already created their personal brand? Knowing this information will help you further define your own identity.
Treat it like a strategy game
In strategy games, you need to think several moves ahead. You need to have contingency plans for your opponent’s activities. The best time to come up with alternatives and branding ‘moves’ is before you go live with your ideas.
Engage social platforms
You have been told that you need to have a presence within every single social networking sphere. Each audience is different. Each sphere adds to your brand and your personal reputation. Start with two or three methods of engaging your audience. Use forums and LinkedIn. Use Twitter and your personal blog. Pick two of these platforms. Watch the activity within these arenas to determine whether they are appropriate for your needs.
Perform a trial run
Bloggers can lose interest in their subject long before they have established a personal reputation. Before advertising yourself and establishing authority, make sure that you can follow a writing schedule. This will prove that you can stay on subject as well as give you content.
Execution is the next step
After developing a framework for your personal branding strategy, you need to execute your plan. Each step for the first year should be planned. You should know how often you will post on your blog, on Twitter, and on Facebook. You should know what your profile will say on LinkedIn, and which blogs on which you want to guest post. Give yourself ample time to determine the effectiveness of the campaign.
Choose your domain name based on the personal brand which you wish to create. If you are the X expert, make sure a correlation is made between you and X. The simplest option is to fashion a domain based on your name or a permutation of your name.
You know who the movers and shakers are within your field. They are the ones with thousands of unique monthly readers. They are the ones with whom you need to associate. Interact with the bloggers of your favorite blogs by intelligently commenting. Do not say, ‘hey, nice post,’ but give those people an idea of why you enjoyed the post and why it was poignant. This gives you exposure and a reason for readers to come to your blog.
Create a schedule which is based on your personal habits. Do you write your words for the week in a single sitting? Do you wish to have a theme for the following week? Each move which is made should be absolutely deliberate. Focus on having more interactions which will positively promote your brand.
Planning is the foundation of your personal brand. Execution builds the structure of that brand. Your brand is your business and your reputation.