We the PR practitioners are known for our skills for making unknown, known to the world, but it is seldom that we put concentrated efforts in building our personal brand. Many even argue the need to develop themselves as a brand and prefer being in the background while promoting their clients. But there are few who have marketed their personal brand brilliantly and have positioned themselves as experts in their domain. But I believe your personal brand is the surest way to set yourself apart in a world of sameness. It’s a way for you to turn your passion into your career and portray yourself in a unique light. In today’s social media influenced world, PR consultancies and corporates prefer to hire professionals who can truly ‘walk the talk’.
With the rise of blogging and social media, individuals have more opportunities than ever to brand and promote themselves. Today let’s discuss few tactics that we can implement to put ourselves on the path to build one’s personal brand around the areas of expertise. I have researched few tips, which are given below and would be happy to get more ideas from you all so that we can build our own SoP of personal branding.
- Write: You can either start your own blog or contribute to already established blogs. But try and be consistent because only then your writings will be noticed. There is one hidden advantage to this as well. i.e. To write a sensible blog post, you will have to do a lot of reading, which otherwise is rarely done due to many reasons. If you read often, you will build on your knowledge base, which in turn will help you to offer insights and advise to others.
- Setup your social media architecture: Build you network and try to engage your target audience through strong content that would interest them. If you are an agency practitioner, your target audience can be corporate communications professionals, who could be of help when you are scouting for business for your agency. If you are from the corporate side, try and engage journalists and your peers. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are great tools of social engagement and introduce you to many new contacts, which otherwise would have been oblivious to you. Provide value to your audience, in the form of useful, educational or otherwise interesting content, and they will reward you by spreading the word about your content.
- Get yourself a URL or domain name: Create a blog with your domain name which will essentially be used purely as your profile. Use this space to create a portfolio of yourself and upload all good works done for your clients and other stuff that would highlight your expertise. Upload case studies, achievements, awards won etc., and use this URL wherever required including your resume, so that an employer at once gets to know everything about you and your capabilities.
- Be consistent: Don’t be sporadic in your postings, be consistent so that your audience knows when to expect a thought provoking piece from you. The look and feel of your personal brand should be consistent in everything you post, as well.
- Define your niche: Figure out what you want to be known for and talk about it. Your niche can include your profession, a hobby, interest or skill, but above all, it should be something you are passionate about. If you’re excited, others will be too.
- Your Image: Your brand identity has to be your professional photograph and hence take some trouble to get a good professional mug shot of yours to use it on all social networks and on professional bios. You wouldn’t want your clients or prospective recruiters to see you dancing/drinking in a bar or your modelling portfolios.
- Be a Resource: While social media can help you develop your online brand, it also means obeying a crucial tenet of the medium: it’s all about give and take. To get followers and establish your credibility online, you have to help others do the same for themselves. Indeed, before setting out to build your personal brand, I would advise doing a lot of listening to see where you fit in the mix. Even after you’ve built up your network, to be an influencer online, you must give in order to take. This can mean linking to a friend or colleague’s article, re-tweeting a follower’s tweet, or sharing an interesting story you think someone will find useful. If you help others, they’ll help you in return, and your online voice will define itself.
Simple steps like these, which just needs to kick start and once started you will be able to slowly and steadily build a powerful personal brand for yourself. But beware you will not be able to achieve brand name/fame overnight. You will have to persistently work towards your goal in a planned manner..
These are tired and tested methods used by me but if you have any more ideas please share on this forum or in the comments section of my blog or simply tweet @vikramkharvi