10 simple ways to brand yourself

Have you ever heard the saying “people buy you, before they buy your product”?

Isn’t it so true? You will very rarely, if ever, make a purchasing decision from someone that you do not like or trust. If given the choice of learning how to drive from a teenager just learning to drive or a 30 year career driving instructor, who’d you go with? You chose the instructor, of course, because they’ve got the credibility and trust.

The same rules apply to business, where people tend to go with the proven entity. Your goal is to lose the “learner tag” as quickly as possible. You do this, by positioning yourself as an expert in your field, as per the tips below.

Creating and maintain a strong personal brand is key to helping to facilitate the “subconscious transaction”, where the person you’re dealing with transitions from considering you, to BUYING you. Here we go:

You need to Face(book) the facts: If you’re not on Facebook yet, do it now! It won’t be long until a billion people are on Facebook. In Australia alone, more than 50% of the adult population is on Facebook. 2 in every 3 individuals between the ages of 18-64 are on Facebook. How do you expect to build your brand when you’re not participating in the main forum where most people you know hang out?!

Promote your achievements: Highlight your successes – It’s not like you’ve got a PR firm to do it for you! Use social media for this. A simple Facebook post along the lines of: “I’m so proud. I just achieved my biggest month of sales. Thanks to everyone for supporting my business”. You’ll see a flood of Facebook ‘Likes’ in the short term, but just watch the credibility and trust factor gradually build over time as you repeatedly highlight your wins. And a simple post like this goes a long way to helping you drop that “learner tag”!

It’s all good (even when it’s not): Trawl through a day of Facebook posts and I bet there will be a healthy (well, unhealthy) dose of negativity and sarcasm. I mean, if you and I had a dollar for every time we read a post about a headache, the flu, or how crazy the kids are driving someone, we’d be retired by now wouldn’t we? Your mission is to censor yourself. Nothing negative goes out. It’s all positive. This is not to say that you fake positivity or lie, you just don’t promote negativity. There’s a distinct difference. This will go a long way to branding YOU. To the contrary, like I said earlier, every time you share negativity online, you erode your personal brand.

Be helpful, provide value: Share links and resources from within your business niche that you know people will enjoy. Don’t spam people, but regularly posting industry-related information to Facebook goes a long way to building your credibility in your field. The general rule here is to run it through a basic filter so that you aren’t being seen as a ‘spammer’: Simply ask yourself – is it valuable information, or merely promotional? It’s OK to promote your service or product every so often, but providing regular, interesting and useful information is a great way to promote YOU (as an expert).

Get a blog (even if you don’t know what blog means): Blogs can be free, and they’re simple to setup. WordPress.com is my suggestion. I find WordPress to be the best all-round blog platform. I was able to learn WordPress with essentially zero website/blog management knowledge.

What to blog about? That’s simple – YOU! Your friends and family will love to keep connected with you. If it’s for your business, then you could start by covering your products or services and then providing valuable information related to your niche. Blogs are just a way to share your thoughts. There are plenty of free “how to” guides for setting up a blog or Facebook for business page online – Google it!

Register YOU: Even if you aren’t planning on starting a blog or website yet, you want to register your domain name/ s before someone else gets in first! You may wish to register both your business or home business and your personal name to be sure.

Actively be YOU: Huh? I hear you say? What I’m saying here is that you should read a lot and write even more (that’s the beauty of a blog). Then, if there is one individual that you follow frequently, you will inevitably tend to imitate them whilst you truly develop your sense of who you are. Catch yourself. Challenge the ideas presented by those that you respect most. Be you, and eventually you’ll build YOU.

Keep your brand fresh: Luckily for my blog, home business is super-diverse and there are plenty of topics for me to sink my teeth into. Be it your blog or your everyday life, keep it fresh. Keep trying new things and interacting with people around new topics. Whether it’s online, or offline, people tend to gravitate towards those others that are “always going things”. Be a “doer”. Be exciting. This will build your brand, and will probably result in a heck of a lot of fun too!

Start branding you from a niche: There is no such thing as an overnight success. Start small, build your following in that area and then branch out. Even though a niche business might be a small market, successfully becoming an expert in that field will allow you the credibility required to expand and dominate another field.

Over-deliver: If you’ve been counting, you’ll know that we’ve passed 10 tips and we’re now on 11! And here’s the tip: ALWAYS over-deliver. Have you ever been to a great live music performance and left it saying “I knew it was going to be good, but that was way better than I ever imagined”. Next thing, you referred that singer to friends, you downloaded the next song on iTunes and booked your tickets early for the next live show. Give a little bit more than expected.

So there you have it, 10 (+1) tips little-known tips to build your Personal Brand online! Perhaps more importantly, 11 often-not-done-by-your-competitors tips. Let’s get you branded in advance of your competition, so you can own your field.

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