It is now easier than ever for people to start their own businesses. The evidence can be found in the over 50 million freelancers in the United States working from home. Working moms from home, entrepreneurs, consultants and remote employees all have to build their own brand to be found online and make a paycheck. We offer some simple ways you can start building your own brand today.
Discover your brand
In order to discover your brand you first have to make a decision on the following:
- Who you are
- Your passion
- Who your brand represents
- What you want to represent for the rest of your life
In order to come to this decision, start surveying for feedback. Survey your friends, peers, colleagues and your former bosses for feedback. Find out what they think of you, what your passion is and who you represent. This is the hardest part because you are asking to hear some honest opinions and what some people think may not always align with your own personal point of view. Still, you have to hear people out.
When you are finished, come up with a branding statement that is not too long or wordy and tells the entire world:
“I represent [these people]. I am the creator of [this] that provides for you [this]. I believe in [this] because [list your reasons].”
Create your branding strategy
Let’s face it. Technology has made it a million times easier to create a personal brand in 2018 than it was 10 years ago. It is still a hustle and work is required but the tools are all out there at your disposal. And the best place to start is with your digital branding.
Here is what you need
Personalized web domain
It is your personal brand, so it should have a website with a personalized web domain. The domain should be short and easy to type, not create brand confusion and not be difficult to figure out. If you use a confusing domain name that leads to people finding you for all the wrong reasons, chances are your domain name is a poor choice. The domain name should describe what you do or who you are, if possible.
An active blog about your brand will keep people interested in what you are doing. “Active” can be defined as 3 to 5 posts a week. If your blog is relevant and shared with the people you represent, the more you will start to gain traction for your blog and your personalized domain.
Why? Your blog can give advice and tell stories about your brand that readers find relevant to their own challenges. For example, the Find My Profession blog covers every topic from resumes to interviews and LinkedIn advice. These are relevant topics for job seekers. For your personal brand, try to create blogs that represent what your readers think and how they feel.
Next, you can share it on social media reaching out to those your brand represents.
Facebook pages and groups are great ways to build an active and engaging following. When you begin, you may want to be the admin of the group but as time goes on and the group becomes more active, it is a good idea to promote some of your most active Facebook group members into admins. Handing over your Facebook group to those you represent actually helps it grow. But you should still monitor and communicate with your admins and group members regularly.
Your personal Facebook profile should also be a pure representation of your brand, not your current profile from 10 years ago with pictures from your wedding. You are creating a personal brand but it should stay separate from your personal life.
Your posts, photos, and account info should all be representations of your personalized brand.
The same thing applies to your Twitter account. Make an account for your personalized brand, with photos and descriptions of the account all brand-related. Your posts and hashtags should appeal to your audience and readers. Build a following and use Twitter yourself instead of relying on admins to write for you. There are tools like Hootsuite that allow for the scheduling of posts ahead of time if you prefer.
To engage with your audience, which is always exciting for them, you can post and reply in real-time. They will be talking to the person behind the personalized brand. This is a great way to start building yourself as a thought-leader.
LinkedIn profiles are digital versions of resumes, portfolios, media and references. You need one of these whether you plan to use LinkedIn or not.
Make sure you join groups related to the interests of your brand and keep an eye on discussions. Try to help people and become an active participant while connecting with those who take interest in your personalized brand. You can become a LinkedIn influencer in a short period of time with the right posts and LinkedIn etiquette.
This is just the beginning!
Begin your brand with the humility of someone who is not sure and the confidence of someone who knows where they are going. The advice above is only the beginning. As you continue to grow, you will find the needs of your business changing and keeping you busier. And busy is always a good thing!