No matter what line of business you are in, you have to wear the hat of the marketer to market yourself. The saying "people do business with people they like", is true and so not only is it important to market your business but also to market yourself. Personal branding has gotten increasingly popular in recent years and rightly so. We should all treat ourselves like a brand. Here is how to market the brand of you:
Know Your Vision And Mission
This is one of the most important aspects in developing your personal brand and marketing yourself. It affects how you develop your overall personal brand. It is important to get it right. You need to know what direction you are going in and map it out, just like a business creates a mission statement, you should too. In essence this is 'what you are about', what you do, your aims, objectives, beliefs and how you will market yourself.
Create A Good LinkedIn Profile
A LinkedIn profile is a great way to begin marketing yourself. I highly recommend fully completing all aspects of your profile and constantly aim to improve it. You should also seek recommendations from people you have done business with in the past as this adds credibility to your work. I also recommend connecting with as many people as possible because this means all of your LinkedIn updates will be seen by a wider audience and you will come up higher on LinkedIn search results of those you are connected with and those they are connected with.
It is a good idea to message people you feel might be interested in doing business with you, post useful information that people will enjoy and if you have time you should also write on LinkedIn. Write articles your customer can learn something from and they will trust and look up to you more.
I also recommend sticking to what you know, write about what you are good at and try to bring in some personal experiences that are unique to you.
Use Social Media To Your Advantage
Social media is a fantastic resource for branding yourself. It allows you to be seen as a thought leader and gives you the opportunity to voice your opinion on the latest news for your industry. You become an expert in your field, someone who people trust, look to for advice and want to do business with. It is also a great way to make or build contacts. It is important that your image on social media is consistent with your overall brand. That is not to say you should lose your personality on social media just keep your brand consistent on all mediums.
If I am doing business with someone I will almost always Google them. So you need to Google yourself and make sure everything that appears is positive or else clean it up. The right to be forgotten now applies on search so if there is something about you that you do not like then put in a request for it to be removed. Try and gain as many Google rankings/listings as possible and the higher up the better. Each listing is valuable real estate, you want to occupy as much of it as possible. You can do this by actively engaging in social media like I said in the last point.
This should make these sites appear as Google listings for your name. Another great idea is to set up a website and blog which is what I am coming to next.
Create A Personal Website
I highly recommend creating a website, whether you are a business person or you work for someone else it is a great idea to own your own piece of the internet hence why in marketing terms we call it 'owned media'. You have total control over the content shown on your website. It can contain useful information about yourself like your photo, bio, work and contact details. You can also link to all the other places you appear on the internet. There are lots of DIY options available on the market but if you can afford it a bespoke option from a web developer is something nobody else will because it is made from scratch.
I am also convinced it is better for SEO, maybe that is something that Aidan, the Avalanche crew and I can speak more about later, it could be an idea for a future blog post! This is an overview of what you can do to start branding yourself. If you have any questions on this or anything else marketing related shoot me a tweet @oconnorpadraig You can have a look at my personal brand on padraigoconnor.ie where you will also find more of my thoughts on the latest marketing trends.