Most people think of public relations and brand-building as just for companies. However, in today’s hyper-connected world, smart executives are using PR for personal branding.
This is a smart move because personal branding can humanize a company while propelling executives upwards in their careers. If you are an entrepreneur, personal branding and company branding can go hand-in-hand.
When embarking on a personal branding effort, consider:
What do you want your brand to say about you? If you’re a subject matter expert, this is a great place to start building a following. If you’d like your brand to be separate from your company, what would you like to be known for? Think of people you admire who have strong personal brands—Richard Branson, Gary Vaynerchuk and Seth Godin are great examples. How do you want to stand out?
What topics do you want to cover? What are you passionate about? Are you willing to comment on industry trends and events? Are you okay with taking a contrarian position? Sketch out some topics you are interested in covering and what you can add to the online conversation.
What tone do you want to strike? Everyone has a personality and your personal brand should reflect that. Do you want your tone to be informational and educational, sassy and irreverent, funny and cutting edge? The tone you take will drive the kind of content you will produce and the audience you will attract.
Look for places to contribute. Writing thought leadership articles and blogs for publication is a great way to start building a personal brand. What publications and websites are read by your ideal audience? Will they accept thought leadership articles from you? How much time can you devote to this effort? Look for other venues that will help you build your brand, including speaking at conferences.
Build your online presence. Make sure your online presence reflects your personal branding. This includes Twitter, LinkedIn, professional Facebook and Instagram accounts, YouTube, a personal website/blog, etc. Make sure everything you share on these channels is furthering your personal brand.
Monitor what people are saying about you. Just as you monitor what’s being written about your company, set up alerts to scan for your name (or the name of your personal brand, if different). Join the discussion and add value to posts.
Here are some of our favorite personal brands: