I wrote this contributed article surrounding personal branding for Dynamic Business. Click to here view, or see below.
Personal narratives are as old as time and they continue to command attention – just look at Hollywood’s continued obsession with biopics and the abundance of best-selling biographies on bookstands. Simply put, people love good stories and they need to know what your story is.
When people judge the merit of a business’s product or service, they invariably do so in reference to that business’s story and its core values… and if you’re an SME operator, your business’s story and your story – your personal brand – will be intrinsically related.
With 2017 still only just under way, now is as good a time as any to refine your personal brand if it’s ‘not quite there’. Whether 2016 was a good year of fell short of expectations, a personal brand refresh is an opportunity to establish a clean slate and move forward with refreshed energy, all shiny and new – a revitalised you!
Every personal brand has room for improvement. And in today’s business world – with career, time and money pressures plus competition all mounting – it’s never been more important to continually fine-tune your personal brand. After all, your story, and how you tell it, will influence decisions to engage with and buy from your business…or move on.
To optimise your personal brand for 2017, start by doing an audit of where your it is currently at. The following questions will help:
Check out your online personal brand. Google yourself! What do you find?
What do you think of your search results?
What would prospects think of them?
Does what you find reflect your core values? And what you stand for?
Check your LinkedIn profile – Is it complete? Updated? Have you answered your messages? Missed any opportunities?
Look up your web presence if you have one – does it need updating? Refreshing?
What does Facebook and twitter say about you? What do others say about you?
Check your business cards: are they the best they can be?
Does your printed, creative brand represent you or does it need a refresh?
If you need to get fit, get fit and spruce up your wardrobe. It’s a little sad, but people really do make a judgement about you within approximately the first 30 seconds of meeting you.
Have you answered those voicemails and emails? Have you left people wondering whether they are important?
Replace your own photo with a professional photo. Book it and get it taken – it says a lot about you!
Review and improve your call to action, create a reason for people to look you up wherever they see you. I personally am a great believer in paying it forward with advice and information.
Take a hard long look at what people have experienced with you in 2016. Is there something you could do better or differently?
If your company is planning to put press releases out about you, you need to be there in full authentic glory. And if prospects and future staff are calling in to engage with you, your own personal brand needs to withstand and hold up to their scrutiny.
Look at your personal brand and check out what it is telling the world. Remember it is about being yourself with purpose. Authenticity is everything. With a small amount of effort, you could make your personal brand in the power that drives your business in 2017.