On my journey as an entrepreneur, I have come to a crossroads. I am unsure where to go from here and what my next project will be. How do I market myself after only marketing services and products for the past 13 years? Recently, the idea of “personal branding” has come into my radar.
How do I go about creating my personal brand? Essentially, without knowing, I have already created one. When I Google myself, I see that I have a book on Amazon, made Honor Roll when I attended college for my post-bacc degree, am part of The Team at the Blackstone LaunchPad at Montana State, use a public Facebook account as well as personal one, and have a LinkedIn profile. Whew! The question is how do I manage my personal brand so that others see what I WANT them to see?
Keep Your Personal and Professional Lives Separate
It is important to make sure that I keep my professional life separate from my personal life when it comes to social media. For example, I recently created a public page Facebook to promote my book and upcoming projects to a wider audience. This way I can keep my family photos and political rants and preferences private. Now, how do I want to project my professional image to the world? Authenticity is key! Am I an expert at anything? How do I stand out against the other Jill McIntyre’s of the world? When I understand how I want to be perceived, I can then take measures to be more strategic about my personal brand.
Keep consistent between social media platforms. Does your name match up between your accounts? I had realized that I used my middle initial for my book but had not for my LinkedIn profile. This was easy enough to change. Plus, now it is consistent with my name on this website too!
Get A Personal Website
Build your personal brand by creating a website using your moniker as the domain name. Apparently, “Jill McIntyre” is a fairly common name and jillmcintyre.com was taken. However, when I searched “Jill S McIntyre.com” that domain name was available. Just by adding the middle initial, I am able to be differentiated from the other Jill McIntyre’s.
Be Deliberate with What You Share
Every blog post, every tweet, every update, every photo reflects your personal brand. When you discover how you wish to be perceived, your posts and tweets should reflect that. You can now be more strategic with your personal brand.
Associate with Other Strong Brands
It is who you know. Remember the 3 C’s: college, colleagues, and company. There are opportunities there to cross-promote one another so scour those LinkedIn and Facebook contacts.
Reinvent! Reinvent! Reinvent!
Revaluate your personal brand from time to time to make sure it still works for you. Strong brands have a clear story. If you have a variety of passions, it is essential to have a clear story and unified theme. There are books and online resources to help you define your theme and brand story. Your personal brand, just like YOU, should be fluid and ever evolving.