I recently took part in the 90 Day Mentoring Challenge run by Business Applications MVP Mark Smith. During the Challenge, Mark spent some time with us discussing our ‘personal brand’ and that piqued my interest enough for me to go away and investigate the subject a little further. I must admit, before Mark introduced me to personal branding, I was a little bit skeptical, as I really didn’t understand its benefit or even it’s purpose … but having been totally converted, I thought it might be worth sharing some of the things I’ve learned here.
To find out more about personal branding I went to the information store of choice … the internet! A quick search returned some information on Chelsea Krost, who is a marketing expert specialising in Influencer Marketing. Chelsea runs an incredibly popular course ‘Learning Personal Branding‘ on LinkedIn Learning that has had over 2.5 million learners and has been described as one of the top 20 courses of 2020! Chelsea argues that you are the most powerful marketing tool you have, and that investing in your personal brand can be the ‘launchpad’ for your career. The LinkedIn course covers the following topics;
- What am I passionate about?
- What am I good at?
- Content curation
- Grow a social media presence
- Optimise your personal brand website
- Monetise your brand
- Get booked in for speaking engagements
Having completed Chelsea’s personal branding course on LinkedIn, I can definitely recommend it as a great introduction to anyone who is new to the concept.
Another Marketing expert, and one that Mark introduced us to during the 90 Day Mentoring Challenge is Seth Godin. Seth is an author and regular speaker at TED conferences on the subject of how to spread ideas through marketing. He states that in a world where people consistently have more choice and less time something has to be remarkable to catch on.
Seth famously illustrates this with the concept of a purple cow, which is something that is remarkable, in the sense that it is worth making a remark about. People would talk about a purple cow in a way they would never talk about an ordinary one.
Seth tells us that therefore, in our personal branding, we need to convey what is remarkable about us, and our ideas so that we can get them to spread. He goes into more detail about this in his best selling book ‘Linchpin … Are You Indispensable?’.
So how do we create a personal brand? Our brand should be representative of who we are in our uniqueness, but it should be consistent across many channels, so as not to cause confusion and to support the establishment of trust and connection.
One of the things we can do to ensure this is to standardise our social handles, the things we are known by across our social networks. For those with us who have an unusual name it might be relatively easy to do this, but for those with less unusual names we may need to find a way to help ourselves stand out. Mark Smith illustrates this perfectly with his ‘nz365guy’ brand, which is instantly recognisable and immediately indicates what to expect when we see it.