3 Key Lessons Learned in Personal and Business Branding
April 25, 2011
These last few months have certainly served as a personal learning experience for myself in the world of personal and business branding. Thanks to a MBA course I am currently taking at the University of Nevada in Reno, I’ve really jumped in with both feet and taken control of actively branding myself (associating my name with a value – a purpose) as well as building some meaningful and lasting personal equity online.
As someone who has really grown into a personal branding evangelist, I thought I’d share what have been my 3 key takeaways and lessons learned while building and managing my brand in the hopes that you will do the same for yourself or your small business.
Building and maintaining a brand is incredible powerful for marketing yourself and your business. Usage of social media and networking sites has skyrocketed. Statistics do not lie and it’s evident that this is not just a fad. Not only is branding your business incredibly effective terms of reaching and converting customers, but it’s extremely cost-effective as well.
Building and maintaining a brand is invaluable for personal growth and advancement. I have touted heavily the benefits of business branding to entrepreneurs and business owners above and in previous posts. However, branding yourself on a personal level can also be incredibly useful to more corporate and career-minded individuals. It is incredibly powerful for advancing your career – even if you don’t plan on working with social/online branding in a direct professional capacity. Blogging and microblogging grant you a forum in which to share your knowledge of your industry and prop yourself to a position of an authority – the “go to” guy or gal. It helps as a resume booster. You would be safe to assume that anyone considering you for a future position will type your name into Google or Bing to see what they can find. The good news is that you have a high degree of control over the results of that search based upon your social media and branding activities. Why not take advantage of that? Why not ensure that your LinkedIn profile, for example, is current and shows the value that you bring as a potential partner or employee, displaying your experience and recommendations from past or current colleagues and business partners?
The tools used in social branding are incredibly powerful for learning and research. I have come to find that there is a group or community for everything. This applies to hobbies, industries, professions and areas of focus alike. Participating in groups on LinkedIn and communities on Twitter as well as in the blogosphere is a great way to connect with others who share your interests and values and to discuss and share new developments in those respective areas. These tools also allow excellent opportunities to put an ear to the ground and hear what your clients and customers are saying. It’s a great way to stay active in your industry and adapt your approach based upon what your customer are saying about current offerings and what they would like to see in the future. Be aware of the kind of reviews your business collects on sites such as Yelp. Social media also provides a great way to connect with other authority figures in your industry and connect with and learn from them.
I’ve been impressed with the growth of my own personal brand over these last few months. My efforts have given me a great opportunity to share and build upon my current knowledge of online resources for entrepreneurs and small business owners, and I certainly recommend that anyone considering jumping in as I have do the same. It’s not a massive time commitment – small doses of regular content are all that you need to start seeing results. So what are you waiting for?