Your personal brand defines who you are and can help to define you as an influencer in your industry. Here is how to work towards personal branding success.
Whether you are the head of a large corporation or a small start-up, or even just finding your way in the events industry, your personal brand is important and defines how you are perceived by the world. People buy from people - consumers are more interested in the people behind the mask and this means you need a level of consistency to market yourself alongside the business. Sponsors, investors and clients are interested in you personally so positioning yourself well could make or break a business deal. Here are 15 expert tips for personal branding success.
Utilize Speaking Engagements
Speaking engagements should be a regular commitment if you are trying to build or improve on your profile. It allows you to showcase your knowledge directly to potential clients, suppliers or other industry influencers. Be confident and well rehearsed, and make sure you make the most of your presentation by including plenty of shareable content.
Question and answer segments, panels or ask me anything sessions are where you can really shine because of the way you compose and handle yourself on the spot and the opportunity to give your unique take or go deeper into your reasoning.
Increase Your Online Presence
It is important to boost your presence online by creating and maintaining a website and making the most of your social media channels. This can be how people discover you or where people dig for further information. Make sure you have a clear contact me page and all of your social media channels are up-to-date with your latest information so that you don’t miss out on potential opportunities.
Link all of your social media to your website so that it is easy to find and make sure you stay on-brand. Cat videos might be cute but unless you are running an event for cat lovers they may dilute your followership which won’t convert well to sales.
Provide Online Value
Make sure that you don’t “oversell” yourself - networking should be a two-way conversation. It’s ultimately about trying to find the right balance between marketing and providing value. Interact with your followers and even help to solve their problems by adding some insight or pointing someone in the right direction. For example, if you see a follower struggling with something that you have dealt with in a blog post or article, share it with them. It not only helps them but proves to other followers that you can provide value. Providing genuine feedback to followers will help build a loyal fan base and make them more likely to think of your brand first for themselves or when recommending.
It is important as a brand to have strong corporate social responsibility and one of the ways to re-affirm this with consumers is to help causes that are close to your heart. For newer brands this could be helping to raise awareness, volunteering or helping with campaigns and when you become more established it could evolve into helping with fundraising or donating. Supporting charity and causes shows that you care and gives off a less “corporate” vibe. Try to get involved with causes that you are passionate about but also fit in with your brand.
Create Useful Content
Being available online is not enough anymore and while having a presence is useful, providing value before potential clients have walked in the door is even better. Writing articles, creating podcasts or videos and taking interviews are some of the way you can help improve your followers and readership online. Establishing yourself with good credibility and reputation can make you an authority in your industry and therefore the “go-to” website, which of course will translate into clients.
If you can, cross promote your content via other news outlets and industry publishers and publications which will help to get your voice heard. Be careful who you collaborate with online because choosing a disreputable publisher could damage your brand a lot more than anything you say or do and the internet takes much longer when trying to fix PR mistakes so always protect your online reputation.
From the outset you should model your personal brand around your own, honest self because not only can consumers tell if you’re fake but by being genuine it makes you easier to relate to. You are a real person and your brand should reflect that and while you can present yourself in whichever light you choose, it should always be an honest one.
Watch Industry Trends
Trends are ever changing and fast moving and you need to pay attention to be in the know. As trends evolve these are usually indicators which can help to give you a leg up against the competition. Watching trends also allows you to predict what your consumers might want next and offer it ahead of the competition, making you quick to respond and increasing your reputation.
Improve Face to Face Visibility
With technology increasing, many new entrepreneurs forget to actually get out and network to make real-world connections. Your personal brand is all about you, so you need to make sure that you are visible in the real world as well as the digital one. Attending industry specific events, conferences or even just networking can all help to improve your brand awareness and also humanizes you. That being said, you can complement this using social media by live streaming videos so that your followers feel you are accessible.
Interacting with followers is great but a stronger way to increase connections is to create communities. This could be on social media, via a real-world meet up or even on forums. Creating communities that can help to solve each other’s problems thanks to you is a great way to keep brand recognition and foster a loyal followership. If you run an annual event having an active online group is a great way to keep people connected and also to share news of the next event. The group could even help to shape the event by letting you know what they most want to see.
Never Stop Learning
In most industries, things are fluid and ever-changing which means you can’t stand still. If you become stagnant or out of touch this can damage the value that you present. It is important to maintain industry knowledge around new legislation and health and safety, as well as new technologies and tools available in the market. Staying relevant through reading and research is a large part of this. Use credited and reliable journals, academic articles, trusted blogs and news sites to help with this because a key part of being an influencer is being up-to-date and well informed about industry specific information.
Be Personal On Social Media
While your social media channel is an excellent marketing tool, readers and customers want to get a sneak peek at what is behind the mask. Post some behind-the-scenes or candid content just for your followers to reward them to staying loyal to you and give back exclusive insights into your life and event planning lifestyle.
Strive To Be The Expert
Regardless of your demographic, if you want to instill trust from your followers or clients you need to become an honest source of reputable information. Research and provide sources for your information or statistics, share industry related breaking news so that others come to you first. Being the expert helps to provide unique opportunities for speaking engagements and even lecturing so it opens more doors for your personal brand.
This could be a blogger, YouTuber or another influencer in the same industry. Connecting and collaborations with others can help to boost both brands and also foster genuine connections and friendships which can yield unlimited opportunities in the future. It is important to go in with the aim of making friends. These types of relationships can open you up to a whole new demographic or audience.
Detailed Contact Lists
As you improve your personal brand you will drastically increase the contacts and networks that you have created. Create a database that can house detailed information on each contact so that you can fully utilize them in the future. Databases make searching and access according to specific criteria much easier but you need to ensure you put the information in to begin with and keep it consistent. Add any personal information you can such as likes or dislikes and where you connected, which may help you get a step-up in the future.
While your brand strategy is important, so are your messages and values behind what you are doing. Adding a story behind your brand and events gives a personal element that makes you unique to consumers and helps them determine why they should choose you over others and what makes you different to the hundreds of other brands trying to get their loyalty. This helps to make a connection to your demographic which makes them more loyal.
Now you should have a good starting point for your personal brand and whether you are established or just starting out, these tips will lead to event branding success. The key point to remember is that once you have defined your brand, everything you do should promote and reflect it.