When it comes to building your personal brand, it’s almost like building a house. There are a lot of ways to go about it, many designs and styles to choose from, but the most important part will always be the foundation. The foundation of your personal brand is YOU; so keep that in mind as you build and manage your brand.
Of course while building a house, and your brand, you’re going to need some tools. Here’s which tools are best to have to help better promote and manage your brand, making employers see you as the best candidate for the position who is truly motivated to succeed.
Your Personal Brand Tool Belt
Business Card – No matter the line of work or size of the company, a business card is a must. Not having one risks being perceived as less serious than you are. Your card should at least have all of your contact information and a brief explanation of what you are about. If you’re more tech-savvy, you can include a QR code on your business card directing to specific information on the web and make you stand out.
A Professional Email – An email address that represents the company or business you are affiliated with looks much more business-like than email@example.com. Create a professional looking email address that brands you and the business you represent.
Go Multimedia – Create videos and podcast so that people can see and hear you, establishing a more life-like image of who you really are. This is a great way to connect with your potential customer base and provide a personal touch to your brand. YouTube is the number 2 search engine in the world, so make sure you can be found everywhere on the web.
LinkedIn – LinkedIn is the world’s largest business-focused social networking site, and an extremely valuable tool for job hunters and those looking to expand their current network. But, just signing up is not enough. Fill out your profile to 100% completeness, grab a custom URL, and network, network, network. You can even fill out your hiredMYway.com profile using LinkedIn Connect, so this information can be useful everywhere you go.
Twitter – Twitter may initially be quite confusing, but don’t get frustrated so fast – it is one of the best personal branding tools available today. Why? Because it is really a 3-in-one package – a research tool, a sharing tool, and a networking tool.
Facebook – Facebook isn’t just for kids anymore. Business professionals and companies are both recognizing that the way to reach your audience today is to be where they are. If you want to form connections and build your own brand, right now that place is Facebook
Blog – Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject, while others function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other related media. The ability of readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part as well. Google and other search engines pull up blogs frequently, so what better way is there to show your expertise in a field by sharing it with a blog.
BackType – BackType is a tool that monitors your brand and the keywords in blog comments. If you are mentioned, represented, or comment on a blog or page, you will receive an email alert. This is a great way to make sure that your brand isn’t being misrepresented.
BoardTracker – BoardTracker does exactly what it sounds like – it tracks brand and keyword mentions on discussion boards and forums. You control the keywords and when it is distributed. This is a great way to go beyond Google Alerts and really dive into your brand outside of what Google web crawlers find.
TweetBeep – TweetBeep is not necessarily a new tool, but one worth mentioning. It allows you to set up key word alerts from Twitter sent to your email at regular intervals. The basic service is free but if you are looking for instant and real time alerts, you will pay a nominal fee.
Remember that your brand is all about engagement and you need to be active on social networks, blogs, and anywhere you can be networking and putting out the word that you are passionate. Always be in the mix of where information is happening in your field to show your true passion.
These tools are all great ways to help improve your personal brand, but the number one tool will always be you – your involvement with what you do, and how you portray yourself to the world.
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