Sunday our minister referenced that breathtaking financial company ad where the woman climbs a summit and a gigantic panorama unfolds in front of her. His sermon analogy was that the year 2012 lies before each of us as a panaroma right now.
With that in mind, this is the year to create or work on your personal brand. Tom Peters pioneered the concept with “The Brand Called You”. The points he makes in the article still ring some 15 years later (only the brand names have changed!) As we move into another New Year let’s each take a quick assessment of our own personal brand and what we can do to better ourselves in 2012. Here are some tips I’ve provided to my clients in customized one-on-one sessions and am glad to share here with you.
- Google yourself– What do you find? Is it fresh? Is it negative? Does it need a PR boost?
- Does your image/Web site transfer to mobile? The growth of smart phones and other mobile devices will continue to explode in 2012.
- Who is your target audience? What communications channels are they using? Be sure you are present on them. Example: My clients are business professionals. Most all of them are on LinkedIn and there is an excellent LinkedIn Personal Branding group.
- Do you have an elevator speech? The next time you bump into Future Big Client X do you have a quick description ready for the business you have and the products and services your provide?
- How do you plan to promote your brand in 2012? How are you using your social media channels? Do they show you constantly complaining about life’s mundane things? Remember, it’s your image that’s coming through (as if you were broadcasting!) Do you have guest media appearances and public speaking engagements planned? Do you have a blog? (It’s one of the best ways to kick start your web site’s SEO!) How about podcasts? Your e-mail signature? Videos?
- Do you have an editorial calendar planned for 2012? Remember, you are a publisher. Now is the time to think seasonal and timely in your future writing and publishing.
- Are you building your brand on twitter? I’ve formed so many great relationships thanks to the magic of twitter. It’s hard for me to believe that some people still think twitter is just about celebrities and what you had for lunch. If you haven’t done so already, try a twitter chat (look for the hashtags) for a field of your interest. Neal Schaeffer provides this excellent tutorial on twitter chats. Your positive contributions on tweetchats will help build your brand in your industry group or field of interest.
- Dive in! Experiment with some new social media channel and meet some new friends along the way! In 2011 it was Google+ and Pinterest for me. What were some of your favorite new social media channels?
With an 8.6 percent nationwide unemployment rate more people than ever need to be sure they are building their personal brand both at in-person networking events and online. The business atmosphere is in a state of constant change (just look at what’s happened to some of the stalwart brands.) These tips will help you be in control of the message broadcast by your personal brand, no matter what hand economic conditions may deal to you. All the best of luck to you in 2012 and remember, your personal brand is always with you!