Chris Ducker once famously said, “Your personal brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.” During life, you’ll undoubtedly come across different types of leaders.
The cliché of the angry boot camp drill sergeant certainly represents one form of leadership, but on the opposite end of the spectrum, we have business leaders who get results from their employees by displaying empathy and understanding.
Such interactions go a long way in establishing your personal brand with those you interact with on a daily basis. But for those looking to establish themselves as an authority in their niche, personal branding goes for even greater reach.
Why Building A Strong Personal Brand Matters
Your personal brand is what you project to the world. It’s how others see you, and how they will ultimately talk about you. For highly visible leaders, your personal brand will likely have a major influence on whether someone decides to do business with you.
Many like to think that they do business with people, rather than a faceless company. A leader with a strong personal brand can essentially become the face of the company to customers and prospects. Unlike a company, a person is someone we can become attached to and more easily identify with.
These results are readily apparent through social media. On average, brand messages shared by employees have a 561 percent greater reach than if those same messages are shared through branded channels. This content also receives eight times as much engagement.
If regular employees can have that type of impact just by sharing brand content, it’s well worth considering how much reach a leader can have when they share their original insights. That reach and engagement is what will allow you to grow your business and establish yourself as a genuine authority in your niche.
Be Consistent In Your Efforts To Build A Personal Brand
Northeastern University recommends, “Before you start crafting your personal brand, you also need to determine who you’re trying to reach. Is it other industry thought leaders? An individual at a particular company? Recruiters? The sooner you define the audience, the easier it will be to craft your story, because you’ll better understand the type of story you need to tell (and where you need to tell it).”
While it’s true that many business leaders have built their personal brand through blog content, this isn’t the be-all end-all of brand building. Public speaking, or simply sharing your insights on social media, can also help you establish credibility in your niche.
What matters more than your preferred platform is establishing consistency in how you present your knowledge and insights. For example, using a tool like Boosted lets you easily customize video templates with your own font, logo, music and more to help you create a consistent look each time you post content to social media.
A distinct visual style will clue viewers in that they are looking at your content, and not anyone else’s. When someone is scrolling through their feed, they’ll immediately recognize your content.
Consistency also means that you will regularly devote time to your personal branding efforts. A flurry of posts at the beginning of your branding initiative won’t do you much good if you quit writing and posting after three months. A strong personal brand requires ongoing effort and maintenance.
Share Content That Truly Builds Your Brand
The type of content you share as you build your personal brand goes a long way in defining how others perceive you. It’s one thing to have a quick wit — but if you’re all witticisms without any actual meaningful insight for your industry, it will be easy for others in your niche to ignore you.
On the other hand, sharing case studies, insights from your business and personal experiences, client success stories and other value-driven content will help you establish a brand that people actively want to engage with.
To find the right focus for strengthening your personal brand, executive coach and speaker May Busch recommends asking trusted people to tell you the words that they associate with you to identify the gap between your current reputation and what you want your personal brand to be.
She explains, “Once you’ve identified the gap between perception and reality, choose the aspect that will make the biggest difference in changing perceptions. What will give the biggest boost to your personal brand? What’s the one thing that will make the other parts of the gap easier to close? That’s what you want to work on first.”
Whether interacting with someone on social media or writing a new blog post, always consider how it will help you cultivate your desired persona and provide actual value to your intended audience. This will help you become more than just another personality — you’ll be an authority.
Building A Personal Brand That Delivers
The personal brand you cultivate will greatly influence how others perceive you (and your company) long before they do business with you. You must take ownership of your personal brand so that you can direct the conversation.
By staying true to yourself and being proactive in sharing your unique message, business prospects, industry leaders and others will come to know who you are and what you stand for. They’ll view you as a reliable, trustworthy source, as someone who provides meaningful insights.
With a strong personal brand, the results you’re looking for in your career are sure to follow.
Feature Image Credit: getty
John Hall is the co-founder and president of Calendar, a scheduling and time management app. He’s also the strategic adviser for Relevance, a company that helps brands differentiate themselves and lead their industry online. You can book him as a keynote speaker here and you can check out his best-selling book “Top of Mind.” Sign up for Calendar here.