Entrepreneurs are known to successfully use many digital and social channels to help promote their big ideas and ventures. But when it comes to the concept of personal branding and reputation management, many entrepreneurs and professionals fall short. Most take social action reactively rather than proactively towards their reputation and personal brand, “cleaning it up” and responding to reviews only when something turns negative. Developing your own brand is as vital as developing your company’s brand. We’ve gathered a few ways you can begin to developing a reputable and honest personal brand.
First, Genuine Conversation
The first step to developing and maintaining a genuine, trustworthy personal brand presence is to be, well, genuine and trustworthy. Your personal brand should be a reflection of who you are, the things that interest you, and your actual passions. Imagine how exhausting it would be to keep up a “fake” reputation over the long term!
It’s important to remember that people don’t go to the web social channels just to find their next business partner or buy things. We as humans seek real conversations with real people about real ideas. Brands know that they too have to have engage with their audience on real, personal levels in order to build up meaningful relationships. You should also take every opportunity you have to be friendly, helpful, and genuine on social channels, blogs, emails, and anywhere else the conversation strikes. As this Huff Post article puts it, “When people know you, and know what you can offer, they are more likely to do business with you or recommend you to their network.”
Social media channels are the most obvious way to build up your personal brand presence. Just like a corporate entity builds up a brand reputation by sharing helpful, relatable, and relevant content (NOT only their own content!) on social media, professionals can use social channels to build a personality and reputation that matches who they are. Make social connections with influencers in your industry, and pay attention to how they interact with others on social.
Check out Buffer’s advice on using social media to build your personal brand: The 5 Keys to Building a Social Media Strategy for Your Personal Brand
Content with Your Name On It
Content is still king, and leveraging it is a fantastic way to build up credibility and trust in your industry. While it’s great to have a social media presence, creating new and unique content to share on those social channels is the key to success. Look for opportunities to guest blog on other blogs in your industry, post research and your own industry findings on LinkedIn’s Long-Form forum, and share your ideas about current topics or technology on your own content channels.
Speaking at Events
Speaking at events related to your industry is one of the best ways to gain exposure as a thought leader in your industry of choice. Not only will it force you to develop strong communication and public speaking skills, it gives you a chance to really show your knowledge and power within the industry. Start at local conferences and host your own meetups (these are great for SEO value, too!). Even if you have to bribe some friends with the promise of coffee or some brews afterward, use the opportunity to practice speaking about your industry. Keep your body language in mind, and try to learn from each experience.
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Speaking engagements are opportunities for your voice to be heard. Build up a confident and knowledgable personal brand online and on social channels, then really drive that personality and reputation home at conferences and events in your industry. At the Launch Wisconsin Entrepreneur and Tech Conference, our diverse and expansive list of unique speakers do just that. They’ll discuss their unique industry experience with thought-provoking points and highlight solutions to their industry’s toughest problems. Don’t miss Launch Wisconsin 2016’s incredible lineup of speakers and keynotes as they demonstrate how to build up, and maintain, a strong personal brand and positive reputation!