To brand is to be consistent. To build consistency, you have to have a system in place. This includes all of the things you need to do before you start branding as well as routine tasks you’ll continue to perform ongoing. Everything needs to be as efficient as possible. This is how the branding pros do it and you can do it as well.
Be Clear from the Beginning
Write down a statement about your brand’s vision. It should be as short and concise as possible, and should include who you are, what you do, and your promise to your audience. Whether or not you use this as an official statement doesn’t matter; what matters here is just getting it clear for yourself. What do you want people to remember you for? What’s your unique position in the market?
Identify Your Natural Strengths
Your natural strengths provide the engine for your personal brand. It’s these strengths that will shine through everything you do. What are you good at naturally without even trying? Discover these strengths and figure out ways to make them work for you. When you know what you do well, you don’t need to be egocentric or fake. Your promises will be real.
Choose Your Tools
Branding is about getting your message in front of the people who need to hear it. Today’s readily available resources include Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, your own blog, article directories, forums, press release sites, podcasts directories, and more. Brainstorm a list of these avenues for exposure and decide which you’re going to use. You should also devote time to searching out new sites and strategies.
Create Your Design
Your design features should be consistent. Choose fonts, colors, phrases and images that embody your brand. Take a good headshot that reflects the image you want to convey. Make sure it’s not too close or too far away. Choose other images and templates that you’ll use. Look at some sites and profiles of people that have strong brands to get ideas.
Create a Schedule
Take all of your routine branding tasks and budget and schedule them. Decide how much time you’re going to devote each day to each task. If you’re not sure what these tasks should be, start with your goal (the statement you wrote to clarify). How can you achieve that? Keep asking yourself ‘how’ until you arrive at concrete tasks that will get you closer to it.
Listen to People
Learn about your audience by getting active on social media and subscribing to like-minded blogs. See what people are sharing, bookmarking and talking about. The better you know your audience, the better you’ll be able to tailor your offers to them. You should also sign up for alerts so that you’ll know whenever your brand is mentioned. Keep a careful eye on what people are saying about you.
Put all of your tools and resources in one place. Social bookmarking sites are great for this. When you have everything organized, it saves you lots of time and makes your personal branding much more efficient.
The most important thing is to monitor everything you do and look for results. If certain daily tasks aren’t getting you results even after a few weeks, drop them and focus on something else. Whenever possible, split test your images, posts, and offers to see which version your audience prefers. Finally, because things are always changing in the online world, devote some time to searching out new ideas.