This is a guest post by Sharyn Sheldon from BusinessContentPLR.com
Have you become wrapped up in the personal branding quest? Between social media consultants, life coaches, marketing experts, and other blogging gurus; creating your own personal brand can sound like a complicated exercise.
Among other things, you’ll need to discover what really matters to you and your target audience, where you provide unique value, and how you want to be perceived.
While the process of putting together your total personal brand “package” sounds daunting, it’s far easier to communicate to the world than you think. It’s not as if you’re creating a product from scratch. You already exist!
One of the things that all your consultants might forget to tell you is that the real you is what matters most in building credibility. As soon as you start trying to market an artificial personal brand, people will see right through it and you’ll lose the trust you were striving for in the first place. And we’re not just talking about bloggers here. These principles apply to everyone.
With those thoughts in mind, try on these few tips for making sure it’s the real ‘you’ that shows up in your personal brand and on your blog:
1. Actions Speak Louder Than Words
You may specialize in words for a living, but no matter how many times you tell the world what your personal brand represents, it’s what you do in real life that will communicate it most.
If you say in your blog that you’re an innovative content marketer, then you’d better have some real life, active marketing campaigns going on that take the word “creative” to new levels. If you say that your mission is to help people realize their dreams, then I hope you are out there in the world doing just that.
Before you start defining your brand, think about whether your words are really wishes. Or, do you truly intend to put those words into action immediately? Successful bloggers have their actions planned out ahead of time and always make sure those actions are aligned with their image.
2. A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words
Always use a good picture of yourself for all your profiles and other places you can post it. While we’d like to think that the way we look doesn’t matter, it does. People will always get a first impression of you from your face, hair, clothes, posture, etc. If they see you face-to-face, they’ll look at the way you move, sit, stand, gesture, or even blink your eyes. If they’re just seeing your picture, they’ll note every little detail in just a glance.
Make sure your visual image reflects the brand you want to communicate. You may prefer to blog in your underwear, but unless you’re an underwear model, that image is not something you want the world to see.
3. Drop The Artifice
While there are some parts of yourself you don’t want anyone to know about, you’ll also find it difficult to fabricate something that you’re not. You might be able to learn some new skills to push the edges of your comfort zone, but you still should be aware of where you are most comfortable as yourself.
If humor is your main trait, you’re not suddenly going to become the serious pontiff who blogs about the political hazards plaguing the third world. On the other hand, if you have a really bad sense of humor, you shouldn’t start trying to tell funny stories.
Strive to be yourself and focus on you finest qualities. At the same time, be selective in sharing some of your weaknesses and faults. That’s real life and nobody likes a perfectionist.
4. Stop Reinventing Yourself
Some bloggers like to reinvent themselves as if they’re trying on the latest fashion trend. It’s confusing to every reader who arrives on your site and it defeats the entire purpose of having a personal brand. Attempting to build a community on shifting sands is pointless and self-defeating.
Once you’ve spent the time to really figure out your personal brand, stick with it. You’ll certainly refine it as you learn more about your market and yourself. But you won’t even know if your brand is having the impact you want unless you stay consistent and let it grow on its own.
5. Don’t Be A Hermit
You may know who you are, but does anyone other than your mother read your blog? The whole point of a personal brand is to use it to show the world who you are and what you have to offer. No one will know your name at all unless you are visible in some way – whether through your public actions, marketing, word of mouth, social interaction, or other efforts.
As part of your personal branding, you need to create a plan for how you’ll communicate it to the world. And that doesn’t have to mean a big speaking tour or hours spent on social media. Depending on who you’re trying to appeal to, it may be as simple as networking with other bloggers or participating in blogging challenges. Keep it simple where possible and, whatever you do, stay true to the real you.
Do you have a personal brand? What do you do to make sure it’s the real you?
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