Your personal branding, tips for new entrepreneurs

Most of you know about corporate and product branding. For example, you distinguish very well the difference between BMW and Ford. BMW has this something that makes you accept to pay more for a car that will bring you to destination just like any other. This something is the brand effect. Now more than ever, branding is critical for a customer when it comes to purchase. It makes a difference since social medias make complaints and opinions accessible to others on the internet through a simple search on Google. If your products or your corporate branding is bad on social medias, you’re in trouble.

The logical is the same when it comes to personal branding. What is it ? it’s all the strategies you implement to market yourself to others. Mashable gives here a good advice on marketing yourself 101. They also write something very important:

Many people think that personal branding is just for celebrities such as Paris Hilton or Britney Spears, yet each and every one of us is a brand. Personal branding, by definition, is the process by which we market ourselves to others. As a brand, we can leverage the same strategies that make these celebrities or corporate brands appeal to others. We can build brand equity just like them.

How can you create your personal branding ?

1. Strategic planning

Planification is always the first step. Think about how you want others to see you. Do you want to become the most trusted expert in social medias strategies in Canada ? You must also determine who you will target. Are you looking for CEOs ? Prescribers ? Final customers ?

2. Prepare your tools

How do you present yourself to others ? Last Yulbiz Lanaudière, I asked entrepreneurs to present themselves. They all gave their name and functions, some also told the name of their company. However, none explained what they can carry out to other businesses. Usually, when I meet entrepeneurs, I precise I can help them create value in their business. I say: “Hi, I’m Louis-David Malo. I’m a business advisor for Coopérative de développement régional de Lanaudière. I create value in my clients businesses”. This opens a door for further discussions.

Do you have a business card ? I’m sure you do. Some put their picture on it, some not. I don’t believe it’s necessary. However, your name, position, phone number, email, Twitter and Linkedin adresses must be on it. You should also present your value statement. Now we’re in 2012, why not adding a QR Code leading to your personal blog ? Click HERE to learn more about QR Codes.

3. Social medias tools

Be careful !

Most professionals are using social medias for both professionnal and personal uses.  Facebook and Google + allow you to create groups and to send specific messages to them. For example, if you want to talk about your latest holydays, select only your friends and family. If you want to share business intelligence, select only your business contacts.

Also, avoid to publish a profile picture in bathing suit or in a suggestive motion. Keep them for the people with whom you can be more familiar. Privilege a professionnal picture is certainly a must for your credibility.

Your resume and your portfolio are certainly  important tools. Post them on your blog and on Linkedin. If you’re trying to reach business men and women, it is the social media you must use.

No doubt.

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