You are your own brand

In today’s digital age, whether you like it or not, everyone has a personal brand. What are you doing about yours?

I work with a lot of CEOs, entrepreneurs and business professionals to build their personal brands and I’d like to share 3 initial tips that can hopefully help you.

Tip # 1: Google yourself. Yep. When someone wants to find out more about you, they’re most likely to start with the world’s most popular search engine, which now processes over 3.5 billion search requests each day. What are they going to see about you? It’s important to pay the most attention to the top three results, though don’t ignore any of the top ten (which is usually the first page with Google.) If you’re like me and on LinkedIn, there’s a good chance your profile on there will be one of the top things listed.

Tip # 2: Clarify who you are. This one is not always easy to do, but important. I always tell my clients that you must have clarity before strategy. Try it the other way around and you’re more likely to not succeed. Begin by asking: “Who is my authentic self?… What do I stand for?… How do I help others?” I think it’s always helpful to establish the core values that define you. Some of mine include: compassion, hopefulness, kindness, presence and service. Because I incorporate them into my life and my business, they are part of my personal brand. The key is to be true to yourself. To be authentic. Don’t try to be someone you’re not.

Tip # 3: Strengthen your LinkedIn profile. A lot of folks set up a profile on the world’s largest professional networking site and then do nothing to maintain or enhance it. If you’re building a personal brand or one for your organization, then it’s a mistake to ignore LinkedIn. But don’t have enough time to work on every field listed? That’s okay, it’s about progress rather than perfection. Focus first on these three parts of your profile: headshot, headline and summary. Is your picture professional, forward-facing and friendly? Your headline is the 120 character field underneath your headshot. Does it say something compelling about you and/or how you help others in your line of work? One of my real estate clients changed hers from “Licensed Realtor” to “I can help you find your dream home.” She’s getting a lot more traction. Your summary is like your short resume. I suggest that the first sentence be a power statement. Mine says: “LET’S ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS” because as a business coach, most of my clients are goal oriented. Lastly, I suggest that you write your summary in the first person to make it more personal and interesting.

Want to learn more about building your personal brand?

Check out my Facebook Live series “Personal Branding Makeover” every 2nd and 4th Thursday at 12 noon EST by going to: http://bit.ly/2tt1jOY.

“The Entrepreneurial Ecosystem” is a 500-word blog by Thomas Heath, CLC that explores the world of business from an entrepreneur’s perspective. Its goals are to educate, enlighten and get conversations started. Join Thomas with a Share or Comment, he loves to respond. Also, be sure to follow him here on LinkedIn, Twitter & Instagram: @AskThomasHeath.

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