By Flying Solo contributor Nick Brogden
Have you ever wondered why some people are able to skyrocket their personal brand more than others?
Quite often it can come down to leveraging your network, branding yourself as an expert, and thinking outside of the box by doing things that others don’t do. Here’s a fresh look at some creative things you can do to skyrocket your personal brand.
Leverage your personal network
Over the years, I’ve built up a considerable network from working as a principal consultant in one of Australia’s leading marketing companies. But my plan was always to go back to working for myself. As much as I loved the fast-paced agency life it was hard to justify dedicating so much time to an agency I had no ownership in.
But, as you can imagine, the switch from full-time employee back to business owner was quite challenging, and I can account a lot of my success to the skills that I have built up over the years and also the connections that I’ve made.
Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn says, “One of the challenges in networking is everybody thinks it’s making cold calls to strangers. Actually, it’s the people who already have strong trust relationships with you, who know you’re dedicated, smart, a team player, who can help you.”
I couldn’t agree more with Hoffman’s statement, and the interesting thing here is that as soon as I quit my full-time job to be a solo “business owner,” I’ve had a considerable amount of local SEO job offers come in, with the bulk of these coming via my personal network.
Brand yourself as an expert
Personal branding is all about how you present yourself online and offline. It’s about displaying your expertise in a professional manner that isn’t “screaming self-promotion” but rather identifies you as a knowledgeable person that is backed up by social proof and your connections.
I now use my personal brand as one of my major marketing tools. Take my website for instance, it shows a picture of me speaking at an event. This shot is actually of me speaking at the Powerhouse Museum for a guest lecture I delivered on the fundamentals of SEO and content marketing for a large group of marketing students at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS).
The benefits of guest lecturing are priceless, that’s because they can add new dimensions to your personal brand that simultaneously solidifies your expert status and credibility. Guest lecturing can also lead to other things like being invited to be a panel judge or even being interviewed by journalists on TV.
“Nothing positions you as an authority anymore clearly than being a lecturer at somewhere of the calibre,” says IT Expert Stewart Marshall, a guest lecturer at Sydney University and best-selling author of “Doing IT for Money.”
Think outside of the box
A friend of mine who is a writer for Forbes recently ran a strategic PR experiment on “his own content.” He recently published an article that, he felt didn’t get the attention that it really deserved. So, what did he do? He thought, “how can I turn this into an opportunity.”
So, he emailed approximately 300 journalists from major publications telling them about the article that he had just written, and asked just 2 things:
If you were to republish this, it would not only make my day but my entire year.
And, if you are looking for contributors, I’d love to be considered
The results: The article went from approximately 500 views and grew to almost 5,000. It was re-published 7 times, and he was offered around 10 opportunities to write for other publications. And, this helped him to grow his personal brand by getting creative and thinking outside of the box.
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