Celebrities, rock stars, athletes, leaders, politicians, and all types of figureheads have built their brands for years to promote themselves and their experiences. Today, we all have the opportunity to create amazing personal brands for ourselves that will accelerate our success and bring visibility to our work. If you want to be known as a leader in your field and have an authoritative voice, now is the time to get famous.
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But why do I need a personal brand?
Today’s business climate is too competitive not to create your own brand. Just deleting your drunk photos from Facebook is not enough to get that opportunity. Think your future employer, graduate student, or investor won’t be looking for you on Google? Think again. If your competitor has an online image that screams “I’ve been successful at creating”, that opportunity will be given to them.
Not only can your online presence give you the edge you need when someone is looking for you, but effective online marketing can actually open up huge opportunities for you. There are countless success stories of people who have been discovered online and have built a viable business around their passion. It’s true: it’s not what you know that matters, but who you know, but even better, who knows you.
What do you mean by online success stories?
Try these on for size:
- Perez Hilton loved to write about celebrities, and now he himself has become one of them. Known for his red carpet opinion, this blogger has both TV and book deals, earning millions from ads on his website.
- Gary Vaynerchuk founded Wine Library TV and is now represented by CAA, the same talent agency that represents Tom Cruise and Oprah.
- Tim Ferriss used his blog and social media contacts to create enough buzz around his book The 4-Hour Workweek, which became a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Businessweek bestseller.
- Bill Simmons has established himself online as a Boston sports guy and is now one of ESPN’s most widely read sportswriters.
But I don’t want to be famous, I just want to be well connected.
Okay, fool, then let’s continue. You can meet almost anyone in the world online! Whatever niche you’re into, you can meet people who could be potential business partners, clients, mentors, referrals, evangelists, or just friends. Whether you are looking to become an actuarial mathematician or a physical education teacher, you can make the connections that will help you get there.
Yes, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIN, blogs – you’ve heard it all, now it’s time to learn how to use this important opportunity. But first things first…
Let’s start from scratch
Google yourself! See what appears, see what needs to be done, and act accordingly. Now it’s time to control what’s happening. It can easily start with some social media profiles on the aforementioned networks. Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIN rank high on search engines, so make sure you customize your names and brand yourself as yourself. Take @YourName, Facebook.com/YourName and Linkedin.com/in/YourName. If that’s not available, get a little creative, but your personal brand is your name, so keep it around.
You can also check out the Brand Yourself web presence tools to boost your self-esteem. These guys know that employers often turn their backs if all they find when looking for you is your high school athletics record.
Do you really need a website?
It’s time to play to your strengths and not be ashamed. Just like your resume tells who you are, your website tells the same story. Check out a great student website with our popular webboy Kevin Mandeville, or a stellar WNBA champion/business coach website like Fran Harris. Gather testimonials, add your awards and accolades to them, and take the time to write a professional biography. Remember: this is the starting point for your presence on the Rockstar network, in a few months you will have a lot to add here.
Now that you have a presence on the Internet, it’s time to decide what you like and want to be known for. Let’s quickly talk about what I’m into: thong underwear. Want to get a job at Victoria’s Secret or become a personal short butt shopper, product tester or designer? Time to start blogging about what you know. Travel to the ends of the earth and start talking about your niche. Interview thong fans, write about new trends, show runways and write reviews – whatever you think your industry wants to hear about, dive in and develop your unique voice. Don’t worry, if you’re not a writer, you can host podcasts or, even better, become a vlogger.
Now step up your social media game
Facebook is no longer just about looking at photos from spring break, and tweets have nothing to do with what you ate for lunch. These social media platforms are your way to meet thousands of like-minded people to connect with, learn from, and share your knowledge and experience with. Let’s take a look at search.twitter.com and hear what’s going on in your industry. My last thong search on Twitter led me to good people quoting Kanye West, “she’s got an ass that can swallow a thong.” Look for trends here, and when you feel bold, start speaking your mind and join the conversation. Maybe a blog post about the influence of Sisqo Thong Song on the industry? Maybe you will find some links and interesting readings? Keep an eye on what’s going on there and you’ll soon find a niche to exploit. It takes long hours and a lot of sweat to build a personal brand, but if what you say is interesting and you do it, followers will come. Your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIN statuses can easily drive traffic to your blog. Update your statuses with the latest work and get feedback from friends on social networks.
Think you have something that will spread like wildfire? Try your luck with social bookmarking platforms like Digg, Del.icio.us or StumbleUpon. These systems are widely known to shut down servers if your post becomes popular – we’re talking thousands and thousands of visits to your site and a huge impact on your work. Writing to go viral on these sites takes practice, so start learning how these posts are made, the language used, and the topics most stumbled upon or stumbled upon.
So now that I have a blog, am I a rock star?
No, not much. It’s time to use this online presence to create great opportunities. Yes, you’ll want to create a well-known online presence, but you’ll need to develop a strategy to transform it into offline authority. You have to look at every cocktail hour, every meeting, every invitation you get to meet someone as an opportunity. Attend these conferences and industry events and let your online presence reflect your driven spirit offline. Online connections are so deep that only a personal acquaintance will create a strong relationship. The more people you know, the more likely you are to have a big breakthrough, but you’ll have to hurry.
If your reach is wide enough, your network will ask you for quotes for their books, radio shows, guest posts, articles about you, testimonials about you, and telling your friends about your brand—it sounds like a little more. like rock star status, right? The hustle comes down to finding every opportunity that comes in front of you, as well as finding your own path. Do you want to be on TV or print media? You now have a presence to point to when you’re making a presentation. When producers and editors search for you on Google, they are sure to find an up-and-coming rock star, someone with a core group of followers who has a say in the industry and who is very passionate about the topic being discussed.