Your name is more than a series of letters strung together, it carries your identity and your entire character and image. Personal branding is about packaging yourself in such a way that people immediately recognize you and your brand. Here are 8 ways you should invest in your name for personal branding both online and offline.
Before we jump in with this topic, how about a little exercise to get you in the right frame of mind to understand what we are talking about?
Take a deep breath. Close your eyes. Now, quickly think: apart from your friends, who do you still remember from school? Why?
Apart from my close friends, I still remember a girl named Nancy. She was in my 5th grade class and studied with us for only a year before she moved to another school. I remember her vividly because of her variety of hair styles. Every week we waited to see what wonderful hairdo she would have next.
I remember a boy from the 7th grade with a catchy last name I’d never heard before: Saywell. And at my old apartment, John stood out because of his car. It wasn’t a particularly expensive car, but he added cool stickers that stuck with me- pun intended.
I remember these people because they stood out from the crowd. Something about them was memorable and to this day their names evoke images of what I remember them for. That is the power of personal branding, a powerful tool for business success.
Imagine your name being the first thing to pop into someone’s head whenever your particular product is mentioned. But the world we live in is so competitive that the ability to make people remember you requires some work. It is essential to invest in your name to create both a personal and professional brand.
1. Milk Your Name
If you have a unique name or family name, use it as a strength. Forget the high school kids who teased you for being called Longbottom. In the business world, with the right branding, that could be gold.
Look at the ever successful Donald Trump who uses his last name for his constructions and products.
If you are just a regular Joe, fear not. Use your middle name or attach your profession or field of expertise. There are almost endless possibilities to revamp and repackage your name for the sake of your brand. Just remember to keep it professional.
Use Namecheap for your domain name search and to purchase your domain name.
2. Dress For Where You Are Going Not Where You Are
Yes, we all know beauty is only skin deep and appearance isn’t everything. But in the business world your appearance can make or break you. The key is to dress for success by dressing for the position you want and not necessarily what you currently have. Add to professional dress; a firm handshake, strong posture and confident gestures and you create a good public impression.
Appearance goes beyond just a dress code though. It extends to your behaviour, which the public sees as representative of your values.
Invest money in presenting your best self to the real world.
3. Have A “Visiting Card” – How Very Proper Of You
The conversation goes like this:
“I need a decorator for my new guest wing. I can’t do it myself, I’m just too busy!”
“Really? I’m a decorator. I would love to be of service!”
“Awesome. Do you have a card? I’ll get my office to contact you.”
“Uhm… errrrr…. no… I don’t have a card but here, I can write my number in this napkin for you”
Ok, I may have exaggerated a little bit but business cards are an integral part of marketing yourself. Investing in good business cards shows potential consumers that your are prepared, professional and actively available. Though your business may be primarily online, you should still be talking to people offline about your business, you never know who you will meet that will need your services.
4. Smile & Say Cheese!
Personal branding is about leaving a strong impression. In your absence, your logo and/or an image of yourself represents you and must have the same impact as you do in real life. Logos and pictures can be used on business cards, websites as well as on social media profiles. If you use a photograph, invest time in getting flattering shots of yourself taken professionally if possible. A smiling portrait is almost always your best bet for a positive impression. Once you select your best image, use it consistently across all communication platforms so that you can be easily recognized.
5. Google Knows All
Who needs an encyclopedia when you have Google? People search Google for just about everything. If I were to Google search your name today, what would the result be? Wouldn’t it be great to have your image, website or professional profile pop up? If you don’t already have a solid online presence, a domain in your name is a great investment. Your website is your homebase, it is important to have it in your name and to have it be appealing when it appears in Google.
If you don’t have a website or blog yet, join our 5 days to profitable blog challenge to get started on your website.
6. Get Social
Not every investment need be monetary. Sometimes all you need is time. Social media is an excellent showcase of your uniqueness and creativity. It helps with building trust and credibility. Invest time to create social media profiles that are attractive, active, creative, consistent and true to your name.
TIP: Purchase a vanity URL of your name; <yourname.com>
7. Raise Your Voice and Be Heard
One of the reasons TED Talks are so powerful is that the platform provides an opportunity for a community to actually hear the passion and expertise of the presenter. Now, you may be years away from featuring in one of these talks but you too have a voice. Use it. Speaking engagements on your field of interest exposes your consumers to your passion and creates a sense of closeness. Your voice can often convey sentiments that papers and computers can not. Podcasting is one of the best ways to demonstrate your expertise. Invest time in creating audio and video podcasts to broadcast your skill set.
8. Go To Networking Events
It pays to know someone, who knows someone, who knows someone. Get yourself connected offline by attending meets, social events and other gatherings that attract people within your field of interest and beyond. These events can also serve as an opportunity to test out public reactions to your name, dress, card, social presence etc. You never know who you will meet that will kick the doors wide open for you. While online networking is great, personal contact networking is still a favourite of successful businesses.
Your reputation is of critical importance to your business. Personal branding begins with creating, developing and managing your name. Invest in your name and you are on the road to sustaining a successful business.
If you are not sure how to start creating a personal brand much less building a reputation, we are here to help you. Contact us for a one and one consulation