1. How do people see you?

“The interesting thing about your personal brand is it's never what you say it is, it's actually what everyone else says it is,” writes founder and chairman of the award-winning matchmaking firm PCBA Paul C. Brunson. “Therefore, the first place to begin in the building and growth of your brand is to know what people think of you.” Paul adds that you can find out how others view you by: “googling yourself, holding a focus group (of close friends), or asking a life coach or business coach to conduct a 360 analysis on your behalf (we do this for all of our clients and it's very effective).”

2. Build your online platform.

Blogger, author, digital strategist, and speaker Jeff Bullas recommends that you, “Build your own online platform such as a blog or website that you own, then amplify your content and engage with your audience on social networks.” He adds, “Use LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter or even Pinterest and Instagram. You have options. Find what social network resonates with you.” “The secret. Don't wait to be perfect. Just start.”

Serial entrepreneur, venture capitalist, four-time New York Times bestselling author, and early investor in Twitter, Tumblr, Venmo, and Uber, Gary Vaynerchuk says; "I'll give you the biggest tip when it comes to content creation: Document. Don't create."

Here are a couple of pointers to keep in mind when creating your brand;

  • Be authentic.
  • Have a unique voice.
  • Build an email list.
  • Have a memorable design.
  • Create a memorable slogan that expresses your mission and purpose.
  • Empower your customers/clients/audience.

Also, don't forget to harness the power of content marketing, guest blogging, and networking.

3. Weave your brand into everything you do.

Personal branding should be a large part of everything you do. It should be weaved into your life. It shouldn't just be in the clothes you wear but in your every action with friends and business colleagues.

Your brand should show, in how you blog online. Our personal brand is anchored in the design ecosystem. At Infinite Designs everything we do is design-oriented. We eat, sleep, breathe - design. We don't waste any time trying to be something we're not. You need a house painted? Look in the phone book. You need brilliant web design? You're in the right spot!

4. Be consistent.

As a customer, think about the brands that you are most loyal to. Chances are that they've earned your trust because they are dependable. For example, Zappos is known for delivering superior customer service. Dropbox includes its signature hand-drawn blue box logo on all of its messaging.

Both examples prove just how important consistency is for brands.

As Hannah Fleishman states on HubSpot, “All of your communications and marketing assets should tell your brand's story.”

5. Don't try to please everyone.

You're never going to please everyone, so don't try to be everything to everyone. Learn to be the best brand possible, to a specific set of users. It's better to have 100 dedicated users/followers/customers than 1,000 mediocre ones. Don't be afraid to be yourself - even if that means saying the things that no one else will. Remember, you're not in business to please everyone. You're in business to grow a business.

7. Produce value.

You should be producing value with whatever you do. You don't have to be Apple to have an amazing product. Even lower-end products like Ikea produce a lot of value to their customers.

When thinking about the value that you can add, ask questions like:

What sets your product, service, and company apart from your competitors?

What value do you provide and how does that value differ from that provided by your competitors?

How do these benefits tap into your customer's emotions?

Does what I'm producing for my customer, produce enough value for the price I'm charging?

Is my brand in sync with how I'm marketing myself?

Pro Tip: Always provide more value than your client is paying for. It's a great way to keep clients for the long term. Think about it this way: If the takeout restaurant throws in an extra side dish free of charge, aren't you're more likely to visit them again in the future?

8. Associate yourself with strong brands.

“Your personal brand is strengthened or weakened by your connection to other brands,” said Shama Hyder, Founder, and CEO of Marketing Zen. “Find and leverage strong brands that can elevate your own personal brand.” You can begin by looking at the three C's: company, college, colleagues.

For example, you could contribute content to your alumni newsletter or company blog.

9. Get sneaky with brand-building awareness.

Finally, you can start spreading brand awareness by using some outside-of-the-box techniques like:

  • Setting up a referral program.
  • Creating an infographic.
  • Offering freemium content.
  • Partnering with local businesses.
  • Wrapping your car with ads.
  • Giving away swag.
  • Running a social media contest.
  • Hosting a podcast.
  • Be a guest on a podcast.
  • Setting up PPC ads and a remarketing campaign.

Want help cultivating your brand? Need a direction or ideas on first steps? We would love to help you! Get in touch with us and let's create something amazing together!