When it comes to business, you are the ambassador for your brand. For professional experts, you are your own brand, and you need to dominate the search results for your name and your area of expertise if you want to succeed. Here are four essential branding tips every entrepreneur should follow.
A first step to marketing yourself as a brand is determining what your brand is. “You’re the best X in city Y.” “You’re a leading expert in the ABC niche field, specialising in XYZ.” Once you’ve determined this, all of your social media accounts should be updated to reflect this. Add the key search terms for your certifications and type of expertise to your LinkedIn
skills section and detailed bios on every other platform.Control your online digital reputation
Have a consistent social media presence across multiple social media platforms. Use the same user name and full legal name on every site from LinkedIn to Instagram to Facebook. This increases your social media accounts’ ranking in searches for your name, while the consistency increases the weight search engines give you as a personal brand. It also ensures that people who are aware of your user name on one platform will find the legitimate and correct profile for you on other platforms. Don’t forget to put a professional photo of yourself on all social media
platforms, ideally the same picture. Consider claiming the hashtag for your business or your name, then put hashtags on any images and blogs you write.Picture perfect
One trick many fail to realise is that posting pictures of yourself participating in events from professional conferences to volunteering events, assuming the image description includes your same name and keywords, improves your personal search engine optimisation. These images will show up in image search, and they literally improve your profile. Don’t forget to put pictures of completed projects on sites like LinkedIn. If you’ve appeared in conferences or met with other industry professionals, tag the photos with your name and share them. You can re-use old images by sharing them on Wayback Wednesdays or Throwback Thursdays with those hashtags.Advertise your expertise
Blog about your point of view on the topic or industry you are an expert in. Creating a blog is a good first step. If this is too much for you, look for articles you’ve written for professional publications, including those in the past, and share the links to them via your social media profiles. Remember that you can give an update on what you’re doing now while you share links to older stories. Submit white papers to industry publications for projects you’ve worked on. Entrepreneur Gurbaksh Chahal
took this one step further by publishing a book, though not all of us have this skill set.
He released his first book, "The Dreams"
, in 2008. The book is a recollection of his experiences and emotions during his professional journey. The book is inspirational first and foremost and serves as an emotional guidebook for budding entrepreneurs.
You could also offer to edit articles for others to build professional contacts and receive mentions as the editor. If you volunteer to be an editor or a professional organisation paper reviewer, you can add this powerful credential to your professional profile while receiving a constant stream of inspiration for article ideas.
Seek out speaking engagements to promote your expertise, whether career days at your child’s school or free seminars for other industry professionals. Remember to share images of these events, write about it on your blog, or even post social media updates with your full name and related hashtags.
Consider doing how-to videos answering questions asked by customers. Apply personal search engine optimisation by adding your name, username, and industry-related keywords to video descriptions. Share these links via your social media accounts.
Can you think of any other ways to market yourself? Let us know in the comments.