Easy Ways to Start Establishing Your Personal Brand

brandsQ: If you search my name online, it is only associated with my company. What is one simple step I can take toward establishing a separate personal brand?

A: Design a personal website
. “I began to struggle with how to brand myself in a succinct way, so I designed a website that tells my story visually and in writing. It has been a really great way to build my brand in one place that lets me put my personal flavor on it. It has even helped me land speaking gigs and other deals.” Darrah Brustein, Network Under 40

Start a blog. “The best way to build a personal brand is to start a blog. You don’t have to write daily, but even sharing your thoughts on a weekly or monthly basis can go a long way in establishing yourself as an industry expert and build your personal brand.” Syed Balkhi, OptinMonster

Register your name as a domain.
“Go out and purchase a domain name that’s in your name. Even if you can’t get the exact top-level domain (TLD) that you require (which is likely a dot com) it’s still worth grabbing another extension to get started. You can always approach the TLD owner later on. Add a word to the end of your name (e.g., one that’s related to your industry) for more domain choices. Then publish five or so pages of unique content.” Alex Miller, Upgraded Points

Contribute valuable content to the online and offline ecosystems. “One of the easiest ways to create a separate personal brand is to get the word out that you are an expert in whatever you are an expert in. There are two ways to do this: One, create content for third-party sites in your name that demonstrates your knowledge, and two, speak at conferences and other events to establish yourself in the space.” Joshua Dorkin, BiggerPockets

Guest post on other sites. “You should be guest contributing content and ideas to bigger sites on the web. I started as a contributor to Search Engine Journal then moved on to contribute to Entrepreneur magazine, where I can share my practical advice with other entrepreneurs like myself. This has allowed me to grow my personal brand, and when people search me online they see all the additional ways I’m giving back.” Peter Daisyme, Due

Decide what you stand for.
“Start a personal website, and ensure that you have a clear message about what you stand for. If your achievements are limited to one company, then simply look within your past to see what patterns exist that have made you successful, such as sales, service or a particular skill set. Share your success with media channels like podcasts, online newspapers and online shows focused on your industry.” Pejman Ghadimi, Secret Entourage

Get a great photo. “When it comes to your personal brand, your photo is your logo. Find a great photographer who can really capture your essence, and use one shot of yourself consistently across all platforms (blogging, vlogging, social media, you name it). People can relate to a human being much more easily than an inanimate graphic, and they’ll start associating your communications with you as a person.” Jared Brown, Hubstaff Talent

Start vlogging. “Start making short videos on interesting topics related to your expertise, but don’t address anything about your business. If you can build up a series of helpful videos, you’ll come to be seen as an expert outside of your company. It’s a great way to build shareable content and makes you come across as a person, not just a series of articles and companies.” Dave Nevogt, Hubstaff.com

Launch a podcast. “One of the best ways to quickly establish your personal brand is by launching a podcast. A podcast allows you to share live or pre-recorded audio with your listeners. You can run your podcast as often as you’d like, and you can interview interesting people and have guest hosts to keep your listeners entertained. Check out Blog Talk Radio for some great examples, and make sure to post all shows to iTunes for download.” Kristopher Jones, LSEO.com

Find a cause and get involved. “Get involved in something outside of your brand that’s in line with your brand’s core values. I live our company’s mission, Make Life Better, outside the office as a Big Brother and board member of a local Big Brothers Big Sisters chapter. I’m passionate about mentoring and lucky to have an amazing Little Brother. The press is a bonus, as it helps me establish my own brand but still reflects well on my company.” Nick Bayer, Saxbys Coffee

Leverage Google+. “Google+ is considered Facebook’s little brother, but it can come in handy while building your online presence. If someone searches for your name, they will be able to see your Google+ activity on top (or the side) of your search results. Not only does that make the search results look richer, it also helps boost click through rates for your profile.” Pratham Mittal, Outgrow

Identify and claim multiple social profiles.
“You need to engineer your online visibility — don’t let others to define your image. Understand that Google wants you to build and verify your online identity. Your website/blog is just one link. The rest is largely comprised of links to your social media accounts and content. Start with Google’s G+ and YouTube, and then use a site like KnowEm to identify, optimize and claim your social profiles.” Matthew Capala, Alphametic

Dive into Twitter. “Twitter is the social media platform best suited to personal branding because it enables you to mix your professional identity with your passions and interests. Look to the Twitter profiles of individuals you admire and whose personal brand you’d like to emulate, and take a similar social strategy to theirs. Share content you connect with and engage with the community you want to be part of.” Heather Schwarz-Lopes, EarlyShares

(Source: TCA)