Sunday, June 14, 2009

Cheap ways to help your "personal brand"...

In this LinkedIn Answer, I was writing to a person who wanted to sell themselves as an inventor. They had past success with creating successful products, so it wasn't just out of nowhere. If you have NO experience in an area, you need to be careful not to lie, but if you have had even a small amount of exposure, you can highlight it in things you write and say.

Here's what I suggested to the inventor, and he rewarded me with a "Best Answer."

"It's interesting to see the difference between a company's definition - in this case, it's YOUR definition - and a consumer/customer view of 'brand.' You see yourself as intelligent, creative and under-recognized for your achievements. To someone looking to utilize your services or creativity, you may seem invisible.

"In the end, which is the definition that will prevail? It's always the customer's definition of 'brand.' They're the ones who decide what happens to your 'personal brand.' The old saying, 'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,' holds true in this case. In the minds of consumers/customers is where the brand really lives.

"Once you come to that realization, the next step is to decide how you can INFLUENCE the way people view your brand. Have you changed your LinkedIn profile to emphasize your best qualities, or does it merely function as a list of things you've done? You need to do a search and see how you appear in references on the Internet. Every touch-point people have with your brand could be the deciding factor in what they think of you. Make sure all of these places are putting forth the right image.

"Next, I would start a professional blog that you use to talk about new creative ideas and about your past successes. Use generalities to talk about new ideas to make sure you don't give things away, but when talking about past successes, be specific. Promote your blog by including it in searches on Google and Yahoo!. That way, your name and blog will appear in people's search results; this will increase your visibility online so that people will be able to find you easier.

"These are all simple and non-costly ways of increasing your visibility and strengthening people's opinions of you as a serious inventor. Other options are available, but they will be more costly as you try to market yourself. Also, while you're at it, change your resume to emphasize your strengths as an inventor, too. Always remember that your 'personal brand' exists in the minds of those who come in contact with you. Make sure every instance is a good one!”
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