For over two decades, I’ve been working directly with marketers, marketing managers, marketing specialists, CMOs and brand managers from various companies. All of them —and most probably, you are, too — are busy helping build their company’s brands.
As a marketer or a branding specialist, you’re working on brand awareness, brand reinforcement and handling brand management. You want to make sure that your companies’ names appear on the first page of Google search results for their keywords.
And many of you must have considered using promotional products to reinforce brand awareness. Why? Because promotional products work.
But seriously, let me share with you some insights that you’ve probably thought of, although not for yourself, but for the company you represent.
Now, what do I mean?
It’s time to build your personal brand, not just your company’s brand
Marketers have responsibilities to themselves — as they do have to their companies — to build a strong individual reputation or a personal brand. One of the reasons you’re a marketer is that you understand your company’s products or services and you are an expert in your industry.
You can’t truly market a business without knowing its products and services by heart. You can’t effectively take your company’s brand to the next level without a grasp of the industry and without any idea of where the industry is headed. This means:
You are an expert. You have unique perspectives. You have a “super power.”
Unfortunately, like most marketers, you’re probably too busy building your company brands and forgetting to take a step back and realize that you also have to build your own personal brands. And doing so will give your company a huge advantage in the industry.
Here are some tips to help you build a strong personal brand as a marketer:
For you to easily remember, I use the acronym PROMO in discussing each of these tips:
P – Publish or perish.
R – Remain authentic.
O – Own your brand and align it with your company’s brand.
M – Make it about your audience.
O – Offline engagement is still crucial.
Publish or Perish
A huge part of your personal branding kit is sharing your expertise through content creation. You can publish articles on your own blog, use videos on your social profiles, especially on LinkedIn, or participate in podcast interviews.
The key is for you to share your expertise so that you will be seen as a go-to person, which will help you position yourself as a thought leader in the industry. And as what Sujan Patel recommends, you must deliver valuable content consistently if you want real results.
If done the right way, content creation can help your marketing team move your target customers down your lead generation funnel.
Creating content is an honor, and it’s an opportunity. It’s an opportunity for you, it’s an opportunity for me, it’s an opportunity for all of us, and I hope you agree….it’s an opportunity worthy of passion.- Jay Baer, Founder & President, Convince & Convert
Unlike what most people think, personal branding is not about creating a different persona. It’s about being who you are.
Tell your story. Share what excites you. Let your network know what inspires you. And then, educate and inspire them, too. Keith Ferrazzi, New York Times best-selling author and CEO of Ferrazzi Greenlight recommends being vulnerable.
No one cares about what you do until they discover who you are. You need to get people to buy into your story. -Ryan Foland, Influence Tree
Own Your Brand and Align It with Your Company’s Brand
As you build your professional brand, remember that you’re also helping build your company’s brand. Just make sure that your personal brand is aligned with the company’s brand.
This could mean aligning your values and passions, and probably your purpose, with your company’s mission and vision.
Avoid making your audience confused. Your own brand should help build your company and the company brand should also elevate your professional brand.
Make it About Your Audience
Know your audience and create engaging content to help them succeed in their roles or to make them more informed about the industry. Avoid selling.
Once you’ve built your authority, you can sell without even selling. And that will have huge benefits to your company.
People engage with humans, not so much with logos and brands, so if you get yourself out there, you can be the “face” of your company’s brand. It’s going to be a win-win situation for you and the company you represent.
Offline Engagement Is Still Crucial
If you ask successful marketers, you’ll surely hear the quote, “Your network is your net worth.” That is true. To enjoy a long-term success, you must build relationships and there is no better way to do this than to take online conversations to offline engagement.
Aside from organizing your own marketing events, consider attending other conferences, trade shows, forums, or any relevant marketing events participated in by your target customers. Speak in events. Collaborate with like-minded professionals. Those are all crucial to your branding efforts.
As usual, during events, don’t forget to bring your business cards. And of course, in your own marketing events, keep promotional products handy to continue reinforcing your company’s brand.