A brand is a product, service, or concept that is publicly distinguished from other products, services, or concepts so that it can be easily communicated and usually marketed. A brand name is the name of the distinctive product, service, or concept. Branding is the process of creating and disseminating the brand name. Branding can be applied to the entire corporate identity as well as to individual product and service names.
Apple, Coca Cola, and Kate Spade: They’re all brands, and well-known ones at that. As such, simply hearing one of these company’s name is enough to inspire an entire idea of what their business represents. You know their values, personality, and identity—just from the way they portray themselves to consumers.
And I know it can seem strange to think of yourself in this same context. After all, you’re a person, not a product. But rest assured as a professional, you definitely have your own brand to uphold.

Needless to say, you undoubtedly want your brand to send a positive message about who you are, what you’re capable of, and what you’re all about. But, how do you accomplish that? How can you establish and foster something that seems so intangible and subjective?
Here are five steps to build your own personal brand. Follow along, and you can be proud of the reputation and identity you share with the world.

1. Understand and be your authentic self.

Imagine how hard it would be to build a brand around your “fake” self. You would have to act a certain way, appear a certain way, and say certain things, regardless of how you felt about it. Some professionals suggest going about building a personal brand by shaping and molding what others see, but this is exhausting to maintain in the long run.
Never forget people connect with other people. If you don’t appear to be a real person, or if it just looks like you’re faking it, how likely do you think others are to trust you? Even if they do buy into your fake persona for a while, the slightest bit of inconsistency could prove problematic.
Building a personal brand is first and foremost developing an understanding of your true self, and then sharing that with the world. Take your masks off and don’t be afraid of being vulnerable.
Don’t forget to Google yourself regularly to see how you’re coming across, how others might be perceiving you, and what they’re saying about you. You’ll have a tough time building a great personal brand without making a real effort to monitor and tweak it.
2. Remain a student of your industry.

No matter how well you know your industry or area of expertise, it would be wise to remember that things are changing at a faster rate than ever before, and you have to stay up-to-date with the latest changes and trends.
It takes time to build your personal brand. If you fail to stay relevant, all of your effort will be wasted. If you don’t want to be discredited, then you’ll want to keep learning new things, develop new skills, and expand your knowledge. If you’re not growing, then you’re stagnating, and that’s the last thing you want to do as an entrepreneur. Odds are you already know how important it is to stay on top of your game, but a friendly reminder never hurt anyone.
As you begin to sharpen your personal brand, the right opportunities will start coming your way. People will begin to see that you know what you’re taking about, and they’ll invite you to be a part of their stories or news pieces. However, don’t forget how important it is for you to have accomplished something yourself. You can’t talk about what you haven’t done, because that will take away from your personal brand. Be open about your shortcomings and weaknesses. This will make you all the more human and relatable.

Coca Cola changed its slogan from: “billion reasons to believe” to “taste the feeling”

3. Build your online presence.

Do you know how you’re appearing and coming across online? This is something you’re going to want to monitor on an ongoing basis, and improve upon whenever and wherever possible.
Do you have social media profiles? If so, are they fully fleshed out with all of your information? Do they present you in the best light possible, and make you look professional? Are you using high-quality professional photography? Are you interacting with others and sharing their content?
Do you have a website for your personal brand? One of the best ways to rank in search for your name is to build a website. This gives you considerably more control over your online presence than social media. It can’t hurt to add new content to your site on a regular basis, either. You can get a domain with this GoDaddy coupon for just 99 cents – so there’s no excuse to delay. Try to buy your own name if you can.

Don’t forget to Google yourself regularly to see how you’re coming across, how others might be perceiving you, and what they’re saying about you. You’ll have a tough time building a great personal brand without making a real effort to monitor and tweak it.

4. Speaking engagements.

If you’re looking to build your brand, then you should be speaking on a regular basis. Naturally, this will mean developing your communication skills. If you speak in exactly the same manner others do, you will never stand out from the crowd.
Speak from a place of knowledge and power. Show that you know what you’re talking about, and answer questions in a way that serves your audience.
Show that you are confident. Some may criticize or disagree with you. The important thing is to remain open to feedback. Thank others for sharing their views, and if the points they raised were legitimate, determine how you can improve and do better next time.
Speaking engagements are opportunities to be seen and heard. Start small, and keep building. You may not land high-quality speaking engagements off the bat, but if you keep swinging, you’ll build your following and get invited to speak at bigger, more notable events and conferences. Buckle down and offer the greatest amount of value you possibly can everywhere you go.

5. Write thought leadership articles and participate in interviews.

Thought leadership articles and interviews establish your credibility. As with speaking engagements, landing the best opportunities takes time and effort, but if you remain open to what comes your way, pretty soon you’ll be showing up everywhere.
Take a look at the press coverage we’ve received to date. Anybody who regularly hangs out online should be aware of many of the brands listed there, but even if they aren’t, they probably know about publications and media outlets like Fox News and Time. This shows that others see you as an authority. In addition to that, here’s an example of an interview I’ve done, covering one of the topics FE International is most known for; selling websites.Getting an “in” with the media, online publishers and publications can prove challenging. However, it is a powerful way to show that you know what you’re talking about. Every outlet you build a connection with increases your brand authority.

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