There is a misconception out there that branding is only for a commercial product or a commercial service. Very few business professionals realize their reputation and expertise can benefit from a personal branding plan as well.
The key to developing a personal branding plan is to develop a structured, logical and sequential series of actionable steps you can take. Too many people assume this level of planning and preparation isn’t necessary, and their work or their professional accomplishments will speak for themselves. However, unless you know how to promote yourself it is highly unlikely anyone outside your circle of friends and current business associates will even notice those achievements.
Know your Strengths
As a business owner, you have to know what your business is capable of before you set achievable goals or begin to develop a plan for improvement and growth. Consider how your personal and professional strengths can help you to develop a unique brand or identify for yourself. This could be an area of expertise, a unique niche skill or a broader skills or strength that would be highly marketable.
Develop Achievable and Measurable Goals
The next step in developing a personal branding plan is to write down your goals. It is often helpful to make a list of short-term goals, say one to three years, and then longer term goals for 10 to 20 years. It is often easier to start with the long-term goals, and then use the short term goals as measurable and “doable” objectives.
Access Resources to Achieve your Goals
Now, with your strengths identified and your personal branding plan short and long term goals in place, the next step is to determine what resources you have or need to access to achieve those goals.
Some of these resources may be to market yourself by completing specific steps to increase your social media presence, network with other professionals in-person or online, or to review your online profiles to come into line with your personal branding plan.
This seems simple and elementary on paper, but it is much more complicated to put into action. Many professionals find hiring a consultant to help to develop a personal branding plan is a priority, just as a consultant assists in building a company brand. With a consultant in place, you have a guide and a facilitator to help you to develop the personal brand to achieve your goals.