By Randi Bussin
Are you looking for ways to grow and brand your business?
Here are 11 easy steps to get you started.
1. Write a book review on Amazon.com in your area of expertise or thought leadership.
Once you figure out what your area of expertise and thought leadership is, go to Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Select a hot book in this area of expertise and write a book review. This book review will become a permanent part of your online identity.
2. Infuse your LinkedIn profile with the key differentiators you identified.
Once you know the brand attributes that make you unique and that are differentiated for your target audience, include this information in your LinkedIn profile. Put it in the summary section, and also add in any unique and compelling competencies and skills in the “specialties” section.
3. Subscribe to a blog in your area of thought leadership and post a comment on the blog.
Research a blog in your area of expertise. Sign up to receive their RSS feed from the blog. Read the blog posts and get familiar with what they write about and the authors who write for the blog. When you have something intelligent to say, write a blog post. That blog post will become part of your permanent online footprint.
Make sure to include a thoughtful pitch when you reach out to bloggers – this post explains how to craft the perfect pitch.
4. Include your brand attributes in your signature file (e-mail).
Think of how many times a day you send e-mails. How about adding your personal brand statement or brand attributes to your email signature file.
5. Write an article and have it published by your professional association.
Once you know what your area of thought leadership is (you have narrowed down your content theme), contact your professional association and see if you can write an article for them for their newsletter, or their blog, or both. This is a way to increase your visibility outside your organization and raise your profile among your peers.
6. Buy your domain name.
If you have not already done so, you should buy your own URL—you can use GoDaddy.com. Try to buy your name (www.randibussin.com) and if that is not available, try to describe your profession in your domain name, for example, www.susanjoneshr.com.
7. Google yourself regularly.
To people who don’t know you, you are your Google results. Find a time every week, maybe every Monday morning to Google yourself and track the results. Is your brand coming across the way you would like? How relevant are the results to how you want to be known? Are you getting the volume of results you had hoped for? If not, then start to make changes to your online identity, so you are more clearly communicating your personal brand.
8. Express your essence succinctly.
Can you express in one sentence who you are, what is differentiated about you, and what makes you valuable and compelling to those around you? If you can, this one sentence will be a powerful branding tool. You can use it when you’re connecting and relating with new people, and you can use it to stay on brand.
9. Write down your goals.
Brian Tracey says, “Success is goals and all else is commentary.” Without goals, your brand has no direction, and you will not know where to point your brand. Take a few minutes to write down what is important to you in several areas of your life —career, income, family, health, and net worth.
10. Post your goals somewhere where you will see them every day.
When you spend some time documenting your goals, and then you put them in front of you so you can’t get away from them, you remind the part of your brain that helps you focus that those goals are important to you. That will ensure that your brand is focused, pointed in the right direction, and you will achieve those goals.
11. Add value with everything you do.
Every meeting you attend, every phone call or client interaction you participate in. You always need to ask yourself, “Am I adding value to each and every interaction I have?” And if you’re not, how can you?
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Randi Bussin, CCMC, CPBS, MBA, is a Career Reinvention “strategist” and holds the Reach Certified Personal Brand and Online Identity designations. The founder of Aspire!, she partners with successful individuals, helping them find more meaningful work while reigniting the passion that has dimmed professionally. She guides them to a renewed sense of direction, an actionable career reinvention, and a personal branding plan. Reinvention can be a new career, a role more aligned to their values, an entrepreneurial pursuit based upon a passion, or a retirement game plan. Randi has changed careers twice, working in high tech, higher education, and is a serial entrepreneur. Learn more.
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