A brand is a promise - buy what the brand represents and you expect to get a certain experience. People have brands, too. Your personal brand is what people think of when they hear your name. For example, when folks hear your name they might think, "The gal who gets things done," or "That guy who speaks in riddles," or any number of other things.
What is your personal brand? What do people think of when they hear your name? Is your brand telling folks what you want it to?
Here's a list of ten things you can do to build the brand you want to have.
These first three are about creating a "you" worthy of your desired brand.
Pursue mastery. Rather than be like everyone else, build a unique combination of skills and knowledge that you are passionate about applying to add value. Learn your core talents (StrengthsFinder 2.0: A New and Upgraded Edition of the Online Test from Gallup's Now, Discover Your Strengths and Go Put Your Strengths to Work: 6 Powerful Steps to Achieve Outstanding Performance are great tools for this) and invest time and resources in order to turn those talents into strengths.
Consistently act in alignment with your values. Discover what behaviors are appropriate for you and which are out of bounds, and then stay in bounds.
Help others. Givers gain. Use your strengths and knowledge to add value to your network and your community.
Promoting Brand "You"
These seven ideas are about letting other people know who you are.
Join LinkedIn and complete your profile. Ask and answer questions on LinkedIn. Recommend others, and ask them to recommend you. Invite folks you know to join LinkedIn. Look for ways to proactively connect two folks in your network to each other. (For more ideas, look for Jason Alba's upcoming book, I'm on LinkedIn. Now what?)
Claim your profile on zoominfo.com and complete it.
Find blogs in your area of expertise, subscribe to them, and comment frequently (and intelligently, of course). Use a blog reader, and also subscribe to Google Blog searches on relevant key words. In your comments, include a link to one of your profiles (LinkedIn, ziggs, zoominfo).
Consider starting a blog. (Warning: a blog is a large time consumer. Given enough time with consistently good writing, the impact on your personal brand can be large.)
Play with your business cards, working to get them clearly communicating your brand. I like Vistaprint (not the free version - it's too tacky for my tastes) and I tweak the design every 250 cards. Study other's business cards for ideas, but settle on something that is you.
Links to my profiles: