Here’s how to consciously cultivate your image and create a positive buzz about yourself. By Satyaki Sarkar
For any venture to succeed, one of the most important things it needs to create is a strong brand presence. Without awareness about the brand, it is extremely difficult to maximise sales, or drive revenue and profits. The same goes for a modern corporate leader. Once you have carved a niche for yourself, with respect to your work, skills, and expertise, you will find that it not only increases your popularity and following, but also opens up several doors, and gives you a tremendous opportunity for progress.
1. Be who you are
If you are trying to build your own brand, the first thing to remember is to be true to yourself. If you start building an unreal persona, with certain behaviours, attitude, etc, you’re trying to be someone you’re not, and sooner or later someone will either figure it out or you will no longer be able to keep up the pretence. Don’t build your brand according to the expectations, perceptions, and opinions of your target audience, but rather your own opinions and perceptions. If you aren’t able to appreciate the real you, then how will others? People value honesty, and will be more interested in connecting with you if they don’t see pretence. So understanding who you are and being yourself is a crucial part of building your brand.
2. Speak at public forums
A brand cannot be build passively, as the very purpose of it is to engage with people and increase awareness. As such, you must network regularly. One of the ways is to speak at different public forums about your area of expertise. You need not match other people’s manner of speaking, attitude, or accent, but rather, concentrate on giving out clear, useful information. Be open to criticism and feedback; that shows a willingness to learn and get better. Public forums are a great networking opportunity and it’s important your harness them for professional and personal growth.
3. Put yourself out there
Like with speaking engagements, you need to be able to put yourself out there, if you want people to be aware of you. In this respect, writing thought leadership articles and taking part in interviews not only increases your presence, but also builds up your credibility and creates goodwill. Start publishing articles in various online forums dedicated to your industry. Also share them on your personal social media handles. Remember to provide unique information/value that helps you stand apart, and that brings people back for more.
4. Build your online presence
In this age, a brand cannot succeed without a strong online presence. This is where you can mould what people see and understand about you. Create and curate content that is tailored to make the most of each social media medium. Every tweet your share, picture you post, and status message you write adds to the impression of your personal brand. So be more strategic about your online activities. Ensure all your social media profiles have the latest information on your career, use high-quality images, share interesting content, frequently interact with your peers, participate in online discussions, and initiate discussions in your area of expertise.
5. Keep up-to-date
Even if you’ve spent decades in your industry, having amassed lots of knowledge and experience you still need to work to keep yourself up-to-date. There are countless innovations that spring up every day and new methodologies being worked on. To keep yourself in the game you need to be in the know, adding to your skills, adapting to the changes, and showcasing yourself as a thought leader in your field. Stagnancy and complacency are two of the biggest obstacles to progress and can wear out your brand’s presence faster than you manage to build it.