Building Your Personal Brand Online and Offline
Published by ATD - The Association of Talent Development at: click here
Personal branding seems to be the big buzz lately. So, what does it mean and what do you need to consider? Kudos to Stephen Covey for this one, as you should “begin with the end in mind.” What do you want people to know about you?
It is generally acknowledged that the use of technology and social media in much of the world is ubiquitous and plays a significant role in our daily life. According to Erik Qualman, author of Social Media Revolution, “We don’t have a choice on whether we DO social media, the question is how well we DO it.”
Indeed, social media is playing a major role in personal branding, but it certainly is not everything.
Business cards are still a component of personal branding, yet many people don’t realize the power of this small piece of paper. There are many things to consider when designing a business card. Here are some tips that may be helpful.
On the front of the business card, you may want to include the following:
- title, so people know what you do
- cell phone and/or office phone
- email address
- website, if you have one (and you can create one for free at www.about.me)
- LinkedIn URL, which you should make sure you customize BEFORE you get your business cards printed
- tag line, which is a “permanent” line for your business instead of a slogan that is typically used with a single marketing campaign (This should state what you do and differentiate you from your competition and show how you are unique with your values and benefits. Further tagline considerations are noted below.)
- logo or graphic that symbolizes you or perhaps a professional photograph
- color(s) that will be memorable
- glossy or matte finish
- physical address if you have a brick and mortar location, but perhaps not necessary if you are consulting.
Many people are missing out on an opportunity for an advertisement by not including information on the back of their business card. Here are some things to consider for the back:
- light background color—so people can write the date and location of where they met you
- matte background, not glossy—so when people write, the ink does not smear
- blank space to write
- inclusion of a value proposition
- addition of a QR code
Remember: First impressions count, so get a quality business card printed by a professional company.
Your LinkedIn headline should be treated like Manhattan real estate because you only have 120 characters, and it is your SEO (search engine optimization) location on your profile. This is your personal branding—your expertise, your core values, and your value proposition. You can exude your personality along with key words that allow you to be findable and may help differentiate you from others. Here are a few more tips:
- Make sure you space the words and any punctuation or symbols properly, so there are no misspellings. Also, don