Lindsay Shoemake is a Social Media & Digital Marketing Manager in the luxury space in Denver. When she’s not “working”, Lindsay is the founder of career site That Working Girl, which aims to empower women toward invigorating careers in the media industry. Lindsay has been featured for her expertise in PR, marketing and branding by notable media outlets like USA Today, JEZEBEL Magazine and The Huffington Post Live. In the future, Lindsay hopes to launch a successful branding and PR firm, with a focus on serving lifestyle and creative brands.
Leaders in Heels spoke to Lindsay to get her top tips for growing your personal brand.
The Importance of having a personal brand
By now, most of us have heard the term “personal brand.” Whether you first heard about the importance of building your brand in a college classroom or in a boardroom at work, all of this branding talk isn’t just for naught – having a strong personal brand is a valid way to create a cohesive, expressive identity for yourself.
Having grown my own personal brand and a strong brand for That Working Girl over the last few years, below are my top 10 tips for growing a stellar personal brand that will set you apart from others in your industry.
1. Make authenticity #1
I’ve quickly learned that people are drawn to authenticity. When curating your personal brand, be you – not the fake, veneer version of you. Take pride in your quirks and uniqueness, and lend those qualities to your overall brand. After all, who would Coco Chanel have been without her signature oversized pearls, or Lady Gaga without her outlandish stage outfits?
2. Choose your voice
This can just as likely apply to bloggers as it can to professionals – hone your “voice”, or your communication style, and keep it consistent. This will lend itself to your personal brand in a major way.
3. Commit to a branding scheme
I know – commitment can be scary. That’s why I think it’s smart to take a reasonable chunk of time to decide on your branding scheme, and stick to one that you love! Whether this means employing a talented graphic designer or a creative friend or help you, it’s totally worth it. This branding scheme will translate onto your business cards, email signature, personal website and more. Invest in it.
4. Get feedback on your brand
It might seem awkward asking for feedback on your overall personal branding scheme, but meeting with a close friend or colleague who understands your work style and what you stand for might be a great way to ensure that you’re being 100% authentic while building your brand. You can never get enough insight or useful feedback!
5. Stay social on social media
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the constant chatter on social media, but an important component of maintaining your personal brand is making an effort to actively participate in social media. Is being an avid traveller a component of your personal brand? Participate in a weekly Twitter chat regarding travel and represent yourself as an expert in your field. Connecting with others in your industry and areas of interest is a great way to boost your overall brand.
6. Seek out opportunities to educate
In the same vein of participating in social media online in regard to topics that best represent you, take things offline and seek out opportunities to educate others. Whether this means speaking at seminars or hosting monthly workshops, taking your great persona offline is a great way to grow and hone your personal brand.
7. Mind the little online details
When it comes to branding, the little details matter. Make sure that your social media profiles are all registered under the same handle, your profile pictures are consistent, and that the design and colours used within your profiles are similar.
8. Network, ladies!
Networking can be daunting, I get it. But what’s the point in building an awesome personal brand if you aren’t willing to show it off every now and then? Research local networking events in your area and make a point to go to one or two each month. You will be amazed at how many interesting people you’ll meet, and how many will walk away remembering your personal brand.
9. Sell yourself
Especially for entrepreneurs, having a polished personal brand is a great way to land new clients. If you’re a business owner, hone in on your strengths while branding yourself, and drive home those key attributes in your overall personal brand. Are you an expert communicator? Tie a blog component onto your personal brand!
10. Perfect your elevator pitch
One thing that I love about elevator pitches is the fact that they really force you to get to know yourself – in 30 concise seconds or less. As the cherry on top of your personal brand, polish your elevator pitch to really convey who you are. Be selective with your adjectives and make sure that they’re reflective of the authentic you. You’ll be ready to shine in no time!
Featured Photo Credit: Stefano Principato via Flickr