First and foremost, your professional branding is your reputation and it’s important because it’s what makes your company stand out from the competition, and attracts potential clients or customers. But more than that, your professional brand is about selling yourself as the face behind the business and positioning yourself as an industry leader and employer of choice. So how can you begin to build a strong professional brand?
Before you invest time in building your professional brand, do an internet search of your name and company. This will reveal how potential customers or clients see you online. It will also show you how well you rank in search engine results and will let you know if you need to clean up your current digital footprint.
It’s important to stay professional at all times. This doesn’t mean always being serious and never having any fun with your brand, but it means taking precautions like keeping your personal profiles private. For example, setting your personal Facebook and Twitter accounts to private so only those you choose to connect with, can see your content.
It’s also about presenting yourself professionally, it’s best to use an appropriate photo of yourself on websites and social media profiles related to your company. It’s also a good idea to use the same photo where you can, as this will be easily recognisable as you, helping to build your brand.
Whether you’re selling a product or your services, you need a strong website to do this. In order to build your brand, be sure to include an ‘About Me/Us’ page which explains who you are and how your business came to be.
Getting your name out there is the best way to build your brand, but you need to do so with great content. This can be done by creating blog posts, setting up social media accounts and sharing helpful content with customers and clients (and prospectives). Getting your name out there is especially important for sole traders if you trade under your real name.
It’s also a good idea to encourage your employees (no matter how big or small your team is) to work on their own.
So now you understand the importance of professional branding, remember these five steps when building and strengthening yours.
1. Do an internet search of your name and business to see what potential clients and customers could find
2. Keep any personal online accounts or material private
3. Choose professional pictures for yourself and keep pushing your name out there with great content
4. Make sure you’ve got a strong website that says something about your brand
5. Encourage your employees to build their own brand so they can act as ambassadors for your business
Pictured: Kelly Millar, Founder of KM Transformational Branding Consultancy
See the online article here at SME: http://www.smeweb.com/2019/06/04/build-professional-brand/