|By Chris Perry||
|August 25, 2009 02:00 PM EDT||
Consistency builds brands, and this is especially true when it comes to personal branding. Once you have identified your own one-or-two-word personal brand and have developed the supporting brand statement or pitch, it is essential that you communicate them consistently across all of the channels in which you participate.
The more consistent all of your own marketing efforts are both online and offline, the more powerful and memorable your personal brand impression will be on all current and prospective stakeholders in your career.
Regardless of where you are in your own personal branding process, here is a shortlist of just some of the places where you can plug your personal brand in order to optimize the delivery and effect of your personal brand:
• Website/Blog: If you are interested in creating your own website or blog or already have one, this is a great place for you to start plugging your personal brand. Include your one-or-two-word personal brand and brand statement or pitch in the site’s subtitle or description, or create a page or post about yourself and link to it from your site menu. You might also consider purchasing a custom domain name (i.e. your own name, your personal brand) to really establish your site as the hub for your personal brand and other important information about yourself.
• LinkedIn: Make sure to include your one-or-two-word brand in your LinkedIn profile subtitle so anyone searching for professionals can easily identify you. Also, include your brand and supporting brand statement or pitch in your profile’s summary section. If you have a website or blog that supports your personal brand, don’t forget to include it in the external website links on your profile. You may also include your personal brand in your signature when answering questions under Answers or when posting threads or responding to threads on the discussion boards of any LinkedIn Groups you have joined.
• Twitter: While you only have a short bio section on your Twitter page, make sure to plug your personal brand and/or pitch in whatever description of yourself and your efforts you provide. Also consider including a link to your personal website/blog or LinkedIn profile.
• Facebook: Include your personal brand in the “about me” box below your picture on the left-hand side of your profile page. This is a small and subtle way to incorporate your professional, personal brand into your social networking activities.
• Email: Include your personal brand and any links to your website, blog and/or professional networks in your email signatures. This will help communicate your brand internally within your company, school or organization, as well as externally with family, friends, customers, partners, prospective employers and recruiters.
• Voicemail: You may choose to include your personal brand in your voicemail message so that all callers, known or unknown, hear you present your own brand.
• Resume: Many professionals are now including a personal summary/objective at the top of their resumes. This is a useful place to include your personal brand and pitch.
• Cover Letter: In your cover letters, whether in email or document format, include your personal brand and pitch in a paragraph following your initial introduction paragraph. No matter how you tailor the rest of your cover letter to fit a specific opportunity, this presents you and your promise beyond your experience and skills and makes you more memorable.
• Interviews/Networking: Whenever appropriate in your networking efforts and interviews, make sure to tell others about your personal brand. Hearing your personal brand in-person or on the phone is much more powerful and impressive than reading it, so make sure your contacts and interviewers hear your personal brand. In interviews, your personal brand and pitch come in handy when you are asked the “Why should we pick you?” questions.
• Business Card: While business cards are becoming increasingly obsolete, they can still be a great way to brand yourself to others when on-the-go and meeting career stakeholders in-person.
• Forums: Include your personal brand and links in your signature on any forums in which you participate.
• Articles: If you contribute blog posts or articles online or offline, make sure to include your personal brand and links, if appropriate, in your bio line at the beginning or end so to tie your content directly to your brand.
• Comments: If you make comments on articles or blog posts online, include your personal brand and link in the signature under your comment.
As stated before, this is simply a list of some of the places you can plug your personal brand and pitch to help you get started or optimize your branding efforts. If you are a member of other networks, job sites, online or offline groups, don’t hesitate to plug your personal brand there, too.
Lastly, remember that coordinating colors, images, tone, wording and other similar components across the channels listed above helps to increase consistency and optimize your brand-building efforts.
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