In the last two posts, I had shared –the ‘Why’ and the ‘How’ of Personal Branding. The posts have been well received. It is particularly gratifying to note that most readers see a tight relationship between personal branding and organizational efforts and NOT mutually exclusive ideas. Also evident is the fact that most readers see that personal branding calls for sustained efforts. As we say –“what is common between Rome and a brand?” Both were not built in a day. The last post (Part Two: How to Do Personal Branding for Organizational and Personal Growth) dealt with steps that help get started on the journey for Personal branding. A quick recap is as follows. For details please visit the previous posts.
Step 1: Identify 2-3 areas/topics which you are knowledgeable and passionate about
Step 2: Once you have identified the areas, make a list of all the resources at your disposal to build on this topic
Step 3: Start to tap into these resources and over the next 3-4 weeks, build content and perspectives around the topic
Step 4: Manifest your brand: Once you have arrived at the topics and the positioning, start to plan your blog
Step 5: Write a whitepaper (s)
Advanced Methods of Personal Branding
Once you have executed on the ideas above, it is time to further your reach to more advanced methods of personal branding. A strong suggestion – do not enter into these advanced methods if you have started and moved a fair bit on the basic steps. If you do so, you will be risking not having impactful and deep content on your chosen topic.
Here are some ideas for how to build a personal brand:
Idea #1: Activating the PR machinery: Get yourself press trained. Understand how the media works. Familiarize yourself with the types of media. What are topics that are of interest to different types of media? How will you make your impact felt in these areas? Speak to a PR expert and prepare yourself accordingly. There are different boutique PR agencies which offer such point and project interventions to help people establish a presence in the press
Idea #2: Academia Engagements: Engage with reputed academic institutions in a sustained manner. Delivering guest lectures, courses, funding research programs, chair sponsorships, scholarships, awards, co-developing case studies, writing a book etc. are solid ways to bolster one’s professional credentials. Working with reputed academic minds –researchers, members of the faculty and students helps you develop a strong conceptual framework and improves your standing in professional circles
Idea #3: Relationships with Analysts: Trade and financial analysts provide valuable insights to customers and all stakeholders. Develop strong relationships with analysts and be their go-to person for your perspectives and information about your chosen topic. Your views being quoted in analysts’ reports is a strong endorsement of your professional standing and contributes to building a personal brand. This would need a significant investment of time and efforts on your part. But once done, this will be a big shot-in-the-arm
Idea #4: Online Communities: As it is said, your network is your networth. Knowing a number of fellow professionals and being able to tap into their expertise is critical to executive success and a big personal brand builder for you. Join and participate in online communities actively. In a very short period of time you will meet and learn from the best professional peers. You will be able to mold your perspectives and ideas by learning from the best. Progressively you will be sought after for your expertise and knowledge by not just your juniors but by peers in your communities. There are several communities which deal with a topic and you can chose the best on the basis of the topics, perspectives and peer groups. If there is no online community which fits high professional standards or topics of coverage, go ahead and create one
Idea #5: Panel Memberships: As an extension of Idea #4, be a member of panels of experts in industry associations. This will help not just share but also shape opinions on a topic. For e.g. if you are a member of a panel of experts which is deciding technical specifications of a particular product or service, you could influence it to adopt the standards that you are propagating or your organization designs and works in.
Continue the Learning Journey on how to build your personal brand:
Sunder Madakshira is Head – Marketing, Adobe India. He is a recognized speaker in marketing forums. Published with permission from madakshira.com
First published September 16, 2013. Revised September 12, 2019. Updated July 2, 2021