When Miara Shaw got ready to transition from working for a major oil and gas company to becoming CEO of Maven Business Academy, she knew creating a strong personal brand would be key to her success. In less than a year, Shaw has reinvented herself – going from corporate executive to entrepreneur – and changed how others perceive her. What’s the secret to her success?
“Find your lane, and stay in it. Don’t confuse your audience by trying to be everything to everyone. Find your niche and master it,” Shaw says. “Share the story behind your brand in an authentic way. People connect with you because they find themselves in your story.”
If you think branding is only for big companies like Nike and Coke, you’re not only wrong, but you’re missing out on a tool that can help you in you personally and professionally. In part two of this three-part series on personal branding, here are several practical steps you can take to get your brand up and running.
Get your image together – How you look is important, so make sure to put your best foot forward. If you’re not sure of how to accentuate your best features, consider hiring a glam squad. A fashion stylist can help you create a wardrobe that fits with the message you want your personal brand to send. Maybe you’re trying to transition from college student to career woman or from corporate executive to creative artist. Either way, a stylist (along with makeup and hair professionals) can do wonders to bring your look to life.
Make your name a domain name – One of the best ways to help people find you is by using your name as the domain for your website. Here, you can house photos, work samples, your resume, testimonials, and links to your social media platforms. If you ever decide to sell products or services, you can do so directly from you site.
Create a social media plan – There are more than two billion people who are active on social media, so whether you enjoy it or not, this is a necessary part of building your personal brand. Resist the urge to be on 10 social media sites – instead, pick the one or two platforms you can reasonably manage regularly. Decide what you want to communicate and how often you want to reach your audience, and create content that best speaks to the people with whom you most want to connect.
Promote yourself – There’s no point in developing tools to boost your personal brand if you don’t put yourself out there. Did you win an award, get a promotion or appear in a magazine? Share it. Don’t think of it as boasting; it’s one more way to reinforce your value. By keeping your network up-to-date on your activities, you become the first person they think of when they’re in need of someone with your skills.