Personal Brand

Growth hack your personal brand

Growth hack your personal brand

Monday, 25 February 2019

Growth hacking is a process of rapid experimentation across marketing channels and product development to identify the most effective, efficient ways to grow a business.

(Wikipedia)

 

As the face of your business, there’s no substitute for spending time and energy crafting and implementing your personal brand. Once you have defined what you stand for and how you authentically project that to the world, the following tips can help you ensure you’re topping up your brand credentials at every opportunity.

 

WHO’D PLAY YOU IN THE MOVIE OF YOUR LIFE?

Well for the purposes of this exercise, you are. And instead of a movie, it’s a five-minute speaking engagement on a hot-ticket panel or industry event, where you’ll be sharing some insights in to your business or your industry at large.

Imagine the poster or trailer that’s advertising your slot to encourage people to attend. What’s the main sell, picture and strapline? What’s it telling people about your expertise, your style, the tone they can expect from the event and why your talk will be different to one told by someone in a similar position? What clues to your image are given through the colour scheme, font, and other imagery?

Once you’ve nailed the specifics, bite the bullet and volunteer yourself for a short talk at an upcoming event, feeding all this insight into your pitch to organisers.

 

WHAT WOULD YOUR SUPER POWER BE?

What’s your greatest fear? To whom would you like to say sorry? What’s the trait you most deplore in yourself?

These and many more questions form a popular feature in The Guardian’s weekend supplement, whereby a different celebrity each week answers the same questions (we adore the one with space scientist and everywoman keynote speaker Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE).

Working through the list and thinking through how you’d respond to each in the most interesting possible way is a great – and fun – way to ensure you’ve covered all bases when it comes to understanding your own brand.

But don’t stop there – stencil questionnaires like these are fun to read and easy for editors to churn out, hence their ubiquity in print and online journalism.

Journalists are often looking for entrepreneurs with an interesting story, who they can interview and profile – so why not put yourself forward? Connect with the staff of business publications online and check out the Twitter hashtag #JournoRequest for eager journalists looking for their next story.

 

WHAT DO YOU SAY ABOUT YOU WHEN YOU’RE OUT OF THE OFFICE?

There’s a saying by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, that personal brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.

What you say about yourself when you’re not in the room is usually quite dull: “Hi, I’m away from the office on annual leave and will get back to you on my return.” Sound about right?

Every time you create your out of office message, think about what it’s communicating to others about you. How could you add in a bit more brand and make it a bit less boring to make it work that much harder for you?

Are you 'OOO' because you’re going to a big industry conference? If so, why not tell people where you’re going and that they should look you up if they’re also attending? Whatever your message, make sure it’s personal and on brand.

 

PEER INSIDE YOUR NETWORK’S BLACK HOLES

Getting your face and voice known more widely doesn’t have to mean frantically networking your way towards more new connections. Chances are there are a few people lurking on your LinkedIn follower list who you’ve absentmindedly accepted invites from but have never actually spoken to. Or people whose careers you follow on Twitter but you don't interact with beyond the odd favouriting of their Tweets.

Be targeted - reach out with a well-branded “Hello” to those who hold the most interest for you and who provide the most relevant audience for your content.

 

ONCE UPON A TIME THERE WAS…

Storytelling has become a buzzword in business, with leaders advocating for PowerPoint presentations that flow like the picture books to your beautifully spun tales.

But storytelling in its most basic form is just as effective for building your brand when you incorporate it into your everyday working life. Make sure you always have a few short – elevator-ride timed – stories about current projects or office happenings that you feel comfortable sharing.

When the boss does a walkabout asking how things are going, you’ll stand head and shoulders above all those “great, thank yous”.

 

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