How to Develop Your Personal Brand

“You really have to stand out from the crowd,” says Leslie Stevens-Huffman during a packed session on how to develop your personal brand at Silicon Valley Code Camp in Los Altos, California.

“You face a competitive disadvantage if you don’t create a personal brand,” she continued. “Social media has made it so easy for us to create a personal brand, so why not enjoy what some of what the social media stars enjoy?”

Stevens-Huffman suggests the following process for developing your personal brand:

Step oneCreate goals – Do you want a new promotion, a raise, a new job, or do you want to be seen as a thought leader? Whatever it is, you need to have a goal that you can work toward.

Step twoDefine your target audience and their motivation – Who are you trying to sell to? Your boss, a recruiter, a CIO at some future company? What’s going to motivate them to listen?

Step threeDiscover your personal brand – Everyone has a brand. It’s your reputation. It’s what others think of you. It’s the value you represent to the world. But do you know what that is? And can you pick out the good parts of that to help you achieve that goal?

Step fourUse a toolkit – Something for people to remember you by such as a handle, a branding statement, a logo, headshot, and/or avatar. Whatever it is, carry it through all your publishing platforms and communications. People will remember you this way.

Step fiveHave a strategy – How are you going to achieve those goals? Social networking sites is one good way. But it’s not the only way. If you’re trying to convince one person, such as your boss, it may be more effective to send emails and have one-on-one meetings.

Ultimately, you’re looking to create some kind of campaign that’s achievable and sustainable. Those who are successful with their personal brand are the ones who work at it frequently and consistently.

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