10 steps leaders can take to build their personal online brand

Business leaders need to build both an online presence and trust with their followers while also gaining recognition and industry expertise. This is personal branding.

A strong personal brand is the result of an effective strategy that includes engaging visuals and a compelling story, among other assets. Below are some insights to help you start to build your personal brand.

1. Define your niche

One practical step is to spend some time better identifying what you are best at and then engaging in that space. Building your own personal brand is about crafting a niche rather than being everything to everybody

2. Post a weekly video on LinkedIn

Post a video once a week to LinkedIn on topics such as the following: What insight did you have this week about the people you’re leading? What recent incident made you realise something or reinforced something about what leaders are for people?

3. Choose a social media handle

Choose a social media handle to identify your brand at a glance. For example, as a coach I use @highgrowth on Linkedin. That draws attention from aspirational business leaders.  

4. Decide how you want to be seen

Get clear on what you want the world to know about you—for example, how you deliver results that are distinctly different from those of others. Your authenticity, courage and how you keep your promise can be part of your positioning. Then, follow it up with a strategy to be seen, heard and valued!

5. Be curious and make yourself useful

Arrogance will destroy your personal brand. Anyone can pretend to be knowledgeable, but the key to being useful is to be curious. Experts who fail to learn and adapt generally have short-lived usefulness. Being useful is the ultimate way to be valuable

6. Use all forms of media

Use all forms of media, not just social media, while you build your brand. Newspapers, magazines, radio, television, podcasts and blogs help build your brand by featuring you as the expert.

7. Post consistently  

Post consistently online and use hashtags so that people will come to see you as a subject matter expert in given areas. Ask questions in your posts to generate more responses, and be sure to include meaningful comments when you respond to other people’s posts.

8. Focus on Your ‘Why’

Focus on your “why” in your messaging when building your brand. How do you stand out based on your “why”? What value and impact will that have on your audience? Review Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle concept to give you some insight on how to connect differently than other leaders.

9. Be consistent and authentic

Post relevant content that will resonate with your audience daily, and don’t forget to reply to comments. Remember, nobody will buy from you unless they believe, like and trust you.

10. Showcase Your Expertise On LinkedIn

Create a robust and dynamic LinkedIn profile that showcases your expertise and thought leadership. Make your headline more than your job title; share case studies, white papers and interviews in the media section; turn your summary into a story; and share your thought leadership in a newsletter.

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