The 3 Transformative Steps Every Personal Brand Should Follow
It’s no secret to anyone reading this blog that having a deliberate, carefully managed personal brand is critical to taking control of your career in today’s professional landscape. How Mark Schaefer elaborates in his most recent book KNOWN“You need to be known for SOMETHING in a relevant area big enough to play a role.” You need to create content in a way that makes a difference and build an audience that you can engage. “By following Schäfer’s advice, and the four steps In his book, you can build a lasting personal brand and become a recognized thought leader in your desired field.
But what if your passions and career experiences change over time? in the Dorie Clark‘S HBR article On this subject she quotes Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: “We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of, while others judge us by what we have already done.” Clark emphasizes, “Your path may make perfect sense to you, but how can you convince others to embrace your new brand – and to take you seriously? “
My personal re-branding story: From “China Guy” to “Global Marketing Strategist”
I recently went through a “personal name change” in preparation for the release of my next book. Digital influence. I spent the first half of my career in Asia in big cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei and Singapore. Because of my regional business experience and years of article writing up to my first book China goes westIn my professional circles, I was known as the “China guy”.
While traveling the world talking about “China Goes West” and the rise of Chinese international brands, my day job focused more on global marketing. After gaining more than a decade of marketing experience, I was faced with Longfellow’s dilemma above – my colleagues and business associates knew my professional strengths as a marketer, but the subject I was known for was almost entirely China. connected.
Manage your personal brand while your favorite company manages theirs
I knew Digital Influence would have to be renamed from being a China-only insider to a more global marketing focus in order for Digital Influence to be successful as the content of the book on Influencer Marketing covers more countries than China. To this end, I have teamed up with digital marketer, author and international keynote speaker. Cynthia Johnsonand their talented team Bell + Ivy in Los Angeles for their outside perspective.
The following quote from Johnson summarizes why I chose to work with you: “Think about why you love your favorite brands. It could be her name, her product, her message, or even something as simple as her color palette. Overall, these brands are memorable and make an impact. That’s what we do at Bell + Ivy. We create a voice and empower our customers so they can create unstoppable change in their industries. Branding has the power to do that. “Johnson and her team members all share my own belief that a personal brand is as powerful as any corporate brand. Hence, it requires careful management to ensure that you are perceived the way you ideally would like others to know you.
3 steps to your personal brand
Johnson and her team took me through a number of steps that anyone going through a personal brand can follow:
# 1 Personal Brand Audit: Before you can create a new brand, you need to fully understand your current personal brand by carefully reviewing your digital footprint. The Bell + Ivy team conducted a personal brand audit on my behalf to determine where my name appears online, how I am generally positioned, and how inconsistent from site to site.
# 2 update personal brand positioning: Based on the results of the Personal Brand Audit, we jointly updated my personal brand positioning to more accurately reflect the current topics I write and speak about. In other words, wanting to be known for. It was more of an “update” because I still want to be known for my China expertise (I speak Mandarin and have been directly or indirectly connected to the country since 2001), but we also had to incorporate my marketing experience so that we could “ Global Marketing Strategist “because I can use it to deal with marketing topics from China and all other parts of the world.
# 3 content creation + consistency: The final step in this process is a series of steps that I am still working on at the time of this writing. With my new personal brand positioning, I have my online platform from a new personal website, to a consistent positioning in all my social media profiles and bylines and finally to the continuous creation of new content that ties in with my new brand positioning. The final piece is far from easy, of course – consistent and high quality content creation is the only way I can really rename to help new members of my audience see me through the topics I want to be known right now for instead of judging me by the work I did years ago.
Now it’s your turn
A personal renaming is not easy. It’s much more convenient to continue down the same path that people know you for what you do best – or at least what they think is best for you. As Schäfer rightly emphasizes in KNOWN, “becoming known is not a linear process”. As your passions and work experience evolve over time, it’s only natural to move on to new areas. But be thoughtful in how you do this. Inconsistencies (several new brands) hold you back in the long run. So pick the right time, follow these three steps, and you are ready to take your brand to the next level.