Personal Brands: How to Develop a Powerful Online Persona

personal brandsThere was a time when a company’s brand meant everything, and founders/employees were simply a byproduct of that brand. But with the explosion of social media over the past decade, real-time networking has brought personal brands to the forefront.

To achieve ultimate success, personal brand building should be a daily exercise. This applies not only to founders and CEOs, but everyone else. My experience in the NBA taught me the power of personal brand growth, and this carried over to my the company I founded.

Here are five tips to help build your personal brand (and to influence others within your business to build theirs).

Identify and Highlight What Makes You Unique

All entrepreneurs have something that makes them truly unique, whether it’s a story of hardship in upbringing or the ability to remain positive in any situation. Think about what makes you unique, and identify the top factors. Highlight them every chance you get to make your personal brand stand out.

My time in the NBA has helped build my brand, though I don’t outright discuss teams and seasons. Rather, I compare the dedication it takes to make it in the NBA with the dedication needed for success in business. I actually think it takes more dedication to be successful in business than it does in the NBA.

Educate Others

Think of thought leaders like Tony Robbins in personal development and Jim Cramer in investing. Their personal brands are giant within their respective industries. Much of their success can be attributed to how well they educate others. Both have written books and educate through their social media presence.

Educating others builds a connection that helps strengthen your authority in your space, which naturally builds your brand. You don’t have to write a bestseller, either. Speaking at conferences and writing for third-parties has worked well for me, book or no book.

Model Others With Powerful Personal Brands

This will help you save time in your brand-building exercises. Find out what has worked for these influencers, and implement those strategies into your own process.

I’ve learned from giants like Richard Branson, who made one of the boldest moves in business by buying an airline under the Virgin brand, rooted in music. During this deal, there was much adversity. But Branson pushed forward and Virgin Atlantic became a huge success. Part of the success came from his ability to rally his employees through his energetic ways. At my company, I always try to keep the energy high to get my team rallying behind me. It not only creates enthusiasm, it instills an anchored devotion to the brand.

Create Your Career Narrative

Everyone likes a good story, so tell yours. And the more personal, the more others will feel connected. Exploit your career’s narrative whenever possible, whether networking at a conference or on the “about” section of your business’s website.

I can attribute my personal story directly to my success. I grew up in Nigeria and worked hard in many different ways. So, I was abe to develop the skills needed for my future business endeavors. I was also able to help others connect more closely to our brand.

Make the Most of Social Media 

Social media is the lifeline of any personal brand, so use it to your advantage. Connect with others on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, and strive to offer content that educates, adds value and entertains. Offer leadership tips and share unique stories. Quotes from thought leaders also works well.

Remember to keep your social media presence clean as well. Social media is the ultimate extension of modern-day attitudes. Make sure yours is a positive one.

Personal brands don’t happen overnight. It can take years, but it’s well worth the effort. Start today!


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Business Collective!


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