How SMEs can optimise their Personal Branding without all the Personal Bragging
It’s a very fine line between "Personal Branding" and boasting, or even crossing the line into bragging, which no one likes or warms to.
It seems these days that all the experts are telling us to focus on building our Personal Brand, be more authentic, post more content and be seen to be “out there” but how do you promote your achievements in business without sounding overly braggadocious?
We see it every day when bloggers, branders and marketers get too carried away with their own importance. (There’s only room in this word for one Donald Trump!)
Personal Branding is all about creating an online (and offline) personal way for people (your prospects and clients) to connect with you. That means engaging through story-telling and adding value, not blowing your own Trump-et.
According to this article on the respected business platform, Entrepreneur.com Peter Gasca says: "A strong Personal Brand will enhance your life, no matter what you do for a living.” (See: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/273589)
Peter lists several insightful tips, and of those, these 3 really stand out for me:
- Know your strengths and weaknesses
- Demonstrate your value through your actions
- Elevate your social proof
So firstly he’s suggesting that we should focus on what we know we’re good at. Talk about your business sometimes, but also talk about your hobbies sometimes. Hopefully, they have a lot in common because if you have a passion for your work, it becomes almost like a hobby itself!
Further to his second point, “actions speak louder than words”, and a picture of those actions will tell a thousand words, only louder!
Something as simple as posting photos of you and your team “doing” something relevant to the viewers is a great way to readily create easy, fun content, and in doing so, build your personal brand.
However, posting photos of you picking up your new Ferrari, might not be seen as good personal branding if your business is all about charity or budgeting for example.
Do Something Remarkable:
In his article titled “5 Tips To Build Your Personal Brand With Social Media” globally recognised Australian online marketing guru Jeff Bullas suggests that we must "do something “remarkable” i.e. do something worthy of a remark,” and this applies to non-social media promotion as well.
It's all about being human.
A golden rule, particularly around social media posting, is to have a 5-minute embargo… don’t post straight away, take 5 minutes to put it on hold and have a think about it. Nothing is lost but a lot can be gained by parking that planned post of you in your underwear! You might think better of it later on.
Running it past your partner or colleagues is always a good safety check too.
Avoid posting after hours, not only will your audience be minimal, but the reaction to your content can be less than desirable especially if your judgment is temporarily clouded.
"We are no longer in the B2B or B2C business, we live in the H2H world where customers buy into the people behind the company before they even care about the company or its products. It’s no wonder that the 2nd most viewed page on the internet is the About Us page of your website."
This notion of story-telling is also backed up on the platform SocialMediaToday, where Bryan Kramer, a highly-regarded Social Business Strategist and CEO of PureMatter, recommends we brand ourselves with modesty, authenticity and humility, but also make the most of our experience, tell our story, and include others who might benefit from being promoted. See: https://www.socialmediatoday.com/marketing/how-brand-yourself-without-bragging
It’s all in the subtlety of self-promotion, without the “self” component becoming too obvious. Gaining endorsement and elevation from third parties can also be tricky, and it's time-consuming in that you first need to build meaningful relationships over the long term.
Generating "free" PR is another avenue, but you usually need to pay a skilled PR practitioner who is connected to the right journalists to place your story. This can be hit-and-miss as the journalist has the ultimate veto on your carefully crafted prose, and the editor’s "red pen" usually comes out when we cross the bragging line here too.
After being featured in Unsung Business Heroes Series 1, Sydney-based project manager Diane Dromgold went on to achieve great accolades and a massive boost to her personal brand. Her business RNC Global was named as one of the Top 100 Project Management Influencers globally by Timecamp (a global leader in PM tools).
Happy personal branding!
Charles Fairlie https://www.unsungbusinessheroes.com.au/