What is the point of having loads of expertise and experience if no one knows about it?
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Being a brand is an interesting challenge. “Being known for knowing something” is the ultimate goal of any thought leader. What is the point of having loads of expertise and experience if no one knows about it?
Being a trusted expert takes some work and there are a few key things you need to get right.
Understand who and what you are.
Why YOU? Why would someone want to work with you?
What do you offer?
What differentiates you from others in your field?
Be clear about your message.
What messages are you sending to the world?
Message clarity is a constant challenge for many of us. If you are growing and learning, then you will find your message changes regularly. Not necessarily dramatically but you will be constantly refining and polishing your message. Be open to your message changing but always be clear about what you are about ‘right now’!
Branding and blogging are two powerful ways that you put messages out into the world. These are deliberate and authored ways of putting yourself ‘out there’. Stay on topic and be consistent with your tone. Fluctuating from hard to soft, serious to funny can confuse your followers.
It is very important to be aware of some of the more subtle ways that people experience you. Two of my favourites are photography and styling.
A picture paints 1000 words and this is definitely true when you look at people’s imagery.
What is the message you want to convey?
Everything you do, wear, and have is an extension of your brand. The brands you align yourself with. The clothing you choose and the colours you wear.
How do you want people to feel?
Look approachable and friendly.
If you are selling yourself as a trusted expert, then you need to look and feel like a safe pair of hands who is open and relevant to your market.
Beware of any branding that makes you look crazy, unsafe, or dull- no one wants to work with that!
A common mistake experts make is they try too hard to look and feel important and they ostracise themselves in the process. You need to look like someone who people want to work with! Not photographed looking stern and uptight!
Eye contact and teeth are vital in good photos. Looking away with a forced smile does not make you look approachable or trusted.
Make sure your photos look like you!
People put a lot of effort into their photos and styling but often that effort doesn’t translate in reality.
If people meet you and are disappointed, you have a problem. If you are a low-effort or casual person, do not produce formal overstyled imagery. Beware of stylists and photographers who want to turn you into someone you are not! Beware of filters and photoshopped images. Everyone wants to look their best but faked images are not the way to create an authentic trusted connection.
“It’s important to build a personal brand because it’s the only thing you’re going to have. Your reputation online, and in the new business world is pretty much the game, so you’ve got to be a good person. You can’t hide anything, and more importantly, you’ve got to be out there at some level.”– Gary Vaynerchuk
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