What’s a brilliant offline resource entrepreneurs can use to build their personal brands?
The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. The YEC recently published #FixYoungAmerica: How to Rebuild Our Economy and Put Young Americans Back to Work (for Good), a book of 30+ proven solutions to help end youth unemployment.
For us, the best way to build brand offline has been by engaging traditional media. Whether that means doing an interview for a paper or TV show about the topics that touch our business, or writing a piece ourselves for a relevant industry publication, it’s really worked wonders in building our brand and credibility — not only among older generations but among Gen Y as well.
There is still no better way to build your brand than getting out there, being visible and meeting people. Attend networking events, charity events, industry conferences, and any event that are consistent with your brand identity. Making a solid first impression in person is still the most effective way to build relationships.
3. Work With Speaking Agencies
While online resources can be helpful in building a brand, they often lack something that is best accomplished in person: connection. Joining a speaking agency allows you be a viewed as an expert AND to interact with people who are interested in your area of expertise. Once in front of this audience you, as a speaker, have the opportunity tonetwork and nurture a community of potential evangelists.
As much as tech blogs would like you to believe that everything print is dead, local print newspapers still have high readership volume. Plus, they struggle to fill their pages with compelling stories. Consider writing a guest editorial about the state of your industry or a “How-to” based on your specific skill set for a newspaper; and don’t be afraid to contact “local” dailies in other cities.
If a meetup in your area of interest doesn’t exist, put in the time to start one and make it killer. If you can organize something good enough that people will come to you and get value from it, you’ll be well on your way to establishing yourself as someone meaningful in the space.
Face time is more valuable tool today than it ever has been before. Business leaders and founders should make time to visit with clients and other key stakeholders as a means of promoting and getting feedback on their businesses. Personal interaction costs little more than your time and cannot be replaced by online resources.
There was no greater boost to my image of Mark Wahlberg than when I found him next to me serving meals at a soup kitchen line. So the brilliant resource here is authentic, personal service for others, a resource that everyone has a wellspring of without having to look anywhere outside of themselves.
Part of my consulting practice is helping professionals build their personal brands. One of the best ways to build your brand is to make sure you understand perception of your work. Email ten current and former colleagues individually and ask for their feedback on your greatest strengths and areas of development. Choose clients, co-workers and team members. Look for areas that align and surprise.
TV media is an excellent platform to launch and build your personal brand. Becoming a regular contributor for local and national news programs is an excellent way to build your credibility and watch your fame rise.
Get involved with organizations in your area that count other successful entrepreneurs as members. In Columbia, Mo., we have EPIC, Core 20, League of Innovators, and many other cool organizations and groups that can boost your personal brand.
Want to meet a ton of people and get the opportunity to impress them with your abilities? Plan and host a conference. It doesn’t have to be anything major — a barcamp without even a set schedule can fit the bill. It’s a lot of work, but there’s also a lot of payoff.
Offer people swag that they will use. People don’t throw out useful stuff. It gets your personal brand in people’s faces and keeps it there. For example, at Tax Receipts, we give away wallet-sized cards loaded with tax information, such as a handy guide for business expenses you’re allowed to claim, so you can remember to save the right receipts.
The better you look, the better you feel. Confidence and drive will increase with a dedicated exercise regiment, and there is no better way to improve your personal brand than with those features. Balance your life.