As a personal brand, it is important that you stand out among the crowd and position yourself as the expert in your field. It’s not enough to be skilled and talented since there are so many skilled and talented people out there – you need to know how to connect and engage with your audience, promote your brand properly, and establish a social presence that will help spread the word about you and what your expertise is.
And though many would say that the content you put out there is the most important in order to establish your expertise in your chosen niche, there is something even more powerful than sharing information when it comes to your personal brand – and that’s listening.
Imagine if you keep on talking in public or posting on your blog about the things you’ve learned and the vast experience you have in your field, but since you didn’t take the time to listen to your audience, how do you really know that this information is what they’re looking for? Before you speak up, don’t you think you need to listen first?
Listening just might be one of the most underrated methods people utilize in personal branding. This is because people are so busy wanting to get their voice heard that they forget to take the time to actively listen to what the people are saying around them. When you truly listen, you gain powerful insights that you may never have learned if you were so busy talking.
As a personal brand, you want people to be interested in you, to know you, and to trust you. And one of the things you can do to gain credibility is simply by listening. When you listen intently to people, that’s how you learn their pains and problems. This is where you understand where they’re coming from and where you find out how best to address their issues. Listening is how you gain information about your audience, learn about their interests and passions, and understand them a lot better.
In addition to gaining powerful insights from your audience, listening also helps you build a relationship with them. It shows them that they’re important to you. When you let them know that you’re really listening to them by acknowledging and responding to what they say, you build trust and credibility as a personal brand.
Also, when you take the time to listen, you will also know how people perceive your personal brand, which is critical in your campaign. There are so many tools you can utilize so that you know whenever someone mentions your name or is talking about you. From Google Alerts to Tweetbeep, you can gain valuable insights into how people see your personal brand. And this also helps you protect your online reputation – which, if tarnished, can really affect your brand.
So make sure that you’re listening and responding to people who talk about you. You don’t have full reign of your personal brand anymore, because an integral part of it is how people perceive you to be. So listen to them and learn from them, because this is where you can gain the most invaluable insights that you can use for your personal branding campaign.
Maria Elena Duron, is managing editor of the Personal Branding Blog and CEO (chief engagement officer) of buzz2bucks.com – a word of mouth marketing firm. She helps create connection, credibility, community and cha-ching through mobile marketing and social commerce around your brand. She is co-founder of #brandchat – a weekly Twitter chat focused on every aspect of branding.