45 Personal Branding Tips and Tools for Building a Fantastic Brand

personal-branding-tips-and-tools

How much effort and attention you invest into your personal branding will make the difference between your personal brand being bland or outstanding.

In our ever more digital age the question is no longer if you have a personal brand, the question has become “Is your personal brand defined by you or by someone else?

The more powerful your personal brand the more you and everything you do will be in demand.

The opportunities a fantastic personal brand can create for you include:

  • Better job opportunities
  • More clients and contacts for you and your company
  • Influencer status in your industry
  • And more

Indeed the way I first became affiliated with IBM and became an IBM futurist and a contributor for IBM’s awesome new THINK Marketing blog is from a post I published on my personal blog about Elon Musk and his secrets for success.

So without further ado: Here are 45 powerful personal branding tips and tools for you! 🙂

1. Buy a Domain That Matches Your Name

When I Google my name my personally branded website GarinKilpatrick.com shows up #1 even though I only publish fresh content there once every once in a blue moon.

That’s because it’s an exact match for my name and when your URL is an exact match with what someone is searching for your chances of ranking #1 for that keyword phrase is very high.

you-are-a-brandDomain age is another significant ranking factor considered by Google’s search algorithm.

That’s why I recommend developing a blog on a personally brand domain: Because a website you create and name after you will stand the test of time.

Since I started building websites over a decade ago many sites I have launched have come and gone.  Several I have sold.  Some I have let expire.  But one site I will never sell or let expire is my site that shares the same name as me.

Don’t be discouraged if someone else bought YourName.com before you.

That will often be the case and below are a few ideas for what you can do if that’s the situation for you.

Ask Yourself if You Want a Local or an International Brand?

If you are seeking to build a brand locally it definitely will be in your best interest to use a country specific suffix for your domain.

For example use .us for the United States, or .ca for Canada.domain-name-suffixes

A country specific domain tells Google that local searches are for you absolutely primary and international queries are secondary.

Plus country specific domains are much easier to obtain than the industry leading .com domains.

Still for those with international ambitions .com domains remain the leading way to realize a powerful worldwide brand.

One way to get your name in a .com domain is to add a hyphen between your first and last.

Are you an Apple fanboy? Maybe add an I and go with iYourName.com.

For help finding an awesome domain I recommend the web app Domainr.

And if you find an awesome premium domain you want to buy here is a cool podcast episode that will that will help you get it for the best price.

If you are buying a domain for a thousand or more I recommend using an escrow service to ensure the transfer is secure and smooth.

2. Google Yourself

Google your name and see how many of the spots on page #1 are owned by you.

If you don’t have control over every profile on page 1 for your name I recommend you sign up for updates about my upcoming training ProfileJetpack.com since that is all about how to dominate page 1 of Google for your name and fully optimize your personal brand.

When I Google myself I have control over all ten of the results on the first page.  The first ten things that come up for my name are:

The 10 pages that I control that are currently ranking on page one of Google for my name are:

  1. GarinKilpatrick.com
  2. linkedin.com/in/garinkilpatrick
  3. twitter.com/Garin
  4. facebook.com/GarinPeterKilpatrick/
  5. Images for Garin Kilpatrick
  6. instagram.com/Garin
  7. youtube.com/user/garinkilpatrick
  8. twittertoolsbook.com/author/admin
  9. ibm.com/think/marketing/author/garin-kilpatrick/
  10. plus.google.com/+GarinKilpatrick

If you want to optimize your name in Google a smart place to start is by making sure you have a profile for your name on all of the social media networks above.

3. Have Open and Accessible Content

By not locking your tweets or your Instagram pictures you make it easier for more people to discover and connect with you.

When you lock and gate off your content this prevents Google from indexing your content and prevents people from connecting with you who otherwise would.

Share your content openly with the world and people from around the world will engage with your brand and help you flourish.

4. Associate With Other Strong Brands

Imbue your brand with influence by associating with influential people and brands.

One way to do this is by guest blogging for an influential blog.

Not only can guest blogging for a big blog help boost your brand and give you free exposure from a massive traffic source: It can also boost your SEO.

Authority links from established sites are one of the best ways to boost the rank of any web page in Google.

Some of the top blogs that accept guest posts include:

  • Mashable
  • Social Media Examiner
  • Growmap
  • And More!

Here is a list of over 200 quality blogs that accept guest posts.

5. Share Your Skillsshow-off-your-skills

Are you a social media marketing maven?

A graphic design guru?

An ad writing ninja?

Whatever your specialties make them clear for all to see.

A personable personal brand should not be all business all the time on all of your social networks. Even still it makes sense to mention your areas of expertise in your bios and provide a link where people can discover more about your professional life if they are so inclined.

6. Post Often

Google loves fresh content, and that’s one reason why blogging and posting often will help your organic traffic increase over time.

The more people you can get your content in front of the more positive feedback you will get, and this will help your content creation skills improve over time.

Keep your profiles alive with helpful new content and this will help your personal brand thrive.

7. Syndicate the Content You Create

If you create an audio recording that can be much more than just an Mp3.

Audio can be transcribed and become a written post.

Add the Mp3 to a video editing program like Camtasia and it becomes a video so you can tap into YouTube.

The more places you share the more chances you give your content to bring you traffic, leads, and sales from everywhere.

8. Cross Promote Your Profiles

Cross promoting your profiles helps your personal brand grow and increase engagement because people will connect with you on the social networks that they use the most.facebook-page-plugin

Use your blog as a hub that features links to all of the social networks you are active on.  This way on social networks where you can only promote one link (like Instagram) you can still give people a way to find you everywhere else you are active.

Use social widgets like a Facebook Page Plugin (to make it easy for people to “like” your Facebook page) and a Follow Button (to make it easy for people to follow you on Twitter).

9. Stay Authentic

If there’s one lesson that can be learned from Donald Trump becoming the President elect of the United Stated (and there are several) it’s that it pays to be authentic, even when many people disagree with you.

Donald speaks his mind despite the criticism this often brought his way.

Indeed the criticism Donald often created gave him the attention that helped his campaign succeed.

You can’t please all people all of the time so stay true to you and don’t be afraid to be your authentic: Authenticity trumps indecision and mediocrity every time.

10. Be Careful About Who You Link to

Years ago I got a promising email about a promo where all I had to do was provide one dofollow link on a free high quality new article and I’d earn $100 for doing so.

This sounded good for me so I published the article and posted the link. The link was to an online casino though and afterwards my Google rankings and traffic took a massive blow.  I lost thousands as a result of my slashed traffic.

The hard lesson I learned is: Never agree to let anyone pay you for a low quality link no matter what the incentive is.

personal-branding-is-awesome11. Make it Easy For People to Contact You

The easier it is for people to contact you the more people will.

So keep a contact page link is above the fold on your blog.

Then on your contact page keep your contact form simple and your contact info bold.

Since smartphones are the primary way most people use the Internet you can use tel links on your site like this <a href=”tel:4160123456″>416-0120-3456</a> to create links that people will be able to click and call from their phone.

12. Consistently Create Content

Creating content on a consistent basis is one way to keep your audience consistently engaged and growing.

Set the expectations for your audience from the get go so your audience knows when to expect content from you.

13. Invest in Great Design

Design is often the difference between looking mediocre or magnificent.

If you can afford it I definitely recommend working with a pro designer to get great looking designs for all of your social profiles.

Whether you hire someone or do your design yourself one key to having great looking graphics across different platforms is to ensure that you have the proper dimensions for your graphics.

I did some digging and discovered a great post called the 2017 Social Media Image Sizes Cheat Sheet that you can use to discover the proper sizes for all of the graphics you’ll need to properly optimize your brands designs across all major social media platforms.

social-media-image-sizes-cheat-sheet

14. Start a Newsletter

Few things can help you connect with an audience better than an email newsletter.

Even though my social media networks are very strong my newsletter is still my most powerful channel and the #1 driver of traffic and sales in my business.

The email marketing service provider I use is Aweber and I recommend them because they are very user friendly, have powerful technology, and a great support team.

15. Guarantee Regularity With Automation

tweetjukeboxLife happens.  Bills need to be paid.  So you might not have a ton of time to spend adding value on Twitter every day.

Luckily automation can save the day.

Tweet Jukebox is a free way to get evergreen tweets out on the daily.

Don’t shy away from throwing down hard on Twitter.

Twitter is a noisy network so to rise above the noise you need to post more often than most.

16. Don’t Take Negativity Personally

As your brand grows some people might have negative things to say.

Don’t let these negative people get in your way.  They are few and far between and often just looking for a reaction.

I recommend paying negative people no mind and blocking them so their negativity is something you won’t have to find.

17. Use The Power of Free

Free is a powerful force that you can use to grow your personal brand and keep you highly in demand.

Give away content that is so powerful you could charge for it if you were so inclined.

Create lead magnets, such as videos or .PDFs, and use these to grow your email list.

18. Be Bold (And Use Rich Media)

“Freedom lies in being bold.” -Robert Frost

The web is a nosier place than ever before.  The bold will succeed faster.be-bold

One way boldness can help your brand avoid being bland is by using rich media (Mp3’s and Videos) to communicate your message.

Not only can rich media combined with text reach a wider audience, via YouTube and iTunes, it can also help you build stronger connections with your audience.

The reason for this is because when you hear someone speak you can get a better sense of their personality and I believe that this creates a deeper connection than the written word alone.

Some people prefer video, some prefer audio, and some prefer to read.  Offer all three formats and you give your personal brand and the content you create the best chance of success.

For that reason I’ve decided to do a video and Mp3 to complement many of the posts on this blog moving forward.

19. Practice Makes Perfect

With blogging, posting, and all forms of personal brand content production the more you do them the better you will get.

Don’t worry if you posts do not go super viral at first, it takes time to become great with the content you create.

Do your best and get your content in front of as many people as you can as this will create the pressure to continually get better and find new ways to improve.

20. Publish New Content Daily

When you create new content every day you will continually find new ways to sharpen the content you create and improve the things you say.

No only does daily production of new content keep you getting better it will also help you build up an audience fast as people will come to look forward to hearing from you on a regular basis.

21. Don’t be Afraid to Fail

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” -Winston Churchill

Don’t let the fear of failure stop you from innovating or trying new things.

Not everything you post will go viral but if you let the fear of failure prevent you from putting content out there than this will certainly set back your success.

The only people who never fail are the people who don’t do anything at all.

Of you do fail, fail fast and learn from it.

22. Make Deposits in the Bank of Good Will

If you want people to buy from you instead of going straight for the sale focus on adding value first.

The more helpful content you share for free the more people will be willing to explore the products and services you charge for.

23. Focus on Helping People Firstwe-rise-by-lifting-others

“We rise by lifting others.” -Robert Ingersoll

Don’t hold back value with your free content because you think people should pay you before you help them.  That is backwards.

Start by helping people and they will be more willing to pay you to help them more.

24. Leverage Testimonials and Tweets for Credibility

When someone else speaks highly of you it carries more credence than when you talk yourself up.

So when others praise you use that to verify the positive self qualities you know to be true.

25. Work With a Photographer to Get a Professional Profile Photo

Your profile photo is the most visible aspect of your personal brand.

Don’t waste this opportunity for authenticity with anything other than a picture of yourself.

Although I used a selfie as my main profile for years a year ago or so I had a professional photo taken by my friend Keith.

When your profile picture is professional this sets the tone for your entire brand.

26. Keep Your Profiles Consistent

Use a similar design and the same profile photo across networks gives your a brand a familiarity that will help people recognize you more easily and connect with you more readily.

27. Cross Promote Your Profiles

Everyone has a different preference about the social media sites they like best.

Some people love Twitter, some people only use Facebook, others spend most of their networking time on LinkedIn.

To get the widest reach and give your brand the best chance to win you should get people to connect with you on as many networks as possible.

28. Consistency is Key

consistency-is-keyWhen you post content consistently it will keep your audience coming back.

But if your content is posted randomly your audience might lose track.

Ideally publishing content daily will give you the best chance of success.

YouTuber Casey Neistat published a daily vlog for a year and a half.

Casey’s subscribers grew from less than a million to over 5.9 million subscribers currently.

He just announced he is ending his daily vlog because he sold his tech app Beme to CNN for $25 million.

Moral of the story: Daily publishing is massively powerful.

29. Don’t Let Anyone Get You Down

The bigger your personal brand gets the better the chances are that some negative person will want to throw a foolish negative comment at you.

I’m not even going to waste more than two brief paragraphs on these dummies: Pay them no mind, block them, and move on.

30. Strive to Deliver Information That is The Best

The Google algorithm is a well guarded secret, but the mission of Google’s search engine is not a mystery.

At google.com/about/company/ in large font at the top it says:

“Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

the-google-mission-statement

So if you want your content to make it to the top of Google search results you should keep in mind that the Google algorithm was designed with the above mission statement in mind.

When you create content that is more useful and accessible than anything else online about that topic Google’s algorithm will be inclined to recognize this and your search engine rankings will rise as people recognize the value of your content and like to it.

Ranking in Google is largely about links and the better your content is the better your chances are that people will share and link to it.

So strive to create content that is the best and this will help your blog posts rise in the ranks of Google.

Here are some simple strategies for creating superior content that stands a far better chance of ranking for competitive keywords in Google:

  • Spend plenty of time researching your topic.
  • Publish content that is longer than anything else on page one in Google for the topic you are tackling.
  • Use short paragraphs, subheads, and bullets for easy reading.
  • Feature plenty of images and infographics.  The majority of posts feature just one image. Feature many images and this will help your posts stand out.

31. Get a Personally Branded Email

Having a personally branded email is far more professional than using a free email like Gmail.

And I say that as someone who loves Gmail.  The good news is just because you have a personally branded email does not mean that you can’t use Gmail.

I use G Suite by Google to manage my custom emails and my Gmail email. Google apps is awesome and well worth the 5$ per month. With it I am able

(G Suite used to be called Google Apps)

32. Comment on Major Blogs

Comment on major blogs and add value with what you have to say.

If people like your points and point of view they will click through to your website to discover more from you.

33. Respond to Those Who Reach Out

Your audience won’t grow and thrive if you don’t respond to people as if you are not alive.

Get back to people who email and contact you as soon as you can and these are the people who will be most likely to want to work with you again.

34. Curate Quality Content

Especially when you are first starting out and finding your stride with content creation, curation is an awesome way to get your audience engaged and add value.

Curation is sharing other peoples content, and this can be as simple as sharing someone else’s blog post on social media, or as powerful as  creating a new post by asking 30 different experts for their best insight into a particular topic and then putting all of those answers together.

35. Craft a Personal Branding Statement

“Just do it” “Think different” “Nothing is impossible” come to mind for me even before the brands behind them.

A personal branding statement can be a powerful way to communicate your unique value proposition and give people a way to remember you by.

36. Identify Your Target Audience

target-audienceIf you try to appeal to everyone you’ll more likely end up appealing to noone.

Define a specific audience so you can better connect with those who have the same interests and send more specific content that will resonate with them.

Personally I strive to serve marketers with my content and my Twitter bio and even the name of this blog reflect that.

37. Define Your Goals

Without a goal it’s hard to score.

Write down your marketing goals and attach time goals for when you want to achieve them by.

Some examples of goals that can enhance your marketing might be:

  • 1,000 Visitors a Day by May 20th
  • 10,000 Leads by October 1st
  • 100 Paying Monthly Customers by March 1st

Create a spreadsheet to tack your progress towards these goals and update it on at least a monthly basis.

38. Write a Book

Few things will boost your influence and bolster your expertise about a subject matter like writing a book.

Writing a book takes a serious time commitment.  However you don’t have to wait until you have hundreds of pages on paper to begin to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

A more powerful way to go is to map out your book and then publish a large part of it as a series of blog posts.

39. Seek Opportunities to Speak

Whenever you get a chance to speak in front of an audience or a group this instantly gives you expert status and social proof.

Many people are affected by the fear of public speaking however it has been my experience that the more you speak in front of others the easier it becomes to do.

Practice makes perfect. The group Toastmasters is a group dedicated to helping people ipublic-speaking-ftwmprove their public speaking skills so I definitely recommend looking up your local chapter if you want to become a better speaker.

Speaking engagements can be very lucrative engagements and many speakers earn tens of thousands of dollars per presentation.

Few other professions offer that kind of a financial reward for so little time so I recommend you keep the opportunity of using your personal brand to create speaking opportunities in mind.

40. Personally Brand Your Email Signature

Personally branding your email signature shows people that you mean business and is another way to convey the professional nature of your brand.

The tool I use to enhance my email signature is called WiseStamp.

WiseStamp offers a variety of templates for taking your email signature to the next level and making it look awesome.

wisestamp-preview

41. Use the Same Handle on Twitter and Instagram

Whenever someone from Twitter goes to look for you on Instagram there is a very good chance they will start by entering your Twitter username to find you on IG.

When your username is the same wherever your audience members go it makes it easier for you to become someone they will remember and know.

42. Set Up a Google Alert for Your Name

A Google Alert will notify you when someone mentions you online.

This way you can better control the buzz around your personal brand and you can respond quickly to either say thanks, or if it’s something inaccurate or problematic you can take action to get it removed.

google-alerts

43. Join and Create Groups

Affiliations are important to the growth of your brand.

Join groups on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other platforms where you can help out and join in on conversations in your industry.

Once you are comfortable and confident that you can lead conversations in a group create a group of your own.

Creating and moderating a group will both position you as a leader in your niche and can give you a powerful ability to distribute your content.

I’ve had the best luck with growing a group on LinkedIn.  With very little effort (probably less than five hours total) I’ve managed to grow my group the Social Media Marketing Mastermind to over 13,400 members, with 3,687 people currently waiting to be approved to get in.

Plus an the awesome thing about LinkedIn groups is I’m able to email all group members for free.  Emailing an audience that size using any major email marketing service provider would cost me well over a thousand dollars a year.

The main two things to help a LinkedIn group grow are:

  • The group graphics
  • The group name

I get into the details of how to position your group for success inside the Rapid LinkedIn Results module in Marketing Income Lab if you’d like to know more.

44. Be Passionate

Your personal brand is a perfect opportunity to dive into what truly matters to you: Don’t hold back your enthusiasm!

Enthusiasm is contagious so get excited about the things that you are passionate about and that passion will attract others towards the things you do.do-what-you-love

Passion about the things you do will also help give you the energy to go the distance and dive deep into topics you create content about.

Exciting deep dives into content give you the best chance of dominating Google and going viral on social media so stay passionate and have fun building up your brilliant personal brand!

45. Strive to Be Your Best

Only when you strive to be your best will your blog and personal brand really start to grow and rise above the rest.

It’s when you make bold moves and win that your success starts to truly begin.

Conclusion

Creating an awesome personal brand for yourself is one of the most powerful things you can do.

Subscribe to my FREE newsletter and I’ll send some powerful personal branding content to you.

Feedback

What is your favorite personal branding tip or tool? It can be from this post or one of your own!

Let me know with a comment below! 🙂

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2 Responses to 45 Personal Branding Tips and Tools for Building a Fantastic Brand

  1. Nathaniel February 22, 2017 at 5:26 am #

    I agree having your own domain is huge!

  2. Garin Kilpatrick (@Garin) January 10, 2017 at 9:24 pm #

    My #1 personal branding tip is: Buy a domain with your name in it and use it as a hub for your online activities.

    Share one of your favorite personal branding tips below! 🙂

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