The Beginner’s Guide To Personal Branding Online by Adrian Boucek

What’s Your Story?

Branding yourself online is an important step towards finding your dream employment and ultimately making money doing what you love. Personal branding opens up opportunities, sets you apart and diversifies you from the thousands of other people competing for someone’s attention. That someone might be a potential employer, or your first business client. Personal branding unlocks the hidden marketing machine inside you. Except instead of representing a company, you are representing “you.”

Marketing is a subject I’ve taken a lot of interest in lately because it’s so much deeper than what I originally thought it to be. You see, traditional marketing revolves around answering these simple questions:

“What is this product?”

“How does it benefit you?”

“Where can you buy this?”

Companies plaster advertising to force attention towards their product. They have big budgets, so radio, billboard and TV advertising quickly spreads word about their product.

Marketing today asks a different question: “Why?” And that why is your story.

A story does not need to be advertised. It spreads through word of mouth. People gather to listen to a good story– and they buy into it too. The most powerful part of story-telling is that your audience connects with you. They identify with the story-teller’s unique struggle, creating a legion of loyal followers.

When it comes to personal branding, we have to ask ourselves the same questions: “Why me? What’s my story?” Finding the answer to your “why” is the Big Mac Sauce of spreading the word about you because people naturally gravitate to others they identify with. Your reputation will be based entirely on how others perceive you from your story.

“Am I the good guy, or the bad guy?”

“What conversation topic triggers people to think about me?”

“Do I want people to identify me with X and Y?”

Everyone has a story already. Whether you’re the bad boy or the girl next door, the geek or the athlete, your story is written because of the actions you have taken. BUT– you can re-write your story if you want to. I like to think people identify me as the go-getter young entrepreneur because I’m always talking about business and writing blog posts like this one. What would you like your story to be?

Writing Your Story

Your story does not have to be lengthy, but it does need to answer 3 questions:

1. Who am I?

2. What have I done?

3. Where am I going?

One of my favourite stories is my friend Adam who just started his own blog, Juggling Jiu-Jitsu. Adam’s story is that of a regular guy who used to run away from sports. Until he discovered the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and became completely obsessed with it! He transformed his lifestyle, his health and his body to reflect his new-found passion.

Adam’s story is not heart-breaking, tragic or heroic. But it is a true story of what any motivated individual can do when you put 100% focus into something.

Branding Yourself Online

Once you discover your story, you have to spread word about it.

The first and immediate choice I would offer is to start a blog. Blogs are personal, customizable and easily sharable. As your blog develops, so does your story and your growing number of fans. My favourite part about blogging is that your story can become a business. Personal branding is just like company branding: Your fans will want to buy from you. Treat every reader as you would a loyal customer and you will soon have a group of loyal customers.

The next choice I recommend is Twitter. In a previous post I discussed treating Twitter as a micro blog to engage with future fans around the world. Your new best friend is Search.Twitter.com: If you ever doubted the existence of mind reading, Twitter Search will change your mind. You can type in any word or phrase related to your story and find out who is talking about the same thing on Twitter. Actively get into conversations with these people and word about your story will naturally spread. (Note: It’s about a 50/50 split between Twitter users who reply friendly and users who reply rudely to your messages!)

Finally, use LinkedIn as a more professional platform to launch your story from. LinkedIn has improved so much over the years. You can post your blog articles and clearly engage with your professional connections. Professional recruiters have the best LinkedIn profiles I have ever seen. Their job is entirely based on finding the right person for the right job. Recruiters leverage their LinkedIn profiles to tell their own story to job seekers. Study a recruiter’s profile on LinkedIn and you will can design a winning profile yourself.

Conclusion

To me, personal branding is a safety net. Amongst Gen Y’s like myself, I cannot rely on “job security.” The layoffs of our economic recession proved how unreliable corporate North America can be. Personal Branding is how I stay one step ahead of my career to find work I love doing. Connecting with like-minded individuals has opened up countless business opportunities for me, and it can for you too.

About The Author

This article was provided by my friend Adrian Boucek. He is a very bright young man with an entrepreneurial spirit, and I believe strongly he can provide value to the visitors of my blog by talking about his expertise which includes sales, marketing, entrepreneurship, and social media. At the time of publishing this article, he is a copier consultant with Canon Canada. If you want to connect with Adrian you can find him at AdrianBoucek.com

If you would like to hear more from Adrian, please let me know by commenting below.

About The Author

Derrick

At LOWD Media, we specialize in supporting entrepreneurs. We understand inspired entrepreneurs and business minded individuals. We then use this understanding to learn about your business and help you create a look and feel for your business – your brand identity. Our business startup packages provide everything you need to begin marketing your business effectively and at an affordable price. Once you begin marketing and growing your business, we strive to support you and grow with you. Long term success for your business means long term success for our business. Let your brand be heard loud and clear with LOWD.

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