They are: Authority, Online Identity and Personal Style. Lorrie Thomas Ross, founder of “Web Marketing Therapy” says so, and I agree with her.
Here’s my take:
The evidence of Authority has clout. It gets immediate respect. Think of the badge a police officer wears. We naturally pay attention to things like that. What’s your badge of authority?
You know that you know what you do and you do it very well. You’re an expert. You can sell your expertise and your experience, even get your clients to give you testimonials and recommend you to others. Great! But there are lots of experts and you’re competing with all of them on a level field, the field of expertise field.
An expert may have the same knowledge as an authority, but the authority has “Brand Power.” These experts are awarded the badge of authority in their field because they have developed a strong brand, in the same way that a company builds a brand. The company logo is part of that brand identity, a badge you could say. They build authority by delivering a consistent brand identity represented by that badge of authority. That is done through constant, ongoing publishing of useful information about what they do. For a company the act of publishing comes in the form of; advertising and public relations, news releases and promotions. For the individual it’s articles, books, blogging, videos and public appearances. Developing authority is the first step in personal branding. Polish up your badge. Publish.
The person behind the badge. When someone looks for you online, hopefully they will find you, what do they find? Is there a professional photograph, the proverbial “headshot” so they at least know what you look like? Most people in business these days have gone to the trouble to set up a LinkedIn account. It’s surprising how many haven’t bother to include a good quality photograph in their profile. Familiar with the term, “Negative Advertising?” This is a good example.
A brief plug for LinkedIn: A great tool for building and promoting your online identity but if you don’t use it well it will be less than helpful. There are many other ways to promote your identity online; Facebook, Twitter, your website etc. While these all have their own unique ways of promoting your personal brand there should be a consistency across these media. Don’t be a party animal on Facebook if you want to build a serious business profile on LinkedIn.
It’s that Voodoo that Youdoo so well my friend. Everyone has charisma of a sort. If you really do know what you’re doing and what you’re talking about it will come across because you will naturally speak and deliver a confident persona – your personal style. Here’s the closer…
The best way to build that personal style is through the use of video – because video, well executed and well produced, says so much more about who you are than anything else you can do. It’s a scary prospect for many, but for those who are determined to rise above the fray and build their personal brand to the heady realm of “Respected Authority” it’s a got to. No question. So… Any questions?
Call me anytime.
Kim Elton, Creative Director
Strut Media Group