Five Quick Tips for Event Professionals on Personal Branding
2020 brought several curve balls for professionals working in the event industry. Like the rest of the world dealing with change due to COVID-19, a great majority of event professionals have had to adjust to remote work, learn to navigate virtual events, and in some cases, search for their next career opportunity.
Most likely one or more of these changes are still ongoing, but one thing that will always be there is one’s personal brand. Everyone has a personal brand – and it’s not just a social media thing.
Personalbrand.com defines a personal brand as, “a widely-recognized and largely-uniform perception or impression of an individual based on their experience, expertise, competencies, actions and/or achievements within a community, industry, or the marketplace at large.”
In our cultural shift toward digital (and in the evolving job market), it’s both helpful and necessary to leverage a personal brand to become an authority in an industry, elevate professional credibility, differentiate oneself from competition, have strong influence, make a large impact, or all of the above!
Here are five quick tips on personal branding to create an engaging, unique, and inviting persona and ultimately help strengthen one’s personal brand.
1. Narrow your focus.
The brands that speak the loudest are the ones that are the most focused and narrowed down. This is because a niche focus allows for targeted messaging to a target demographic, removes all surrounding noise, and eliminates any confusion about a brand. In fact, Kim Garst, best-selling author of Will the Real You Please Stand Up and the co-founder and CEO of Boom! Social, goes one step further when she advises, “Focus on identifying your target audience, communicating an authentic message that they want and need and project yourself as an “expert” within your niche.” To find the right niche try asking these questions to start: What makes you unique? What do you have to offer that others do not?
2. Be genuine.
An easy way to have an original personal brand is to be authentic. John Clark, part of the Global Strategic Marketing group at Dematic and Chairman of MHI’s Mpro (Marketing Professionals’ Community), says “Why try being anyone else when you’re the world’s expert on being you?” Audiences will respond more positively to an authentic voice and content verses a copycat approach. “What’s your take on articles you post? Put your spin on it”, suggests Clark. A personal brand will amplify above others when connecting with an audience in a meaningful way.
3. Be social.
In a time where society is not meeting face to face, interacting with others online has given people an opportunity to expand their reach and help build a brand story. Scott Bedburry, founder and CEO of Brandstream, explains, “A great brand is a story that’s never completely told. A brand is a metaphorical story that connects with something very deep – a fundamental appreciation of mythology. Stories create the emotional context people need to locate themselves in a larger experience.” With smart phones and social media today, it’s never been easier to connect and engage with others and it’s these opportunities and tools that help create memorable brand stories.
4. Know your impact.
Self-awareness is the first step in knowing our impact in the world. From the wise words of Chris Ducker, entrepreneur, business coach and best-selling author of Personal Branding Roadmap, “Your personal brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room – remember that.” A positive attitude and respect for others will only help grow brands in the long run. The more influence gained, the more opportunity to create a positive impact in the world.
4. Become known.
Dorie Clark, author of Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It and recent keynote speaker of presentation, Building Your Brand As A Leader and a Company During Challenging Economic Times at the MHI Digital Fall Meeting, speaks about leaving a legacy by building a movement. “Finally, it’s about connecting those followers with one another, magnifying the power of your idea and ensuring that it’s talked about even when you’re not in the room. That’s when you’ve built a movement.” Become known for something helpful, inspiring, or impactful and doors will start to open without having to search very far.
The pandemic has proven to companies that nearly anything can be done remotely, and that it’s possible to develop relationships through a digital platform. “If you have a well-established personal brand, you don’t have to be physically anywhere except sitting on your sofa to have your thought leadership and expertise known,” says D. Channing Muller, founder of marketing consulting firm DCM Communications. Get started today in developing the right brand for personal and professional success no matter what the next year brings.
Connect with the MHI Marketing Community and Join the Marketing Professionals Community (Mpro)
Start strengthening your personal brand by making connections with other marketing professionals in your industry through Mpro! Mpro is community of marketing professionals from within the MHI membership that is focused on marketing education, idea sharing, networking, strengthening the voice of the industry and, ultimately, increasing awareness of MHI. Learn more and become a member of Mpro!