MAY 27, 2020

Branding 101

The business world is full of great companies and outstanding leaders. How do you stand out from the crowd? Achieving results certainly helps, but if your exposure is limited to customers and clients, you’re not going to get to the next level.

Branding gives you a competitive edge when you leverage your expertise, demonstrate your integrity, and build your personal reputation in your field of expertise.

Clients and customers engage people whom they trust and want to work with; the person who best understands their business. When you have an established brand, it can remove much of the guesswork normally associated with the selection process.

Many of us have already established a baseline brand through our regular interactions with the business community. The next step is to become more strategic. The best branding tools aren’t expensive, but require an investment of time and a shift of focus. Many companies and professional service firms hire a public relations firm for these reasons.

Content marketing, social media, networking, volunteering, and joining business groups are all branding tactics. Rather than taking a scattershot approach, evaluate what you are good at and like to do, and what you can best share with others.

Social Media and Content Marketing
Social media and content marketing have revolutionized personal branding by enabling people to share their expertise and opinions without ever leaving their desk. Write in a clear and concise fashion, always keeping your customer base in mind. Another tactic is to share existing content of value with your followers and brand it with a few comments or your analysis. Recognize the accomplishments of others in your network.

Use LinkedIn to share business content. LinkedIn is a powerful business communications and branding tool that will help you reach your target audience so your hard work doesn’t get lost in cyberspace. If you haven’t yet joined LinkedIn or fully utilized it, here are some tips to get you started.

Find out what social media platforms your clients frequent, and reach them there. Hashtags will expand your potential audience. The pound sign (or hash) turns any word or group of words that directly follow the hash into a searchable link, allowing users to organize content and track discussion topics based on those keywords. Also make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date, contains meaningful keywords and showcases your work, capabilities and expertise.

Networking Events
Okay, you will have to get up from your desk for this one. Strategic in-person networking is a time honored and superb brand building activity. Once stay-at-home orders are eased up, say yes to those awards dinners, panel discussions, presentations and conferences and work to connect with new prospects, rather than your colleagues. If you don’t know anyone, station yourself by the food and drink. Strike up a conversation or two while waiting in line. Your goal is quality over quantity. Ask a question; don’t just sell. People love to talk about themselves. If you can then introduce that person to someone else, you will earn you points with all parties. We’re all looking to make new connections.

Get Involved in an Industry Association
A great way put yourself in front of potential clients and referral sources is to take on a leadership role within a leading association in your industry. Find out your best fit by asking colleagues and going online to find out where your top competitors are active.

A Word about the Power of Public Relations
Public relations is a powerful, cost effective tool to enhance your personal brand. PR gives you the opportunity to work with a respected media outlet or influencer who, in turn, reports to their audience how great you are. Make sure, however, that you appear in a publication (traditional or digital) that targets the people you want to reach.

Many businesses and individuals turn to public relations firms to handle their brand development. PR firms have the media relationships and expertise to put you in front of the right media, tell your story on a timely basis, and spread the word. The power of public relations doesn’t stop with the publication of a story. It’s critical to remarket your placements by sharing with your social media and email contacts.

We’re Here to Help
Establishing a personal brand doesn’t happen overnight, but a consistent, measured approach will pay off over time. The team at Epoch 5 can help you grow your personal brand with proven social media strategies, content creation, media outreach and much more. You can reach our team at