How important do you think it is to have a personal brand these days? If you think it is important, how would you recommend beginning the development of your personal brand?

You have a personal brand whether you want one or not. It is basically your reputation. So, your personal brand is whatever comes to mind when people think about you.

People are judgmental, that’s just how we are, we have opinions on things and hold prejudices about other people. You can never really tell what people think about you. But what you can do is focus on consistency of whatever you offer, whether you’re in a job working for somebody, or you’re an executive leading a team, or you’re an entrepreneur. That’s branding - what can you deliver at high quality and consistency.

The big misconception a lot of people make when it comes to developing a personal brand is that you need a logo or a website or something similar. First of all, your name is your “logo”. If you want to get a cool emblem or something like that, go ahead and get it. However, that’s not a brand, it’s just a symbol.

What you need to do is focus on 3 things:

  1. Hunt
  2. Create
  3. Engage

Hunting means finding audiences that already exist, so for example I use Quora heavily. You can use Facebook Groups. The point is to go out to where your audience is and find where they’re already talking about what you know about.

Next, you want to create content around whatever your audience wants to know about. So, don’t think about what you want to hear, think about them and what they want to know and how you can apply your knowledge to it.

Finally, you need to make sure that you promote the content that you get out there, i.e. engage. I wouldn’t spend a lot of time on ads or anything like that. I would focus on how you can find influencers, or maybe find a way to contribute to a popular blog.

Then, your blog, website, group or whatever is really just a hub. Google is very competitive with the SEO and it’s extremely hard to rise to the top of the page. I would suggest that you use your blog as a hub for your content and not where you’re creating a contact.