• nat sharp

How to successfully build your personal brand

Updated: Dec 31, 2019

6 tips to build your personal brand

You may be thinking, I’m not a celebrity or interviewed by the press, so why should I care about my personal profile?

In todays digital age, dominated by Google you can’t afford not to. Have you ever Googled yourself? If not, then do it now. More than half of millennials (born 1981 – 1996) who will make up half of the workforce next year have Googled themselves.

Although Google is so widely used by the business world, it seems that it doesn’t always yield the results we hope for, with less than half of businesses saying that they were happy with what they found, and a further 11% saying they were surprised with the results.

So its time to take control and ensure there are no surprises. Your personal profile says a lot about you. I guarantee most people will conduct a mini search before they have a meeting with you and particularly before a job interview. And most likely before connecting with you on social media.

So here are some tips to get the basics right.

Set up a Google Alert

Set up an alert on Google so if someone mentions your name or your business, you are aware of it before anyone else. This way, you can respond to it.

Have the right photograph

Ensure your photograph is recent (sorry but you can’t get away with using a photo which is 10 years old!), isn’t high quality (not pixelated) and set in the right location. You shouldn’t have anyone else in the picture, however nice it is for people to have a nose at your family, and share an image of you down the pub with friends. This probably isn’t the right image you want to project. Plus, you need a more neutral and uncluttered setting.

Avoid using your smartphone to take that all important profile picture. Try using a professional camera and if you can afford it, hire a photographer. Going down the photographer route doesn’t have to be too costly, and it will be well worth the investment. If you do this, spend some time considering the styling and setting. I find it useful to prepare a mood board and brief for a photographer highlighting imagery you like, relevant props and a shot list if you require more than 1 photograph.

Make the most of Linked In

Regardless of your profession, it is hugely beneficial to have a Linked In profile. Not only does it look professional, but it will also help with your search engine optimisation (SEO).

The first part is to crack the professional headline. You have just 120 characters to do this. You need to define who you are, what you do, and why you’re someone worth connecting with. Plus you need to consider keywords that people will be searching for on Linked In. Don't forget to include your location and industry, and these are always kept up to date.

The second part is your summary. This should expand on what appears in your headline, highlighting your specialities, career experience, achievements and any thought leadership. Avoid using jargon and keep concise.

Obtain reviews

Are your reviews up to date? Get personal recommendations on Linked In, as well as other sources. If you own your own business, then ensure you get reviews on Google. According to Search Engine Land, 88% of consumers trust product reviews as much as advice from friends and family.

You often have to politely remind customers to complete reviews for you, so don't expect this to be done automatically. Make it easy for them and send them instructions on how to do it. Remember to respond to the reviews.

There are a wealth of review platforms out there to chose from, so it is worth researching this to see what it best for your business and there is no harm in using more than one platform. Have in the back of your mind, ease of use, after all your customers will need to spend their precious time completing the review for you, and the exposure you will get.

Leverage guest speaker and blogging opportunities

This can be a great way to raise your personal profile. Actively seek out opportunities to speak at events and contribute towards 3rd party blogs. Not only does this raise your profile and increase your credibility to those that have seen your work, but you can also publicise your involvement and extend the reach by sharing on social media and with your prospects. There is nothing wrong in being proud to share 3rd party endorsement. And remember to include this on your website. It always makes a nice behind the scenes blog as well as featuring the article itself.

Don't leave it to chance

It's time to take action and not be afraid to leverage your personal profile. If you don't define your personal brand, then others will define it for you.

For tips on personal branding and thought leadership, read my blog the Sharp End.

Want a chat to discuss any element of your brand, sales or marketing? Then please don't hesitate to get in touch. I offer a 30 minute free consultation to all businesses.


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