College degrees don’t send the signals they once used to. You have to take charge of building your personal brand and work out loud instead. Here are ten ways to build your brand.
One of the best ways to build your personal brand is to blog regularly on your own site. Go to wordpress.com or squarespace.com, buy yourfullname.com, and blog every single day. Don’t stress about the topic at first. Build up the muscle of shipping and then focus on a few topics once you are used to shipping regularly.
Prefer to talk instead of write? Turn on that video camera and talk. Start a Youtube channel and start making videos. Just like blogging, regularly producing is key. Get on a schedule and stick with it. Daily is best.
3. Reviews & Notes
Read a book? Write a review or post your notes. Post it to your blog or record a video version and post it to YouTube. Then cross post it to Amazon. Watch a movie? Review it. Take a course? Review it. Listen to a podcast? Post your notes.
4. Tutorials & Guides
When you learn something new, write a tutorial or guide to what you just learned. If you don’t blog, make a video tutorial series and put it on Youtube. We call this “learning out loud.”
5. Present at Meetups
Do you go to meetups? If you don’t, they are a great way to meet people with similar interests and learn new things. Meetup.com is the best resource for finding meetups near you. Once you’ve gone a few times, pitch the organizers on presenting. Learn their criteria for presenting and put together a talk on something you know well enough to teach. Set up a video camera or a mic + screen recorder to record your talk. Post this on your website.
6. Participate in Online Communities
What are you interested in? Where do people who are interested in that hang out online? Go there and participate. Don’t spam the community with links. Comment, give feedback, and help others more than you promote your own stuff.
7. Social Media
Are you regularly posting your work on social media? If not, you should. Social media is a great place to show the behind-the-scenes aspects of your work. Screenshots, photos, and short video clips of in-process work, links to and photos of inspiration, explanations of crossroads decisions, and solutions to specific problems you’ve faced all make great social posts.
The goal is to be the first person your social followers think of when the type of work you do comes to mind.
8. Share Tools and Techniques
Find a new tool that helps you get your work done? Come across a technique that makes you more efficient? Make your own software tool to solve a specific problem? Make a jig or a stencil to help you create your art? Share it! Post it for free in your online communities.
9. Help Others
A great way to bolster your reputation and help the community you are involved in grow is to help others who are just getting started. You can help them with recommendations, tutorials, problem solving, brainstorming, resources, etc. Don’t be pushy, but be sure to lend a helping hand.
10. Free Work
Free work is a secret weapon for building social capital. Offering something of value for free without string attached engenders a sense of goodwill. Help others without expectation and they’ll want to help you. The next time they or someone they know needs help with something similar, they’ll recommend you first.
Here’s a video with some examples: