How to personally brand yourself and become a thought leader

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Taking simple but consistent steps, you can personally brand yourself as a top thought leader.

To start, you need to have short, medium, and long term goals. These goals need to be under three different sections: personal, physical, and professional. These three areas complete a person as a whole. Many people say that you need a spiritual goal too which I agree with, but we will pout that under the personal section. When you create these goals, put them somewhere you can see them every day.

To go any further we need to make sure you have all your media sites set up. Start with having a active profile on all the major social media sites. Next, create a blog where you can post all your content/articles. Next, make a branded email address. For example, mine is aarun@blitzmetrics.com. Lastly, create a google account so you can use google+ and other services.

Content is probably the most important thing to have for any thought leader. Most people think it’s hard to create content every day, but really it isn’t if you have a true passion for something you stand for. In order to become a true content creating machine we need to put in place something we call “plumbing”, which makes processes easier to complete. Here are the steps to plumbing:

  1. Find what you stand for. Before you can start branding yourself, you have to know what, why, and who you’re branding. If you’re passionate about sports then maybe you want to be the next marketing analyst for the Phoenix Suns. Promote yourself as the next analyst for the NBA.
  2. Create a website/domain for yourself. The easiest and most simple way to do this is to use your own name as the domain; after all you are branding yourself.
  3. Set up Facebook authorship. This will tag the articles you’ve authored by linking them to your Facebook account. Also, your name will be hyperlinked to your website bringing you better traffic and peole can see what your all about.
  4. Create a klout.com login. Klout evaluates your social media influence and gauges the amount of impact you have. This will help you measure how much progress you’ve made as a thought leader.

This may seem like of steps to take but really it doesn’t take long to do. Try doing one or two steps a day and you’ll be ready for the next section after 2-3 days.

After plumbing you’ll be able to write content that fits in your content pyramid. The number one concept to remember when creating content, is to make sure that it connects back to your passion. Keep this as your focus. You should never run out of topics to write about if you break down your why and keep updated on new topics of current thought leaders in your passion. If you follow learn, do, teach then you know that you’re always learning. If you’re always learning then you always have something to share.

Once you’ve created enough content you’ll be able to link your content to other content you’ve already written. People will start to read your content and realize you have the whole puzzle put together.

Keep track of your best articles/content written. You’ll know which ones are the best. These are usually mentioned by influential people on Linkedin or Facebook. Or maybe you were quoted in a well known magazine. Keeping track of this will help you refer your best content at the best times.

The next step to personal branding is generating more authority. This step is the toughest but also the most important. So fulfilling this can bring great rewards. One of the best ways to generate authority is to interview high authority people. You don’t have to go up to the person and ask them questions, (however if you have the chance to do this definitely take it) but you can email them and tell them who you are and what your all about. If they are a respectful person they should email you back. If they are weary about you asking questions explain to them that they can make the interview. They can send over their most well known quotes or expertise on your topic. This way they will feel in control of the interview. Always make sure you thank your interviewee. Maybe even send them a gift for helping you generate more authority and helping you out. Everyone loves gifts.

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Lastly, amplify your content. This is another couple pages of instruction so I won’t go into deep detail. Following the dollar a day concept will work.  Amplification using the dollar a day guide is influencing the influencers, better than any PR agency could ever do, and at a price you can afford. You can use this technique to further your personal brand like you never imagined previously.

A tip from Dennis Yu, the top Facebook targeting influencer, says “If you want to speak at a conference, begin to promote your content to people that work at the conference of your choosing. After they have continually seen your name and your content over the past months/years, when you submit your speaker application, you’ll have a much greater chance of being selected.”

If you follow these steps than you will be able to brand yourself as the next thought leader in your desired passion. The results will be unbelievable.

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