Self-promotion feels selfish, right? Most of us think of over-the-top bragging, all eyes on you, a me-me-me mentality as the cornerstones to self-promotion. And you might be right. Self-promotion’s focus is self-centered in nature, possibly to the detriment of your goal. Instead of focusing on self-promotion, focus on the external value that personal branding can provide.

  1. What’s the difference?

In basic terms, self-promotion focuses on what YOU need and personal brand focuses on what you offer, what you give that is valuable to someone else. Are you an expert in your field? Let your personal brand reflect it. Are your credentials impressive and industry-recognized? Tap into that prestige with your personal brand. It is how you represent yourself online and offline.

Your value can and should be leveraged. To get started, jot down a few ideas that encapsulate your expertise and strengths that resonate with your audience. Now you are on your way!

2. Why is a personal brand important?

By establishing your personal brand, you tell the world where your expertise lies. It’s the foundation for the trust you will build with your core audience. A personal brand is your introduction and reinforces why you are the guardian of the information you want to share.

3. How do I get started?

There are a few things you can do to begin creating your personal brand. A good starting point is developing a personal brand statement. Remember those ideas you jotted down a few minutes ago? Let’s get those out and use them for your statement. Create a one-line objective that pops out and succinctly tells who you are, what you offer, and how you are different from the rest. To get the ball rolling, use the classic “I help ___ do ___”. How do you positively affect outcomes and bring value to your audience?

Here are a few examples:

I help small businesses build big brands that energize sales in the marketplace.

I help manufacturing organizations focus and align their operation for increased customer satisfaction.

Or you can keep it simple – Empowering marketing evangelists to inspire.

Make your new statement the cornerstone of your brand. Update your LinkedIn headline, your Twitter, or other social media footprints. Personal branding doesn’t have to be scary. Take a deep breath and start visualizing your expertise and what you have to offer. Above all, stay authentic and let the real you shine through!