Personal branding doesn’t happen automatically. Building a strong brand takes intentional effort. Today, a strong brand includes an active social media presence in addition to more traditional branding efforts. Effective branding takes time and effort—there’s no getting around it. I’ve spoken to many business owners who recognize the importance of a strong brand, but simply fail to devote the necessary time on a consistent basis. Here’s a secret: your branding campaign doesn’t demand hours of attention every day—in fact, taking ten or fifteen minutes to engage your Twitter followers may be enough most days. What your branding campaign does require is consistency—you need to be active multiple times per week, if not daily. And there is only one way to ensure that you are consistently active: you need to create a personal branding habit.
Yes, you’re busy. The demands of running a business are non-stop. I understand—I run several! But you find time to brush your teeth twice a day, right? You take the time to straighten your tie before heading out the door. Where do you find the time and the energy? You don’t have to “find” the time—you just do it, because it’s a habit. And that’s what personal branding needs to become. A habit. This could mean a couple of minutes on Twitter before bed each night, or it could mean 20 minutes every Tuesday and Thursday to work on your blog.
Personal branding isn’t about flashes of brilliance. It’s about being yourself, consistently, and engaging with the world around you. Posting three incredibly insightful tweets each month is much less effective than multiple “routine” tweets each day—because the point is to build a connection with your audience. And you can’t do that without consistent interaction. That’s why it’s critical that you are active on a near-daily basis. You don’t have to feel inspired—you just have to be there, and be yourself.
Effective branding requires consistent activity. It’s as simple as that. But you aren’t going to be able to be active consistently unless you establish a habit. It could be first thing in the morning, it could be the last thing you do before you leave the office, it could be after lunch—but whenever it is, find time to dedicate to your personal brand and start building the habit!