4 P’s To Building Your Personal Brand
By: Holly Tate
If you searched for a company online, and they didn’t have a website, would you buy from them? If you’re planning on visiting a new church on Sunday but can’t find their website, how likely are you to actually attend?
In a world where Google is the expert and a LinkedIn profile contains your resume, building your personal brand is crucial to establishing you as a credible church leader. As a leader, you are being watched online. As a job seeker, your potential employer is searching your online presence for validity and credibility. Are you there?
When I’m approached by someone seeking advice on their job search, my first question is, “How is your online brand?” Here are four steps to help you answer that question.
1. Build Your Platform – There’s no excuse to be absent online. The only cost to start building an effective platform online is your time. Trust me, it’s time well spent. The most common response I receive from church leaders in the church who are hesitant to jump on social media is, “I don’t know what to say!” As a pastor, think of social media as your platform to share your sermons, thoughts, and advice with both your congregation and also an audience who isn’t yet sitting in your pews on Sunday. Read Michael Hyatt's book Platform for step-by-step advice on how to get noticed in a noisy world. I keep it handy on my Kindle app and refer to it often as I think about building my own personal brand.
2. Be Professional – Whether you know it or not, each message you send online is spreading your personal brand. Each email, tweet, facebook message, and blog post is defining you to the world. Think over your last few posts online. What do they say about you? Are your usernames and email addresses professional? Are you email@example.com or are you firstname.lastname@example.org? See the difference in the messages these two email addresses portray?
3. Say Please – Regardless of how annoyed you are, always use your manners. I’m often shocked at what people will say online versus what they say in person. Only say online what you would say to the person face-to-face. This applies to emails as well. As a pastor, you have an even greater responsibility to think twice before you tweet.
4. Connect with People – LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and blogging is revolutionary in its ability to expand your network and connect with people you may otherwise never meet. Use this to your advantage as you’re preparing your sermons, advertising an event at your church, or seeking advice on a topic.
These are a few basic steps to get you started on building your personal brand. Stay tuned for more help on how to build your personal brand, particularly online.
What insight do you have into building a credible online brand?