A strong personal brand can really boost business. However, strong personal brands generally don’t just happen. It takes a plan and a commitment to follow through. This New Year, consider making a resolution to build a stronger personal brand. Here’s how.

Step One: Identify your brand personality

For most small business owners their brand personality is their own personality. If you’re a goofy or silly person then your brand may be goofy and silly. If you’re a hard hitting and serious person then that’s your brand personality. This is because it’s much easier and more effective to be yourself than to try to be a character. Martha Stewart is a great example. While she’s certainly not a small business owner, her brand is her personality. You know what to expect from Martha Stewart and people love that.

It’s also important when identifying your brand personality to make sure it fits with your niche and target audience. Some personalities and niches may not blend well.

Step Two: Identify your primary marketing tactics

Your brand personality will be communicated in every single marketing message and communication you have. When they’re consistently communicated, your brand will grow stronger. Each message will reinforce the last. Some marketing tactics to consider include:

* Email marketing
* Social networking
* Advertising
* Blogging
* Article marketing

You’ll want to make sure you have a unified approach. For example, if you’re a controversial personality then you’ll want to make sure you stir up controversy in your ads, blog posts, articles, email messages and your social networking communications. People want to know what to expect. Give it to them and you’ll strengthen your brand.

Step Three: Create, and adjust, your plan

Take a look at your marketing and content plan for the upcoming year. You’re going to need to adjust some messages so they provide a consistent theme and personality. It may be as simple as creating a salutation or signature sign off that you include in each communication. Or you may want to adjust your headline approach. Sometimes small changes can make a big difference.

Remember that your personality doesn’t have to be big. It doesn’t have to be a character or an exaggeration. What it does need in order to grow stronger is a consistent approach. When each communication and marketing message supports your personality and your personal brand, it becomes stronger in the minds of your prospects and customers. They’ll begin to identify with that personality and want to do business with you. A strong personal brand can make your business a lasting success.

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