How to build your personal brand

Hi All


I was recently speaking to a good friend of mine who is a few years younger and runs a successful business. He is fortunate that he has not historically and currently does not need to market himself or his business too much to continue to be successful. However, he wishes to build up a reputation and promote his business nonetheless and so was asking my advice re networking, how to promote himself etc. 

I am certainly by no means an expert and still consider myself very much in the infancy of building my personal brand, but that is how I view it. That I need to build my own personal brand and that of my employer/my own business if I had one, alongside my own personal brand. I discussed with him networking events and LinkedIn, all of which he was aware of but not actively participating in but I wonder if ABN had any good tips as to what you think helped you grow your personal brand, to have you 'name dropped' within your sphere? 

On a secondary point, my friend is a few years younger than me and is blessed with looking like that of a 5 year old. I am sure he will be grateful for that in the long run but I personally do feel it is hard to have some people take you seriously due to your young age. I think disappointly some people presume that means inexperience which is definitely not always the case. Now, I hasten to add this does not go for the majority of people looking to network etc but I wonder if you have ever fallen foul to this or seen it happened and have any tips on how best to handle/overcome this obstacle?





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  • Building your personal brand is so important but takes time and effort. Showing up and being genuine are the things I think help with this and networking as much as you can but networking with intent i.e. making sure you speak to people you haven't spoken to before, finding out who is in the room before you go etc. Like you though I am also in the infancy stage and still learning about what it takes to build your brand.
    Unfortunately I can't personally talk about not being taken seriously for looking young but I know someone it did effect but they always turned up, looked really smart, presented well, was professional and knew what they were talking about which made the age they looked irrelevant. Hope this helps.
  • Hi Tom, it's a great question - personal branding is so important, I learned that early on working for Microsoft where they champion this, even/especially internally. It's important but in a different way now I'm in business for myself.

    LinkedIn, ABN Community are all wonderful assets, used correctly.

    In person, I would focus on having a really compelling story prepared so that when you tell it, people are genuinely intrigued and think: "how HAVE you done all that?" as opposed to "what can you have done at that age?" It would start a great conversation.

    Best of luck to him!
  • A tip I heard a few years back was make sure you do what you said you'd do. And that that is so powerful for building our reputations, no matter what sector we're in

    And what breakfast cereal does your pal eat to make him look so young??
    • Totally agree Andrew, delivering is key. I think his main obstacle seems to be getting over the initial hurdles.

      I've no idea but I like to think its something fun like Golden Nuggets-unlikely to be the high fibre cereal your doctor orders you to eat ;)
      • Hi Tom,

        It is not something I have come up against throughout my career, age hasn't come in to it and I had spent most of my time meeting new people every day, as long as you have the knowledge, passion, delivering promises like Andrew said,

        I would be interested to hear what the objections they are getting at the first hurdle.
      • That's where I'm going wrong - Shredded Wheat with no sugar added! Good to see you earlier
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