Even if you don't agree with his rhetoric, it's hard to disagree with the fact that Donald Trump has turned a sizeable inheritance into a public profile that leaves him months away from being the possible President-Elect. And while you may not necessarily want the ability to launch a nuclear weapon on a whim, there's a chance you can see the benefits to building your personal brand. But how do you do it? Start by building a robust digital presence.
But regardless of digital platform, it is beyond important that you create an effective profile that is easily searchable, and that presents your brand as authentic. Ultimately, I'm talking about making you more visible. But what comprises visibility? When you think about it, the idea of visibility can seem like a vague concept, so you have to have specific goals in mind when trying to increase your impact. To get you started:
#1: Understand your audience.
Just like Trump does, find out where your current audience is coming from - and double down. There are tools you can use to measure the amount of traffic going to your website, blog, or social profiles. For example, when it comes to your website--and sometimes your blog --you're able to easily insert a bit of code that gives you access to the basic version of Google Analytics, a free toolkit that will identify the geographic location of your visitors, what sites they originated from, and many other helpful bits of data. While you can't get perfect information about who is visiting your social profiles, you are able to use link-shortening services, such as Bitly or Tiny URL, to direct people to your profiles. These shortened links can provide some analytics about who is clicking.
#2: Build connections.
Of course, the odds of increasing your visibility are greatly enhanced if you get connected to others, as Trump has shrewdly done in between business schemes. This doesn't just mean your audience, but your peers as well: you stand to get far more if you reach out and take action to build your network of connections. Your strategy needs to include a concerted effort to grow your contacts, which, in turn, will grow your potential audience.
#3: Establish your "home base."
Just as Trump has used Twitter to communicate with his base, it's crucial that you establish a solid, central place for people to find you. Though it does help to be active on multiple digital platforms, having one recognizable and well-known platform on which people can contact you can help in several ways:
· It provides a location for people to post questions or comments, providing feedback and ideas from others, and
· It helps people who share similar interests in your industry or profession find you.
#4: Distill your brand.
Above all else, know your brand inside and out. If you were writing a book, you would have to be able to explain what it is about in a way that makes people want to read it. Building a brand is no different - if you're not knowledgeable or excited enough about your brand, why should anyone else be? And regardless of your politics, this is where Trump shines: through constant reinforcement of his core attributes.
Of course, you don't have to be ostentatious or outspoken; that's Trump's brand. As Oscar Wilde once advised, "be yourself; everyone else is already taken." Instead, find what makes you unique and lean into those attributes through constant reinforcement.
Want more on how to build your personal brand through digital channels? Check out Getting to Like, my latest book (with co-author Ali B. Zagat), where we cover everything from analytics to content development to picking your social media channels, and more.