Naeem Arif is a highly experienced customer-orientated leader, with over 15 years experience as director of multiple successful Private Limited Companies in the Retail and Management Consulting world. He the founder of NA Consulting, a retail and management consultancy, and the Co-Founder and Vice Chair of the Midlands Retail Forum.

I don’t recall when it was, but Entrepreneurs and Directors have realised that the best way to promote themselves, their ideas or their business was by building a personal brand. It is a lot easier for people to talk to people, rather than people to talk to company logo’s. We all know who Elon Musk is, because of his identity, his business also gets recognition.

If you don’t already do this, pay attention and consider it as a development action and to help you do this, here are 5 simple steps you should follow in order to develop your own brand.

5) Mindset of a brand.

First of all, you need to start thinking and believing that you are a brand. So like any brand, you should decide what the brand represents. It is likely that the way you behave “publicly” will have to change. Why do I say this? Well, now you are a brand, people will look at a lot more of what you do and judge you on it. So be clear on what you post, like, tag on social media.

A good idea is to ensure your public profiles (Linked In, Facebook, Twitter etc) all have been updated consistently and have good images of you. Maybe even the same image on all of them, so people recognise you quickly?

The ideal way to get engagement with your target audience is to talk about, comment on and be involved in discussions where you want to create your presence. Don’t be afraid though to talk about non-work items, so if you are a keen golfer, you can bring that into the conversation sometimes as well.

Someone I pay a lot of attention to is Gary V (@garyvee) and his posts are mostly business related, but you can see his personality coming out in his communication. This has the effect of polarising people, some like him and some don’t. What is clear is that he stands out from the crowd and those who do like his personality, are completely aligned with him.

4) What happens when I google you?

When you look at a company, a product or someone you just met, most of us will google it to find out more. This is the standard way now that everyone researches anything and it should not be a surprise for us! So when someone googles you, they should find links to things that you want to be associated with. LinkedIn and Twitter aside, where else is your name mentioned and where can people find out about you?

Consider what happens when I google your name? It is a very interesting thing to do anyway, just to see what happens. You need to consider this, activity with the other points below. Your public profiles and your content should come up when someone google’s you.

For this to happen of course, there needs to be content out there …. Which is why you need to read the other steps below

3) How do you add Value?

Be very clear on how you will be adding value to your audience. You will probably want to become known as an expert or guru in a specific area. So do you know what that area is? What is it that you want your audience to know you for? I am not so concerned with Niches or Micro Niches, this confuses some people. Just understand that if you want your name to be associated as the person who knows all about “Pizza Toppings” then that is what you want to be an expert in.

Consider the approach, so will you be using Blogs, VLogs or Infographics perhaps? Work with whatever you are comfortable with, but think about what method is the best to give most value. Note – I have not talked about what platform to use, this is a separate topic completely.

The outcome here is that when your topic is being thought about, your name should come up first as being an expert in that area. The best way to effect this, is to keep your attention on specific things, if you publish 10 content pieces on a focused area, it will create a bigger effect in that area, than if you talk about a variety of things.

2) What is your story

Since Childhood, we have all loved stories. We like to hear about happy things and sad things. We like to dream, aspire and believe there is something more exciting out there, that we do not have in our lives currently. A great way to get engagement and followers is to tell your story, especially if it is going to inspire others. If you have a great story, use it to show your audience that you are very much like them. People like people who are similar to themselves.

It’s a simple but effective way to get people to know and understand you. If you have a key driver, or personal mission statement, it was be very powerful in terms of letting your audience clearly know about you. Tell your story to get interaction, tell it in your own words, in your own style.

Your Story should be the way to get new fans, but then don’t just keep telling the same story, make sure it evolves. You got them interested in you, now what’s next? You must be able to move on and talk about other things as well. Too many people are just telling your inspirational story every day and their audience is saying …. “So what?”

1) Be consistent

I like eating at Frankie & Benny’s its an Italian restaurant and it has a good selection of things which I like. I can go to F&Bs in Birmingham, Nottingham or London and I know what I want to eat as there is a standard menu and food delivery.

Great brands are consistent and as such, make sure you are consistent in your messages, your values and your standards. In terms of what you talk about, how frequently you post and your style. Don’t expect to win over your audience in your first 10 posts. There is no rule, it may take 100 posts, you can never predict this, but once you have got traction, keep going and make sure you keep people interested an engaged. There are many tools you can use to keep a consistent presence. The danger is that should you slow down and or stop being present, the market you have created could easily be filled by someone else.

Your Persistence can get you results, but your consistency will keep you there.

Good Luck.


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