Mel Carson is certainly a man who knows about personal branding. He engaged the audience in the Brighton SEO concert theatre with anecdotes of the last time he was in the Dome 20 years ago as a backing singer who couldn’t dance…

mel carson brighton seo 2016

His talk focused on personal branding and how important that is to our success.

What is personal branding?

It all starts with your personal purpose. Why do you do what you do? Get that right in your own mind.

“It’s the practice of defining your professional purpose and being able to articulate your experience and value to your target audience through digital media and in person.”

The ultimate goals are around being:

  1. Discoverable
  2. Sharable
  3. Memorable

Test it for yourself. What happens when you Google your name? Do you come up in the best light? Do the search results represent your personal brand?

Do people share the content you create?

The two together lead to you being memorable. This means someone might not necessarily need something from you right now, but something about what you do means they remember you when they do need you.

Brand Building Through PR and Social

You need to build a relationship first, according to Forrester research. 90% of people trust in what their friends and family say, while only 15% trust brands. We need to build that relationship to gain trust.

And we do this by being a real person. By encouraging empathy, creating an emotional connection.

We spend 27% of our time on social media, according to Experian. We need to make sure this time is useful and that we use it to represent our brand.

The Science of Great Content = Aura

The DNA of successful and enduring digital content has 4 main elements:

  1. Authentic
  2. Useful
  3. Relevant
  4. Actionable

Aim for this in all you do.

Some Quick Fire Tips

  1. Own your own name! Set up a website which talks about you, your experience, your resume. Four or five pages, giving information about you, working to ensure it is future proof so that people who search for you see you, not LinkedIn, or Facebook, or Twitter, all of which can change any minute.
  2. Invest in a professional photo! It makes a huge difference to your perceived brand. According to Photofeeler.com, you should be smiling in your photo for best engagement.
  3. Make your out of office work harder. Use it as an opportunity to help people engage with you, and stand out from all the others.
  4. Create a social media ratio. Don’t have a professional social profile and a personal one – better to share some personal insight in a professional manner where appropriate. LinkedIn has now added functionality which sends you a link to the person you’re due to be meeting that day – so ensure you get your LinkedIn profile up to date.
  5. Use your name in the alt tags of photos of you, especially when you’re sending them to other people.

How Do I Know If I’m Doing It Well?

Start by setting communication goals for yourself and follow it.

You’ll see an increase in social engagement if you’re smart about it.

You’ll see an increase in mentions of you in your industry, in blogs, in publications. This is how you become a thought leader.

You’ll see an increase in placements for you to speak on your specialism at events and conferences.

You’ll see an increase in positive sentiment towards you externally as well as internally within your business.

The Future for Personal Branding

The potential is there for our personal brand to be a clone of ourselves. When we can’t be there, our personal brand works for us, helping us to make the very best impression.

Check out Mel’s book ‘introduction to personal branding’ on Amazon now.

Laura Hampton

Head of Digital PR

Head of Digital PR at Impression working with colleagues and clients to deliver link acquisition campaigns that support SEO visibility and wider marketing goals. Regular speaker at industry conferences and contributor to industry publications. In my spare time, I jump out of planes.

Laura has specialist knowledge in Digital PR and Content Marketing.

3 thoughts on “#BrightonSEO: Mel Carson – The Importance of Personal Branding

  1. AvatarMel Carson says:

    Thanks for the kind write up Laura! So pleased you liked my talk!

    1. Avatarlauralhampton says:

      Hi Mel,

      It’s my pleasure! I thought it was really helpful and informative.

      As an SEO, much of my role is based on building relationships and I find having a strong personal brand really helps with that. Much easier to ask for help from people who have heard of you and can see more about you beyond the corporate face of a brand.

      Does make me realise how horrid my personal domain is though! Thanks for sharing your advice. Hope to see you at future events.

      Kind regards

      Laura

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