Me, Myself & Inc.: How To Build Your Personal Brand

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Most wellness professionals ignore their personal brand.  In larger wellness businesses, they’re too focused on internal relationships, opportunities and problems.  Smaller businesses and individual practitioners just don’t make the time.

Yet enhancing your professional visibility in your field  — creating your personal brand — is vital for your professional success.  It turns you into a “franchise player” for your employer.  And it’s also a great source of free publicity for your wellness business whether you’re big or small.

Best of all, it’s a portable asset.  Your employer and title may change, but your professional reputation will always travel with you.

Building your reputation and visibility takes time.  So start now .  Don’t keep putting it off or you’ll find yourself wishing you had more chips on your side of the table later.

Make sure your monthly to-do list always has at least one of these basic brand-building activities on it:

1. Update your LinkedIn profile

and don’t skip any sections!

2. Seek leadership roles

or other high-visibility spots on a committee or taskforce within an industry group or professional association. Examples range from professional associations like the American Physical Therapy Association to trade groups like the Medical Fitness Association.

3. Volunteer for activities

which will give you an opportunity to reach out to individuals in related professions that you might not otherwise encounter. For example, chiropractors, physical therapists, personal trainers, acupuncturists and massage therapists could volunteer to provide post-race treatments at a local running or biking event.

4. Respond to articles in your area of professional expertise

by sending a quick email to the reporter with an additional insight or complicating factor. For example, we just saw an article about a study which reported that only about 12% of the estimated 33% of obese Americans have ever been told by a doctor that they’re obese.  Almost every health and wellness professional has an insight to offer on this topic.

5. Submit speaker proposals

to the top conferences in your professional field. Don’t assume that you’re too insignificant or unknown to be selected. Choose an interesting and important topic that hasn’t been done to death and you’ve got an excellent shot at being selected.

6. Select promising contacts

from the conference brochure for leading conventions in your field. Contact them via email or phone a couple of weeks prior to the meeting and suggest a get acquainted meeting.

7. If your city has a local business journal

Look for articles written by the healthcare reporter where it would make sense to email related comments or potentially useful information that might prompt another story or a follow-on article.

8. Explore writing a monthly or quarterly column

for a trade journal in your field.

9. Notice which reporters cover style, beauty, health and wellness in local & regional media

Apply the same strategy as in #7 above.

10. Submit articles to relevant professional publications

Periodicals that focus on practical application of theory are usually quicker and easier to publish in compared to peer-reviewed journals.  Of course, if you’re in an academic or research setting, make sure you choose a publication that will enhance your reputation in that setting.

11. Experiment with relevant social media platforms

Twitter and LinkedIn are your best bets for building a professional reputation among your peers and the media.

12. Write regular blog posts

Especially if you have a strong and well-articulated opinion about a particular area within health and wellness.

13. Participate in relevant local charities

Preferably in your particular area of interest. For example, an executive at a workplace wellness provider might find board opportunities with a local organization focused on fighting obesity or diabetes.