I rebranded and So Can YouI’m going to share a secret with you. Shhhh.

Not too long ago I made a major career transition. I went to college for business and specialized in finance. I even went so far as to get a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) designation (primarily used for analyzing and making investments). I worked at P&G in corporate finance.

I had the opportunity to start working for an Internet start-up part-time in marketing, and I fell in love with marketing. I had worked for P&G for over 5 years in finance, but I quickly switched into a marketing assignment before I left to work for the start-up full time.

While I was working for the startup, I realized that I had an online branding problem. If you searched for me online, you’d find a few articles about me and awards, but at the top of search engine results was my MySpace profile. It was pretty embarrassing.

So I started thinking about online branding and I created a blog. I started writing about social media marketing, because our company was one of the first to do it. I was also active on Twitter and LinkedIn where I shared my ideas about internet marketing.

In less than a year, I started to get calls to do consulting and job offers because I was seen as a social media marketing expert. Seriously, in under a year, I was suddenly the expert.

Since the field was still new it was true that I did know more about social media than many others, however I wasn’t by any stretch an expert.

If it Sounds like a Duck and Looks Like a Duck…..

Since I was writing intelligent things about social media marketing, over time, people began to see me as the expert.

It isn’t enough to just decide to be an expert at something, but choosing the brand you want to build and creating thought leadership content while participating in a community can very quickly skyrocket an individual to the center of a conversation.

If you look like an expert at something and can share expert knowledge, very quickly people will begin to view you as an expert.

If you want to rebrand yourself, here are some steps to put you on track to success:

  1. Decide What You Want to Be – the first step is to clearly and specifically define your brand.
  2. Create an Online Presence – next begin to build an online presence for your brand with social media accounts and a website
  3. Share Thought Leadership – share news and thought leadership – show people that you are the expert vs. telling them
  4. Connect with the Community – reach out and connect with the community by commenting on articles and participating in relevant discussions
  5. Be Consistent – it takes time so be sure to consistently participate, share and discuss over a few months to maximize your results