So last week I mentioned in my previous blog that we all have a personal brand. While each of us live and breathe a brand that is unique to only us, there are some common elements you'll find in some of the most successful personal brands.

They’re all R.E.A.L. – reliable, engaged, authentic and listening.

Is Your Brand Reliable?

Do you show up when you say you will? Do you call promptly at the time you said you would? Do you deliver everything you promised? Reliability is all about getting your customers and prospects to trust in you and is hands-down one of the most powerful element of your brand. Once people know they can rely on you, they'll confide in you and recognize you as an expert in your field.

Is Your Brand Engaged?

To sustain a successful personal brand you have to put in the time to engage with your networks.

You need to be consistently acting upon the value you bring to your audience. In today’s world, there are so many ways you can reach out and interact with your networks.

Here's 4 ways to engage with your tribe

Social Networks – It’s no secret that the world is becoming increasingly more and more social. Leverage it by creating a strong presence on the social networks where you can find your ideal audience Facilitate a discussion group on LinkedIn by asking open-ended questions and guide conversations into a dialogue. On Twitter? Seek out your ideal customers and follow them. Overtime you should begin to consistently interact with retweets and replies to build a rapport. Maybe offer to take your conversation offline if you feel you both could benefit from working together. I know this won't work for some, but for Coaches and other services offered (web design etc) maybe give it a go.

Real Life Networking – Get yourself out there. In order to build meaningful relationships, there’s a critical offline component that is still so vital today. People want to work with people they know. Invest in face-to-face time and don’t forget to follow-up! PLus don't forget the benefit of referrals. Give those business cards out - after you have connected and feel you can really be of value.

Be a Connector – Probably one of the best ways to engage your audience is to give them something that will benefit them. Know someone who could really use your prospect’s services? Introduce the two parties! Down the road, the favor may be returned.

Run a Workshop – Show your network your expertise by offering up an intimate workshop. Not only will you establish yourself as an expert, the added face time is another opportunity to grow your relationship. Remember the best way to learn something is to teach it! If you can do that you're on your way to adding value to your craft.

Is Your Brand Authentic?

Let’s be honest… we should all be striving to be the truest version of ourselves. The easiest way to cultivate authenticity in your personal brand is to have it reflect your core purpose, values, beliefs and passions. It should incorporate your strengths, your dreams, and your uniqueness.

Be confident in who you are, and then go share that with the world by living and breathing it into your everyday actions. The strongest, most distinctive personal brands got that way by being authentic with their network. They allow their passion to ooze through and light the way.

Are You Listening?

How easy is it to go out and start offering up solutions to solve the problems our customers don’t even realize they need? While it may be easy, the best personal brands know what matters most – their ability to listen to what their customers need.

When you’re engaging with your customer, make sure you’re truly listening. Ask a question to start the conversation, and let them speak. Don’t think about where you’re going to take the conversation – listen to what they're telling you.

Don’t just listen in person either. Set up a Google Alert to stay up to date on what’s happening within your client’s business. Utilize social media to identify frustrations. Let your audience know their opinion matters by asking for feedback. Don’t underestimate the value of letting the other person speak.

Listening can be your biggest relationship-building tool.

What elements do you feel are the most crucial in building a successful personal brand?

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