By Sheila A. Anderson

It’s a noisy world out there. Competition is fierce. As an entrepreneur you will continuously ask yourself, how do I become visible in the space I want to own? How do I gain traction in getting market share? It starts with you. You are the face of your business. Not only that, but quite often, especially in the beginning, you are the face and the staff of your company. It’s you and only you. Establishing a strong and distinct personal brand as an entrepreneur is vital, and my definition of vital is: without it, you die. In today’s world, a personal brand is an essential part of doing business.

You are the CEO of your personal brand. By that I mean, you are not only the Chief Executive Officer, but you are the Chief Experience Officer of your personal brand. I define a personal brand as owning the experience anyone has with you at every interaction. It’s about intentionally positioning yourself.

I believe there are three spaces we each live out our personal brands. I have coined the phrase “POP Your Brand.” POP is an acronym for the three spaces. They are: 1) the Personal space, 2) the Online space, and 3) the Public space. All three of these spaces build the picture of your personal brand. The Personal space includes your appearance, personal style, and how you communicate. The Online space is everything and anything that can be found out about you online like social media profiles, blogs, and your website. The Public space is your outward presence that people come into contact with when you are out in the public eye such as in your work environment or at networking events.

Attending networking events or industry conferences are terrific ways to build a personal brand. It offers the opportunity to expand your network by meeting new people. This exposes you and your company to others and can help you earn more revenue. By seeking out events where your target market resides ensures you will be networking with people who you may end up working with or who would be willing to refer you onto others. Be mindful to build a genuine rapport with attendees and be sure to return the favor by asking if there are ways you can help them with their business. How you treat others gets tied back to your personal brand.

More importantly, I believe attending events and conferences provides you with the opportunity of branding by association. This means that any time you can position yourself with a larger brand, it will give a boost to your brand. Your mother was right. You absolutely become like the people you hang around. Putting forth a concerted effort of positioning yourself in circles where you have access to better people with big ideas will elevate your personal brand and your business. You will learn from them and how they think and being seen in the same room strengthens your brand. You can leverage this time together by writing a blog about the experience afterward or by posting photos you have taken at the event. Make sure your interactions with others at these events is always a win-win for both parties. You should be mindful of bringing value to them and continue to nurture the relationship after the event.

Attending a SmartFem Network event is the perfect way to surround yourself with the best of the best. Not only will it help you grow personally and professionally, it is filled with opportunities of being associated with those powerful brands creating influence.

 Sheila A. Anderson owns Image Power Play, an impression management and personal brand company dedicated to bringing forth intentional, consistent, and authentic interactions with others. She is the author of the book: I.C.U., The Comprehensive Guide to Breathing Life Back Into Your Personal Brand, and is a charter member of the C-Suite Network Advisors™, an elite group of the most trusted advisors to C-level executives.