50+ Tips to Brand Yourself Offline

Now that you know how to brand yourself online, complete your personal branding strategy with another handy list, this time of suggestions for branding yourself offline in the real world.

World Behind Standout Guy

It's all about leaving the best impression.

General guidelines

  • Show your expertise as much as possible.
  • Give people every way to find out about your brand-related successes and achievements without you needing to brag about them.
  • Make yourself easy to contact for thoughts and questions via telephone, cellphone, even a snail mail address.
  • Help other people in your industry such as bloggers, Twitterers, colleagues, advice seekers, etc.
  • Give people a reason to talk about you in a positive way that also matches your brand.
  • Follow other people in your industry and anyone else who can teach you how to spread your message.
  • Create and apply personal design guidelines that will share the values of your brand and are reusable online and offline.

Your appearance

  • Dress for success in whatever field you may be in.
  • Corresponding hairstyle
  • Confident posture
  • Firm handshake
  • Gestures you use
  • Right vocabulary
  • What you actually say to people and how you say it (to the point? Or always diplomatically?)

Where to leave your branding in print

  • A personal logo or monogram
  • Your handwriting style
  • Your signature
  • Personal stationery
  • Your mailing signature i.e. how you end your letters.
  • Your resume or CV
  • Portfolios
  • Diplomas
  • Test scores or grades
  • Business cards
  • Calling or visiting cards
  • Thank you cards
  • Event-related cards, such as holiday or condolence cards
  • Books you write or contribute towards, such as in a foreword.
  • Articles and white papers you publish in newspapers, journals, magazines, circulars, etc.
  • Press releases
  • Printed reports such as about the impact of recent changes in your industry by government or changes that you'd like to see.
  • Posters
  • Flyers
  • Art

Examples of choices that brand you

  • The gadgets you carry.
  • The car you drive.
  • The brands, companies and people you associate with.
  • The medals, trophies and awards you've won.
  • The medals, trophies and awards you've given out.
  • The people you admire and how you admire them.
  • The people you dislike and how you dislike them.

Opportunities to show your brand

  • Information interviews at companies you'd like to impress.
  • Out-of-the-box guerrilla actions that grab attention.
  • Distribute samples of your work.
  • Participate in events and activities where you will be introduced publicly.
  • Speak at conferences.
  • Throw a press conference if you have something newsworthy to share that's related to your brand.
  • Do radio shows, regular or intermittent appearances, such as interviews.
  • Get on TV, also for regular or intermittent appearances.
  • Give free advice at business expositions and job fairs.
  • Circulate an industry-related petition.
  • Give seminars or workshops about a topic you know in depth.
  • Participate in as many industry-related networking events that you can.
  • Organize networking events for your industry.
  • Join local, national and international brand-related communities such as business forums and professional groups.
  • If there is no such brand-related community, organize one.
  • Volunteer for groups where you are likely to attract the most positive attention.
  • Give out a personally-branded version of a free tool that your audience will find useful. Think schwag from conferences. Pens are the most typical example, but magnets, flash lights, keychains with your contact information and personal tagline are also common.
  • Use sandwich boards in a busy area. They're so low tech, they always get heads to turn.

Do you have any other real world branding suggestions that have worked for you?

I originally published this article on the terrific Personal Branding Blog.

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  1. Jacob Share Claire April 19, 2009
  2. Jacob Share Melissa Paulik April 23, 2009
  3. Jacob Share Charleen Larson July 28, 2011
  4. Jacob Share Kate September 29, 2013
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