The first thing to realise about your personal brand is that you already have one. Google yourself now. The results that show up? That is your personal brand. All those social media accounts and online activities that have your name attached to them create an impression of who you are, whether you want them to or not. Therefore, it is more useful to think in terms of managing your image rather than creating one. This article will cover the initial steps you need to take in order to start managing your brand.
1. Make your personal brand personal.
This might sound obvious but that does not make it any less important. Your personal brand should be true to yourself. You should not build your brand around a fake persona you invented to try to appeal to as many people as possible. Not only would this be exhausting to keep up but people are sure to see through it in the long run. Instead, have an honest think about what kind of person you are. What is your story? What is your passion? What are your traits and values? These things should be reflected in your brand. Not only will they make you seem more genuine and authentic, they are also sure to give your brand a unique spin.
2. Think about who you your target audience is.
Who do you want taking notice of your brand? This can range from an entire demographic to that one person who can help further your career. The point of your brand is to market yourself to your target audience. Find out what their needs are and how you can deliver on those needs. Is there something lacking within your field that you can provide? Once you figure this out, you can consciously work this into how you present yourself.
3. Get yourself noticed.
With today's plethora of online tools and social media, there is no shortage of ways to get your brand out there. A good step is to create a complete LinkedIn profile and connect with as many people as you can. Wordpress is a quick and easy tool to create your own personal website. Even a basic one with just a CV, a short biography and a link to your social media outlets is useful and you can always expand it later. Twitter is an effective way of engaging with people. It is easy to find prominent figures in your field and then follow them and comment on things they care about. This can form the basis for future relationship. Associating yourself with these figures will also strengthen your brand. All of these methods serve to make people aware of you.
4. Monitor yourself.
Finally, remember that everything you do online, or in a public setting, will reflect upon you in some way. Your brand is not a singular thing; it is an amalgamation of all the things you share, tweet, upload etc. Be strategic in what you share and think about how it may contribute to your brand. If you already have accounts on multiple social media platforms, go over them and ask yourself what they currently say about you. Are you coming off as professional as you want to? Does your personality shine through or is all a bit bland and impersonal? Most importantly, is your brand helping you in getting where you want to go?
Establishing your personal brand and getting that initial traction is tough but if push through, you will find it an invaluable tool in advancing your career.
By: Gaël Van Den Bossche