We are used to thinking about branding as something that companies need to do, in order to sell their products. However, we should all be aware of our own personal branding, which will be managing the impression we make on the world. This could be how we dress and behave, but I want to emphasize also about the impact of how we come across in the online world.
This is important if you want to move to a new job, new employers will usually look at your LinkedIn profile, as well as where you pop up on other websites. If you run a business, customers will look at your website. Therefore, it’s so important that you have a personal brand that is appropriate and is giving off the right messages.
What to take into consideration for personal branding:
There are several steps you can take, in order build your personal brand:
- Self-awareness. Think about your personal values, your skills, your personality traits and what you are truly passionate about. Remember that everyone has their vulnerabilities and you don’t need to be perfect. What you will want to get across is the authenticity of the message
- Your story. Tell your story, what do you want others to see and feel online, or in person when the see and engage with you? Also, what do you want to convey to those that look for you online? Your story will build on the self-awareness stage
- Your target audience. Identify who this will be. How will you capture their attention? What will it be about you that will make them engage positively with you
- Share your draft plan. Get your friends and family to give you some honest feedback about your plan. If you can, getting someone that doesn’t know you well, a coach or a friend of a friend to give you feedback can also be helpful
- Raising your brand profile. Some suggestions of how to do this are below:
- Maintain a LinkedIn profile
- Start a website
- By blogging – either your own site, or by contributing to others
- Create YouTube videos, podcasts etc
- Post relevant and regular updates to social media sites
- Write articles for journals, magazines, newspapers
- Speak at conferences
- Join and contribute to industry groups and associations
- Join and speak at networking events
- Nominate others/yourself for industry awards.
What else to take into account
Personal branding is something that we all need to take into account these days. Remember to maintain your personal brand, so that it is updated and stays relevant.
Finally, also think about how to keep a consistent message across all platforms.