When people think of the word “brand”, they often think of big companies: Pepsi, Chevy, Apple. But in today’s times, not only do big companies must think about their brand, but so do small companies as well as individuals. It is important to think about your own personal brand and how they will market themselves as they shape their career. A strong and authentic personal brand will help you with networking, developing relationships, finding new opportunities, as well as recognition at work or in your industry. Developing your brand can help you become a thought leader in your field.
To get started, here are a few steps to take to get started on shaping your personal brand:
What makes you unique? What are you good at and what sets you apart from everyone else?
These are the qualities that make up your unique selling points and will play a role when people are searching online for these skills and characteristics.
Are there others who have the same skills with the same goals that you have? Of course. But what makes you unique is you. There isn’t anyone else exactly like you, so it’s important to illustrate what is totally and uniquely you. You must find your niche. For example, I’m a marketer with writing skills, a knack for promoting events with experience with large organizations and a passion for non-profit organizations who make a difference in their communities, and I love music. Maybe someone else is a marketer with large organization experience and they’re passionate about art.
DEFINE HOW YOU ARE PERCEIVED
How do your friends, colleagues, other professionals, and people in your online communities perceive you? Try googling yourself. Take note what shows up first in the search results. Does it line up with how you define yourself?
Monitor your mentions online with google alerts. You’ll want to stay on top of what people are saying about you and where your name is appearing online.
DEFINE YOUR GOALS
Does your online brand reflect your career goals? Do you need to change course or reinforce what’s there? The online world is a busy, noisy one. You must work to stand out. Be sure your brand reflects the niche you want to be known for.
You will need to learn to create and curate content well. There are many options available to you when it comes to creating content. You can write a blog offering expert advise , personal stories or commentary. You can also create graphics or start a podcast. Video is exceptionally popular and engaging. Keep in mind your goals and determine what forms of content make sense for your niche as well as what type of content you are best at creating.
Be sure to also share from industry influencers. Sharing curated content helps you establish and build relationships with people in your field.
Even if you’re an introvert, you can and should network. Much of your networking can be done online. However, you’ll eventually need to take some of your networking efforts offline as well. Nothing beats face to face interaction when it comes to networking and building relationships. Become active in communities that you are passionate about. Keeping a consistent presence online and off will help build awareness and recognition for your brand.
A strong personal brand requires a strong narrative. What’s your story? Think of influencers with a strong personal brand and their story.
Make sure you are constantly cultivating and guiding your personal brand. A strong personal brand should always be evolving.