Your personal brand helps you promote yourself. It combines skills, experience, and personality that you want the world to identify you with. It represents how you tell your story. A personal brand is quite similar to a corporate brand.
Personal branding distinguishes you from other people. You can link your personal brand to your business in ways no corporate branding can. It is a combination of how you look at you in real life, how you portrayed by the media, and the impression that people have about you based on your information online.
Here are a few tips to help you create a personal brand that can boost your career:
1. Discover who you are:
Building up a personal brand requires you to identify who you are i.e your personal and professional identity. You can achieve this by creating a list of your personal strengths and weaknesses. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What areas of work do I excel in?
- What is my motivation?
- What characteristics have I received compliments on?
- Which roles do you find difficult to keep up with?
If you are unable to answer these questions, ask friends, family, and co-workers to describe you. Once you are well aware of every area of your personality, you would know the best way to brand them.
Also, just like many corporate brands, your personal brand would change as your career grows. The most effective strategy is to decide on a particular area you’d like to focus on and let it grow.
2. Determine what you want to be known for:
Your personal brand does not only define who you are today but also it is a blueprint of who you would be in the future. You can understand your skills and competencies by assessing your strengths and weaknesses in relation to whichever industry or career you would like to venture into.
This enables you to discover the skills and features that distinguish you and the areas you need to work on in order to excel.
3. Know your audience:
Having an understanding of who your audiences are is quite important for personal branding. Your audience can be thought leaders in other industries, an individual at a particular company or recruiters. Knowing who your audiences are earlier will help you in crafting your story because you already have an understanding of what you need to tell.
4. Prepare an elevator pitch:
An elevator pitch is very important for your personal brand, you must be able to define your brand and its value proposition within 30-60 seconds. A number of people, including project managers, salespeople, evangelists, and policy-makers, commonly use elevator pitches to get their point across quickly.
You need to come up with brief stories to tell that showcases your brand’s quality and usefulness. Ensure your elevator pitch focuses on a few key points you want to lay emphasis on.
5. Take advantage of networking:
Networking is important even as you grow your personal brand. This is usually done in a bid to grow your professional circle, it includes connecting with peers and others at formal and informal networking gatherings.
You can provide more value in your interactions depending on the connections you are able to make. Studies have shown that 85 percent of all jobs are gotten from networking.
During these events, take advantage of any opportunity you get, you can ask to meet up with fellow attendees for an informational interview or a coffee chat. You can also reach out to them via email or LinkedIn.
6. Ask for recommendations:
One of the most effective ways to define your personal brand is by allowing current and former colleagues and managers to endorse and communicate your value for you. You can incorporate your own reviews in the form of recommendations.
Social media platforms such as LinkedIn are great for endorsement. These recommendations can be favorable to your brand as it would attract a number of employers. You can ask former managers, mentors, and other connections to recommend your brand.
7. Grow your online presence:
Your online presence is very crucial to your personal brand, ensure it is engaging and attractive to potential employers, co-workers, and others. In spite of whether you are job hunting or not having an excellent online presence is vital.
There are a lot of social media tools you can use to create a great image for yourself online. Once you are well aware of where your targeted audience is, you put in adequate effort to tell your story.
Also, you can adjust your privacy settings to ensure that potential employers do not have access to certain information that could hinder your chances of getting a job.
8. Remember that your personal brand isn’t just online:
Your brand is not just online the way you position yourself in your home, workplace, etc is very important.
The bottom line is your entire reputation is important.
Your story, coupled with your everyday interactions, define your personal brand.