Your personal brand defines you as a professional and the rise of social media has given new meaning to the importance of personal branding. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or consultant or a rising star in the corporate world, understanding how to market yourself will do wonders for your career.
Employers and clients increasingly look to internet to learn more about you as a prospect. They want to know more than a job history. They want to know your accomplishments, your relationships and gain insight into your character.
Build an authentic brand. A personal brand is just as it sounds — personal.
A personal brand is about selling yourself in a way that resonates and connects with clients and colleagues. The best way to do that is by defining the best qualities you have to offer and sharing your story.
It’s not about selling an ideal you cannot deliver. How do you distinguish yourself from others in your profession? What would a client or co-worker say about you? If you could share one story about yourself which one would it be and why is it relevant?
One way to gain insight into developing your brand is to solicit testimonials or feedback from people you have worked with in the past to get an idea of how people experience you. What words keep re-appearing? What traits have they identified? Do they differ from your own perceptions? Identify and synthesize your core traits or qualities based on your own reflections and feedback from others to form the basis of your brand. These are the core brand values you want to consistently communicate through your brand on social media, resumes, websites and when you meet someone face-to-face. This is who you are.
Define Your Space
The Internet provides a lot of opportunities for brand placement. Indeed at times it seems over-saturated, so you want to think strategically about where and how to place your brand.
What networking and social media sites are relevant to your area of expertise? Be sure that you’re thinking about social media strategically and not just opening an account to have an account. Different social media sites accomplish different things; LinkedIn, Instagram, Storify, Facebook and Twitter, just to name a few, all have profoundly different uses and may speak to different audiences.
Are their professional membership organizations you should join? Are your social media profiles cleaned up and professional? Finally, what about a website or landing page? Either one can be an invaluable tool for you to prominently place your brand and market your skills, link to past projects and direct clients to the message you want them to receive. Ideally, it should be the first thing that pops up when someone enters your name in a search.
Visibility is a big part of your personal brand and this is true both in the online world and offline. Be an active voice on social media, offer meaningful commentary in forums related to your field and use LinkedIn for networking.
However, this doesn’t mean that you comment for the sake of commenting or post/re-post every idea or article that comes along. Instead, each interaction should be filtered through the question: How does this advance my personal brand and relate to my area of expertise? Make sure your social media interactions are impactful and insightful. Don’t over-expose yourself on social media because you think more is better — it’s not.
Finally, be visible in the real world. Network. Network. Network. A slick website and a lot of likes on Facebook will only get you so far. It is of the utmost importance that you attend professional events and seek out relationships with others in your field. Think of offline networking as brand integration at its best — when you’re there in the flesh, shaking hands and talking shop, it may just be the time your brand shines the brightest.
Finding your personal brand and marketing yourself can be a daunting task. One thing to consider is working with a copywriter at GlobalWrites who can you help you cultivate your authentic brand through strategic messaging and content development that accurately reflects who you are and your core values. It’s your brand, we just help you build it.