Updated: May 18
You may have read tweets and shared some Instas on personal branding. It feels like a new fad, right? But the reality is that those with a clear personal brand have increased leverage through social media, and therefore more chance of landing that client or getting that job. Unfortunately, "Personal Branding" doesn’t sit too well with most career-oriented professionals.
Employees tend to think that personal branding is only for senior leaders, CEOs and celebrities. Also, a lot of professionals do not want to shout out to the world about their career achievements.
But when it comes to moving ahead and making a success of your career, that humbleness can be a weakness.
Why you need a Personal Brand?
At work, most people like to take on the role of a “quiet leader”, the person who is not outspoken, but will offer advice when necessary and get their hands dirty. Does that description ring any bells?
Unfortunately, this is not the best way to get your achievements noticed. In fact, many people are actively burying their successes in the interest of not making a fuss. How modest!
Recognizing the importance of marketing and career building, and using marketing communication strategies for your self-marketing and branding will help you and your career grow.
Having a personal brand helps you become recognised, leading to a greater network of contacts and ultimately, better career opportunities.
Now we aren’t talking about becoming a globally recognised superstar. With some simple steps, you will be able to create a brand around you that will change the way you are viewed in the eyes of potential clients or employers.
Of the many assets you can create as part of your personal brand, some of the key ones are:
⏩ A Personal Page and online presence
⏩ Branded CV & LinkedIn
⏩ Education and qualifications
⏩ Articles you publish
⏩ Presentations and slides
⏩ Important projects
⏩ Networks and connections
Dressing to Impress
Part of who you are is what you wear. Making the "right impressions" through your wardrobe will give you that extra kick of confidence when you walk into any room. Dressing well demonstrates basic competence and your attention to detail. Style isn’t just about having the latest trend, it’s about dressing for the circumstance to help you get where you want to be. If this is something you feel you lack, have a scan around the web for personal styling tips or wardrobe management tips to help you on your way.
Your Blog (The foundation of your brand)
One of the most creative and exciting parts of personal branding is your personal blog. You can use a free WordPress or Wix domain. Make sure your blog matches your business card, and get writing.
This is where people will come to read your expert understanding of the field you work in. Don’t worry too much about SEO (you will hear that this is very important), it’s more important to get into a schedule of writing. You can make anything you want here, it’s your domain. Photos, thoughts, ideas, advice, everything is possible.
I have worked with and helped hundreds of clients trying to move their careers forward. One of the key things that my clients have in common is; how can I get people to notice me? Or even better; How can I change the way people see me?
Create personal branding statements, and integrate social networking into your career branding will give you a vital edge when it comes to landing that job interview.
Personal branding is more than an image, there is a whole range of areas that can be improved to create a consistent “brand you”. There are similarities to company branding, but the whole package is largely quite different.
Making the most of opportunities
Working voluntarily can give you key experience on systems that you would otherwise never use. Learning from experts in your volunteer field will also give you free access to key competencies that will give you the skills you need to compete.
Speaking and networking
The conference circuit is a great way to make contacts. Get prepared, have a personal business card with a QR code aside from your company business card. This is where the fun begins. Make sure all of your personal digital assets maintain a consistent design, both in colour and in layout. Learn to speak in public, join toastmasters if you are not confident at speaking. The one person in the room who commands the attention of everyone is the speaker. If that’s you, you’re well on your way to opening the very best opportunities.
Be your own boss
By acting as “your own "Chief Executive Officer", you will learn how to use relationship and network marketing and impression management to showcase your skills to prospective employers. By doing this you will use strategic marketing and personal branding techniques for designing, enhancing, and promoting your professional image.
Give people what they want
Avoid people snooping your Facebook and put in front of them what they want to see.
Building your personal brand is not an exact science. There are steps you can take, but no two brands, like people, are never the same. It might be that you concentrate more on social networks or digital marketing, or on your image and look.
People judge. It’s a fact
Your personal brand is what you put on the table in front of potential employers. When you meet people, whether you like it or not, they form an opinion of you, so if you don’t show them your own brand, they’ll make one for you. Giving people the image will help them to shape their opinion of you how you want it to be.
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