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What is a personal brand? Why should you care? Your mind may go straight to social media influencers with thousands of followers – but branding yourself is important for everyone! It is about providing a value in one or multiple specialty areas to the point where people associate your name to a service (or services) in your industry. Whether you’re interviewing for a job or pitching an idea to your boss, you are always selling yourself and your abilities (having a brand will make this easier). A personal brand can help you become well established in your career and open many doors to new opportunities. Convinced yet? If yes, follow the 5 steps below to start building your brand!
What is a personal brand and why do you need one
Personal branding is the way you establish and promote what you stand for. Your personal brand is a very unique combination of skills, values, experiences and passions that define who you are and what you’re trying to achieve professionally, and even personally. When we think about brands, we traditionally think about successful companies like Nike or Microsoft. However, in today’s world anything can be a brand – even an individual. Your personal brand could be a very customized Linkedin profile, your own website or social media channels, a podcast or craft project that you’ve started. Ultimately, your brand could be anything really, as long as it’s online and people can see it.
So, why is all this so important? When it comes to finding a new job, you can feel like a small fish in the ocean. For specific jobs like developers, marketers or designers, competition is tough. By building your personal brand, you’re making it easier for recruiters to seek you out from the competition. Keep in mind, most head-hunters won’t hire someone who doesn’t have an online presence. Also, no matter your age, people will google your name to see what comes up. Believe us when we say you want to have control over what those people will actually see. At the end of the day, a consistent and professional personal brand can lead to job interviews, job placements, promotions, partnerships, speaking engagements and much more!
Are you obsessed with creating beautiful websites, coordinating events, or building? Or are you the organizer of a meetup group, the author of a cooking blog or volunteer at a local children support association in your spare time? Whatever your niche may be, outline the base for what your focus will be. You cannot go wrong when showcasing what you’re passionate about! Plus, chances are the things you love doing outside of work teach you valuable skills for your career. Once you’ve identified 2 to 3 unique themes, start thinking about your goals and your accomplishments.
Whether it’s Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, you have tons of options when it comes to choosing your platform. The rule of thumb is to pick more than one to increase the number of chances you’ll appear on the first page of Google. You could create a personal website and several social media profiles on platforms such as: LinkedIn (this one is a must!), Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, Tumblr, SlideShare, Medium, Quora, Instagram, and YouTube (just to name a few). Find what works for you and then start building your profiles!
Once you’ve created your online profiles, it’s time to get in touch with your peers. Interacting with your network is a great way to stay top of mind. When exchanging communication on a regular basis, you’ll build a relationship and legitimize your brand making it easier to build up your network.
Have you thought about creating your own website to showcase what you’re passionate about or which projects you’re working on? Personal websites can be used as portfolio for your work and are particularly important for graphic designers. Once it’s live, don’t forget to add the url of your own website to your LinkedIn profile and on your resumé!
Your online presence matters, but unless you’re consistent, it won’t. Make sure the information you’re putting out is aligned, no matter the platform. Also, try to update your info on different social media profiles on a regular basis. Using social media scheduling tools such as Hootsuite can make all the difference, and save you hours of time.
While building your brand, remember to stay authentic and be yourself – everyone else is taken! No matter what profession you’re in or looking to move into, a personal brand is the best way to stand out from the competition. Always remember that opportunities won’t come to you, you have to work for them! Are you looking to build your personal brand but have been out of work for months? Check out our latest blogopost on How to Explain Resume Gaps!