Whether you have a first date or an important job interview coming up, chances are someone is going to Google you! Inevitably, your presence online becomes your personal brand.
Building a brand is a great way to shape your career and make something of yourself, and the good news: it is becoming easier than ever. It takes commitment and consistency, but most importantly, can make the most valuable change in your career!
The first step is acknowledging why you need to sell yourself. Are you becoming an entrepreneur? Are you marketing yourself to your boss for a promotion? Or are you building your credibility for future ventures?
Building your brand tactically will allow others to see your true value, but how do you go about this?
#1 Discover who you are
For people to invest in your credibility, discovering who you are is key.
What is your passion? What are your aspirations? What do you want your brand to represent- both now and in the future?
These can be difficult questions to tackle and you can easily get lost in the process but answering them honestly and truthfully is the first step in building your respectable brand.
Have a focus. Don’t try to do ‘everything for everyone’ – stick with what you know and what you do best. Tailoring your message for your audience will not only make it easier to create relevant content, but it will assure that people spot your brand amongst an overwhelmingly populated LinkedIn feed. Be clear on who your audience is and what you want your message to say.
The narrower your brand is, the easier it is for people to remember who you are! It’s all about impact.
#2 Make yourself visible!
3.48 billion people now use social media, 45% of the total world population! That’s a ton of people to compete with. And with social media’s ease, simplicity and in-expense, it is the best way to truly make yourself seen.
First impressions count and what you put online can be the difference between getting your dream job or promotion, or being rejected before you get through the door. Not ideal. Employers are increasingly using social media to have a nosey at candidates prior to interview, with 70% of employers using social media to screen candidates and 43% using them to check up on employees.
But that also counts for employers too! Global Executives attribute 45% of their company’s reputation to the reputation of their CEO. That’s nearly half!
No matter if you’re an employee or employer, creating an online presence that represents you and differentiates you will create a solid foundation for whatever you are aspiring to.
#3 Content, content, content!
If your personal brand isn’t telling a story, you’ve already lost half of your potential audience. The most effective way to do this is to build a true narrative. Create a story around your brand that your audience can identify with and relate to.
There are many ways for your voice to be heard. From written content to showcasing your tech-savvy ability via video and audio if you’re brave enough!!
Start with a simple post. This can be anything from industry updates to what’s going on in the world around us. You can move swiftly onto blogs, posting regularly about topics that surround your brand.
The key is to be consistent, visual and make sure it’s got the stamp of your personality all over it. It’s much easier to get recognition for one topic if you consistently speak about it. Create something unique that people can associate you with, and importantly, know it’s you. Look at some of the biggest brands – the likes of Nike and McDonald’s. I don’t need to tell you what their slogan is!
Don’t make the simple mistake of underestimating the impact one small inconsistency can have on your brand.
#4 Let others tell your story
The secret to knowing when you have made an impact is when others are telling your story. Word of mouth is the best marketing tool out there, particularly when industry leaders are screaming your story from the rooftops!
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, famously said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room”.
#5 Leave a legacy
Once you have built a genuine, authentic brand that represents you to the core, the world is your oyster. The next step to think about is what you’ll leave behind. What do you want people to remember you by?
Who are the masters in personal branding?
Oprah Winfrey is, without a doubt, the Queen of personal branding. With her estimated net worth $2.9 billion, she has stayed true to herself, inspiring millions to be their best selves.
Richard Branson is by far the most well-known, successful businessman right now. His unconventional attitude and commitment have helped him create one of the most powerful brands globally.
You don’t need to be Oprah Winfrey or Richard Branson to have a great personal brand. Such inspiring leaders know all too well there are no rules set in stone for creating a successful brand.
Everyone must start somewhere, and this guide will help you make your first crucial steps in establishing your brand. It could make the difference between “Who are you?” and “Thank you for being here”.
Are you an EA, PA, or business support professional looking to take your career to the next level? Executive Partnerships can help. We’re a specialist recruitment agency working with leading companies and organisations to connect them with talented staff. Learn more at www.executivepartnerships.co.uk.