As we spend more time online, we must secure our professional identities for instance if your resume and cover letter tell your professional story then your personal brand drives the character development.
Influential companies today that started several years ago didn’t go global by magic but only one thing propelled their determination on the wheel of success which is personal branding take for example; Apple challenged the world to “Think Different”, Nike inspired people to “Just Do It” regardless of age, gender or physical fitness level.
However, years later, these renowned slogans have transformed, setting the pace for how each company communes and represents itself in the open market.
These same companies in just a handful of words that form the slogans have told a story and influenced how people recognize the organizations behind them. It interests me to say that together they represent the power and potential of branding.
Branding is what companies stand for, (it’s reflected in the way the company acts, the value that the company gives as well as how it projects those values to serve its people).
Professionals on the other hand are also known for what they stand for, for instance professionals have their own story individually to tell, they can be known to share more in the areas of their goals, skills and expertise respectively.
As we take a leap into today’s digital world especially as it’s on the increase, a personal brand is no longer something to have but also expected because it takes a strong brand to stand out in the crowd, here it’s highly patronized in terms of more sales, awareness tends to be on the increase and accompanied with a better customer experience as a result of its personal brand.
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We will now take time to learn more personal branding tips below;
What Is Personal Branding?
Persona branding is the method employed in identifying, positioning, and promoting one’s self in the professional world, and its popularity and importance are reaching an all-time high.
Interesting! Isn’t it, as it asks the question “Why you?”, here is the answer to the question; Personal branding helps individuals to become enlightened about their differences, at the end making them to position in a way that makes them stand out among other potential job applicants.
You don’t really have to bother treating yourself like a product neither faking it till you make it nor merely posting your name and content online instead, be determined to build your own personal brand and to achieve these, your brand must be strategically, creatively and professionally presenting what defines you to be you!
However, when building your personal brand, you don’t have to be too famous to achieve this; rather all you just need to do is to get people to know who you are and remember you.
Your brand tells how much other people perceive you and the reason a personal brand is worth more than a business brand. The secret is hidden in how you tap into opportunities that will bring you multiple streams of income.
Furthermore, personal brand can be further explained as who you are, what you stand for, the values you embrace and the way in which you express those values.
Personal branding has the same similarities with corporate brands such that the same way a company’s brand helps to communicate its value to the customers and stand out from competition, personal branding does the same for individuals helping them to communicate a unique identity and clear value to potential employers or even clients.
Such a story can play a vital role in building a great career according to Gresh summary which states; “Personal branding is one’s story”
Personal branding helps in career boost such that it’s mind blowing to see that 85% of hiring managers attest to how their hiring decision is positively influenced by a job’s candidate personal brand.
The features of a personal brand should list out your strengths, foster trust, create a reputation and help express your unique attributes that you offer to your desired industry.
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Your personal brand will certainly be a pointer to your employers if you will be the right fit for an open role.
1. Figure Out Who You Are
Knowing who you are matters most and never settle for the least. As you build your personal brand, let it reflect your personal and professional identity.
Create a list of your personal strengths and weaknesses. You can get to discover more about yourself from your friends and family, external relatives and colleagues if you finding it hard to answer questions like;
- In which areas of work do I excel?
- What inspires me?
- What character have others complicated me on?
- Which role seems to drain my energy?
- Which projects can I devote hours on without feeling tired?
Hence you have gathered information from the question asked about personality, you can now decide on how best to brand them.
Be reminded that a lot of people find it difficult to choose a specific niche since they don’t want to underrate themselves. Your personal brand just like a corporate one also needs an update as your career advances.
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The best way to start is to choose a specific area you would like to capitalize on and watch it grow with time.
2. Determine What You Want to Be Known For
Be highly inclined about your personal brand which is more than a reflection of who you are currently, in fact it is the road map to wherever you choose to go.
Personal branding advertises your skills and competencies as it helps you to access more about your strengths and weaknesses, preparing you to withstand any career or industry you wish to launch into.
However, doing this will help reveal to you the skills and traits that make you different. You will also discover areas where your improvement is needed as well as gaining new knowledge in order to advance.
Personal branding helps you to make a forecast of where you wish to see yourself in the next four to eight years and what attributes you will want to be known for. Finally, it can help you better in determining the next step you should take in order to get to that point you imagine.
3. Define Your Audience
Defining your audience is one interesting feature in personal branding tips such that before you start designing your personal brand, you need to determine who your targeted audience are, your audience here could be some group of industry leaders, a staff in a particular company, hiring managers because the earlier you define your audience, the easier it will be to write your story.
In addition, it will help you to have a clearer understanding of the type of story you want to tell including where you need to express your story.
You need to be as specific as possible. For example, if your objective is to reach recruiters and hiring managers, you might begin by updating your LinkedIn profile information, the reason is that about 92% of hiring managers leverage social media to identify with excellent candidates while 87% make use of LinkedIn to find credible candidates.
If you are a highly skilled graphic designer trying to reach your existing customers and looking forward to attracting new customers, all you need to do is to locate a website that can help you to conveniently tell your story matching your talents.
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4. Search Your Desired Industry and Follow the Experts
When you start listing out the careers you desire it is important to compile research on professionals handling those roles. According to Gresh’s findings;
“Identify who the thought leaders are in any field you are interested in and don’t just follow them alone. Instead, go online and find out if they have blogs or where they contribute their thinking. Look for people who are successful and examine what they are doing… imitate them and then do one better.”
When building a personal brand, you should make sure against all odds that your goals or objective is to stand out but you should also take note that you can’t get to the apex without taking into account those who are already there and ahead of you as far as the chosen role is concerned.
5. Embrace Networking
It is important to network more often and effectively to increase your professional circle as you cultivate your ideal personal brand.
Make it a duty to connect with peers and industry thought-leaders by attending formal and informal networking events. It will interest you to know that the more connections you are more likely to have will eventually result in the more value you can give in your interactions and in addition the more chances you likely have for your personal brand to be recognized.
It is also impressive to know that 85% of all jobs are filled through networking. Making it a habit to constantly attend these events will help you not only to build your brand but help you increase in your knowledge and successful career advancement.
When you find yourself in events like that make it a point of duty to always reach out, interact freely, develop acquaintance with people you meet for the very first time and do not be shy to book a light appointment or a casual coffee chat with fellow attendees when the opportunity counts.
Finally, you can reach out via email or LinkedIn to start a conversation especially when you don’t get a chance to connect at the event.
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6. Ask For Recommendations
One of the easiest and most effective ways to define your personal brand allowing others to share and communicate your values for you is to have your current and former colleagues and managers recommend you.
You can cultivate your own reviews in the form of recommendations the same way as a company or business cultivates customers’ reviews and feedback to improve their sales and marketing system as well as for use too.
Furthermore, the social media tool which allows for endorsements is LinkedIn as it is also a great place where your recommendation is likely to attract the attention of future hiring managers.
It is important to not forget to seek the consent of the people endorsing you to act as an actual reference during your job search with assurance from them on speaking to potential employers or write a letter of recommendation if needed on your behalf.
Finally, if you are not really sure of who to ask for help, you can still link up with your former manager who mentored you closely as they can be very approachable. In the organizations you belong to, professors and other leaders of that particular organizations can help in crafting effective recommendations.
7. Grow Your Online Presence
Another most important aspect of personal branding is through growing your online presence where you make sure your online presence is linking you up with hiring managers, co-workers especially when it happens you are not seeking for any job openings.
As we are surrounded by different social media tools today available at our fingertips, your online presence will vary as well depending on the medium you select from. While you ensure your story should be the same across all platforms, you can improve more on your effort in sharing your most inspiring stories there once you know where your targeted audience is most likely to turn.
If you wish to make one of your profiles to be just for friends and family, go to your privacy settings and adjust it so your potential employers won’t be able to access any information of yours that could potentially hinder your chances of landing a job.
Below are some online platforms to help you in crafting your personal brand;
Personal Branding Examples
I guess a lot has been learnt from the various steps to take when crafting your personal brand. Also, the personal branding examples (infographic) by various industry leaders and experts should shed more light on how you can effectively brand yourself or business to the world.
LinkedIn along with other social media platforms have been extensively discussed as mediums through which we get to connect and seek for recommendations for our personal brand or business brand.
As the case may be, this can’t be possible unless you participate in a group and familiarize with people within the group whose interests align with yours so your story can be shared and heard.