Personal branding is the process by which professionals establish a unique name and image for themselves by consistently generating a message with a recurring theme. It’s an effective way to set yourself apart from the competition and develop a reputation as an authority in your field. It’s important in this competitive job market to be seen as a subject-matter expert, versus just one more qualified applicant.
So follow these steps to get started building your personal brand:
- The best time to start building your personal brand is right now, because it takes time to develop a reputation and following.
Clarify your brand
- In order to have a strong personal brand, you must first determine your own professional identity, brand message and what differentiates you from others. You won’t be able to effectively communicate your brand if you’re unclear as to any of these are.
Identify your audience
- Who are you trying to appeal to? When you have a clear picture of your target audience, you will better understand how to find and relate to them.
Plan your approach
- Are you a blogger? Speaker? Social butterfly? Lean on your natural strengths and develop a written plan for where, when and how you will lean on those strengths.
Create your toolkit
- Your personal branding toolkit consists of many things – a blog, website, business card, resume, video resume, reference document, cover letter, portfolio, social network profiles, etc. It even includes the clothes your wear, your body language or your communication style. Your brand must be consistent and reinforce every part of your toolkit.
Be professional – always
- First impressions are extremely important, and you never know where the opportunity will present itself for that first impression – grocery store, DMV office or at a neighborhood gathering. In addition, pay attention to your online brand. Remember, the impression that you create online will be available indefinitely – for better or worse.
How do you feel about personal branding? Post in the comments, and let’s talk about it!