Personal Branding Guide – 9 Steps to Successfully Build your Personal Brand

how to build your personal brand

“Your Brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room” -JEFF BEZOS

Most people are not inclined towards marketing themselves unless it is their job to promote a brand. But the fact is that, it is everyone’s job — because we all have a personal brand to promote. Especially in the digital age, the way you present yourself and the message you send across can have a huge impact on your career.

First, let us understand What it means to have a “Personal Brand”.

Your personal brand is your outlook on how you see yourself and how others see you. Or, in other words, matching your inner values to the perception that people have of you.

Elements of a Strong Personal Brand

A Personal brand has a great impact on elevating an individual’s career. Let us explore the three elements that the best personal brands have in common.

  1. Clarity– The first is clarity. One should be clear about what they are and what they have to offer. It is important as it helps in differentiating you from the other brands and your services will then no longer be too generic. Strong personal brands are based on differentiation, not blending in.
  2. Consistency– The second element of a strong personal brand is consistency. It means to deliver exactly what you say. Your message is similar, each time. Consistency means you also present yourself in a consistent manner both online and offline, across all platforms.
  3. Constancy – Constancy translates to making your personal brand visible to the right people who need to know you. You cannot escape for months and hope that people will remember you. You need to build and nurture relationships and find tools that allow you to communicate with your audience on regular basis.

Developing a personal brand that accurately reflects both your thought process and skillset, while balancing the needs of your employer, is an art. Here is how to build your personal brand the right way.

  1. Figure out what you do best and what you are known for: What are the top one or two selling points that make you unique? You have to know the value that you bring on to the table even if other people cannot see it because you are trying to build a story for them.
    Doing this will assist you to be honest in your brand promotion. The idea is to make the potential employer know that you have an understanding of the industry you work for, here is what you have done in the past as well as what you are doing now and also why you are important. You need to be honest with yourself about what your strengths are. Once you are aware of what you do best, put all your energy into it as your talent will make you stand out.
  2. Figure out how relevant you are to your industry: People while recruiting and promoting, are looking for specialists not generalists.
    If you are a specialist in what you do and if you are able to relate the importance of your expertise to the potential employers, you are sorted. At times you have to think larger than your company and look at the industry as a whole in order to do this. What benefits can you consistently deliver to the organization?
  3. Construct your social profiles: Use multiple social networks like LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram for instance, and create your online profile. You can also use blogging for creating your social profile. Careers are being built online now. These days the Internet is like a global talent pool, so if you are not available on social media via website or profiles then you are not a part of the global talent pool. Get associated with people online who you can learn from and who can connect you to newer opportunities.
  4. Create content and get it out there: There are a number of ways to create content. You can share your inputs to an open-source project, create a webcast, write a whitepaper, create or join a group of your choice on social network sites and lead the discussion on relevant topics. You can grow your brand and increase your followers by using social media through blogging, commenting on online posts within relevant content communities, joining twitter chats and engaging others in LinkedIn groups and forums. Conceive impressive content that engages and leads to conversations.
  5. Keep updating your content and brand: Experts agree that Googling your name to see where you are is a good way to understand how you are progressing. If you have a structured plan and have been working on it, you should start seeing some engagement and traction, but this is only the beginning. Once you have the profile, you need to manage it, not for a week but for your whole life. The bottom-line does not rest on your laurels, progressive people never do. They are always educating, updating and growing their professional horizons and so should you. Consider this as your routine and not something you do from time to time. Do not let your content or profiles get stale.
  6. Help people understand why they need your services: You have to learn how to listen to people in order to understand what they want, or do some research to look out for information on what companies require, then tie what you do well to what they need. This way you can directly link the success you have had in the past to a goal that they are trying to achieve.
  7. You can’t be a brand alone: You need to surround yourself with the best people. When you are the supervisor, everyone who works for or with you represents your department and your capabilities. Search for people who like your brand and what you do. Form a community or contribute externally and keep yourself surrounded by these kinds of people.
  8. Ensure every interaction with you leaves the feeling like you have lived up to your brand statement: Once your personal brand is in place, now the real work begins. Every interaction needs to leave the individuals with a feeling that you did what you said you were going to do and that you were true to your brand statement. One thing everyone hates is when someone broadcasts false information about themselves.
  9. Keep your personal brand and your personal life separate: Once you get a voice, you have to realize that your voice has power. Make sure that you do not make statements that you could be penalized for later. For instance, bad-mouthing a competitor can come back to haunt you, as in the near future, you may find yourself looking for employment in that company.

Creating your personal brand will not only portray you in a more professional light but also tell your potential employer what your expertise are. Once you have a clear vision for your brand, the expectation of your expertise and authority in your field will gain momentum.

Having a control on your personal brand is one of the most vital things you can do for your online reputation and presence. It may take a lot of your time, effort and thought process initially but at the end, you and your career will emerge stronger.

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