Personal branding is essentially the intentional action of promoting perception about you. Just like in a business, you need to have a reputable and recognizable personal brand if you are to grow to the very top in your career. A powerful personal brand will set you apart from your competition and increase your credibility immensely. The personal branding process requires you to define your unique value proposition and build credibility from your distinctive features. You are perhaps wondering how you can create a personal brand to achieve your career goals. Well, here are some tips that will help:
Know who you are
The first step in building a powerful personal brand is doing an audit on yourself. Reflect on your professional and personal identity. Look at yourself introspectively and come up with a list of your strengths and weaknesses. Know the areas that you excel in, your motivations, the characteristics that you often get complimented on, the roles that seem to drain your energy, and the tasks you tend to need some help with to complete.
To get an accurate view of yourself, you can ask your friends, family, and colleagues to describe you. After understanding the various facets of your personality and expertise, find ways to brand them. Your unique characteristics will help you carve a niche for yourself in your career. Some people find it hard to create a niche because they are afraid of missing out on opportunities. They feel like they are limiting themselves. That is far from the truth.
The narrower your focus and area of specialization is, the more likely you are to differentiate yourself from others and build a career path for yourself.
Having a confused personal brand identity is one of the most common pitfalls of establishing a winning online presence. Have you ever felt that some people are not genuine or come across as weird when trying to promote themselves on Linkedin, trying too hard to look professional or cool? Well, that is the result of a poorly conceptualized and managed personal brand.
Our personal brand audit is a brilliant tool to understand how people see and feel about your online presence.
Have an elevator pitch
An elevator pitch communicates the most crucial aspect of you and your services within a short time. Most people working on building a personal brand make the mistake of forgetting to create an elevator pitch. See, personal branding is all about how you present yourself to the world. It is imperative to create a powerful image of yourself and your work every time. If you do not have an elevator pitch, take the time to create one that describes your story.
You will use it to introduce yourself when you meet people, whether at informal parties or networking events. The elevator pitch will express what you do and who you are. It will also give the direction of your career. Ensure that it is short and captivating. Try not to exaggerate or over glorify yourself. Just be your true self since that makes it easier to connect with people and influence them.
Define your target audience
Your personal brand is all about what others think of you. Ergo, you have to know who you are trying to reach. When you know your target audience, you will create a brand that is appealing to them. For instance, if you have a career in digital marketing, your brand and unique value proposition need to be appealing to recruiters and companies within your industry.
You will focus on building skills suitable for the marketing field. Determining your target audience makes it easy to build a brand that resonates with them. Some people make the mistake of targeting an audience that is too wide. To be an authority and leader in your career, it is best if you choose a niche within your industry. You will advance your career faster when you have a specific focus and target audience.
Increase your online visibility
As a professional, an integral part of your personal brand is having an online presence. It should be easy for people to find you online. Growing your online presence will increase your brand recognition.
Your target audience will think of you as a credible person when they can type your name on a search engine and find you and your portfolio. It is not enough for them to locate you. The information about you needs to be positive and detailed. Any negative things about you could tarnish your personal brand. You can do a personal audit to see what people think about you. It will help answer the question “what is my personal brand?”
Now, remember to always be cautious with what you share. To bolster your online visibility, you could create a website that has a portfolio of your work.
Be active on social media platforms like LinkedIn, which will help you connect with other professionals. Your social media profile should align with your career goals. You don’t want to share things that you wouldn’t want your brand to be associated with. You could also start a podcast that relates to your industry to establish yourself as a thought leader in your field. That goes a long way in building your personal brand.
To build a reputable personal brand, you will need to gain recognition and exposure. Networking is an excellent way to gain credibility and form meaningful connections. Networking effectively will build your personal brand and advance your career. You should know that 85% of job vacancies are filled through networking. That should help you appreciate the power of networking. If you are looking for a job that will advance your career, you have better chances with networking than with the traditional recruiting process. You can use LinkedIn or try to attend networking events that are relevant to your industry.
Take advantage of professional recommendations
Ask your colleagues and employers to give you recommendations. That is one of the easiest ways to build your personal brand. In the same manner that brands utilize customers testimonials and reviews to advance their brand image, you can use recommendations to grow your personal brand. Find people you have worked with in the past or are currently working with and ask them to advocate for you. These people know your strengths and weaknesses well, and people will most likely trust them when they vouch for you.
The bottom line is to be consistent by creating a brand that is true to you. When your brand is authentic, it will be easy to maintain your values both offline and online. Consistency will increase the efficiency of your personal branding.