How To Build A Great personal Brand
Personal branding was THE buzzword in 2015 and will continue to be in 2016. We all have a personal brand, but what is it? Put simply, it is what people say about you when you are not in the room. People will have an opinion about you. You can choose to ignore this and allow your brand to be shaped for you, or you can control it and start cultivating a brand to be proud of; ensuring that people see you in a way in that you want to be seen.
Why build your personal brand
There are huge advantages in doing this from a career development perspective:
- You will become more self-aware: knowing who you are, understanding your strengths and knowing the environments where you thrive will have a huge impact on your career journey; whether you are looking to secure a role, secure a pay rise or move jobs;
- Considering how you stand out from the crowd will be key to securing valuable future roles;
- Your reputation will precede you, people will know of you and your abilities, you will become a credible and trustworthy person that people want to deal/be associated with;
- It will give you focus and help you to work towards future career goals.
So how do you go about cultivating your personal brand?
Define who you are and what you want to be known for in your industry
No-one knows you better than your friends and family. Ask them to tell you your best and worst bits. Think about one-to-ones and appraisals, what personal positive messages have come from these? What is important to you, what do you want to be known for?
Consider the following questions:
- What is the “one thing” that people think you excel at?
- Why do you do what you do?
- What gets you excited?
- What are you truly passionate about?
- What have you accomplished?
- What makes you get out of bed in the morning?
- What do you enjoy doing most?
- What do you love the most about your job?
Produce a killer brand statement
Once you have established your strengths and qualities, you will need to create a clear, concise statement that is authentic and definitive; your value, who you serve and what makes you different. This is your Unique Selling Point (USP) and communicates your personal brand. Use it on your CV, on LinkedIn and across all your social media platforms.
Accept that social media is your friend
Google yourself – what do you see? Is it promoting you in a way that you want to be perceived? Does your current activity reflect your brand? What social media platforms are you using, and how do you use them? Think about the message you would like to communicate – and make it happen. Ensure all your bios are selling your brand consistently and cohesively.
Remember that being invisible is not a good thing, it might suggest you have something to hide or are just not interesting. However, more importantly, you allow another person to influence a decision-maker to meet them instead of you.
Use an appropriate professional photo on LinkedIn and try and use this across all platforms, so that clients, employers and potential employers can find you.
Engage with your audience
Follow key influencers in your field and industry, and respond to their posts by liking, commenting and retweeting. Join groups, chats and communities and get involved; don’t be afraid to post an opinion or comment.
If you are passionate about a subject then blog about it! LinkedIn allows you to write posts, you could even create your own website and blog. WordPress, Tumblr and Weebly are all really simple platforms to use… and free!
Network like crazy. Be the one that offers to go to industry events and conferences, and allow people to really get to know you.
Never take your eye off the ball
A personal brand needs constant attention; it takes both time and commitment. Your personal brand is you on your best day. Nurture it, allow it to evolve and show the world how good you are.
By Aimee Bateman
Aimee is the face of career advice for jobseekers and recruiters in the UK. She has held senior positions with some of the largest recruitment companies in the UK and fronted numerous BBC advice programmes before setting up her own consultancy CareerCake.
More about the author:
Aimee worked for some of the largest recruitment companies before setting her own award-winning consultancy careers website Career Cake.
Her YouTube careers videos on various strategic channels Academy series have received over 12 million hits and her digital marketing activities have seen her win awards. In 2014 she was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from Cardiff Metropolitan University for her contribution to careers and the community at large.
Aimee’s success has seen her front a number BBC TV programmes recently as ‘the recruitment expert’. As a leading industry expert she is often quoted in leading publications. In a nutshell, Aimee is a successful speaker, business ambassador, board advisor and recognised employment expert.