Definition: Personal branding allows individuals to promote their unique talents by creating and marketing an image online, in person, and on paper.
What Are The Benefits of Personal Branding?
Personal branding brings you greater visibility, a platform to do what you love, and an excellent opportunity to network.
Discover Your Brand
1. Know Your Passions- Be Authentic
Identify your interests and passions so that your personal brand is a reflection of who you are and what you want to be. Inject your personality into your brand by focusing on your strengths, not weaknesses, reminding yourself of your past successes, and embracing your potential. Use your life experiences to differentiate your brand.
2. Brand Discovery Assessment
It is key to create a personal brand while keeping in mind who you are, what you can offer, and your short term or long term career goals. The Brand Discovery Worksheet will help you reflect on questions, and highlight your positive attributes.
3. Identify Your Niche and Audience
Your niche is something that you can offer advice about or input on based on your strengths, career goals, or experiences. For example, if you are interested in international affairs, you could tweet about international news stories. Also consider what audience(s) you are trying to reach with your messages and where they go online. Research blogs, communities, and websites where your niche market would “hang out” online.
4. Be Persistent and Proactive
If you are confident about your brand, you will be more likely to promote it. To have a successful personal brand, set goals and have a plan to make it happen. Personal branding requires you to take action and create opportunities to do what you love. Deliberately incorporate your interests into your brand.
Create Your Brand
1. Offline Branding
Both résumés and interviews are important tools for your personal brand as they both can highlight your experiences and strengths to potential employers. Please review the Personal Branding Toolbox Checklist for more ideas. Portfolios and business cards are important tools that can be used to present your brand to others.
2. Social Media
A blog or website is a key way to develop your brand as it provides a place where the public can learn about your passions and interests.
- Facebook is the largest social network that can help you develop a strong online presence.
- Twitter is an essential social media tool because you may communicate with your audience throughout the day.
- LinkedIn can act like a résumé and cover letter. It includes references and a database of your contacts that enables you to share, learn, and interact in a professional manner.
Maintaining Your Brand
1. Monitoring Your Brand
Follow what is said about your brand to guarantee that you have control about what is shared about you online. There are tools such as Google Reader that can help you do this.
2. Be Searchable
To influence and establish a noticeable presence in the first few pages of search engine results (like Google) look at suggestions on the Maintaining Your Personal Brand Checklist.
3. Integrating Your Tools
You can save valuable time and build broad consistency if you use online applications that make updates across various platforms (Twitter, blogs, Facebook, etc).
4. Marketing Your Brand
Continue to market your brand to increase visibility and awareness about who you are.
5. Time Management
Maintaining your personal brand does not have to be labor intensive, but you do have to dedicate some time each day/week.