A personal brand is simply what you are known for. It is a personal and professional identity that is ascribed to you and yours alone. Your knowledge, skills, and attitude are summed up into your personal brand and everything that people associate you with. This brand is what establishes your career; it is also the runway strip from which your career can soar.
A personal brand possesses many similarities with corporate businesses in that both work to communicate one’s value and there are constant efforts to stand out from the competition. Competition is a constant in the business world and only those who know how to put themselves at the head of the race can attain success. Not just temporary triumphs, but lifelong success in your current or desired industry.
So you want an employer to see you as the best candidate for a role, or potential clients to see you as the best person for the job. How do you position your personal brand to win such a race against hundreds or even thousands of people in the same field as you that most likely have almost the same technical know-how and capabilities as you do?
The first thing you must do is to work on building a genuine personal brand that will make you stand out. You have to make yourself prominent and memorable by building a business identity that will highlight your strengths and uniqueness, develop a good reputation for you, and cultivate trust between you and your employer or clients. There are 6 bona fide steps to achieving this which I will share with you today.
1. Figure Out Your Professional Identity and Goals
To begin building a strong personal brand, you must, first of all, craft a distinct identity for yourself by which you will want people to recognize you. Get introspective and analyze the ins and outs of who you are as a professional.
Who are you as a person in your designated industry? What are your motives behind doing what you do? What are the services you can provide or wish to provide? What are your strengths and what are your weaknesses? What are your personal values and/or the values that you want to impart to your workplace or your clients? In what ways do you want to impart these values?
These are the first questions you must ask yourself, the answers to which will form the foundation on which your strong personal brand will be built. You can even ask people that know you professionally to give evaluations that you can use to work out these answers.
The most important of all these self-inquiries is your motive and mission. You must understand these and continuously work around them so that the focus of your personal brand is sustained and never deviated from. If your motives for working in the legal industry are to push for more justice and equality in society, then make these principles your motto so that you always apply them in your work. If your mission as a journalist is to keep people properly informed on politics, then never deviate from that mission. You will find that people tend to assess you based on your professional ethics, values, and integrity.
Furthermore, through this self-introspection, you will have a clear sense of your own worth and what you will be bringing to any table you find yourself at. You will find it 10 times easier to communicate your capabilities clearly and concisely and convince other people to work with you.
Your professional identity also serves as a drawing board for your professional goals, both short-term and long-term. Self-awareness of who you are, your motives, and your capabilities will enable you to construct attainable career goals for yourself. Having professional goals is the first step to achieving them as well, and once you start achieving these goals, your personal brand will also begin to evolve.
2. Make Yourself Discoverable Online
Considering the digital world that we live in today, it is important that you create a powerful online presence for your personal brand in order to get more people to notice you. To make yourself discoverable online and build a strong online presence, you must have an active social media profile and present yourself on the platforms and online discussions in such a way that makes you memorable and encourages people to share the content that you post with others.
Once people spot you often on the internet, their curiosity will be piqued, and they will be propelled to find out more about you. This serves as a strategic gateway to creating more recognition and publicity for yourself and this is something that you can accomplish a lot with. You can also establish yourself as an authority in your field by giving the people that follow you regular and relevant information that will educate them and encourage them to keep subscribing to your content.
LinkedIn, as a social media platform dedicated to professional networking and career development, is the best site on which you can define and put your personal brand out there. Other media like Twitter, Instagram, and even personal websites are also good places to boost your online presence. We at Lamar G Marketing Tree design and build powerful websites for our clients, and we can customize everything that you want in a website for you today.
3. Define Your Audience
Another crucial element you must consider when drafting your goals and boosting your visibility in online spaces is who you want to connect to with your personal brand. Is your target audience an employer in a particular company? A specific sect of clients for your business? A certain age group or gender?
You must clearly define your target audience so that you can craft whatever messages you are sending out in a way that will be received by them positively. For instance, if your goal is employment, then creating a solid business profile on LinkedIn will link you right away to your target audience of potential employers or recruiters. If you’re looking to create visibility for your blog as a writer, you can find good niche audiences by promoting your content on social media like Twitter.
4. Learn and Practice the Necessary Skills
Listening and learning are business skills every budding professional must imbibe. Communication skills are a must too; the way you express yourself and communicate your ideas is key to whether you impress your associates, bosses, or clients.
Learning from the experts in your industry is also an excellent practice. These experts followed certain paths to reach their pedestals of success, and so following in their footsteps can help you get to where they are too. In fact, you can set your goals to do better than they have done. While your aim in building your personal brand is to stand out, you cannot ascend to the top without taking cognizance of who is already there.
5. Embrace Networking
In the process of developing your ideal personal brand, you must also expand your professional circle by networking regularly and effectively. Dress up, look smart, and show up at relevant networking events with the primary aim of making as many valuable contacts as you possibly can.
This will gain you more recognition in your industry and connections that can help you advance your career as time goes on. Ever heard of an elevator pitch? It is a brief introductory description of your personal brand and career goals, and it serves as a very handy tool when you find yourself in professional conversations, especially with people that you intend to establish useful professional connections with. It never hurts to have one ready for any social situation. Remember to keep it short but fascinating while portraying the best image of yourself that you possibly can.
Join and partake in online and physical discussions dedicated to your professional field not just to network, but to also keep yourself aware of the latest in your industry and engage in intellectual conversations with your peers and even experts as well from who you can learn a lot.
6. Expand Your Experience
This is where you proceed beyond the theory and constantly put into practice all your knowledge and skills in order to build on your capabilities. Any opportunity that presents itself for you to work with others, volunteer for projects, and establish yourself as a leader, grab them. The more experience you have, the stronger your personal brand will be.
Have your present and past clients or bosses give you endorsements; there’s no easier and more effective way to push your personal brand than having other people vouch for your expertise and value. On your social media profiles, you can also encourage the people you interact and work with to give detailed reviews of their experiences with you. This will open up more opportunities for you when people notice the positive feedback you keep getting.
Don’t forget that as the times change and you steadily climb the professional ladder, your personal brand must keep evolving. Avoid being static and inflexible in the way you approach different interactions and experiences; growth, at the end of the day, is the ultimate goal. If you’re looking for the finest partner to work with you towards elevating your personal brand above the others in your designated industry through digital means, we at Lamar G Marketing Tree have several amazing services that we are offering to you to help you achieve every one of your professional goals.