You Know What A Personal Brand Is, Now It’s Time to Build One.
In What is a Personal Brand?, I talked about what this term actually means, and why you should join the thousands of business and communications professional that see the importance in cultivating their own brand. The first step to putting your own twist on a personal brand is figuring out what sparks your interest.
Maybe you’re the “ideas person” at work, and can hone in on creativity, or maybe you’re the one who always knows the right thing to say – and you’ll share your expertise through tips on public speaking or networking. Now that you’ve figured out what floats your boat, the next step is building out relatable content and beginning to embody that brand, both online and in person.
Start With The Basics.
You don’t have to be a social media guru to begin building your personal brand online. To minimize your initial efforts, look at social media sites that are more closely tied with professional pursuits.
[Tweet “How To Build Your Personal Brand #Career”]
LinkedIn is a must, and offers an easy way to showcase your accomplishments and experience. Now that you can also publish your own long-form content on the site, it’s the perfect outlet for sharing that blog post you’ve been dying to write (even if you haven’t been dying to, perhaps this is the motivation you need).
As you’re building your profile, you’ll notice prompts and tips to improve your engagement on the site. Whether it’s to add a little more info to your educational history, to connect with a former colleague or join a group – do what they say! Easy changes can help boost your visibility and create a more complete profile.
Take to Twitter! Even if you’re just lurking at first, it’s an amazing research tool. Follow anyone and everyone who talks about topics you’re interested in, and once you’re familiar with the flow of information, get your bird feet wet by trying to Tweet once a day. In another post, I’ll visit the topic of building content calendars and scheduling posts for maximum reach.
Obviously most of us are not interested in thinking about our personal brand all the time, and so it makes sense to devote one channel to your branding efforts. Maybe Facebook is your way to unwind and connect with friends (or those who you haven’t talked to since high school), and you’re more interested in sharing your thoughts on the new burger joint you tried than musing about how to deliver a stellar PowerPoint presentation. That’s totally fine – keep Facebook for your social life, and think about devoting Twitter, or just LinkedIn to your more scholarly pursuits.
The important thing is to be consistent and deliberate – the more you stay “on brand” in each of your social profiles (i.e. either work or social), the more your followers will come to know what to expect from you. You’ll be able to build a more targeted following, and you’ll have a better idea of what they’re interested in hearing about.
Don’t Have Time For Social Media?
Personal branding doesn’t have to be on a large scale, and it doesn’t even have to involve social media. Start by thinking about how your personal brand plays out within your own workplace. What are the qualities you’d like to be known for, and are you embodying these consciously?
If you come across interesting information on a topic you’re passionate about, share it with your coworkers or clients along with some actionable insights that show off your expertise.
Attend relevant networking or industry events, and make it a point to talk to at least one person outside of your organization.
Remember, you don’t have to be perfect.
Building a personal brand doesn’t happen overnight, but you can begin by becoming more aware, and taking small steps now. Check back here for a series of posts on building and managing your online identity, where we’ll talk about:
- Keeping consistent across a variety of channels
- Minimizing your time commitment, maximizing your output
- Finding interesting content
- Making valuable connections, spreading your expertise
- Growing your network
If you’d like to follow me on my own personal branding journey (which, I’ll tell you now, will be far from perfect), follow me on Twitter – @NessadeBruijn. And be sure to subscribe to our free Success @ Creative PR weekly newsletter so you don’t miss a post in this series:
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