Whether you are successful in your career or just starting out, building a personal brand can attract the attention of potential employers. Furthermore, your personal brand will give you the opportunity to showcase your experience and knowledge in a different way.
Personal branding is no different from branding a company or a product, done correctly, it is very powerful. To illustrate this, read the story below from Lars Lofgren, CEO of Quick Sprout.
How to Build a
Above all building a personal brand will differentiate you from others. Below are the 4 key steps to help you get started.
1. What is your Personal Brand?
Like everything in life, you need to have a plan. Thus, the saying goes ‘if you fail to plan, you plan to fail’. In other words, to create a strong personal brand, you need to determine what you would like to say.
Ask yourself these questions:
By developing and growing your personal brand, what is it you want to achieve? For example, are you looking for a new job and want to make some noise about your knowledge & experience in your sector? Are you looking to change careers and need a way to capture the attention of employers? Or, maybe you want to go freelance and need to start building your customer base.
When you meet or connect with people what is it you want them to know about you? How do you want them to perceive you? Here think about what it is you want to achieve, then establish what your strengths are, the parts of your personality that will support you achieve your goal, what you are you passionate about in your industry or discipline.
What do people think about you now? Once you know this, you can decide if you want to build on it or change it depending on what it is you want to achieve.
When you have determined all of this you can decide what your story and message is. For instance, maybe you want to move into a management position within the Procurement industry and you’re looking to get the attention of procurement professionals.
Your story could focus on the journey you’ve taken into
procurement, what has changed and what you predict will happen in the future.
What is your opinion?
As a result (of this), the message would resonate you are in a position to advise and guide those more junior to you and have the knowledge to influence within the industry.
2. Who do you want to engage with your personal brand?
After you have established what it is you want to achieve, it’s important to understand who you want to reach. Not everyone will be interested in you or your personal brand.
Now, this doesn’t mean finding out the names of every
individual but what type of people are they. For example, where are they in
their career, are you trying to reach people who already have a good
reputation, how do they engage with others, are they serious or relaxed?
Other things to think about are:
What do they want to achieve and how can you help them with that? Such as if they are a director of a manufacturing company and need someone to manage their production process to support growth, how would you help them do that, what would make them sit up and take notice of you.
Similarly, what are the things that frustrate them or what are the challenges they face, do you have an opinion or solution for this?
3. Where will you showcase yourself?
The main point to you building a personal brand is to
showcase it to others. You can’t do this unless you have a platform to do so.
Therefore, you need to think about where you want to share your story and your
With this in mind, if you are not sure, think about the people you want to notice you, where are they? For example, which social media channels are they on, what events do they attend or what do they read? Other platforms to think about are:
An online portfolio
Your own Website
Writing articles for an external source
Holding your own events
Speaking at events
Developing your own podcast/video series
4. How will you showcase your message
Finally, think about how you will get your message out there, you know what you want to achieve, who to and where but how do you get there?
Firstly people are not going to come to you, you need to get
out there online and offline and shout about who are and what you believe in
By the same token, having a social media account, your own website/blog and video series to showcase your message is great but you need people to take notice – that requires work on your part.
In addition, you need to network with people, share your opinions, have an opinion on others thoughts. How? Make it a priority to comment on other’s posts on social media each day, connect with people and when they accept contact them. Do the same when you meet people face to face and follow-up with them after.
Hence, when you start engaging and networking with people, people will start to take notice of what you have to say and will read your articles, listen to your podcast/videos, comment/share/like your posts and reach out to you personally. It’s at this point, your goals will become reality. You’ll get offered that job or you’re customer base will snowball.
Personal Branding Examples
Here are some personal Branding Pros that you may learn a
thing or two from:
Gary Vaynerchuk – Someone who came from nothing and built not only his family business to be successful but now has an empire of businesses.
Neil Patel – In short, he is currently he is one of the top entrepreneurs in the U.S and he started his entrepreneurial lifestyle at the age of 15.
A few things to remember
Consistency – don’t change your persona once you’ve developed it
Confidence – in who you are
Be Patient – it takes time to build your personal brand
Always Engage – always respond to those who engage with you
Be constant – decide how often you can post a social media post, write an article/blog or shoot a video and keep to that timeline. Albeit, the more you post the more often you will be seen.
Hopefully, talking through how to build your personal brand will support you to get it off the ground and make it a success.
Rebecca Crowther is a Marketing Executive for ASC Connections. Her love for writing started when she was young. In her current role, she loves creating content to support candidates on their career journey and help clients hire talented indviduals.