Due to the competitive nature of the job market, personal branding has gained huge popularity in recent years. Personal branding plays an important role in both a professional and personal context. The internet and social networking sites have made it essential for anyone who has an online presence to manage and mould their personal brand. After all, this is the first thing people see when they search your name on Google.
In a lot of ways, a personal brand is like a corporate brand. It represents who you are, what you believe in, the values you hold dear, and the way in which you express these values in your life. In the same way that a company's brand serves to differentiate it from their competition, a personal brand serves to express an individual's unique identity and value to potential employers or clients.
Creating a personal brand for yourself allows you to have a say in how you market yourself, and gives you control on how you portray yourself as opposed to it just appearing by default.
Discover who you are
In order to create a personal brand that accurately reflects your professional and personal identities, you must first know who you are. Introspection is essential here, as you need to determine what your strengths and weaknesses are.
Many people don't want to limit themselves, so they struggle to pick a niche. Understand that your personal brand will change as you gain more and more experience. Your best strategy is to pick one thing you want to focus on first and then let it evolve over time.
Grow your social footprint
Personal branding entails making sure that your online presence is engaging to hiring managers, colleagues and others, even if you're not actively seeking employment.
Nowadays, there are so many different social media tools available, and your online presence will look different depending on the medium you choose. While the story should be the same across all platforms, you should tailor each to the audience it will attract. When you know where your target audience is most likely to be, you can work even harder to make that channel the best it can be.
In most cases, LinkedIn is used to showcase your professional personal brand. Therefore, focusing on optimising your LinkedIn profile to reflect your interests, skills, and ambitions is crucial. Participating in groups and making introductions to people who interest you are the best ways to use this network.
A personal brand needs a development path that leverages and elevates it, just as any commercial or corporate brand has plans, goals and targets. Consider contacts, career moves and decisions that are consistent with your brand.
Make a list of what you stand for, what you like and what you want on your profiles. This can help you plan future content ahead of time.
Network, eat, sleep, repeat
By making as many connections as you can - and providing value in every interaction you have - the more likely your personal brand will be recognised. So, make sure you network as much as you can, whether it’s offline at corporate events or online by making connections with people from your industry!
Remember that your personal brand goes beyond social media
Branding is more than an online identity; it's how you carry yourself at work, at home, and even on the way to and from work. You are only as good as your reputation, those who frustrate or annoy others won't escape the consequences. Call it karma if you like! So, make sure you are always portraying yourself in a good light, whether you are having a bad day or not. You should take advantage of as many opportunities as you can to collaborate with others also, volunteer on projects, and put yourself forward as a leader. It's part of your brand.
Developing your personal brand is a constant process as the digital ecosystem changes and your career evolves. Your persona will change as you meet new people, find new networking opportunities, and grow in your career. As long as it's reflective of your life, don't be afraid to let your personal brand shine.
For more career tips, contact our specialist recruitment experts. We will help you develop your personal brand and develop any future goals you might have!