These days, your personal brand may be the single most valuable career asset you will ever possess. Granted, your future employers and associates will still like to check your biography and go through other traditional research steps. But, the present-day labor market is very fast-paced and volatile. If you don’t build a credible personal brand and establish some sort of market clout, you are running a danger of ending up overlooked.
But, what steps should you take to actually build that strong personal brand and get people knocking at your doors instead of constantly running after others?
Well, the business world has by this point pretty much nailed the process of branding down to a point. All you need to do is to adjust these strategies for personal purposes. Let us take a look at how to do that.
Social media has become or go-to-platform for promotion, exchanging opinions, and building up your status as an influencer. So, it seems appropriate to start your branding efforts here. And even though LinkedIn should make the backbone of your strategy, you should make a presence on other platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook as well. Furthermore, you should research the types of content, posting frequency, and the addressing tone you should use to get the optimal following. And if you invest a couple of bucks into social media marketing you will start building a very strong following in no time.
Social media platforms will make a useful outlet where you will publish your content and reach out to new people. But, all these profiles should lead back to your website where you will get an opportunity to display your portfolio, present your credentials, and back up your online brand. However, in order to meet these goals, your website needs to feature a responsive design, be easily accessible from mobile devices, and offer multiple contact forms and channels to visitors. The website should also put a very strong emphasis on your personal qualities, soft skills, fields of expertise, and lifestyle you prefer.
Your personal brand will live and die on your personal qualities. But, as we will see in the following sections, you should make your website attractive to accidental visitors and engage them afterward. The first step in this process comes in creating an appealing website name and domain that will spark curiosity and invite people to click. Fortunately, the options for choosing a catchy personal website domain are more than abundant so you will have plenty of room to play with an extension like .me and create something truly unique. The content of your website will do the rest of the engagement’s heavy lifting.
We really can’t stress enough the importance of this strategy. First, creating content will keep your social media profiles fueled and fresh. Second, blog posts, infographics, and similar types of content do a great job of inviting people who are not yet interested in establishing a professional relationship with you but show a general interest in your field of work. Third, valuable content sets the foundations for building an incredibly effective backlink strategy that will lead countless new visitors to your website. Finally, creating content allows you to express creativity and demonstrate your professional expertise.
This is yet another thing we can pick up from major brands like Apple. If you are buying an Apple device you will see Apple’s brand qualities sprinkled throughout every step of the customer’s journey – the visual identity, brand qualities, and brand mission statement remain consistent from your first visit to the website up until the user experience you get while using the devices. Your branding strategy should use similar guidelines and keep the visitors’ experience consistent no matter which outlet they use. Managing expectations and showcasing qualities you can deliver make a critical part of this process.
Last but not least, we would like to remind you that the business world is built on personal relationships so all the strategies we have mentioned above can only benefit you if you put more effort into networking. The options for expanding your list of professional acquaintances are practically endless but some of the most effective strategies include the likes of joining a chat group, attending seminars and workshops, posting on sites like Twitter and Reddit, guest-blogging, and inviting influencers to post on your website. The peer recommendation always carried a certain weight and, in that regard, personal branding is not any different.
Well, there you have it – the six ways to emulate corporate branding strategies and build your personal brand from scratch. The present-day business world is very competitive and fast-paced so people who are not able to demonstrate their value from the get-go often lag behind their peers even despite their talent and unique skills. Doing a conscious effort to build your personal brand can do a lot of groundwork in making future employers and associates familiar with your qualities even before they get in touch with you. The tips we gave you should definitely push you in the right direction.
According to an IBM CEO study, 71 percent of CEOs cite human capital as the leading source of economic value. This indicates that people are what drives economic value and business growth and not a logo or elevator speech. In today’s competitive market, it’s crucial to be more than just a job title. Consider how the names Steve Jobs, Richard Branson and Warren Buffet are as recognizable as their businesses.
Although you may not be running the next Virgin or Apple, even the smallest business owners can create a name for themselves online. Step out from behind your business and put a face to your work by creating a personal brand. This helps you stand out from the crowd in the job market, builds a stronger network and commands industry recognition as an expert in your field. Here’s how to get started:
What type of audience and customer do you want to attract? Sharing your values online helps identify what you and your company stand for and gives people a reason to support you. For example, CD Baby founder Derek Sivers’ personal brand values include minimalism and sharing what he learns. As he develops new projects and businesses, his followers already know they will also encompass his personal values.
If your personal values include being environmentally-conscious with a focus on reducing your carbon footprint, share how that translates into your work. Tell your audience about the green packaging and shipping you use. Or share how your jewelry store purchases diamonds only from ethical sources. Include a selfie of your own ethically-sourced engagement ring.
Remember to think through the full scope of what you’re sharing. If you’re deeply committed to a specific cause, remember not everyone feels the same way. Share this information if you want to attract like-minded clients, but keep it on the quiet side if you’re looking to attract a more diverse business base.
Remember the word “personal” in personal branding. Simply talking about yourself, your business and your products isn’t really the point. Be vulnerable and talk about your trials and tribulations, such as the mistakes you made while building your business or a personal struggle you had that lead to a new direction. Showing you’re a normal human being who is susceptible to hardships helps form trust. But there is a line. Oversharing on every detail of your life or complaining turns off customers and stalls your business.
Building trust and staying transparent also develops a more vested client and customer base. Take the time to ask for feedback on your products and services to get a better idea of what your clients need and want. Then, share some of that information online to keep your customers in the loop and illustrate your commitment to their patronage.
The Harvard Business Review recommends turning weaknesses into a compelling narrative by focusing on value. For example, if your business struggled selling hand-blown glass and you lost interest in the art, focus on how your experience informed your next step. Talk about how your knowledge of the industry and polling customers made you realize selling glassblowing supplies, unique artisan gifts and coffee table books created a more cohesive experience for your customers. Whatever your narrative is, focus on how its value trickles down to the benefit of your customers instead of making it all about you.