Of course everyone knows what a brand is. L’Oreal, Nike, Ray-Ban. But that term is being used a lot these days in career and job search conversations. Do you even need to care about this? Hell yes!
But what exactly is a personal brand?
Well, your personal brand is how you appear to the world. Once the people get to know you and start identifying with you a specific area of expertise or knowledge, they begin to approach you for advice or counseling related to your niche or industry.
Whether you are a student, an employee, entrepreneur or maybe you are just job hunting –you must think, act and plan like a business leader. With the rapidly growing usage of social media, you not only have the ability, but you now have the need to manage your reputation, both online and offline.
HR people will now Google you before they even call you up for an interview. And based on how you interact with people, both online and offline, they’ll create an image of who you are.
You don’t want to leave your professional reputation on stake, when you can be your own PR expert and control what and how people create your image.
Personal branding is a pretty vast subject, but I’m just going to break down the process for building your own brand into 3 simple steps:
Build and deploy your brand mantra
Your brand should be a reflection of who you are. Before you start interacting with people, develop a plan about how you want to go about things.
Showcase your expertise and competencies in light of what you believe and how you like to get the things done. Make sure you are not always bragging about how fabulous you are. If you really want to connect with people, remember to talk to them about them.
Once you have developed a clear plan of action, it’s time to focus your energy in getting the things work for you.
Communicate with your audience on a regular basis
Try to speak and interact with your audience on a regular basis. This will mean developing your voice. If you speak in exactly the same manner others do, you will never be able to stand out from the crowd. You need to show the world that you know what you are talking about, and have the knowledge and power to answer their questions in the best way that serves them.
Show that you are confident. Not everyone will agree and appreciate what you say. The important thing is to remain open to feedback. Thank people for sharing their views, and if the points they raise are legit, figure out how you can improve and do better the next time.
Build your social media profiles
If you have an online presence, make sure to monitor how you appear to the world on an ongoing basis. You can use your social media profiles to share out information about your expertise and things that will make you look professional. Interact with others and share their content. Try to always use high-quality professional photography when promoting your brand.
However, if you own a website, it is the best way to get ranked up on different search engines and have greater control over how you appear to the world.