When was the last time you really thought about your personal brand? Last month? Last year? Never?
Contrary to popular opinion, branding isn’t just for large companies or promising startups. As a professional in 2022, personal branding should be right at the top of your priority list.
Your personal brand is all about how you present yourself to the world. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos hit the nail on the head when he said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
Like it or not, first impressions matter, and your personal branding could be the difference between landing your dream career, or being stuck in a dead-end role.
Rather than marketing a company or product, personal branding is all about sharing your story, what makes you tick, and what you believe in. Whether you work in engineering or economics, media or microbiology, your brand is one of the biggest assets you have. It’s important that you know how to develop it and use it to your advantage. Here are some of our top ideas.
1. Take a moment to think
Your personal brand should be an honest reflection of who you are, what skills you possess, and what your aspirations are. It’s important that you take some time to think about this information.
If you’re struggling to define your brand, you could ask yourself the following questions:
- What’s more important to me than anything else?
- What am I good at?
- What would previous colleagues say about me?
- What excites me?
It can also help to talk to your mentor, colleagues, or close friends and family. Remember that as you grow and change as a person, your personal brand will develop too. That’s okay.
2. Build a brilliant website
Now you know what you want to say, it’s time to create a platform. Take a leaf out of Oprah’s book: a TV show, a magazine, products… Everyone knows her. An online portfolio is one of the best ways to control your own narrative, show potential clients or employers who you are and what you bring to the table.
After a cursory look at your homepage, a visitor should be able to get a feel for your work. If you don’t pique interest quickly, most visitors will leave your site within a few seconds. Our top tips include impeccable grammar, clean and simple layouts, and always splurge on your domain name.
3. Be genuine on social media
If the thought of posting inspirational LinkedIn posts sends a shiver down your spine, that’s fine. The important thing to remember is that your personal brand should be uniquely you. That means you should post in your voice, about things that you actually care about. The best personal brands are genuine, and 100% authentic.
Now is also probably a good time to clean up your social media feeds. Don’t forget about old Twitter or Instagram accounts. If there’s anything you wouldn’t want a future client or employer to see, delete it now.
4. Champion community
It’s great to have a lot of followers, but if you really want to develop your personal brand, you need to focus more on engagement. Spend time in conversations online, take the time to reply to people, and join groups or pages that you’re interested in.
You should never underestimate the power of a positive referral or review. Build a reputation as an engaging and active person online and you never know who might be paying attention.
5. Stay focused
The phrase, “A Jack of all trades is a master of none,” is very apt when it comes to personal branding. If you want to sell yourself, you need to have a clear focus and area of expertise. What sets you apart from everyone else?
Once you’ve figured this out, you need to be consistent. It’s much easier to become a thought leader on a topic if you consistently create content and a brand voice around it. Consistency builds trust.
6. Give more than you take
Terms like personal branding or networking are often seen as calculated or disingenuous. But the truth is, it’s something that we all do subconsciously every day. The key to having a real and lasting impact is to give more than you take when interacting with other professionals.
You should be constantly thinking about where you can add value. It’s easy to create content that promotes who you are, but if you can make content that’s engaging, insightful, and actually helps your audience, then you’re really on to a winner.
Now you’ve got your personal branding sorted, you can take a look at all the amazing job opportunities on the House of Talent Job Board.
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