Creating a personal brand is important, especially in your personal life, to help move you into the next level of your career or when looking for a new career path. But, what exactly is a personal brand? A personal brand is who you are. The trick is to portray who you are to those who make the decision to hire you, to promote you, or to even give you a chance.
Have a Plan
That’s right, create a plan as to how you are going to build your brand. Write out an actual plan as to how you are going to promote you.
First, define who your audience is – who needs to know who you are? It is potential employers? Maybe you are in business for yourself, so it may be customers. Whomever the audience is, create a plan to speak to that audience, to define who you are to that audience, in a way they will understand. After all, teenage customers have a much different language than CEO’s or accountants.
Second, be sure they know what you can do for them – let’s face it, everyone is in it for themselves…how does this benefit me? What do I get out of it? How can they help me? Be sure they know what you can offer to them.
Create the Content
Now that you understand who you are talking to them and what direction you want to go in, you need to create the content. Whether the content is going on your social media sites, a personal blog (like mine), or on your resume, the creation of the content people will see and read will help brand you. Ensure the content reflects who you are as well. If you are extremely creative and crafty, let those aspects shine through. Ask for help from a professional if this isn’t your strong suite. There’s no shame in getting some professional assistance to help you create content that brands you in the best way possible.
While developing content for your professional life, ensure you are cleaning up (and keeping clean) your social networking site(s) content. These reflect your personal brand as well.
Develop Strong Relationships
Whether you are good at it or not, working to develop strong relationships can be challenging. The type of people you associate with (especially professionally) help define your brand as others see those relationships, especially if they are relationships on your social media sites. It takes some work, but will be worth it to create lasting and health relationships – not only will you feel good about yourself and develop self-confidence about you and your brand, but you’ll also develop networking contacts that can help you in the future.
Developing relationships online and in-person are both just as important as the other one. Combining both types of relationships and networks will increase your brand, your network of valuable relationships, and your influence on others.
There isn’t an ‘end’ to your brand. Once you’ve created the content and developed the relationships, keep going and keep updating. If you develop new strengths through education or experience, definitely add them to your brand. If you have something new to offer your customers or potential employer, let them know (through your branding, of course). Your brand will and absolutely should grow as you grow.
Never stop branding yourself!