Products and services are no longer the only ones with brand identities. In today’s world, most professionals cultivate personal brands for themselves to help them stand out in the workplace. Personal branding is more important now than ever, as potential employers and clients are constantly evaluating business professionals based on the images and content they contribute to the public sphere. Check out the below tips to help you cultivate your own unique brand.
- Review your online presence
The first step when considering your personal brand is to see what information is already out there. Start by Googling yourself. The best way to figure out what others see when they search your name is to look yourself. Usually what shows up first will be your social media profiles (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.), followed by your LinkedIn page and potentially other websites that pull information from your past, such as your high school sports photos, etc. Start building your brand by making yourself a personal website that highlights your qualifications; something like, “yourname.com.” That way when people search your name, the first thing they will see is information you present on your personal website. One of the most important steps in refining your online presence is making sure nothing inappropriate is linked to you. Remember, once something is posted on social media, it can never be undone.
- Identify what makes you unique and own it
Your personal brand establishes the way you are perceived by the online community. While it is important to put your best face forward, honesty is always the best policy. Don’t portray yourself in a way that misrepresents your identity because you want to convey integrity professionally as well as personally. Lying or exaggerating will only hurt your credibility. What people (especially employers) like to see is that you are a complicated human, not a perfect robot. Identify your strengths, your niche, core values, passions and your story and share it with the world. This, in its essence, is what personal branding is all about.
- Identify your goals
What do you want to achieve with your personal brand? Personal branding is one of the tools that can help you achieve your short and long-term life goals. By identifying your goals, you can begin creating your game plan on how your personal brand will help you achieve those goals. Think about where you want to be or what you want to be doing a year or even ten years from now. Develop a personal brand that will help you realize those goals. It may sound like a daunting undertaking at first, however, with hard work and dedication, the sky truly is the limit.