Personal brand, reputation, expertise, and experience are the terms that have evolved over time when evaluating a person and what they bring to the table in their career and what they can contribute. These words also reflect how someone would determine whether or not you qualify for a specific job or role. At a time where social media essentially helps the world go around, your personal brand is key.
Simply put, branding is how you present yourself to others. If you want to grow professionally, whether it be as an employee or an entrepreneur, personal branding is essential because it allows you to stand out in a crowded marketplace. Most importantly, personal branding allows you to control how you are perceived by others. Whether you’re interacting with someone online or in person, a strong personal brand will help you make a memorable and positive impression.
Your personal brand is not just exclusive to your online presence, but to your offline presence as well. After all, in order to be successful, networking and being able to communicate with people are keys components that contribute to others entrusting their ability to work with you and value your expertise.
There are several factors that should be considered in not only developing your personal brand but expressing it for others to see. Your brand should be authentically who you are, what you value and what you seek to accomplish.
While there are many ways to present your personal brand, these key elements should get you started:
Your elevator pitch is the most succinct way to communicate your purpose, your talents and the mark you want to leave on the world. We are at a time when audiences have very limited attention span, therefore it is important that you are exude confidence and you can get to the point when speaking to a prospective employer or customer as to why you are the best fit.
It is no secret that a person who is going to invest in either a future employee or business, will use Google to research whether or not they are qualified and a person with whom they would want to work with. With that said, your online presence should not only allude to your qualifications and expertise, but give an indication as to the type of person you are.
Does your online presence show you to be a person of integrity or someone who does not act in a respectable manner? If you are an entrepreneur, does your online presence match the business you offer? For example, if you are a health and fitness trainer, we should expect to see elements of healthy eating and exercise within your social media post and you living the life that you want others to believe. While there is the element of work-life balance, it is perfectly fine to post your tasteful vacation pictures or enjoying your time with friends.
Additionally, anyone who wants to have a meaningful career, should have a LinkedIn profile that outlines your experience and goals. Your profile can also be used as a tool to network with others in your current field or desired field. This tool can also be used to post subject matter that falls in line with your expertise or interact in discussions that can ultimately illustrate your expertise and contribute to building your network.
There are so many ways to network and meet with like minded professionals. Some of these include workshops, national conferences and other local events such as meetups. These opportunities not only allow you to meet and form connections with potential partners, but you are able to continue to learn about your particular industry as well as project to others your commitment to your career.
Your personal brand allows people to trust that you are someone that they would want to work with professionally and that you have knowledge of your field. It should be ever evolving, but staying true to who you are and the values you possess as you grow professionally will always be important.