Branding is a concept best understood by looking at companies and products. However, in the digital age, it’s not just CEOs that should be concerned with branding, you too have a personal brand. When you go for an interview, you are selling yourself. When you post on social media, you are selling a personal story that people can choose to like or not. When you create an online profile, you are adding to your brand.
We all have a personal brand, whether we intend to or not. It’s out there, and it is a good idea to cultivate it and turn it into something we can use to help us, not hinder us. Everything we do online leaves a footprint, and this is forming the basis of our brand. Have you ever googled yourself? Try it, do you like what you see?
Ok, so now you know you have a personal brand, you need to turn it into something that is going to sell you like everything you want to be.
Ask yourself these five questions to make sure your personal brand positions you for success.
What do you want to be? Are you an expert in something and does this come across? For example, when you google yourself, do you come up in the searches for the thing you most want to be known for or is it still that article that you wrote at a previous job that isn’t relevant to what you do currently? If your expert area isn’t coming across, you need to get onto all your platforms and make sure it’s clear what you do and why you are so good at it.
What’s your story? Everyone has a story, and yours is your ticket to your next great role- if you tell it well. Where you’ve come from, your experiences and skills and where it’s all leading you is unique and is your selling point. Make sure your experiences follow a clear path and are weaved together to tell the best story possible.
Are you consistent? You’ll have profiles on multiple platforms. Are they all up to date? If your current role is Head of Faculty, but you haven’t updated your profiles since you were a trainee teacher, chances are you are still positioning yourself as your old role, which isn’t going to sell you. Update LinkedIn and any other platforms you use or have used in the past and make sure everything is consistent with your current resume. Your story needs to be the same across all platforms for it to become your brand.
How are your privacy settings? When creating a personal brand, there are likely to be some things that you are going to want to keep private. Make sure your social media profiles have the correct privacy settings so that they can’t be accessed by potential employers or anyone you don’t want to look at them. Chances are, last weekend’s activities or your dog are not something you want popping up and influencing your personal brand when you’re looking for your next job.
Are you engaging? So, you’ve built your brand, now are you putting yourself out there? It’s time to get noticed and connect with the people who will buy into your brand. Use LinkedIn to engage with relevant people, blog for websites to show your expertise, comment on other people’s content and add value. This is a great way to get yourself noticed and to build the best connections.
Conclusion- Everyone has a personal brand, make sure you turn yours into a best seller.